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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 1990s.

For further information, please contact the Archives.

back to the 1980s


College of Fine Arts, 1990s.
(International Student Centre, UNSW Archives 07/202)
St George Campus, Oatley, 1990s.
(University Photographer, UNSW Archives 00A31)

On 1 January 1990 the City Art Institute (CAI) and the St George Institute of Education (SGIE) amalgamated with UNSW under the Higher Education (Amalgamation) Act, 1989. CAI became the College of Fine Arts (COFA), while three new schools were formed within the Faculty of Professional Studies to encompass the activities formerly undertaken by the SGIE - the School of Arts and Music Education, the School of Primary and Computer Education and the School of Sport and Leisure Studies.


Prime Minister Robert Hawke presenting the first Asia Lecture, 1991.
(Asia-Australia Institute, UNSW Archives S1730/309)

On 24 May 1991 the first Asia Lecture was presented by the Prime Minister, the Hon Robert Hawke. Organised by UNSW's Asia-Australia Institute from 1991 - 2002, the Lectures were delivered by many distinguished Australian and Asian leaders, including Paul Keating, John Howard, Fidel V. Ramos, Chris Patten and Zhu Rongji. The Asia-Australia Institute, which operated from 1990 - 2003, was established as an initiative to link Australia with its Asian neighbours and arranged programs including the Asia Leaders' Forum, the Malaysia-Australia Dialogue and the Australia in Asia Series.

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Contact, c. 1995.
(University Union, UNSW Archives 07/184/390)

In August 1992 the student referral service, Contact, began operations from a table on the Library Lawn. Established as a joint service of the Students' Union, the University Union and the Student Services department, Contact was moved first to the Student Services huts and then to the Central Lecture Block, before obtaining a permanent home in the Quadrangle Building in 1994. Staffed by student volunteers, Contact is a free information provision service for UNSW students, which now operates under the auspices of Arc.


Property & Works Department architect, Mike Condon, and President of the Student Guild, Penny Sharpe, launch the Library Lawn clock, 1993.
(University Photographer, UNSW Archives 98A1)

On 1 March 1993 the clock on the Library Lawn was unveiled. A competition, Time Flies, had been run in 1992 by the Students' Union to select a student design for the clock. Won by Iwan Sujono, the technical development of the design was completed by Applied Projects Services Ltd and the clock was described at the time of its unveiling as "part sculpture, part functional". Sadly, the clock's mechanism was vandalised shortly after its unveiling, but it has remained a well-known structure on campus.

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Opening of the Mulwarree Apartments - Tony Sherbon (Deputy Mayor of Randwick), George Porter (Manager University Housing Office), Vice-Chancellor John Niland, Chris Bastic (Mayor of Randwick), 1994.
(University Photographer, UNSW Archives 98A1)

On 24 March 1994 the Mulwarree Apartments in Cowper Street were officially opened. As UNSW's first student apartments they were aimed at providing a self-catering alternative to college accommodation on campus. They have since been joined by the Barker Apartments, the High Street apartments and the University Terraces.


Library Tower, c. 1994.
(University Photographer, UNSW Archives 00A31)
Library Tower, 1996.
(University Photographer, UNSW Archives 00A31)

In January 1995 the final two sets of large aluminium UNSW letters were added to the four sides of the top of the Library Tower. The previous two sets of letters had been fitted in December 1994. Part of a project to improve university signage, the installation of the letters to the Library Tower ensured that UNSW was now clearly identifiable from across a wide area of Sydney.

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Staff and students watching Council deliberations on UNSW 2000 via closed-circuit television in Mathews Theatre A, 1996.
(University Photographer, UNSW Archives 98A1)

In December 1996 Council voted to support a major reorganisation of the university entitled UNSW 2000. UNSW 2000 incorporated a number of working parties, which were to initiate a great deal of administrative change across the university. Designed to create savings in the wake of significant federal budget cuts, it included the closure of the St George campus, the disestablishment of the Faculty of Professional Studies and a reduction of the university's then three science faculties - Applied Science, Biological and Behavioural Sciences and Science - to two - Life Sciences and Science and Technology.


Vice-Chancellor John Niland with Scientia professors Eugenie Lumbers, Michael Paddon-Rowe, Patrick O'Farrell, Ian Sloan, Joseph Forgas and Martin Green, 1999.
(University Photographer, UNSW Archives 00A31)

On 13 October 1997 Council established the Scientia professorships. Initially intended to be for visiting professors, Council at its December 1997 meeting amended and extended the scheme "to members of the full-time academic staff of the University in recognition of extraordinary and outstanding research". This new criteria has come to be synonymous with the scheme, although the inaugural Visiting Scientia Professor, Sir Gerard Brennan, did commence at UNSW in July 1998. The first group of full-time Scientia professors - Professor Joseph Forgas, Professor Martin Green, Professor Eugenie Lumbers, Professor Patrick O'Farrell, Professor Michael Paddon-Rowe and Professor Ian Sloan - took up their appointments on 1 January 1999.

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Pro-Chancellor Jessica Milner Davis, 1999.
(University Photographer, UNSW Archives 00A33)
Pro-Chancellor Susan Ryan, 1999.
(AGSM, UNSW Archives S1738)

On 20 April 1998 Council approved in principle the creation of the position of Pro-Chancellor, which could be filled by up to three Council members and would give them the "delegated authority to act for the Chancellor in the context of the University's graduation ceremonies, or, when specifically requested by the Chancellor, to assist with ceremonial or courtesy functions in the University". Although the Chancellor had always had a Deputy, the increasing number of graduation ceremonies and similar events held by the university necessitated a greater level of assistance. In November 1998 Dr Jessica Milner Davis and the Hon Ms Susan Ryan were appointed as the first two people to hold the position of Pro-Chancellor.


Jubilee Medallion, 1999.
(University Photographer, UNSW Archives 00A33/28)

In 1999 75 of UNSW's "most loyal and dedicated staff members and supporters" were presented with Jubilee Medallions. The medallions were awarded in UNSW's 50th anniversary year in order to honour particularly dedicated service and contribution to the work and life of the university. The recipients covered both current and former academic and general staff, as well as non-staff members who had supported the university through voluntary or fundraising work. The medallions were conferred at three special 50th Anniversary ceremonies held during 1999.

(UNSW Archives S303)
(UNSW Archives S303)
(UNSW Archives S303)

continue to 2000s

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