Victoria University Archives: Timelines

Historical timeline

Use the timeline below to explore some of the events that have shaped VU's history. Click through them one by one or use your mouse to drag the scroll bar to the decade you are interested in.

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Text timeline

1916 - Footscray Technical School Founded. Doors open March 1916, with Charles Archibald Hoadley as Principal and about 300 students. 

1919 - The Spanish Influenza epidemic sees the Nicholson Street school turned into an emergency hospital. Principal Haodley stayed on as superintendent, and students were accommodated at the South Melbourne Technical School. 

1923 - A new logo is used, incorporating the school motto, "Knowledge is Power", into the design. 

1928 - Sporting Triumph: the Footscray Technical School Senior Football team wins the Inter-Technical School football competition. 

1930s - The Depression hits. Many classes were reduced or shut down due to the depression and lack of work. New classes were started for the unemployed, and the machine workshops were made available for unemployed men to make toys for their children. 

1936 - Girls allowed as evening students with the introduction of dressmaking and typewriting classes. 

1941 - First publication of the student magazine, The Blue and Gold. The magazine was published annually until 1978. 

1943 - The Ballarat Road Campus opens as the Footscray Technical School Junior School, with the Senior School remaining at Nicholson Street. Building A was the first building constructed. 

1947 - Charles Archibald Hoadley, first Principal of Footscray Technical School, dies. A memorial statue is commissioned and students and staff, past and present, pay tributes. 

1953 - Fire at Ballarat Road. Thought to be started by a disgruntled student, a fire races through the Principal's Office and Administration area, destroying school records and supplies. Classes were disrupted until early 1954 due to the damage caused. 

1958 - Footscray Technical School is renamed Footscray Technical College, under the direction of Principal Charles Howard Beanland. 

1960 - First female day students, with the commencement of full-day courses in Commerce and Commercial Practice. 

1960 - After campaigning for many years, a specialist technical school for hairdressing is established in La Trobe Street Melbourne. It was known as the Melbourne School of Hairdressing. 

1965 - School of Painting, Decorating and Signcrafts is established. The former RMIT school is created as a specialist technical college in its own right, located in Little Londsdale Street, Melbourne. 

1966 - Jubilee Celebrations held at Footscray Technical College to mark the 50 year anniversary of the establishment of the Footscray Technical School. 

1968 - Footscray Technical College renamed Footscray Institute of Technology, in line with Education Department reforms of the time. 

1969 - SEED magazine, the magazine of the Footscray Institute of Technology Student Union and later the Victoria University Student Union, is launched. The magazine is produced quarterly. 

1969 - Moomba triumph. After being disqualified from the 1968 parade, Footscray Institute of Technology returns in 1969 to win "Best Float Entered by a College or University" at the Moomba Parade. 

1972 - Secondary School separates from FIT. Footscray Institute of Technology continues as a tertiary and trade educator, and no longer offers secondary education. 

1974 - First Bachelor-level graduates. The first class of the Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) graduates, becoming the first Bachelor-level graduates of FIT. 

1976 - The School of Painting, Decorating and Signcrafts is renamed the Melbourne College of Decoration, refelecting the broadening of the College's curriculum, which now also included interior design and visual merchandising. 

1981 - Royalty Visits. The CA Hoadley Physical Education Building at the Footscray Park Campus (Building L) is opened by Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh. 

1982 - The trades division of the Footscray Institute of Technology separates to create the Footscray College of TAFE at the Nicholson Street Campus. 

1982 - The Newport College of TAFE is established at the Newport Campus.

1983 - International links established. One of the first agreements signed was between FIT and China's Beijing Institute of Physical Education, who entered into a sister relationship, the first of its kind between Australian and Chinese academic institutions in the field of physical education. 

1984 - The Melbourne Technical College of Hairdressing changes its name to the Flagstaff College of TAFE. By this time it was teaching beauty and modelling courses as well as hairdressing. 

1986 - The Western Institute is established in a shopfront in St Albans before moving to the St Albans Campus. Classes begin in 1987. 

1990 - The Melton Campus of the Western Institute is formally opened by Prime Minister Bob Hawke. 

1991 - The Western Metropolitan College of TAFE is formed out of the mergers of Footscray and Newport Colleges of TAFE.

1992 - Victoria University of Technology opens. Formed out of the merger of Footscray Institute of Technology and Western Institute, classes commence at VUT in Semester 1, 1992. Creighton Burns is Foundation Chancellor and Jarlath Ronayne is Foundation Vice-Chancellor. 

1992 - Opening of the Sunshine Campus of the Western Metropolitan College of TAFE by the Premier, Joan Kirner.

1993 - Flagstaff College of TAFE and the Melbourne College of Decoration (painting, decorating and signwriting programs) merge with the Western Metropolitan College of TAFE. The Western Metropolitan College of TAFe is now one of the largest TAFEs in Victoria. 

1995 - Victoria University of Technology installs Peter Laver as the new Chancellor of VUT. 

1996 - Western Metropolitan College of TAFE is renamed Western Melbourne Institute of TAFE.

1998 - The Western Melbourne Institute of TAFE amalgamates with Victoria University of Technology to create the largest tertiary education provider in the West of Melbourne. 

2001 - Justice Frank Vincent becomes Chancellor of Victoria University of Technology. 

2003 - Elizabeth Harman becomes Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University of Technology. 

2005 - Victoria University of Technology formally renamed to Victoria University. 

2006 - Victoria University celebrates the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the Footscray Technical School by honouring 90 legends - former staff and students of the institutions. 

2010 - George Pappas becomes Chancellor of Victoria University. 

2011 - Peter Dawkins becomes Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University. 

2016 - Victoria University is celebrating its centenary with a wide range of activities where staff, students and the community can engage with this historic milestone.