From its establishment in 1908 in Melbourne's eastern suburb of Hawthorn, Swinburne has grown from being a local provider of technical education into a multi-disciplined, multi-campus provider of higher education.
Swinburne was established as the Eastern Suburbs Technical College by George Swinburne and the first students were enrolled in 1909, when classes began in carpentry, plumbing and blacksmithing. Soon afterwards, a boys' junior technical school and the first girls' technical school in Victoria, were established.
In 1913 the institution changed its name to Swinburne Technical College, to commemorate the founder, a former Mayor of Hawthorn and a member of the Parliament of Victoria.
In 1965 Swinburne became affiliated with the Victoria Institute of Colleges, which was established in that year by an Act of the Parliament of Victoria, to "foster the development and improvement of tertiary education in technical, agricultural, commercial and other fields of learning (including the liberal arts and the humanities) in institutions other than in the universities of Victoria".
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.
An extensive reorganisation of advanced education took place in Victoria in the period 1976-78, culminating in the passing of the Victorian Post-Secondary Education Act. Under the Act the Victoria Institute of Colleges was dissolved and the Victorian Post-Secondary Education Commission established. As part of the new arrangements, Swinburne Council was given power to grant bachelor degrees. The first of these was awarded at a conferring ceremony held on Thursday 21 May 1981 at the Camberwell Civic Centre.
Swinburne University of Technology was proclaimed on 1 July 1992. This marked not only recognition of its distinguished history, but the beginning of a new period of growth and innovation for Swinburne.
Swinburne in the 21st Century
Swinburne is well positioned as we enter the 21st Century. We have always been a forward thinking institution and that hasn’t changed. The values on which we were established remain relevant today. It’s a vision that helps us meet the changing needs of society and the challenges of the future.