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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 from the 1970s.

For further information, please contact the Archives.

back to 1960s


(UNSW Archives S517)

In August 1970 the first issue of the University Union News Sheet was released. From session 2, 1988 this publication became known as Blitz. Initially consisting of a single sheet or two of paper, from session 2, 1994 Blitz became a magazine style publication, which included articles and more thorough pieces than the simple "what's on" guide it had been previously.

The University Union had been established by Council in 1959. All students were compulsory members of the Union and university staff could also join. The Union's aims were "to provide a common meeting ground and social centre for its members, suitable facilities for their refreshment, recreation and convenience and to further the interests of the university and members generally". In 2007, following the introduction of Voluntary Student Unionism (VSU), the University Union merged with the Student Guild and the COFA Students' Association to form Arc. Blitz has continued to be produced under the auspices of Arc.

(UNSW Archives S517)
(UNSW Archives S517)
(UNSW Archives S517)


Founding staff of the Faculty of Law - Garth Nettheim, Tony Blackshield, Hal Wootten and Richard Chisholm, c. 1970.
(Faculty of Law, UNSW Archives 03A47/80)

In 1971 the Faculty of Law held its first classes, with 219 students enrolled. The formation of the Faculty of Law had initially been approved by Council in 1964 and the position of foundation chair and dean of Law had been created in 1966. On 8 September 1969 Council appointed Professor John Halden Wootten to fill this post and Professor Wootten took up his new role in October 1969.

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Alumni Association President Dick Walker, Alumni Award Recipient Judith Miller and Alumni Award Nominator Cedric Bullard, 1972.
(Photographer: Allan West, UNSW Archives CN122/789) 

On 14 June 1972 the inaugural Alumni Awards for Achievement were presented to recipients Robert Hay, Judith Miller and Patrick Wilson. The awards had been founded at a dinner on 4 August 1971 and were initially made to acknowledge a recent UNSW graduate's contribution to the community. In 1981 the Awards were expanded and this original award became known as the "Graduand Award", while a new category, the "Alumni Award", recognised the service of UNSW alumni who had not graduated in the previous year.


First meeting of the foundation staff of the Australian Graduate School of Management, 1976.
(Public Affairs Unit, UNSW Archives CN1127/1)

In August 1973 the Australian Government announced its intention to proceed with the recommendations of Dr Richard Cyert's 1970 Report of the Committee of Inquiry into Postgraduate Education for Management, which set in train the establishment of the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) at UNSW. The first AGSM students were admitted in 1977. In 2006 AGSM was merged with the Faculty of Commerce and Economics to form the new Faculty of Business, which in 2007 was re-named the Australian School of Business.

More information about AGSM's history can be viewed in a multimedia exhibition produced by the UNSW Business School to celebrate the AGSM's 40th anniversary, which uses a variety of material from the Archives' collection.

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Faculty of Professional Studies graduates with Acting Dean of the Faculty, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor A. H. Willis, 1978.
(Photographer: Peter Pockley, CN1133/13)

On 11 November 1974 Council approved the reconstitution of the Board of Professional Studies into the Faculty of Professional Studies, effective from 20 January 1975 under Acting Dean Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor A. H. Willis. Initially known as the Board of Vocational Studies, the Board had first been established on 12 September 1960. Responsible for schools including Health Administration, Social Work, Education and Librarianship, the faculty was eventually disestablished effective from 1 January 1997.


(UNSW Archives S328)

In March 1975 the first edition of Uniken was published. Intended to be a "vital channel of communication within the university", Uniken was initially distributed on a fortnightly basis and replaced the simpler Information Sheet. Another publication also introduced in 1975 was Quarterly, which ran until 1982 and succeeded the previous publications Letter to Alumni and University News. The title Uniken derives from "Uni" representing the University and "ken" for Kensington and knowledge. In November 1998 Uniken was changed to a monthly publication, from November 2006 it became bi-monthly and from 2011 it was released on a quarterly basis. In 2015 it was renamed "UNSW Magazine".

All issues of Uniken / UNSW magazine are available for viewing via the UNSW Library website.

(UNSW Archives S328)
(UNSW Archives S328)
(UNSW Archives S328)

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Pat O'Shane on graduation day, 1976.
(Public Affairs Unit, UNSW Archives CN1127/8)

On 30 April 1976 UNSW's first indigenous graduate and Australia's first indigenous law graduate, Pat O'Shane, was admitted to her degree at the Faculty of Law's inaugural conferring of degrees ceremony. In 1971 UNSW had introduced special entry for Aboriginal students and this advanced further indigenous enrolment at the university. Due to UNSW's reputation for supporting indigenous students, in 1973 Alice Brooks Gange left her estate to the university for the education of Aboriginal students. This bequest has enabled many indigenous students to receive greater assistance and included the establishment of an Aboriginal student centre in 1985.


(UNSW Archives S305)

On 10 August 1977 the first issue of Focus was released. Distributed to all staff on campus "whenever there are enough items to fill the pages (but not more often than weekly)", Focus was intended "to facilitate the communication of brief service items between staff". In October 2004 it was replaced by the news@unsw e-mail newsletter.

(UNSW Archives S305)
(UNSW Archives S305)
(UNSW Archives S305)

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Training for the first UNSW Fun Run - Gordon Howitt, Robert Mann, Debbie Glassop, Jerry Lissing and Ron Wills - 1978.
(Photographer: Owen Munn, UNSW Archives CN1127/14) 
UNSW Fun Run, 1985.
(Public Affairs Unit, UNSW Archives CN1127/14)

On 6 August 1978 the inaugural UNSW fun run was held. It was organised for the general public, students and staff to promote good health and initially to raise funds for the National Heart Foundation, the Athletics Club and a sauna for the UNSW swimming pool. Around 800 runners took the course of 8km through streets around the Kensington campus, starting at the corner of High Street and Wansey Road and finishing at the University oval. The fun run became an annual event, with the final run occurring on 20 September 1987.


Opening of the UNSW Swimming Pool - Chancellor Gordon Samuels, Vice-Chancellor Rupert Myers and Michael Wenden, 1980.
(Photographer: G. Downie, UNSW Archives 95A31/6)
UNSW Swimming Pool, 1980.
(Photographer: G. Downie, UNSW Archives CN1127/14)

On 3 December 1979 the UNSW swimming pool opened for business. Only the fourth indoor heated 50m pool in Australia, it was later officially opened by Olympian and UNSW alumnus Michael Wenden at a ceremony on 1 March 1980. UNSW's Physical Education & Recreation Centre gymnasium had been opened on 31 July 1971.

continue to 1980s

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