Type of place
Church, Residence (singular)
Late 20th Century 1960-1999
Designed by well-known Ukrainian architect Roman Pavlyshyn, this Catholic Church was constructed in 1961 for the local Ukrainian community. Significant numbers of Ukrainian nationals had migrated to Australia after the Second World War. Built in a traditional Ukrainian architectural style, the church makes a fine contribution to the streetscape and is still in regular use by the local parish.
Local Heritage Place Since —
Date of Citation —
Roof: Corrugated iron; Walls: Masonry - Render
Roman Pavlyshyn (Architect)
Criterion for listing
(A) Historical;(B) Rarity;(D) Representative;(E) Aesthetic;(G) Social;(H) Historical association
This purpose built Ukrainian church was constructed in the late 1950s, council approval having been obtained in June 1955 only months after purchase of the land by The Corporation of the Trustees of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane. It was completed in 1961 and stands on a suburban block that had been in continuous residential use since the late 1880s.
Ukrainian migrants arrived in Australia in significant numbers only after the Second World War, and, like other Eastern European nationalities, were encouraged by the Australian government’s Displaced Persons program. Never large in number, these migrants still formed significant ethnic minority groups in this country. As a group they have been very successful in maintaining and passing on cultural heritage to new generations. The community has always been strongly involved in developing and maintaining social, educational and cultural clubs, and a vigorous religious heritage. This was not popular with Australian Authorities and society in the 1950s and 60s, when “assimilation” was a key concept associated with migration to Australia. Nevertheless, the Ukrainians, in common with other eastern European refugees, did not tend to form residential enclaves, and there are no obvious areas in Australian cities where they predominate.
The construction of churches is undeniably a key component in the maintenance of cultural, social, and religious traditions in the Ukrainian community, and in the years spanning 1953 to 1988 thirty two Ukrainian churches were constructed in Australia, all of very traditional architectural form. Church architecture is considered a key location where Ukrainian culture, heritage, and tradition can be expressed, and the Ukrainian diaspora, in common with other groups, tends to invest tradition with special emphasis. The community is normally considerably involved with the design of its churches, and the architectural, artistic and cultural objectives of the design are given due consideration by church congregations. In general, the Ukrainian churches were constructed by a very small, very involved community from very limited resources.
The church was designed by Ukrainian architect Roman Pavlyshyn, who has designed two such churches in Queensland, the General Motors Holden’s factory at Acacia Ridge, and was head of the division of Building in the Queensland Department of works in the 1970s and 80s. In this role he managed large projects such as the construction of the Queensland Cultural Centre, the Law Courts, and additions to Parliament House. In 1993 he published a book on Ukrainian Church architecture, and is co-founder and a past president of the Ukrainian Association of Queensland. Through his architectural and community work he has had a deep association with Ukrainian society in Queensland and the Brisbane community generally.
The church is still in regular use by the local congregation.
The Ukrainian Catholic Church has a three-domed front and a sanctuary topped by a shallow dome at the back. The domes are in the Ukrainian Baroque style. The Church’s nave is composed of a single body with a pitched corrugated iron roof. The exterior walls are of stucco with simple geometrically shaped windows.
The Church front is symmetrical with the largest dome centrally placed above a central octagonal window and a grand semi-octagonal doorway. Two smaller domes on either side of the larger one are set back slightly from the front entry. A semi-octagonal window over a square window makes up either side of this simple facade. Fixed louvres below each dome provide circulation of air in the roof space. A series of long vertical windows provide light to the nave.
The front wall is of decorative block with a cast iron gate.
Statement of significance
Relevant assessment criteria
This is a place of local heritage significance and meets one or more of the local heritage criteria under the Heritage planning scheme policy of the Brisbane City Plan 2014. It is significant because:
The place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of the city's or local area’s history
as a Catholic church constructed in response to the growing Ukrainian population in Brisbane, a product of post Second World War migration.
The place demonstrates rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of the city’s or local area’s cultural heritage
as one of only two churches in Queensland that feature the particular architectural forms of a traditional Ukrainian church.
The place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class or classes of cultural places
as a fine example of a traditional Ukrainian Catholic Church, as reflected in its unique architectural form.
The place is important because of its aesthetic significance
for its unusual, striking, and attractive architectural form.
The place has a strong or special association with the life or work of a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons
as a place of worship for the Ukrainian Catholic community for more than 40 years, and as a building that reflects the presence of the Ukrainian community in Brisbane.
The place has a special association with the life or work of a particular person, group or organization of importance in the city’s or local area’s history
as a church designed by successful Queensland architect Roman Pavlyshyn, who was a person of note in the local Ukrainian community.
BCC building cards
Brisbane City Council Water Supply & Sewerage Detail Plans
Department of Natural Resources, Queensland Certificates of title and other records.
Jupp, James. Immigration (Sydney: Sydney University Press, 1991)
Pavlyshyn, Roman. Ukrainian Churches in Australia (Carlton, Victoria: Slavic Section, Monas University, 1993)
Post Office Directories
Citation prepared by — Brisbane City Council (page revised September 2020)