Agency VA 1217
Swinburne Technical College [subsequently Swinburne College of Technology]
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Date Range: 1908 - 1975
Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency
The Eastern Suburbs Technical College (later to become Swinburne Technical College) was established in 1908 at the instigation of the Hon. George Swinburne MLA and others who recognised the demand for technical training in the Eastern Suburbs. It was registered as a company limited by guarantee on 8 July 1908 as per the Companies Act 1890 (No. 1074). Information about the forming of the Eastern Suburbs Technical College can be found within VPRS 932/P1 unit 52 file 4303 - Swinburne Technical College.

In accordance with the Companies Act [Amendment] 1896 (No. 1482), an inaugural meeting of the council was held at which George Swinburne was elected as President of the Council, with Mr GG Mercy Vice President, Sir William McPherson honorary treasurer, and Mr HR Hamer Honorary Director. At the time, George Swinburne was Minister for Water Supply, and Minister for Agriculture. Previously, he had been the Mayor of Hawthorn.

The foundation stone for the original building in John Street Hawthorn was laid by the then Premier, Sir Thomas Bent, on 19 September 1908. In December 1908 the first Director of the college, Mr. JR Tranthim-Fryer, was appointed to undertake the task of appointing staff, devising the courses and enrolling students for the new college. Classes began in 1909, with the first classes offered being elementary carpentry, blacksmithing and plumbing. Second term introduced classes in art and fitting and turning.

Although earlier Education Acts existed, it was not until the Education Act 1911 (No 2301) that Technical Schools were formally incorporated into Education legislation. This followed a number of Royal Commissions into Education, including the Fink Royal Commission of 1899-1901.

1911 also saw the introduction of new classes at Swinburne, including cooking, dressmaking and millinery classes. In 1913 Diploma classes in Engineering were offered and the graduates from this course were the first students from the college to receive a professional qualification.

In the absence of George Swinburne, the Council voted to change the name of the Eastern Suburbs Technical School to Swinburne Technical School in August 1912. The change in name however, was not officially notified in the Government Gazette for over two years.

A Boy's Junior School was established in 1913 and Dr. D MacKay was appointed as Headmaster. Competition for places at the school was fierce, and overcrowding continued until 1962 when the Boy's School was transferred to a new site on Burwood Road, east of William Street.

The success of the Boy's School led to the establishment of the first Australian technical school for girls in 1916. The Girl's Technical School was originally located in a house on the corner of Burwood Road and John Street until the site was needed for a new hall to mark the college's jubilee in 1958 when it was relocated to a row of cottages in William Street. The conditions in William Street were extremely cramped but the school remained there until it merged with the Boy's school in 1968. In 1969, the council relinquished control of the secondary school, which continued to be operated by the Education Department.

Arising from the martin Report 1965, the Federal Government introduced matching financial grants to colleges of Advanced Education. The Victoria Institute of Colleges (VA 571) was established and Swinburne Institute of Technology became an affiliated college. This form of funding for tertiary education necessitated a separation of tertiary from non-tertiary courses. This separation was reflected in the structure of Swinburne College of Technology (VA 1217), prompting it to divide into a Higher Education and TAFE division

As a result of increased funding, Swinburne began to improve the standard of its buildings and salaries offered to staff. Increasing numbers of students enrolled in the ever-growing range of courses offered. The range of courses and the various levels at which they were offered grew to such an extent that in 1969, the boys' and girls' technical schools were taken over by the Victorian Education Department while the college remained as an autonomous institution.

Swinburne changed its name to Swinburne College of Technology on March 12th 1968, and continued to run under this name until 1975. Swinburne had been incorporated under s.24 (5) of the Companies Act 1961, in 1973 a working party was established to determine the most appropriate form of incorporation. The working party's report, released in 1975 resolved to revoke the previous licence and set up two divisions of the company - VA 1192 Swinburne Institute of Technology and VA 4668 Swinburne College of TAFE. The licence was officially revoked on 4th of April 1975 by the Attorney General, and the working party's resolutions put into effect from 14th April 1975. The Articles of Association were revised to incorporate the changes to Swinburne College of Technology Limited. From 1975, these two divisions were administered separately.

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Date Range Series Title Series Number Series Location Public Access
1909 - 1975 Examination Results VPRS 14019 North Melbourne Part Open
By 1927 - 1975 Examination Papers VPRS 14115 North Melbourne Open
By 1936 - Circa 1983 Examination Results, Master List VPRS 14022 North Melbourne Closed
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1965 - 1975 Victoria Institute of Colleges VA 571
By 1911 - 1965 Education Department VA 714
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1908 - 1975 Educational Institutions VRG 24