Victoria University Archives: Footscray Technical School

In Summary

Established: 1916

Ended: 1958, when it was renamed Footscray Technical College

Located: Footscray Nicholson Street Campus, with the Ballarat Road (now Footscray Park) Campus opening in 1943.


Established for the purpose of "giving instruction in Applied Science, Engineering, Management, Art, Business Studies and Trade", Footscray Technical School was established by the Education Department towards the end of 1915, on the corner of Buckley and Nicholson Streets Footscray.

Charles Archibald Hoadley was appointed first Principal, commencing on the 14th January 1916, and the first Headmaster (Junior School) was Frank Treyvaud. Initial staff consisted of eight full-time teachers and four part-time teachers, for an enrolment intake of 300 students.

First teachers of Footscray Technical School, 1916. Hoadley is front, centre, with Treyvaud to his left.

The school grew rapidly, and in 1920, became the first Education Department school to offer full diploma courses. Both the day and night classes were extremely popular. Girls were first allowed in night classes in 1936 with the introduction of dressmaking and secretarial classes - but were not allowed as day students until 1960.

More building was undertaken in the 1920s and 1930s; however, it was soon evident that the site at Nicolson Street was far too small for the growing school, and students were turned away due to lack of space. It was therefore with much relief in 1941 that the foundation stone for the Ballarat Road campus was laid, with the buildings ready for occupancy in 1943. In time, the Ballarat Road campus was known as the Junior School, with the Senior School remaining at Nicholson Street.

On the death of Hoadley in 1947, Joseph Aberdeen was appointed Principal, until his death in 1951. At this time Charles Howard Beanland was appointed Principal, and continued in this position until 1967, overseeing the transition from Footscray Technical School to Footscray Technical College in 1958, and the beginnings of Footscray Institute of Technology in the late 1960s.

In 1953, a fire at the Ballarat Road Campus destroyed many student and administrative records dating back to 1916. The culprit was never discovered, although the police suspected that it was a disgruntled student.

In 1958, Footscray Technical School was renamed Footscray Technical College, in line with Education Department reforms to technical schools at that time.

Holdings in the archives

The Archives holds the following records relating to Footscray Technical School:

  • Council minutes (note: first 4 volumes are heavily fire damaged and closed due to conservation reasons) 1916-58
  • Board of Studies minutes, 1926-58
  • Certificate, Diploma, Graduate Diploma and Degree Registers, 1925-58
  • Prospectus, 1916-58 (with gaps)
  • Junior Technical School Student Record Cards 1920-35
  • Evening, Senior and Diploma Student Record Cards, 1918-65
  • Brown and Red school magazine, 1919 (only one issue was ever produced)
  • Blue and Gold school magazine, 1941-78, and printing blocks from photographs and drawings used in the Blue and Gold
  • Staff attendance books, c.1936-50
  • Various account ledgers from school bank accounts and scholarship funds, c.1930-54
  • Course pamphlets
  • Education Department technical school examination papers, 1933-41
  • Photographs of various Footscray Technical School sporting clubs, c.1925-58
  • Staff photographs
  • Some student class photographs
  • Campus photographs, c.1945
  • Prefects hats, ties and pins, c.1940
  • Student employment register, 1936-48
  • Annual awards and presentation of prizes
  • Annual speech night and speech day programs, 1918-63
  • Graduation programs (with some gaps), 1948-58
  • Reports, inspection forms and related papers from Education Department inspections of Footscray Technical School, 1936-67
  • Mothers' Club Association Minute Books, 1926-51
  • Principal's monthly reports to Footscray Technical School Council, c.1955-60
  • Common Seal
  • Material relating to the Footscray Technical School Old Boys' Association, including letterhead printing block, badge, and Football Club blazer
  • Examination results registers, c.1952-73
  • Log Book of Annual Events, 1916-65
  • Audio interview with Charles Howard Beanland, Principal of Footscray Technical School and Footscray Technical College, interview conducted in 1987.