On 26 January 1988, Gus Guthrie sent a broadcast to all staff that read:
At midnight on 25 January 1988 the New South Wales Institute of Technology vanished and in its place on 26 January 1988 rose the University of Technology Sydney”
As we celebrate 30 of years of UTS, let’s take a look at our history in 18 photos.
- Everything starts somewhere, and it doesn’t always go smoothly. Before UTS and the Tower, we were just a flooded excavation site giving our neighbours water views.
- At the other end of the campus, 60 years earlier, we see the industrial area of pre-war Sydney.
- And we return to current-day UTS with buildings by world-renowned architects.
- When the Tower designs were first proposed, not only were there going to be seven of them, the student magazine at the time, Shoplift, believed that the architect’s brief was to create a space ‘in which students would not want to congregate’.
- It turns out that the Tower Foyer is a popular meeting spot and breakfast spot (thanks, Bluebird Brekkie Bar!)
- Back in 2009, about 30 members of our community marked the 30th birthday of the Tower by abseiling down the side. Here we see Tasman Munro (B Industrial Design) about to descend the Tower. Here’s the experience in his own words:
“As I swung my shaky legs over the edge I decided to do the unthinkable. I looked down. It was such a rush, and I was suddenly inspired to convince the safety guy to check my equipment again, for the 28th time. Before I knew it, I was dangling on a thin rope 160 metres above the ground, my heart pounding, legs trembling and hands sweating. All I could do was laugh – hysterically – and then scream, and then laugh some more. After my initial outburst, I was overcome with a sudden sense of peace. It was truly magical up there. Apart from the gentle wind whistling around the Tower it was completely silent, and now I was between that sun sparkling off Blackwattle Bay and the illuminated buildings.”
- Tasman wasn’t the first student to descend the tower. In this photo, a student is abseiling down the Tower building as part of the protests against the abolition of mandatory student unionism in 2006.
- Our community also protested a proposal under Education Minister John Dawkins for a Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS). Evidently, it failed, as HECS was introduced a year after this photo in 1989.
9. The original superlab.
10. Before the days of My Student Admin, this was a familiar image for our NSWIT students in the late 1970s when they wanted to enrol.
11. Your first day of uni during orientation wouldn't be the same without our Peer Networkers! The first peer networkers were recruited on UTS’s 10th birthday, back in 1998.
12. Graduates of UTS are among notable alumni such as Hugh Jackman (BA Comms, 1991), Maile Carnegie (BBus Marketing, 1992) and Nelson Mandela who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by UTS in 2000.
13. Transitioning from a teaching institution to embrace research, like other universities, was met with some concern by NSWIT staff. But thanks to the likes of Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) Lesley Johnson empowering our researchers with time and grants, UTS research radically improved.
14. What’s a trip to UTS without a 300m walk through the Devonshire Tunnel? It opened up in 1906 and has been going strong ever since!
15. Before it became a place for cheap wine and good music for the whole community, The Loft was a staff-only retreat.