Foundation Day: the making of Charles Sturt University

Foundation Day at CSU celebrates the day in 1989 two NSW educational institutions came together to become Charles Sturt University.

It was on 19 July 1989 that the Riverina-Murray Institute of Higher Education (based in Albury and Wagga Wagga) amalgamated with the Mitchell College of Advanced Education (based in Bathurst). Charles Sturt University, with campuses and study centres now spread from Brisbane to Melbourne, and with students across the entire world, stands on the shoulders of these precursor institutions.

The launch was held on the Mitchell College of Advanced Education campus, where the NSW Minister for Education, Dr Terry Metherell, unveiled commemorative plaques and the Interim Board of Governors held their inaugural meeting.

CSU Interim Board of Governors (CSU2620.3154)
The Charles Sturt University Interim Board of Governors, 1989 [CSURA CSU2620/3154]
During this meeting, the Board appointed Professor Michael Birt as Acting Vice-Chancellor of the new University.  Professor Birt was, at the time, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of NSW which was the sponsoring institution of Charles Sturt University.

On that day, Professor Birt said of Wagga, Bathurst and Albury that, “the strengths of their communities combined can create a university much more powerful in knowledge and skill than either of the colleges it has subsumed.”

The following is a timeline created to demonstrate some of the basic milestones in the establishment of the educational institutions that led to the start of our university.


The Making of Charles Sturt University

1892 (Oct)  The Wagga Experiment Farm is established
[NSW Government Gazette dedication, 25 October 1892]

1895 (Aug)  The Bathurst Experiment Farm is established
[NSW Government Gazette proclamation, 14 August 1895]

1896 (Oct)  The first students arrive at the Wagga Experiment Farm
[Wagga Wagga Express, 1 October 1896]

Wagga Experiment Farm cricket team.
The Wagga Experiment Farm First Eleven 1909-1910.  Back: Rennie, Brown, McKer…, Edwards, McKern. Centre: Logan, Smith, Biddulph, Martin. Front: Bell, Graf [CSURA SA1634/6].
1897 (Mar)  The first students arrive at the Bathurst Experiment Farm
[The Bathurst Daily Free Press, 13 March 1897]

1941 (Sep)  Full-time student education ceases at the Bathurst Experiment Farm
[National Advocate, 8 September 1941]

1947 (Jun)  The Wagga Wagga Teachers’ College is established and the first students arrive
[The Daily Advertiser, 10 June 1947]

1949 (Feb)  The Wagga Experiment Farm is closed to be re-formed as the Wagga Agricultural College and Experimental Station
[The Daily Advertiser, 25 February 1949]

1951 (Mar)  The Bathurst Teachers’ College is established and the first students arrive
[The National Advocate, 13 March 1951]

Bathurst Teachers' College (CSURA RW2116)
A student teacher walks out of the gates at the Bathurst Teachers’ College,1957 [CSURA RW2116].
1954 (Nov)  The Agricultural Research Institute is established at the Wagga Agricultural College and Experimental Station
[The Daily Advertiser, 1 November 1954]

1968 (19 Jan)  The inaugural meeting of the Mitchell College of Advanced Education Interim Council is held
[MCAE Interim Council minutes, CSU1917]

1969 (27 Oct)  The inaugural meeting of the Riverina College of Advanced Education Interim Council is held
[RCAE Interim Council minutes, CSU1785]

1969 (31 Dec)  The Bathurst Teachers’ College is closed to become the School of Teacher Education in the Mitchell College of Advanced Education
[Barker, Theo (1987), “The Story of Three Colleges”]

1970  (2 Mar)  The first students arrive at the Mitchell College of Advanced Education
[The Canberra Times, 17 Jan 1970]

1970 (10 Apr)  Mitchell College of Advanced Education becomes College of Advanced Education within the Department of Technical Education
[NSW Government Gazette, 10 Apr 1970]

MCAE View from gates [CSU2548.3]
View of the Mitchell College of Advanced Education from the front gates [CSURA CSU2548/3].
1970 (29 Jun)  The Goulburn Teachers’ College is established and the first students arrive at Bundanoon for a five week residential school
[Goulburn Teachers’ College handbook, 1971]

1971 (1 Jan)  Mitchell College of Advanced Education becomes an independent corporated body under the Higher Education Act, 1969
[NSW Government Gazette, 11 Dec 1970]

1971 (1 Sep)  Goulburn Teachers’ College becomes a college of advanced education within the Department of Technical Education
[NSW Government Gazette, 27 Aug 1971]

1971 (31 Dec)  The Wagga Wagga Teachers’ College is closed to become the School of Teacher Training within the Riverina College of Advanced Education
[Riverina College of Advanced Education handbook, 1972]

1972 (1 Jan)  Riverina College of Advanced Education becomes a college of advanced education within the Department of Technical Education and its first students arrive about a month later
[NSW Government Gazette, 5 Nov 1971]

1972 (1 Jan)  Wagga Agricultural College becomes a college of advanced education within the Department of Agriculture
[NSW Government Gazette, 12 Nov 1971]

1972 (27 Mar) A study centre is opened at Albury by the Riverina College of Advanced Education
[RCAE Council minutes, CSU1785]

1972 (15 May?) A study centre is opened at Griffith by the Riverina College of Advanced Education
[RCAE Council minutes, CSU1785]

1972 (1 Oct)  Riverina College of Advanced Education becomes an independent corporated body under the Higher Education Act, 1969
[NSW Government Gazette, 29 Sep 1972]

 

Mudge', 618 Olive St
RCAE Staff standing outside ‘Mudge’, (618 Olive Street), one of the converted heritage houses that the Albury campus was based in, c.1980s) [CSURA SA2620].
1974 (1 Dec)  Goulburn Teachers’ College  (as a college of advanced education) becomes an independent corporated body under the Higher Education Act, 1969
[NSW Government Gazette, 29 Nov 1974]

1975 (31 Dec)  The Wagga Agricultural College is closed to become the School of Agriculture within the Riverina College of Advanced Education
[RCAE Council minutes, CSU1785]

Goulburn CAE and Riverina CAE amalgamation [CSURA CSU2620]
Shaking hands at the official announcement of the amalgamation of the Goulburn and Riverina Colleges of Advanced Education, 30 October 1981.   L-R: Dr C Woodrow (Principal, GCAE), Mr F Chattaway (Chairman ACAE), Dr Cliff Blake (Principal Designate, RCAE), Mr Peter Hastie, (Chairman, RCAE Council), Mr R Mulock (Minister for Education), Dr Edwin Brooks (Dean, School of Commerce, RCAE) [CSURA CSU2620].
1981 (31 Dec)  Goulburn College of Advanced Education is closed and amalgamated with the Riverina College of Advanced Education
[NSW Government Gazette, 18 Dec 1981]

1984 (May)  The Goulburn Campus is relinquished to become the NSW Police Academy
[RCAE Council minutes, CSU1785]

1985 (1 Mar)  The Riverina College of Advanced Education changes its name to the Riverina-Murray Institute of Higher Education, with campuses at Albury and Wagga Wagga and a study centre at Griffith
[NSW Government Gazette, 19 Oct 1984]

1989 (19 Jul)  The Riverina-Murray Institute of Higher Education and the Mitchell College of Advanced Education amalgamate to become Charles Sturt University, with foundation campuses at Albury, Bathurst and Wagga Wagga
[NSW Government Gazette, 14 Jul 1989]

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2 thoughts on “Foundation Day: the making of Charles Sturt University

    1. Hi Edward,
      Sorry about that! The gentleman on the left is Dr C Woodrow, who was the Principal of Goulburn College of Advanced Education at the time.
      I’ve updated the caption.

      Like

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