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This webpage covers some of the events and items of historical interest that occurred at the University of New South Wales in the 1960s.

For further information, please contact the Archives.

back to 1949-1959


Professor Morven Brown, 1960s.
(Photographer: Max Dupain, UNSW Archives CN486/3/18)
Professor Frank Rundle, c. 1963
(Photographer: Max Dupain, UNSW Archives CN486/3/18)

On 1 January 1960 the Faculty of Arts came into being under dean Professor Morven Brown. Later that same year on 11 July 1960 Council established the Faculty of Medicine headed by dean Professor Frank Rundle.


Students preparing floats on campus for Foundation Day, 1961.
(Students' Union, UNSW Archives CN273/16/3)

On 4 July 1961 the inaugural UNSW Foundation Day was held. Celebrations included a procession of floats through the city, pranks, a Tharunka special edition and concluded with a ball in the Roundhouse. Although Foundation Day has changed over the years, it has continued as an annual student event into the present day.

Students preparing to sail Sydney Harbour in a bath tub on Foundation Day, 1961.
(Students' Union, UNSW Archives CN273/39/1)
Students selling Sydney Moaning Herald Tharunkas at Sydney Town Hall on Foundation Day, 1961.
(Students' Union, UNSW Archives CN273/20/2) 

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Wollongong University College, 1967.
(Photographer: Arthur Cratchley, UNSW Archives CN945/59)

On 1 March 1962 Wollongong University College was officially opened by the Governor-General, the Right Honourable Viscount de L'Isle. The position of Warden of the College had been constituted the year before in 1961, with Professor C. A. M. Gray being appointed to this post. Like Newcastle University College, Wollongong would later achieve autonomy from UNSW and became the University of Wollongong on 1 January 1975.


U Committee members Io Myers, Kath Freeland and Jean Morven Brown sorting books for the Book Fair, 1970.
(UNSW Archives CN486/3/19)

On 14 August 1963 the first official meeting of the U Ball Committee was held. Under inaugural President Mrs Io Myers the Committee was formed to raise money initially for International House and later for the university in general. In the beginning the focus was on a University Ball as the major fundraiser. In April 1968 the Committee organised the UNSW Book Fair, which was so popular that it became a biennial and, from 2000 - 2012, an annual event. In October 1968, the U-Ball Committee changed its name to the U Committee. In the course of its existence from 1963 - 2013, the U Committee - a voluntary group made up of spouses of staff, staff, and other friends of the university - raised over $3.4 million for various university projects.

The U Committee's $70,000 donation to the University's Art Investment Fund - (l-r) Phyl Shave, Io Myers, Vice-Chancellor Rupert Myers and Betty Caroll, 1978.
(Photographer: G. Swinburn, UNSW Archives CN486/3/22)
UNSW Book Fair, 2012.
(Alumni Relations Office, UNSW Archives 12/372/3)

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Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies delivering the first Wallace Wurth Memorial Lecture, 1964.
(Australian Photographic Agency, UNSW Archives CN486/3/20)

On 28 August 1964 the first Wallace Wurth Memorial Lecture, "The Universities - Some Queries", was delivered by Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies. In 1963, in memory of the university's first Chancellor, Wallace Wurth, the Council established the Wallace Wurth Memorial Fund for delivery of the lecture, which was to be given by a prominent public figure on a subject of general interest. The lecture has continued to attract renowned speakers over the years, including the Dalai Lama, Jose Ramos-Horta and Professor Noam Chomsky.


Senior Common Room Club, 1970s.
(University Club, UNSW Archives 05/78/16/1)

On 1 November 1965 the first meeting of the founding Committee of the Senior Common Room Club was held. At this meeting, Associate Professor Garth Dewsnap was elected Club President. Designed to provide a separate social venue for university staff, it was initially housed in the Blockhouse before moving to the fourth floor of the Electrical Engineering building in 1970. In 1988 the Club's name was altered to the University Club. Due to a decline in membership numbers, the Club was finally wound up on 20 June 2001.

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First UNSW Broken Hill Division graduates - (l-r) Thomas Kitchen, John Farthing, Graham Pascoe, Thomas Slattery, Bryan Drew, Edmond Kenny and Barry Braes, 1966.
(UNSW Archives CN980/42/19567)

On 30 June 1966 the first UNSW conferring of degrees ceremony was held at the university's Broken Hill Division. This Division had been established in 1959 with Thomas K. Hogan as its first director and university degree courses began operation in 1961. In 1967 the Division's new Broken Hill premises, named the W. S. & L. B. Robinson College, were officially opened by the NSW Minister for Education, the Hon C. B. Cutler. The College was never a large operation for the university and in 1981 the Council decided, with reluctance, to set in train its closure. On 17 May 1985 the final graduation ceremony for UNSW students was held at Broken Hill.


Men's Hockey match on the University Oval, 1968.
(University Photographer, UNSW Archives CN486/1/11/83)

In August 1967 the Hockey Club's men's team became the first UNSW club to win a Sydney district first-grade premiership. In 1952 Council had approved the establishment of the university's Sports Association, which initially consisted of six clubs - cricket, fencing, rifle, rowing, rugby union and tennis. The Hockey Club was one of a number of other clubs to join the Sports Association the following year. In 2007, following the introduction of Voluntary Student Unionism (VSU), the Sports Association was dissolved and its functions transferred to the newly formed UNSW Sport and Recreation.

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Monomeeth Association members in the Sir John Clancy Auditorium during a tour of the campus, 1970.
(University Photographer, UNSW Archives CN486/1/3B)

In 1968 the first lost property sale was held by UNSW's Monomeeth Association. The Monomeeth Association, formed in 1963, was an organisation of "parents and friends" of the university that was to undertake many fundraising initiatives throughout its existence. The sale was held on a yearly basis, usually in or shortly after Orientation Week, and became synonymous with much of the Association's work. In fact, when the Association ceased its activities in 1994, it was noted in Uniken that "fittingly the Association's last task will be to assist in organising the 1994 sale in the Roundhouse on 7 and 8 March". The coordination of the sale was passed on to the U Committee.


UNSW Open Day, 1969.
(Photographer: Allan West, UNSW Archives CN295/160)
UNSW Expo, 2003.
(University Photographer, UNSW Archives 05/94)

On 13 September 1969 the university's first large-scale public Open Day was conducted. While small "open for public inspection" tours had previously been held in the late 1950s, the 1969 Open Day represented a much more significant effort, with most of the buildings on campus open and a wide range of special displays, demonstrations and exhibitions on show. Described by the Sydney Morning Herald as the "University that really swings", the 1969 event was so successful that it was decided to hold an Open Day biennially. Later held every four years and eventually expanded into the UNSW Expo, it was to continue until 2003. From 2009 UNSW's annual Courses & Careers Day was renamed Open Day.

continue to 1970s

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