The origins of Monash's Caulfield Campus are found in the establishment of one of Melbourne's earliest Technical Schools - Caulfield Technical School - in 1922. During the next seventy years the school transformed several times - first into Caulfield Technical College, then Caulfield Institute of Technology and finally Chisholm Institute of Technology before it merged with Monash University.
Caulfield campus began as the Caulfield Technical School in 1922. It was selected as the site for the new school largely because of its proximity to the railway lines that serviced Melbourne, Frankston and Gippsland areas. The selected site already had a drill hall as well as blacksmithing, carpentry and coach building shops. These buildings were augmented with the construction of a two-storey, red brick building with 12 large and 8 small classrooms. The Training School for returned servicemen, which was already on the site, was absorbed into the School when it opened, allowing returned soldiers to train alongside the students of the School.
Mr S. C Jones, Caulfield Technical School Council, Secretary 1922; President 1924.
Mr R J Dorey, the first Principal of Caulfield Technical School, was a trained blacksmith. His background was significant in that it highlighted the underlying emphasis and purpose of the School as trade and industrial training.
Commencing after the 1st World War, the practical focus of Caulfield Technical School was very important. The education provided at the School had results that were tangible to the students and to the community. Students carried out all sorts of building jobs that could be seen around the grounds and more importantly the graduating students were employable.
Mr R J Doey Principal of Caulfield Technical School 1922
Students of Caulfield Technical School 1922
Caulfield Technical School Council, 1924.
Photographer Mr. Fernando.
Picture of Sir John Monash
The practical focus of Caulfield Technical School was important to its identity and also this was how it was perceived by the community. In 1927, when the government legislated that all apprentices must hold a Certificate of Qualification, Caulfield Technical School lobbied to ensure that employers paid their apprentices' school fees.
Caulfield Technical School responded to the Great Depression by actively participating in the Unemployed Vocational Training Scheme, which provided free instruction for the unemployed. Dorey believed that the only solution 'for the unfortunate young lads out of employment [was] to continue their education until opportunities for work occur'.
Cadets at rifle practice, Caulfield Technical School cadet camp.
When World War Two broke out, the School took a leading role in building equipment for the war effort, training munitions workers, communicating with soldiers, and assisting with evacuation and blackout plans. In this way the small local technical school made the transition to a well established local institution that was relied upon to provide essential services to the community.
The Rt. Hon. R.G. Menzies Prime Minister of Australia tells the Australian people that Great Britain has declared War on Germany and therefore Australia was also at War. [S00270 Australian War Memorial]
Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme participants in Caulfield Technical School workshop c1940s.
Caulfield Technical School in 1944
The Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme was introduced in March 1944 to provide educational and vocational training to those who had served in Australia's armed services during World War II. As part of the scheme, Caulfield Technical School established a repatriation program for returned servicemen and introduced diploma courses. The scheme provided training for ex-servicemen and women, a necessary program for them to be re-established in suitable civilian occupations.
Principal R J Dorey retires from Caulfield Technical School When Dorey retired after 24 years of service, the school had grown from 14 teachers and 220 students in 1922 to 66 teachers and over 2,000 students at the end of 1946. He was succeeded by J. L Kepert, a mechanical engineer, who continued Dorey's commitment to the students and continued to develop the diploma courses with the introduction of electrical and mechanical engineering.
Caulfield Technical School staff
At the end of the 1940s and early 1950s increasing emphasis was placed on the diploma school. In addition, the Education Department had also created three new junior technical schools in the area so Caulfield Technical School was also placed in a position of leadership, providing guidance and resource support for these new schools.
Caulfield Technical School Mechanical Engineering students
Caulfield Technical School engineering students, 1950
The post war period also saw a renewed emphasis on science, technology and industrial strength and ability. Universities around the country were under pressure to reflect this emphasis in the courses they offered. Attitudes to education had also shifted. Increased high school retention had in turn led to an increase in the population of tertiary institutions. By the mid 1950s enrolments in tertiary education had exploded.
Caulfield Technical School Students' Representative Council, 1950
Diploma enrolments were encouraged and by 1956 there were 2,400 diploma students in the senior school. Although space and accommodation were a problem during this growth, its emphasis on encouraging diploma students contributed to the development of Caulfield Technical School's reputation as a leading tertiary institution in Victoria.
At the end of 1958 Austin E Lambert became the new School principal and Caulfield Technical School experienced the first of several names changes becoming Caulfield Technical College. In 1959 Lambert was encouraged by the Education Department Inspector to come up with an area of study that the College could develop as its speciality. After a few days of consideration, Lambert came up with his answer - machine computation. It was decided that Caulfield Technical College would concentrate on this emerging area from accounting machines right through to computers.
The Murray Report confirmed the need for a second university in Melbourne with an increased emphasis on technology. Named after engineer, military leader and public administrator Sir John Monash, Monash University was established by an Act of Parliament on 15 April, 1958. This would be the first new university to be established in Victoria for 106 years.
In July 1960 Lambert prepared a small brochure that advertised a course called 'Computers in Engineering'. The Education Department agreed, approving the course for 1960 and 1961. The first part-time course in computing at Caulfield Technical College had been established. Courses in both technical and commercial computing continued to run and were extremely popular. In 1963, the Education Department gave Caulfield Technical College a special equipment grant of £57,850, which was to include the hire, and later purchase, of a Ferranti Sirius, the College’s first digital computer. Lambert planned the introduction of the new Diploma of Information Processing, while looking for an appropriate Instructor to commence in 1964. John (Jack) White, applied to become the College’s Senior Instructor in Information Processing. On the first Friday in May, 1964, Jack White ended a period of nearly ten years with various departments of the Commonwealth Public Service, where he had gained extensive practical experience. The following Monday he officially took up the position of Senior Technical Instructor, Information Processing, at Caulfield Technical College.
An Interim Council was established for the early development of the University. It set March 1961 for the University's opening date. The Clayton site was selected, building plans were drawn up and the Science Block was chosen as the first building erected to ensure that the faculties of Science, Engineering and Medicine would be launched first. However, with further funding from the Australian Universities Commission, Monash would open with five faculties - with the addition of both Arts and Economics.
James Adam Louis Matheson, Monash's Vice-Chancellor arrived in Melbourne in January 1960. He and his family immediately ‘took up residence in a fairly large house that happened to be on the university site’. While the University prepared to open its doors to students in 1961, the house, which remained the Matheson family home for sixteen years, became the headquarters for University business. Staff members occupied the garage and some of the bedrooms in the house, while professors were tenanted in the gardener’s cottage and huts hired from the builders. The University proceeded to be built around them and the campus was continuously covered in a layer of mud. A row of gumboots was permanently located at the back door of the Matheson home for the use of staff and visitors.
Both Monash University and Caulfield Technical College each had a Ferranti Sirius as their first computer. The machine pictured here was housed in Engineering at Monash University and taken in 1963.
On 11 March, 1961 Monash university was officially opened by the Premier of Victoria, the Hon. Henry E. Bolte, MLA. The first students began their studies at our foundation campus in Clayton in 1961.
Science buildings with students in courtyard on first day of term 13 March 1961.
Aerial view of Science and Humanities buildings from south west, with foundations of Medicine buildings in foreground.
The Ferranti-Sirius computer on display in the Computing Museum at Caulfield Campus.
Model of proposed campus buildings, 1962
Professor Matheson officially ordered the Ferranti Sirius on 20 December 1961. In early 1962 a Ferranti Sirius 7000 arrived which was to be used until their new 4000 was sent. The company's release claimed that it would be the smallest and most economically priced computer in the European Market. The University's Ferranti Sirius 4000 arrived in late 1962 and was installed and used both by students and for staff administrative work. Cliff Bellamy came to Monash University directly from Ferranti and was appointed Senior Programmer of Monash's newly established Computer Centre in 1963.
Professor Cliff Bellamy graduated with a first class honours degree in Civil Engineering. Under a scholarship from the Australian Atomic Energy Commission he obtained his PhD at the University of Sydney in 1960.
Professor Bellamy worked for Ferranti Ltd computer systems both in Melbourne and London. He began working for Monash University in 1961 whilst he was still employed at Ferranti; teaching courses in computing. In November 1962 Monash ordered its first Ferranti Sirius computer, as part of the agreement with Ferranti, Cliff Bellamy was sent to set up and train staff on the computer. He never left Monash. In 1963 he was employed full time by Monash to manage the newly established Computer Centre. He was given professorial status in the 1970s. In this role he recognised the growing student requirement and demand more for computers at Monash as well as the growing demand for new courses. With his influence and his strong managerial style, it led to the establishment of a new Chair of Information Science in 1965 which in turn led to the establishment of the Department of Computer Science in 1969.
In 1959 the Principal of Caulfield Technical College, Austin Lambert, was challenged by Inspector Oliver Nilssen to come up with an area of study that could be the College's speciality. After a few days he decided - machine computation. During 1960-62 the School ran several short courses. He stated in his Principal's Report in 1963 ʺ.... our college itself is making a big move in one particular direction. In electronic computing and data processing, the College has been giving short part-time courses for some years. It is now introducing full-time and part-time diploma and certificate courses in commercial data processing. These will be the first courses of their type in Australia, either at universities or technical colleges. Students will use a Ferrari Sirius computer which has recently been installed by ICT.ʺ
Monash University's first computer Ferranti-Sirius.
Vice-Chancellor Dr. J.A.L. Matheson, c. 1963.
Photographer Terry Martin.
Official opening of Queens Avenue buildings, Caulfield Technical College in 1963. From left: Mr A.E. Lambert, Principal; the Hon. J.S. Bloomfield, Minister of Education; Mr K.H. Boykett, President of the College Council; and Sir A.A. Fitzgerald.
In 1968, at the age of 35, Chris Wallace was offered the position of Chair of Information Science and established the Department of Information Science. Before 1969, the only teaching related to computing was through the Computer Centre and certain departments in Science and Engineering. Chris Wallace had to establish the department, its staff and its courses. John Rosenberg, Dean, Faculty of IT 1997-2003, described Chris Wallace as ʺan absolute unsung heroʺ. In 1964, before starting at Monash, he wrote a paper published in the IEEE Transactions on Electronic Computing entitled ‘A suggestion for a fast multiplier’. This paper formed the basis of multiplication in almost every microprocessor and computer for many years. Chris Wallace was a scholar and a gentleman in every sense of the word. He was a brilliant lecturer who never seemed to need notes. He mentored and supported so many people who proceeded to become leaders of the Australian and world computer science community.' Among the 51 students he supervised during his time at Monash was colleague Professor Gopal Gupta who stated in a tribute to him, 'At the professional level, Professor Wallace had a towering intellect, an encyclopaedic knowledge and an uncompromising commitment to research and as a teacher, he mentored many staff and students, most of whom are now leaders in academia and industry.'
Professor Chris Wallace was the Foundation Professor of Computer Science at Monash and an absolute unsung hero. In 1964, before starting at Monash, Chris wrote a paper published in the IEE Transactions on Electronic Computing entitled ‘A suggestion for a fast multiplier’. This paper formed the basis of multiplication in almost every microprocessor and computer for many years.... Chris was a scholar and a gentleman in every sense of the word. He was a brilliant lecturer who never seemed to need notes. He mentored and supported so many people who proceeded to become leaders of the Australian and world computer science community. I have no doubt that without his encouragement I would not have continued on to have a career as an academic. John Rosenberg, Dean Fac of IT 1997-2003 (now Emeritis Professor, La Trobe)
The Victoria Institute of Colleges Act of 1965 changed the face of technical tertiary education in Victoria. At first, the effects of the Act were barely perceptible but by the end of the 1960s the legislated changes had swept through Caulfield Institute of Technology. A restructured college greeted the new decade, ready, at the direction of its new principal Hartley Halstead, to expand and adapt to the changing tertiary environment. Caulfield Technical College formally became Caulfield Institute of Technology. Signing of the Order-in-Council that established independence, under their own governing councils, was described in the Council of the Victoria Institute of Colleges report, as 'probably the greatest single development during 1968'.
Cover of the Report of the Council for the Victorian Institute of Colleges, 1968.
1968 saw the introduction of a new Department of Computer Science (originally called Information Science) housed in the Faculty of Science at Monash. Students would undertake Computer Science as part of their Bachelor of Science. This meant that students had to work within existing Science degree regulations, with recommended major sequences and regulations, leaving little room for subjects in the area of computer science. Thus the department had to develop slowly, by introducing subjects to all year levels of the Bachelor of Science program.
In addition demarcation between the Department of Computer Science and the well established Monash Computer Centre, was problematic. Although the Computer Centre was not an academic department, some of its staff had been teaching there since the early 1960s. This teaching activity began out of necessity as there was no academic department of computing or computer science at the time.
Science buildings in foreground, Monash University.
Photographer Herve Alleaume.
At the Monash University Open Day in 1973, visitors queued for the opportunity to try the Speak-Your-Weight Machine. This crowd-drawing attraction was nothing more than a plank of wood balanced on two bricks. If you stood on the plank, the machine it was connected to would, quite literally, speak your weight. If two people were to stand on the plank at the same time the machine would politely retort ‘one at a time please’. There were other displays that attracted similar attention: a train set with numbered carriages that circled the tracks and shunted to reorder, a golf ball-balancing mechanical arm, and a printer that churned out pictures of Fred Flintstone and scantily-clad women. These seemingly simple demonstrations were so popular because a computer, the Department of Computer Science’s HP 2100A, was responsible for operating them all simultaneously.
Many visitors experienced a computer for the first time at this Monash University Open Day. Although the machines and their applications were becoming increasingly common in industry, schools, technical colleges and universities, many people were simply unaware of the existence of computers and how they would one day influence all of our lives.
Film of the Monash University 1973 Open Day with the waving arm machine, train, and a print-out of a naked girl!
Principal Halstead took many of his cues from the Victoria Institute of Colleges. Four new schools were established following the discipline groupings of the VIC School Boards and a similar committee structure soon followed within the Institute. Halstead’s title changed from principal to director. Short courses in computing were taught at Caulfield before the formation of the Electronic Data Processing Department, however in 1972 senior lecturer, Gerry Maynard, felt that these commercial activities should be consolidated as a special function of the Department. Course and curriculum change gained momentum under Pearcey’s leadership. After their introduction in 1972, the Bachelor of Applied Science (Electronic Data Processing) and the Diploma of Electronic Data Processing became the main entry level courses for computing students. In 1973 the Pearcey Centre for Computing was formed - a self-funded organisation which devised and promoted computer courses for industry and commerce.
By 1973, Monash University had a single department dedicated to the teaching and study of Computer Science, with 12 academic staff and approximately 200 students. In the same year Caulfield Institute of Technology had 16 staff and around 330 students engaged involved in the teaching and study of Electronic Data Processing.
Dr Brian McMullin can contribute information about the Graduate School of Librarianship (founded in Arts in 1975)
Professor Chris Wallace adjusting his computerised robotic waving-arm device (1977). Image courtesy of Monash University Archives.
Monash University Computer Centre, 1980.
Photographer Richard Crompton.
The MONET system was an inexpensive local area network created by the Monash University Computer Centre. Research for this project began in 1978 and by 1984 the MONET LAN system provided terminal access to multiple computers and computer-to-computer access, as well as allowing switching computer output between printers and providing connections between 700 terminals and 350 ports on 16 medium to large computers.
The late 1970s and early 80s culminated in a lengthy but thorough review of computer science at Monash University. Years of tension that led to the review were a legacy of how this new discipline had emerged at Monash and of the internal politics that are often characteristic of large institutions and organisations. The review was sparked by a letter, written by department chair, Chris Wallace, in November 1981.
The interim years had been tumultuous; tension between the Department of Computer Science and the Faculty of Science continued to increase. Demand for student places in computer science subjects continued to climb, adding to the pressure on department staff. Students began to express concern that they would not be able to enrol in computer science subjects or carry on with major sequences in the discipline. In 1982, six academic staff from the Department of Computer Science resigned.
Gopal Gupta and Ken McDonnell stayed on and provided indispensable evidence to the review committee.
This system allowed access to any computer on campus from one terminal. The network system was the work of a team which included Dr Bellamy, Mr Barry Treloar, Mr Neil Clarke, Mr Keith Heale and Mr Patrick Miller. The Centre collaborated with the Department of Computer Science which provided specialist teaching in computing for students.
While the review was slowly progressing, Professor Wallace, Chairman of the Department of Computer Science, suffered a heart attack and in 1982 the department was left with little in the way of leadership since the only other senior academic had recently resigned. At this point the review committee organised the secondment of Professor John Crossley, from the Department of Mathematics. He became Head of the Department of Computer Science, providing much needed support for Wallace and the department’s review-weary staff. A Monash staff member since 1969, Crossley was familiar with the structures and relationships that underpinned the University. He also understood the nature of computer science and its resource requirements and had long been agitating for its better treatment.
In retrospect the review’s main achievement was in alerting the all levels of the university to the distinctive nature of Computer Science, and the differences between it and the general computing that was going on everywhere else.
After two years the final report of the review committee, complete with recommendations for the future of the Department of Computer Science at Monash, was presented to, and approved by, the Vice-Chancellor, Ray Martin, in 1984, gaining overwhelming Professorial Board support.
Image: Emeritus Professor John Crossley
In 1982 the Caulfield Institute of Technology amalgamated with the State College of Victoria at Frankston to form the Chisholm Institute of Technology with the School of Computing and Information Systems soon developing a presence at Frankston as well as Caulfield.
In 1984 Chisholm's School of Computing became the Faculty of Technology with its two departments becoming the School of Computing and Information Systems along with the Schools of Applied Science and Engineering. Trevor Percy was made foundation Dean. Soon it was restructured with the formation of four divisions - Digital Technology, Engineering and Industrial Technology, Information Technology, and Mathematics and Environmental Science. The Division of Information Technology, led by Jack Greig, became home to what had once been the Department of Electronic Data Processing. The once small department, which had battled for recognition and independence, had become three highly valued and stand alone units – the Department of Computer Technology, the Department of Information Systems, and the Department of Software Development. These structural changes, while cumbersome to implement and destabilising in some ways, were hugely significant. The direction Chisholm was moving in, even from a simply structural perspective, was clear. It was bearing more and more resemblance to a university.
John Symington, lecturer with the Division of Information Technology, advising student on Information Modelling course for Telecom staff at Pearcy Centre in 1985.
Gerry Maynard, Acting Dean, School of Computing and Information Systems, Chisholm, 1985.
Michael Bennett with parents June and Colin Bennett, and maternal grandparents, Doris and Harry Liebert at his graduation.
Photographer Richard Crompton.
The MONADS Project was initiated by Prof. J. L Keedy in 1976 at Monash University and had several different stages over the years. Prof. John Rosenberg and Prof. David Abramson both worked on the MONADS PC project during 1984 and 1985. Together they designed and built the first Monads-PC system at Monash. This was a microprogrammed workstation designed to support a very large virtual memory and capability–based addressing and information hiding software modules. The Monads-PC had 60 bit virtual addresses with capability registers and an address translation unit capable of efficiently translating these large unique virtual addresses. John Rosenberg and David Abramson were both involved as research students on different parts of the MONADS I and MONADS II systems.
The MONADS project was a collaborative effort that spanned several academic institutions and combined the skills of both hardware and software specialists. In 2008, this much-traveled machine that was built at Monash, sent to Sydney University, taken to Ulm, has now returned from the University of Ulm in Germany, and sits in the Monash University Museum of Computing at Caulfield Campus.
Computer Centre Director Dr. Cliff Bellamy explaining the operation of MONET, the University's local are area network in 1986. Dr Bellamy, stated in the Monash Reporter, that MONET was an example of applied research solving a real problem and providing a design which could be manufactured in Australia. Photographer Tony Miller.
Professor Les Goldschlager.
Photographer Tony Miller.
Chisholm computer staff Noel Craske (left) and Graeme Shanks, developing the expert systems project with Jenni Masters of Arthur Anderson, 1988.
Chisholm computer staff. Ray Newland (Computer Centre Manager), Jack Greig (Head School of Computing and Information System), Pearl Levin (Principal Lecturer) and John White (Assoc. Director Planning and Resources).
Photographer Andrew Barcham.
Professor Jean Whyte in 1988.
In 1988 the idea for a co-operative degree in IT education came from Mr Brian Finn, the Managing Director of IBM Australia. He approached the Federal Government and universities for support for a co-operative degree that included industry-based learning. This resulted in the introduction of the Bachelor of Information Systems which was housed within the Faculty of Economics and Politics in the department of IT in the late 1980's. The first cohort of students graduated in 1991 and predominately went into full-time work. When the Department of Information Systems moved to the Faculty of IT it became the Department of Business Systems.
On 11 May 1989, a Heads of Agreement document between Monash and Chisholm was signed by both governing councils. This signalled the beginning of the merger process. In July Prof. Les Goldschlager, Head of the Dept of Computer Science at Monash, Jack Greig, Head of the Division of Information Technology, Chisholm and Jim Breen, Head of the Dept. of Robotics and Digital Technology, Chisholm supported the proposal to establish a Faculty of Computer and Information Technology. However, not everyone was in agreement. Both the Dean of the Faculty of Science, Prof. William Muntz, and the Science faculty generally were very hesitant to see Computer Science removed into a stand alone faculty, however Computer Science would become part of FIT.
Monash and Chisholm Institute of Technology (Caulfield and Frankston) began considering various merger options. The first partnership that eventuated was between Monash University and the Gippsland Institute. On 24 January 1989 the councils of Monash University and the Gippsland Institute of Advanced Education entered into an agreement for Gippsland Institute to become affiliated with Monash University.
Mr Tom Kennedy, Director Gippsland Institute of Advanced Education.
Photographer Tony Miller.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Mal Logan (left) and Director of Gippsland Institute of Technology, Dr Tom Kennedy, behind them are Registrar Mr Tony Pritchard, and Secretary to Gippsland Institute Council Ms Jenny Hill.
Photographer Tony Miller.