My first connection with UTS dates from the mid-1970s, marching down Broadway from Sydney University, where I was an economics tutor, past the hole in the ground where the UTS Tower building now stands. This year, UTS is 25 years old and the Tower sits more comfortably within the Sydney skyline. To commemorate this remarkable journey, from hole in the ground to vibrant and successful university, Stories from the Tower recounts the experiences and memories of current and former UTS staff and students. What emerges is a series of pictorial and scripted snapshots of the history, characters, achievements, buildings and culture of UTS. Perhaps understandably, the book is top-heavy on the power elite – its ‘fluffy floor’ occupants of Chancellors, Vice-Chancellors, Pro-Vice-Chancellors and Deans – and the history of its faculties, departments and organisational units. But the book also tells the story of the passing parade of academic and support staff and students, including famous alumni like the film star Hugh Jackman, the writer Anna Funder and the politician Tanya Plibersek. What impresses is the scope of the educational achievements and social engagements of UTS in its short history, and the diversity and energy of the many vibrant communities and individuals who have made this possible.
Stories from the Tower co-author Paul Ashton is a Professor of Publish History, Co-Director of the Australian Centre for Public History and Academic Director of Shopfront, all at UTS. Debra Adelaide is an author and Associate Professor in UTS’s Creative Practices Group. Annette Salt is a professional historian, with a particular interest in institutional, women’s and indigenous histories, and an Associate of UTS’s Australian Centre for Public History.