Monash University Publishing | Contacts Page
Monash University Publishing: Advancing knowledge

From Ferranti to Faculty: Information Technology at Monash University, 1960 to 1990

Chapter one

Similarities and differences

Sarah Rood

Monash University and Chisholm Institute of Technology were two very different tertiary institutions. Each located on Melbourne’s Dandenong Road, but separated by ten kilometres, their physical location was a metaphor for their similarities and their differences. The distance between them represented the difference in the type of education they provided, while their cohabitation of Dandenong Road was symbolic of the similarities threaded throughout their history and development. These similarities and differences became particularly significant in 1990 when the two institutions merged.

The Faculty of Computing and Information Technology was one major result of the merger of Monash University and Chisholm Institute of Technology. Long standing departments from Chisholm and Monash were drawn together under a new faculty banner which sought to unify the two institutions and emphasise their similarities. Each department brought its own distinctive character and identity which was shaped by the history of each institution and the way that computing and computer science had emerged within it. In the histories of these two institutions the foundations of the Faculty of Information Technology lie.

This chapter looks chronologically at the development of Chisholm Institute of Technology and then Monash University.

From Trade to Technology: Caulfield Technical School and Caulfield Technical College

The Caulfield campus of Monash University has witnessed many changes in secondary and tertiary education in Australia. Its origins are found in Caulfield Technical School, which was first opened in 1922. Snapshots of this campus over the following eighty years reveal a metamorphosis from Caulfield Technical College, through Caulfield Institute of Technology, and Chisholm Institute of Technology, to Monash University. The history of the Caulfield campus and the way it was moulded by various changes in tertiary education are integral to the formation of the Faculty of Information Technology.

Blacksmiths, Farriers, Wheelwrights and Carpenters

In 1921 two men, R.J. Dorey and F.M. Wharington, visited over twenty primary schools in and around the Caulfield area. They were recruiting – visiting local primary schools with the intention of enticing years seven and eight boys to enrol at the new Caulfield Technical School that was scheduled to open in February 1922. Councillor Frank Groves (MLA) had begun the push to establish a new technical school seven years before it finally opened. At a meeting that took place at the Mordialloc Mechanics’ Institute, Cr Groves stressed that there were 80,000 primary and secondary school students in Melbourne’s eastern and south eastern areas who could potentially benefit from a local technical school. His idea received overwhelming support and a committee was immediately formed to investigate and further the cause.

Without delay, the committee began to agitate for the establishment of a new technical school. The Victorian Department of Education was approached. The committee argued that the proposed school could service the then predominantly rural local community by training blacksmiths, wheelwrights, farriers, and carpenters. They gained in-principle support for the establishment of the technical school, but the Government could not contribute financially. The Minister for Public Instruction advised the committee to approach local councils for financial support for the building of the new school. Persistent and persuasive lobbying saw local municipalities each pledge ‘a half-penny in the pound on the annual valuation’, a total of £1,600 towards the proposed school.1 When the State Government finally added a grant of £19,400, the building of Caulfield Technical School commenced.

Several sites for the School had been proposed. Eventually, Caulfield was selected, largely because of its proximity to the railway lines that serviced the Melbourne, Frankston and Gippsland areas. A school or training site for returned servicemen, run by the Repatriation Department, was already located on the corner of Dandenong Road and Station Street in Caulfield. A drill hall, as well as blacksmith, carpentry and coach building shops were already on site as a result. These existing facilities were augmented by the construction of a two-storey, tile-roofed, red-brick building with twelve large and eight small classrooms. The returned servicemen’s training school was absorbed into the Technical School when it opened in 1922. Returned servicemen were trained alongside the students of Caulfield Technical School – a symbiotic arrangement that recurred at several points in the institution’s history.

When the School opened it was clear that Cr Groves’s assessment of the community’s need for a technical school in the area had been accurate. There were 215 boys enrolled in day classes when teaching began and there would have been more had space permitted. The new building was not completed when classes began and facilities were severely lacking. In the early months students had to sit and carry out their school work on the floor.2 Equipment was slow to arrive and teachers were forced to use homemade blackboards of hastily painted plywood. Potential students expressed interest in night classes and the activities of the school were rapidly expanded to include evening tuition for junior and senior pupils. Once again the newness of the school and the inadequacy of its facilities were glaringly obvious – night students were enrolled by candle light as electricity had not yet been connected.

In the little that has been written to date about the history of Caulfield Technical School, much has been made of the fact that its first principal, R.J. Dorey, was a trained blacksmith. Indeed Dorey’s trade background was significant as it highlighted the underlying emphasis and purpose of Caulfield Technical School – trade and industrial training. The School came into existence at a time when terms like ‘industrial struggle’ and ‘commercial supremacy’ dominated political rhetoric. The military focus of the war years had been replaced by an emphasis on technological development and industrial skill and training. By offering trade and industrial training to youth, Caulfield Technical School, under the direction of Dorey and the Victorian Education Department, stepped in to meet a deeply felt community need.

The practical focus of Caulfield Technical School was important to its identity and to how it was perceived by the community. The education provided at the School had results that were tangible to students and to the community. Students built furniture and carried out minor building works that could be seen on and around the school grounds.3 Graduating students were employable and the services they were able to provide were both practical and obvious. Caulfield Technical School became integral to the surrounding community.

The School became a custodian of technical education. It responded to changes in government policy and social issues in a way that benefited the community it served and protected the style of education it provided. 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. Similarly, the School responded to the Great Depression by actively participating in the Unemployed Vocation 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’.4 When World War Two broke out, the school took a leading role in building equipment for the war effort, training munition 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 years 1944 to 1946 saw the establishment of a repatriation scheme for returned servicemen at Caulfield Technical School and the introduction of diploma courses. When Dorey retired after 24 years of service, the school had grown from 14 teachers and 220 students in 1922, when his term as principal began, to 66 teachers and over 2,000 students at the end of 1946. He was succeeded by J.L. Kepert, a mechanical engineer. The new principal continued Dorey’s commitment to providing high level technical education. Dorey had established a senior school and Kepert concentrated on developing the diploma courses it offered. The first diploma classes provided by the School were in the area of electrical and mechanical engineering. These classes added a new level of sophistication to the education offered at the Caulfield Technical School. A completed diploma was highly flexible – it was a well regarded qualification that could be used either as a basis for employment or to meet the entry requirements for a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Melbourne.

Towards the end of the 1940s, increasing emphasis was placed on the diploma school. The Education Department created three new junior technical schools around the Caulfield area. Caulfield Technical School was placed in a position of leadership, providing resource support and guidance to these new local schools. The junior enrolment at the School was capped at 500 students. By contrast, diploma enrolments in the senior school were actively encouraged. By 1956 there were 2,400 diploma students. Space and accommodation problems recurred throughout the School’s development and were further exacerbated by these over-enrolments in the senior school. However, the emphasis on diploma students contributed to the development of Caulfield Technical School’s reputation as a leading tertiary institution in Victoria.

At the end of 1958, Kepert was transferred by the Education Department to the position of Assistant Chief Inspector of Technical Schools. Austin E. Lambert became the School principal. At the same time Caulfield Technical School experienced the first of several name changes and became Caulfield Technical College. Although this new name carried with it less change than those that followed, it formalised the shift in the institution’s focus that had first begun when diploma courses were introduced. By the end of the 1950s senior school enrolments at the College had exceeded 3,000. Space was critical – so critical that the Caulfield Technical College Council ‘resolved that advertisements should be placed in the local papers in an effort to obtain additional temporary accommodation’.5 Rumours of the formal separation of the junior and senior schools began to dominate discussion about the future of the College.

It was in this context that Caulfield Technical College, led by Lambert, entered a new period. Although still under the control of the Education Department, it was no longer a small local technical school. Hints of the autonomy that the College would soon demand began to emerge.

Electronic Data Processing – The Response to a Challenge

School inspections were an accepted part of the primary, secondary and tertiary education system in Victoria. Inspectors regularly visited institutions under Education Department control to report on their day-to-day running, teaching and general progress. In 1959, during Lambert’s first year as principal, the annual visit from the Education Department Inspector was particularly significant. At the end of the visit, almost as an afterthought, Inspector Oliver Nilssen challenged the new principal to come up with an area of study that the College would develop as its speciality.6 Nilssen used the examples of Swinburne and Footscray, which had developed areas of expertise in production engineering, and building and construction respectively, and left Lambert to think about how he would respond on the College’s behalf.

After a few days of consideration, Lambert came up with his response – machine computation. Caulfield Technical College would concentrate on this emerging area from accounting machines through to computers. Lambert, dedicated to fostering the College’s expertise in this area, slowly and subtly introduced the College to computing. In April 1960, he discussed the idea of teaching a course in electronic calculators with the Council of Caulfield Technical College. At the same time, Lambert was pushing the matter of computing at technical schools directly with the Education Department. In July 1960, Lambert prepared a small brochure that advertised a course called ‘Computers in Engineering’. The course, which was scheduled to run from 3 August to 15 November, 1960, aimed to give ‘engineers some understanding of the characteristics of analogue and digital computers and how they may be used for typical engineering problems’.7 The course cost each participant £6 and involved six three-hour and nine two-hour sessions. In a move that would be repeated in the decades to come, Lambert recruited two computing practitioners to teach the evening course, one from the Postmaster-General’s Research Laboratories and the other from IBM.

The course brochure was circulated, and within a short period of time Lambert had received seven written applications for ‘Computers in Engineering’ and was assured of further enrolments.8 Armed with this positive response, Lambert wrote to the Education Department to request approval to run the short course. Pointing out the lack of trained technical college computing teachers, Lambert also requested approval to employ his two industry specialists, Henry Wragge and James Lavarack, to teach the course. 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.

‘Computers in Engineering’ focussed on digital and analogue computers and sought to apply computers to typical engineering situations. Thirty-three students participated in the course in its first year. The following year, the course was complemented by three new subject options: Numerical Analysis, Digital Computer Logic and Control Circuitry, and Mechanised Accounting. With the technical side of computing covered, Lambert concentrated on building the foundations of electronic data processing at the College. A new, three term certificate course entitled ‘Commercial Electronic Data Processing’ was introduced. This course was designed to highlight the commercial potential of computing applications and was targeted at trained accountants and business professionals.

Courses in both technical and commercial computing continued to run throughout 1962 and 1963. As commercial industry became familiar with the idea of computers and their potential applications, the popularity of the Caulfield Technical College courses increased. Because classes were run in the evening, those working full time could easily attend after hours. Companies and public service departments alike seized the opportunity to enrol selected staff members in these courses so that they could then apply the newly learned computing skills in their workplace. Many students enrolled in ‘Commercial Electronic Data Processing’ after completing the Associate Diploma in Administration at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, complementing their business knowledge with data processing skills.9 If enrolment registers for these early technical and commercial computing courses still existed, we would see the names of several key individuals such as Peter Juliff, Gerry Maynard and Ray Newland, who would later join the Electronic Data Processing department at Caulfield and have a huge impact on its history. Even Austin Lambert, the creator of these courses, attended one of the programming units and, after completing it, ambitiously attempted to write a student record system on a very early machine that had less memory capacity than a digital watch or mobile telephone today.

Although Caulfield Technical College helped to raise the profile of computing, in these early days, the computing and data processing community was small and insular. The frontier of computing applications was firmly located within the commercial and government sectors. Well aware of this, Lambert built a network of instructors and tutors from commercial industry and the public service to teach his short computing courses. Wragge and Lavarack were followed by others such as Cliff Bellamy, who worked for the British-based machine house Ferranti Limited. Working for Ferranti during the day, Bellamy was employed to teach some of the technical and engineering-based computing subjects in the evening. Shortly afterward, Bellamy was employed by Monash University to coordinate the activities of its new Computer Centre and became an important figure in the development of computing at the University. Max Mills was the first of many Commonwealth Public Service Board employees to lecture at Caulfield. Through Mills, Lambert established an important connection with the Commonwealth Public Service Board that would greatly influence the development of electronic data processing at Caulfield Technical College.

Lambert relied on the knowledge of the teachers he employed. They were at the cutting edge of computer technologies and even though none of them had undertaken formal teacher training, their knowledge of computing gave Lambert confidence in their ability to educate. With the approval of, but little actual involvement from, the Education Department, Caulfield Technical College essentially ran the computing courses independently. As a result there was little in the way of course or syllabus structure; class content was determined by individual tutors and lecturers whom Lambert trusted to prepare and deliver course material.10

The short courses had broad prerequisites – interest seemed to be sufficient in ensuring enrolment. Students commonly worked full time or had a tertiary qualification of some description. But as there were no entry requirements, their educational backgrounds were varied and disparate. Lecturers could not assume a common level of knowledge or grounding in a particular area, and this made the courses difficult and challenging to teach. While short courses were unquestionably successful in introducing many individuals to computing and data processing, and they undoubtedly built the foundations of Caulfield Technical College’s specialty in the area, it was clearly time for a more formal approach to computing education.

Austin Lambert had hoped that the environment would eventually be appropriate for the introduction of formal courses in computing and data processing. It could in fact be said that the principal had orchestrated it so that this would be the case. For, while he was introducing the short courses and building a profile for teaching and computing education at the College, Lambert was lobbying to bring about his long term goal – full time courses in computing and data processing. In July 1960, he was involved in organising a meeting between technical schools and industry groups. The meeting was held to help ‘ascertain the requirements of technical training in the field of machine computation’.11 Various firms, computer manufacturers and government departments were invited to discuss their training needs and requirements. Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Limited (AWA), Burroughs, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), International Computers and Tabulators (ICT), and various members of the Commonwealth Public Service were among those on the guest list.12 Lambert compiled notes on machine computation and distributed them to those invited prior to the meeting. He pointed out that the rapid growth in the completely new area of computing and data processing had brought about the need for formal training in these areas. Lambert argued eloquently that the tiered structure of the technical education system could easily be adapted to provide appropriate vocational training.

Revealing his grand plan, Lambert proposed four levels of courses, from basic trade certificates to more advanced four year diplomas. He pointed out that while technical schools were in the best position to provide this training, they would need the ongoing support of industry groups to purchase machines, provide teaching assistance and advise the technical schools on the type of training that was required. Lambert found a receptive audience. His reputation in computing education grew and spread outside the technical college community.

In May 1962, Lambert sent another letter to the Education Department outlining the case for formal education in data processing at Caulfield Technical College.13 Supported by the interest in the short courses in technical and commercial data processing, Lambert’s confidence was growing. As he saw it, there were two important aspects to the establishment of Electronic Data Processing at Caulfield Technical College: the courses that would be offered and access to a digital computer.14 Both were crucial. Students enrolled in the early short courses had access to some computer related equipment as the College had a small analogue machine and a paper-tape preparation set had been borrowed. In addition, several companies with computing facilities, including the IBM Service Bureau, assisted the College by processing students’ programs.15 But the College did not have its own digital computer. How could Lambert establish high quality, vocationally focussed full time courses in computing and electronic data processing without an onsite digital machine? The installation of a computer at the College was a vital step in the progression from short introductory to full time courses. Lambert had to convince the Victorian Education Department that the College that had started off training blacksmiths and wheelwrights, now needed a large, expensive digital machine that was at the cutting edge of technology.

Although supportive of introducing computing courses, the Education Department did not initially grasp the College’s need for a digital computer. Lindsay Thompson (MLC) and member of the Caulfield Technical College Council, advised Lambert in September 1962 that the State Savings Bank had purchased a computer that the College could perhaps use. The principal agreed to look into this option. But one month later Lambert declared that ‘such an arrangement would be entirely unsuitable for teaching purposes’ as it would not give students the access they required.16 Lambert tried a different approach. With Thompson’s assistance, a delegation from the College directly approached the Minister for Education to argue the case for the purchase of a digital computer. This time, they were successful. 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.17

Caulfield Technical College’s application for funding to purchase a digital computer was supported by concurrent developments in computing and data processing courses in other Victorian technical colleges. Lambert was heavily involved. In April 1963, he requested approval from the Education Department to run four full time courses in information science and data processing the following year. The diploma and certificate courses each specified a secondary or tertiary qualification as a prerequisite. Shortly after his request was received, a meeting, to which technical colleges, universities and representatives from the private and government sector were invited, was scheduled for 28 August 1963.

The meeting, held at the University of Melbourne, was called to discuss the proposed courses in computing, and in particular, the full time diploma.18 The purpose of the previous meeting held in 1960 had been to bring the concept of computer training in technical colleges to the attention of the commercial sector. But on the agenda this time was how the diploma and certificate courses would be introduced. The invitation list had been expanded and the list of attendees reads like a Who’s Who of early computing and commercial data processing in Victoria. There were representatives from major computer companies, banks, private companies and government departments, in addition to technical colleges and Melbourne and Monash universities. Some of the names on the list, like Bellamy, Ferranti, Halstead, Lambert, McClelland, Mills, White, and Whitehouse, are names that recur throughout the history of Caulfield Technical College, Monash University and the development of information technology in Australia.

The meeting galvanised support for the provision of full time training in computing and data processing by technical colleges. It was agreed that Caulfield Technical College should run the courses proposed by Lambert and that approval should be sought from the Victorian Teachers’ Tribunal, which was responsible for staffing issues such as salaries and promotions for Education Department teachers, to appoint a specialist instructor in commercial data processing.19 The decision that Lambert had been working towards since 1960 had finally been made, his goal achieved. Formal, full time courses would begin at Caulfield Technical College in 1964. In the context of the challenge laid down to Lambert by Inspector Nilssen in 1959, it is highly significant that the decision to commence full time courses at Caulfield was made at a meeting at which such a broad cross section of computing interests was represented. As Lambert had promised Nilssen, Caulfield Technical College was well on its way to establishing itself as a centre of machine computation and electronic data processing.

In 1963, Caulfield Technical College had specialist teachers in mathematics and electrical and mechanical engineering who could teach some of the more technical aspects of electronic computation. However, the introduction of the electronic data processing courses required an additional specialist teacher, an expert in commercial electronic data processing. Nobody at Caulfield was suitably qualified for this position. The matter was referred to the Teachers’ Tribunal. A draft advertisement for a Senior Technical Instructor, Information Processing, at Caulfield Technical College was approved by the Tribunal in October 1963.20 The position was advertised and the search began for a ‘highly qualified and experienced instructor’ who would be required ‘not only to give instruction in the various areas of commercial information processing, but also to supervise the development of the courses’.21

While the search for an appropriate person was underway, Lambert was advised to continue developing the course plans and subject syllabuses. It was during this time that Lambert came into contact with a Commonwealth Public Service Board employee by the name of John Denis (Jack) White. At the time, Jack White was working for the Organisation and Methods Division of the Commonwealth Public Service Board (CPSB). White, who had extensive experience in the area of data processing, was undertaking a nation-wide survey of computing education in Australian technical colleges for the CPSB. The Board had been providing in-house data processing training since the late 1950s but wanted to cease their own computer training. But, before doing so, they had to ensure that this training would be available elsewhere. White was sent to survey technical colleges around the country to investigate the computing courses on offer. He rapidly discovered that although technical colleges existed across the country, Victoria was the centre of technical education in Australia, with many more colleges than other states. Accordingly, Victorian technical colleges became the focus of the survey.22

In the Public Service Board White worked closely with Bill Fiddian and Max Mills, fellow experts in machine computation and data processing. Mills had been teaching evening short courses at Caulfield Technical College. Through his contact with Mills, Fiddian began as an assistant tutor at the College. By the following year Fiddian was lecturing his own programming course.23 In 1963, Fiddian arranged for his colleague Jack White to stand in temporarily to teach his evening class at Caulfield. When White commenced his Public Service Board survey later that same year, he immediately thought of Caulfield Technical College.

In 1963, Jack White approached Austin Lambert and arranged a meeting to discuss computing education at Caulfield Technical College. It was at this time that Lambert was compiling the content of Electronic Data Processing (EDP) and electronic computation courses to be introduced the following year. White had been working in the area of commercial data processing and systems analysis since the late 1950s, and his experience immediately impressed Lambert. The principal invited White to comment on the systems design and analysis component of the new Diploma of Information Processing. White obliged and suggested an increased emphasis on the commercial aspects of data processing. After their exchange White went on to complete his survey and Lambert continued planning the introduction of the new full time courses. The two would soon come into contact again.

A suitable candidate for the role of Senior Technical Instructor in Information Processing had not yet presented by December 1963. Nevertheless the Education Department went ahead with their advertisement for the new technical college courses, which were scheduled to commence in 1964. principals and headmasters of technical colleges and schools were asked to bring these courses in electronic data processing and electronic computation to the attention of potentially interested students and Caulfield Technical College willingly took enrolments into the new post secondary and post diploma courses. It had been a successful year for Lambert and the Technical College. With the full time courses approved and open to students and the Ferranti Sirius computer installed and operational, all that was needed to complete the scenario was a Senior Technical Instructor. But the position was not filled by the end of 1963, nor by the time courses started the following year.

Jack White’s professional background made him a prime candidate for the position. The Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme, similar to the repatriation schemes that Caulfield Technical School and later College had participated in, had introduced White, a returned RAAF serviceman, to the University of Queensland. There he completed a Bachelor’s degree with honours in industrial psychology. He also studied commerce and philosophy. Later, while working in Melbourne, White went on to further his studies in organisational management by completing a Master’s degree by correspondence with the University of Queensland. In Melbourne he started working for the University of Melbourne’s Appointments Board where he surveyed approximately 200 companies about research graduate appointments. It was during this period that White made important contacts within the commercial sector that he would call upon later in his career.

White moved into a position with the Repatriation General Hospital, spending time as an education therapy officer before becoming a research officer in medical statistics. His strong grounding in management and organisational structure was combined with practical experience in statistical analysis. At this time data processing and its potential applications to statistics and business operations were beginning to emerge. While working for the Repatriation General Hospital he encountered the Organisation and Methods Division of the Commonwealth Public Service Board, which he soon joined. White came into increasing contact with mechanised accounting and computing machines as their applications to business practices became apparent. His exposure to computers increased further when he was transferred to the Department of Defence to undertake a study of computing in defence. At the conclusion of this study he was given the option of joining the Department of Defence permanently or returning to the Public Service Board in Melbourne. Not wanting to move to Canberra, he returned to Melbourne and resumed his work with the Public Service Board.

White’s expertise in computing developed rapidly. In early 1963 he presented a paper at one of the first Australian Computer Science conferences. His paper discussed systems analysis in the Commonwealth Public Service and was based on his highly practical experience. Faced with relocation to Canberra in 1964, White considered the Caulfield position. The previous year had seen White come into contact with Caulfield Technical College and its principal. Everything seemed to fall into place. Early in 1964 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. The following Monday he officially took up the position of Senior Technical Instructor, Information Processing, at Caulfield Technical College.

While Caulfield Technical School was steadily shifting its orientation and reinventing itself in response to technological developments and changes in tertiary education, electronic computation and data processing emerged as an entirely new area of study. By the time Jack White was employed at Caulfield Technical College, computing and computer science had also emerged at Monash, the new university just up the road.

Monash, the New University

Monash University’s first Vice-Chancellor, James Adam Louis Matheson, 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’.24 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.25 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.26

Walking around the muddy campus that was securely nestled on the edge of suburbia, watching as arrangements for the opening of Monash were made from Matheson’s headquarters, the new university must have had a unique and slightly parochial feel. For many of the academic and senior administrative staff, who had been recruited from established universities in Australia and around the world, the early Monash University must have felt worlds away from established academia. The stark contrast of the physical appearance of the new university in these pre-student days and the sophistication of the type of institution Monash was expected to become gives a very physical representation of the tensions that shaped its development. Monash was to provide dynamic education in new technologies and disciplines. But it was expected to do so in a traditional university framework. This tension shaped the institution that emerged and the way in which computer science, a novel and rapidly changing field, developed within it.

From Committee to University

In the 1940s and 1950s, the school leaver contemplating post secondary education had two options: senior or diploma level training at one of several technical colleges in Victoria, or the more traditional academic framework of the University of Melbourne. Each option offered a different style of education and training. During this period, enrolments at the colleges and at the University of Melbourne grew to unprecedented numbers. Students were staying at school longer and more were choosing to go on to tertiary study. At first glance, it would appear that all was well with the tertiary education system. In reality, the situation in Victoria was approaching crisis, mirroring a trend in tertiary education across Australia.

The existing system was struggling to cope with changes in Australian society that related to tertiary education. The Second World War and the post war period 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. Existing institutions did not have the physical or financial resources to cope with the number of students applying for entry. In 1956, the same year that the Olympic Games showcased Melbourne and Australia to the world, Melbourne and Sydney universities introduced quotas limiting entry into certain courses, excluding many applicants. The strain on resources also meant that existing universities could not adequately change their courses to sufficiently reflect Australia’s increased emphasis on science and technology.

Committees of inquiry feature strongly in the history of education in Australia. At various times governments at both state and federal levels have set up committees to investigate and report on elements of the education system and recommend appropriate courses of action. This period of crisis in tertiary education in post World War Two Australia was no exception. A cascade of inquiries and committees of investigation began in the mid 1940s and did not conclude until the late 1950s. In Victoria, the first of these inquiries was carried out by the Seitz Committee, which was set up to investigate the need for the establishment of an institution that provided students with high level technical training. The idea of a technical university was first suggested in the early 1940s in response to concerns about Australia’s ability to be industrially and technologically competitive.27 In 1946 the Seitz Committee came out in favour of the idea of a university of technology, believing that it would solve many of Victoria’s problems. The Committee proposed the establishment of a Victoria Institute of Technology on the site of the Kew Mental Hospital. However, the Seitz Committee’s recommendations were never implemented. A reconsideration of the proposal, ordered almost immediately after the report was released, determined that the suggested institute of technology would compete with the University of Melbourne for funds and was therefore undesirable.28

Further ideas for an alternative technical institution continued to be mooted in education and government circles until 1955 when the Ramsay Committee was established. This Committee was asked to reassess the Seitz Committee’s draft bill. In its report to the Minister for Education, the Ramsay Committee again came out in strong support of a university of technology.29 The findings of the Ramsay Committee coincided with heightened pressure on the Federal Government to address public concerns about higher education in Australia. The Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee, a powerful pressure group for the interests of universities in Australia, urged Prime Minister Robert Menzies to act on the impending crisis.30 Aware of the need for the Commonwealth Government to come to the financial aid of the states, Menzies looked to an overseas example – Britain’s University Grants Commission (UGC), a permanent advisory body that counselled the British Government on the financial needs of its universities.31

On a visit to England in 1956, Menzies met with the chairman of the UGC, Sir Keith Murray. Buoyed by their discussions, Menzies extended an invitation to Murray to chair a committee of review of Australian universities. The Murray Committee was formed and it immediately called for written submissions from interested parties and visited every university in Australia.32 Less than a year after it had been commissioned, the Murray Committee released its report. The verdict was severe. Higher education in Australia was in desperate need of ongoing financial assistance from the Federal Government. The report detailed the shortfalls of the system and the expansion that was necessary to meet the changed needs of higher education in Australia.33 The report followed Menzies’s lead by proposing the establishment of an Australian University Grants Committee, similar in purpose to the British UGC. This new committee would advise the Federal Government on how to provide financial assistance to the universities. The Murray Committee’s report was adopted by parliament in 1959 and the proposed committee, the Australian Universities Commission, was created.34

The Murray Report concurred with the findings of Victoria’s Ramsay Committee in emphasising both the need for a second university in Melbourne and the importance of an increased emphasis on technology. Capitalising on the opportunity, the Victorian State Government arranged for the Murray Committee to prepare a special report on higher education in Victoria. While acknowledging the need for increased emphasis on technical training, the Murray Committee argued that this alone was not the solution for Victoria. The University of Melbourne was rapidly approaching saturation in terms of enrolments and the quality of education was at risk as a result. It was projected that the University of Melbourne would reach its capacity of 12,000 students by 1965. A second university in Melbourne was crucial. The Murray Committee suggested that while the new university should prioritise the establishment of faculties of science and technology, it should also offer education in social sciences and humanities.

The State Government accepted the Murray Committee’s special report. The Monash University Act, which established Victoria’s second university, was passed in 1958. Monash University, the first university in Australia not to be named after a state or city, was created. The new university was named after Sir John Monash, engineer, philanthropist, military leader, community leader and past Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne.35 Sir John Monash had been committed to innovations in science, technology and learning throughout his life. The name “Monash University” was a proclamation of intention and an overt statement of difference. This was to be a new type of university, closely aligned with science, technology, innovation and the needs of the community. Yet, from its inception, Monash University found itself balanced precariously between the traditional notion of the university and new ideas about education and the roles of tertiary institutions. This tension was central to the development of the University.

The Monash University Act established an Interim Council that was responsible for the early development of the fledgling University. The lifespan of the Interim Council was limited to three years from the date of the Act, when it was expected to hand over to the permanent council of the University. Robert Blackwood, engineer and distinguished academic who had held a professorship at the University of Melbourne and who had also been long standing chairman of Dunlop Rubber, was appointed chairman of the Interim Council. Blackwood led a council of thirty members who, in his words ‘were chosen as a well-balanced body of men with experience, capacity and interest in academic, scientific, industrial and scholastic fields’.36 The Interim Council became the task force responsible for the transformation of Monash University from an Act of Parliament to a living institution. Within a month of his appointment, Blackwood chaired the first meeting at which plans for the development of the University were discussed. Over the following three years the highly motivated council determined the early course of the institution.

The Interim Council set March 1961 as the date for the opening of the new university. They nominated several locations for the University: a Clayton site, occupied by the Talbot Colony for Epileptics, was finally selected. Building plans were drawn up and it was decided that the Science Block would be constructed first. This would ensure that, in line with the recommendations of the Act, first year courses in science, engineering and medicine could be opened to students in 1961. The faculties of Science, Engineering and Medicine would be launched first, followed progressively by faculties and courses in Arts, Commerce, Applied Science, Teaching, Education and Law. Statistical reports were used to project enrolment figures and to plot the expansion of the University. All appeared to be in order for the opening of Monash University.

In April 1959, a report was sent to the State Government detailing the progress of the Interim Council and outlining the financial assistance that was required. The report was then sent on to the Commonwealth Government. By this time, the proposed Australian Universities Commission (AUC) had been established. But as Monash University’s Interim Council had already been in operation for a year, their development plan for the University had already reached the final stages by the time the AUC saw the report. Their feedback was not favourable. The AUC argued that courses in humanities were more urgently required than those in science, engineering and medicine. They stressed that the priority assigned to these latter areas addressed only some of the problems that had been identified in the Murray Committee’s report. To compound matters, the AUC had expected the University to open in 1964, not in 1961 as the Interim Council had proposed. As a result, the AUC had not made appropriate financial allowances.37

Tension between the Interim Council and the Australian Universities Commission mounted. The targeted opening date seemed dubious. However, after a lengthy meeting of both committees, the opening of Monash University in 1961 was re-confirmed. The AUC approved the necessary funding conditional on some compromise by the Interim Council. Monash University would open with five faculties rather than the three that had been initially intended – Science, Engineering, and Medicine would be joined by Arts and Economics. Although the building of the Science Block would proceed, it would do so at a slower rate. Positions were advertised, building works progressed, and staff appointments were made, all in time for the University to be opened by Sir Henry Bolte, Premier of Victoria, on Saturday 11 March, 1961.

The Constitution of a Separate Discipline – A Chair in Information Science

During the late 1950s and 1960s computing and information science began to emerge in universities around Australia. Aware of these developments and eager to establish its place at the forefront of science and technology, Monash University ordered its first computer at the end of 1961. Instruction in basic computing and programming was available to staff and students from 1962. The University cultivated a high profile in computing while it forged alliances and partnerships with industry groups and computer suppliers, and advised and participated in various government and other committees. The Monash Computer Centre, formed in 1962, coordinated the University’s computing activities. It was within the context of the Computer Centre that information science was identified as a new academic discipline. When Christopher Stewart Wallace joined the University as the Foundation Chair of Information Science, he headed a new department that was a distinct entity within the Faculty of Science. But because information science had emerged at Monash in the context of the Computer Centre, the history of these two different areas of the University are intricately entwined.

Discussion about the University’s need for a computer began in 1961 – at roughly the same time as the ‘Computers in Engineering’ course was being introduced down the road at Caulfield Technical College. It was agreed that a computer would help to attract high quality academic staff in Science and Engineering to the young Monash University. A Computer Facilities Committee was established to look into the potential uses of computers at Monash. The Chairman of Mathematics, Professor Kevin Westfold was appointed convener of the Committee and entered into negotiations with the computer supplier Ferranti Ltd. An agreement was made whereby Ferranti would supply the machine and the staff to operate it until Monash University employed its own staff and established the Computer Centre. This Computer Centre would be an administrative unit that would service the administrative and academic departments of the University. Perhaps as a result of Westfold’s role in the Computer Facilities Committee, it was decided that the Computer Centre would be closely related to the Department of Mathematics in the Faculty of Science. The relationship between the Computer Centre and the Department of Mathematics, and between Westfold and the Centre’s Director, were to become particularly significant in the events that followed.

In November 1962 a Ferranti Sirius computer was delivered to Monash University. As per the agreement, with the machine came Clifford John Bellamy. An Engineering graduate from the University of New Zealand, Bellamy moved to Australia in 1958 to study at the University of Sydney where he also tutored and lectured in various subjects including computer programming.38 Graduating in 1960 with a PhD in Civil Engineering, Bellamy joined Ferranti Ltd. He spent time in the UK learning about Ferranti machines before journeying to Melbourne where he became responsible for setting up Ferranti’s Melbourne Computer Centre. The connections made while working for Ferranti Ltd proved worthwhile for Bellamy. He came into contact with Caulfield Technical College where he was employed for a short period to teach part of its first computing course ‘Computers in Engineering’. He came to Monash University directly from Ferranti and was appointed Senior Programmer of the newly established Computer Centre in 1963.

Bellamy was responsible for coordinating the services of the Computer Centre. Almost immediately, in response to the needs of various departments, the Computer Centre staff began to teach computing to students from science, engineering and economics. A note of ambiguity about the status of the Computer Centre crept in as it subtly changed from a non-academic unit to a non-academic unit with teaching responsibilities. As its teaching increased and the activities of the Computer Centre expanded, it became clear that the unit would need some form of guidance in policy and direction. In April 1963 Westfold convinced the Professorial Board that it was necessary to set up a committee that would take responsibility for advising the Senior Programmer, and for issues of Computer Centre policy, development and direction.39 The Computer Centre Committee was promptly established and Westfold was appointed Chairman. Membership of the Committee reflected the Computer Centre’s main users and included representatives from chemistry, mathematics, physics, engineering, biochemistry, economics, and the University’s administration.

In May 1963, Bellamy outlined the growing demands being placed on the Computer Centre.40 He stated that the ‘Sirius computer is expected to be working two eight hour shifts [per day] by the end of 1963 and by this time some specific plan for the installation of a second computer by the beginning of 1965 should have been made’.41 Bellamy also outlined the undergraduate and postgraduate teaching of the Computer Centre. The Committee promptly decided that in view of these teaching commitments, the Computer Centre should be granted the status of an academic department. Professorial Board was approached with the proposal. The first hint of the emergence of a new discipline can be seen here as the likely need for the University to provide specialist degrees and courses in information processing in the future was pointed out to the Board. If the Computer Centre was given academic status, then it could offer these courses, eliminating the need to set up a new department in the years to come. The Professorial Board agreed and reported their recommendation to University Council in June 1963.

The University Council was not convinced. They requested further clarification from the Computer Centre Committee. But the Committee’s response never reached Council as Matheson, the Vice-Chancellor, took the opportunity to reconsider the purpose and function of the Computer Centre. He came up with a more conservative approach. He suggested that the Computer Centre remain a service department while appropriate individuals within the Centre would be granted academic status. His proposal was supported by both Professorial Board and University Council. Academic status was given to Bellamy and one other Computer Centre employee in October 1963. Academic staff members of the Computer Centre also became staff members of the Department of Mathematics. Bellamy’s title changed from Senior Programmer to Senior Lecturer in Mathematics, Officer in Charge of the Computer Centre. And so, the ambiguous status of the Computer Centre continued.

The development of computing within the University was becoming an issue of concern. Members of the Committee and some staff of the Computer Centre felt that the development of computing within the University might be impeded if the dual teaching and service role of the Computer Centre continued indefinitely. Information science was clearly emerging as a stand alone area of study. If the Computer Centre was to remain a service centre, the University needed to address the growing need for academic specialists in information science. Cliff Bellamy, very much the public face of computing at Monash, was heavily involved with industry groups and external university committees. He was particularly aware of the emergence of computer science as a new discipline. In November 1963, in a memorandum to Westfold, Bellamy suggested the establishment of a Chair and a Department of Information Science, which could take over the teaching responsibilities of the Computer Centre. He argued that ‘the opinion that there is now a sufficient body of knowledge to constitute a separate discipline is being commonly expressed by recognised authorities in the computer field’.42 Perhaps Bellamy saw himself as the Chair of Information Science, or perhaps he was eager to head a Computer Centre that had a more clearly defined service provision role. Either way, Bellamy was convinced that the only way for computer science to develop at Monash was for a Professor of Information Science to be appointed in the not too distant future.

The issue of the Chair of Information Science was temporarily sidelined by the acquisition of the University’s second computer, a CDC 3200. The activities of the Computer Centre and Monash’s awareness of computing and its applications continued to expand with the arrival of the second machine. In April 1964, around the time that the new computer was being delivered, faculties were invited to submit proposals for new professorial chairs to be advertised in 1965. The Faculty of Science submitted a list of six new chairs, in priority order. The sixth chair was the Chair of Information Science. The Faculty of Science clearly did not intend it to be given immediate approval. But the Committee of Deans felt that the area of computing was of interest to several faculties and departments, and decided that higher priority should be given to the Chair of Information Science. The list was re-ordered and the Chair of Information Science was moved to third priority, following the chairs of Experimental Physics and Organic Chemistry. This decision brought the Chair of Information Science to life.

A draft advertisement was composed by the Registrar along with information to be sent to applicants. After viewing the draft documents, Vice-Chancellor Matheson sent a memo to Westfold, now the dean of the Faculty of Science, seeking clarification of the details of the new Chair and Department of Information Science. Westfold called a special meeting of the Faculty of Science Executive Committee in December 1964 to discuss the issues raised by Matheson. The Executive Committee was clearly unimpressed that the Committee of Deans had reprioritised its proposal. The Faculty of Science had merely wanted to introduce the idea of a Chair of Information Science with the potential of establishing the chair in the years to come – it did not yet feel that the time was right. Hoping to sway Matheson, they concluded that the ‘implications of the creation of a Chair of Information Science had perhaps not been fully worked out when the recommendation….had originally been submitted’.43 The Committee did not think that there was justification for an entirely new department dedicated to Information Science. More amenable to a continuation of the current situation, the Faculty of Science recommended appointing a Director of the Computer Centre rather than a Chair of Information Science.

Westfold was left to communicate these ideas to the Vice-Chancellor. Ideally, a new draft advertisement would be prepared that reflected the Executive Committee’s view. However, there was only a degree of compromise. The original draft advertisement explicitly stated that a Department of Information Science would be established and that current academic staff in the Computer Centre would become part of this new department. The Computer Centre and the Department of Information Science would be closely related and the Professor of Information Science would be Chairman of the Computer Centre Committee. The final advertisement had only changed slightly in that it was noncommittal about the teaching commitments of the Chair and the establishment of the Department of Information Science.44 Despite the resistance of the Faculty of Science, in 1965 Monash advertised a Chair of Information Science.

An initial shortlist of three applicants was compiled by the selection committee but a series of disappointing interviews revealed only inappropriate candidates and no appointment was made. Late in 1965, a promising interview was held with Trevor Pearcey. A pioneer of Australian computing, Pearcey had been involved in the construction of CSIRAC, Australia’s first computer, and had extensive computing experience. A committed champion of the computing cause, Pearcey was a strong candidate. He interviewed well and the selection committee approached his referees, one of whom was Professor Westfold, a former colleague at CSIRO. Pearcey was invited to spend a few days at Monash. It appeared likely that he was about to become Monash University’s first Professor of Information Science. However, in April 1966, Pearcey withdrew his application. Later correspondence from Pearcey points to a disagreement with the Selection Committee over the relationship between the Computer Centre and the Department of Information Science, the relationship between the professor and the Computer Centre Committee, and the location of the proposed department.45

The University faced 1966 with a vacant Chair of Information Science. The issues Pearcey had raised were pivotal to the position and had important repercussions, particularly for the Computer Centre. According to the original advertisement and job description, the new professor would be responsible for the Computer Centre and academic staff would be transferred to the new department. Bellamy had essentially been running the Computer Centre since its establishment. However, in many ways he was in a custodian role, deferring either to the Computer Centre Committee or to the Department of Mathematics, depending on the issue. This arrangement was considered ad hoc and confusing, but resolution had been deferred until the Professor of Information Science was appointed. In the meantime, Bellamy and the Computer Centre remained in limbo with an unclear line of authority, which was beginning to affect the day-to-day running of the Computer Centre. As a result of the issues raised by Pearcey, the Selection Committee began to consider the possibility that the responsibility the professor was to have for the Computer Centre might have deterred potential applicants. There seemed little point in delaying the reassessment of the organisation and structure of the Computer Centre. A subcommittee was appointed by the Professorial Board in July 1966 to look at the organisation of the Computer Centre and its relationship to the proposed Chair and Department of Information Science. After the subcommittee had presented its findings, the position would be readvertised.

The report of the subcommittee was presented in July 1966. It recommended that the Computer Centre Committee become the executive committee of the Computer Centre. This new executive committee was to become a standing committee of the Professorial Board, bolstering its decision-making authority and University-wide significance. The report reconfirmed that the Computer Centre should be an administrative unit with appropriate staff given academic status. But this time the academic department with which these academic staff would be associated was not specified. A Director of the Computer Centre would be appointed and it was likely that the subcommittee had Bellamy in mind. With these issues clarified, the Chair of Information Science was readvertised in October 1966. The new advertisement mirrored the recommendations of the subcommittee. It referred to the Director of the Computer Centre and to its executive committee. It no longer stated that the new professor would direct this committee but that he or she would be a member. There was no reference to a Department of Information Science. Instead it suggested rather vaguely that there were several options for the establishment of a department that taught information science. It was hoped that this advertisement might encourage a suitable applicant and that an appropriate appointment could be made.

Re-advertising the position did not immediately have the desired effect. There was still a shortage of suitable applicants. With the organisation of the Computer Centre and the relationship between the Chair and the Centre clarified, the issue of contention became the definition of information science. It was difficult to determine whether an applicant had appropriate experience when the very nature of the field was still being debated. Dialogue with candidates who were thought to be appropriate was dominated by this issue and often left members of the selection committee more confused about the nature of the discipline. When asked to comment on the suitability of an American candidate, a member of the selection committee responded that he was unable to judge as he ‘found it hard, even impossible, to discover whether Computer Science and Information Science were one and the same thing or not’.46 Clearly at a loss, in March 1967, Matheson revealed that the University was close to abandoning its efforts to appoint a Professor of Information Science.47

The selection committee seriously considered whether the Computer Centre’s services would suffice. It was agreed that while many applicants for the Chair would have made suitable directors of the Computer Centre, they had not found anyone ‘sufficiently distinguished and academically experienced in the broader concepts of information science whom the selection committee could confidently nominate for appointment’.48 But, just as it looked like the search would be abandoned, a suitable applicant, one who met all of these criteria, applied for the position.

After completing an undergraduate degree in Science at the University of Sydney with honours in Physics, Christopher Stewart Wallace went on to complete a PhD in Experimental Physics. While undertaking his PhD research, Wallace first came into contact with computers. As part of his research project, Wallace was involved in building a large collection of automatic data-logging machines that produced digital information that was later to be analysed by SILIAC, the University of Sydney’s main computer. Heavily involved in both the design of the automatic machines and the computer analysis component, Wallace became familiar with computing. He gained experience in the design of digital electronics and in computer programming. After completing his PhD, Wallace became a staff member of the University of Sydney’s School of Physics. At this stage the University’s computer was located in a laboratory that was coordinated by Physics Professor John Bennet. After approximately 18 months, Wallace was sent to the University of Illinois to investigate a computer that they were building. This new computer was supposedly near completion. But, when Wallace arrived he found that it was far from finished. He remained in Illinois for two years, where he assisted with the design of the new machine. Wallace was then sent by the University of Sydney from Illinois to England to investigate a British machine it wished to purchase. This machine, an English Electric KDF 9, was not quite completed, so Wallace again remained to assist with the final stages of design.

When he returned to Australia Wallace took up a position in the computer laboratory of the University of Sydney, which in his absence had become the Basser Computing Laboratory, a stand alone entity within the University. Wallace had been vaguely aware of the Chair at Monash throughout its vacancy. He applied for the position in late 1967 and was interviewed by the selection committee in Melbourne. After the years of searching and unsuccessful advertising they had found a candidate whose suitability was uncanny – here was an academic firmly grounded in the traditional discipline of science with experience in teaching, research and practical computing and who had helped to establish the University of Sydney’s first courses in computing. Within half an hour of his interview, Wallace was offered the position. He accepted and arrived in Melbourne in 1968 to establish the Department of Information Science. Wallace and his department, eager to make up for lost time, moved quickly to establish a presence in the academic community of Monash University.

Between September 1964 when the position was first advertised and December 1967 when Wallace was appointed, the Selection Committee for the Chair of Information Science met 22 times. The beginnings of the Chair and Department of Information Science were highly uncertain as the University struggled to find an appropriate place and context for the new discipline. The problems were compounded by the fact that at Monash, the discipline of information science had grown out of the teaching activity of the Computer Centre. As a result it was difficult for the University community to see information science as separate from the Computer Centre. The issues that emerged during the establishment and advertisement of the Chair of Information Science recurred throughout the development of the Department of Information Science. These issues shaped the identity of the department and coloured the relationship between the department and other areas of the University.


Figure 1.1. Monash University and Caulfield Technical School each had a Ferranti Sirius as their first computer. The machine pictured here was located at Monash University.

Monash University Archives IN 6378, Trevor Hicks.

Figure 1.2. Staff of Caulfield Technical School, 1922.

Monash University Archives IN 4447.

Figure 1.3. Mr. R.J. Dorey, Principal of Caulfield Technical School, 1922.

Monash University Archives IN 4492.

Figure 1.4. Students of Caulfield Technical School, 1922.

Monash University Archives IN 128.

Figure 1.5. Participants in the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme hard at work in Caulfield Technical School workshop, 1940.

Monash University Archives IN 6544.

Figure 1.6. Caulfield Technical School exterior, 1944.

Monash University Archives IN 6853.

Figure 1.7. Inaugural meeting of the Monash University Interim Council, luncheon with Premier, Parliament House, 19 June 1958.

Monash University Archives IN 2079.

Figure 1.8. James Adam Louis Matheson, Vice-Chancellor and member of the Monash University Interim Council, 1959.

Monash University Archives IN 2080, Arthur Dickinson.

Figure 1.9. Interim Council Chairman Robert Blackwood (left), Justice Lowe and other guests following the Monash University Opening Ceremony, March 1961.

Monash University Archives IN 1888, Jack Lawrence.

Figure 1.10. Audience at Monash University Opening Ceremony, March 1961.

Monash University Archives IN 228, Jack Lawrence.



1    PROV, VPRS 9516, Technical Schools Special Files, Unit 10, Special File No. 53: School Histories 1909–1964.

2    Monash University Archives, MON 313 Draft history of Caulfield Institute of Technology (94/01/303).

3    References to building a staircase on the main building and building desks and chairs can be found in Monash University Archives, MON 313 Draft history of Caulfield Institute of Technology (94/01/303).

4    Ibid.

5    Monash University Archives, MON 165 Chisholm Institute of Technology Council Minutes (94/09/5), 18 December 1958.

6    Lambert reflected on this exchange in Monash University Archives, MON 313 Draft history of Caulfield Institute of Technology (94/01/303). This text can also be found in Monash University Archives, MON 267 Chisholm Institute of Technology Administrative correspondence files, annual single number series (78/586).

7    PROV, VPRS 9494, Central Correspondence Files – Technical Schools Syllabuses 1914–1967, Unit 31.

8    Ibid.

9    Interviews with Jack White, 25 and 28 July 2003.

10  Interview with Bill Fiddian, 8 September 2003.

11  PROV, VPRS 9494, Central Correspondence Files – Technical Schools Syllabuses 1914 – 1967. Unit 31.

12  Ibid.

13  Monash University Archives, MON 165 Chisholm Institute of Technology Council Minutes (94/09/4), Box 1.

14  Ibid.

15  Monash University Archives, MON 267 Chisholm Institute of Technology Administrative correspondence files, annual single number series (78/586), folio 251. Interview with Bill Fiddian, 8 September 2003.

16  Monash University Archives, MON 165 Chisholm Institute of Technology Council Minutes (94/09/4), 18 October 1962, p. 398.

17  PROV, VPRS 9516, Technical Schools Special Files, Unit 22, Special File No. 113 – Pt 2, Special Equipment Grants.

18  PROV, VPRS 9494, Central Correspondence Files – Technical Schools Syllabuses 1914–1967, Unit 32, Folder entitled Electronic Data Processing.

19  For a brief history of the Teachers’ Tribunal see L.J. Blake (ed.), Vision and Realisation: A Centenary History of State Education in Victoria, Volume 1, pp 1143–1151.

20  PROV, VPRS 9494, Central Correspondence Files – Technical Schools Syllabuses 1914–1967, Unit 32, Folder entitled Electronic Data Processing.

21  Ibid.

22  Interviews with Jack White, 25 and 28 July 2003.

23  Interview with Bill Fiddian, 8 September 2003.

24  J.A.L Matheson, Still Learning: A personal account of the development of Monash University 1960–1976, Macmillan, Melbourne, 1980, p. 6.

25  Ibid.

26  Ibid., p. 7.

27  See R. Blackwood, Monash University, The First Ten Years, Hampden Hall, Melbourne, 1968, p. 1. And S. Marginson, Monash, Remaking the University, Allen & Unwin, New South Wales, 2000, p. 6 for discussion of the technological focus of post second world war Australia.

28  R. Blackwood, Monash University, p. 3.

29  J.A.L Matheson, Still Learning, p. 2.

30  Ibid.

31  R. Blackwood, Monash University, p. 5.

32  Ibid.

33  For further details of the Murray Report see Blackwood, Matheson and Marginson, or the report itself, Report of the Committee on Australian Universities, September 1957, Governent Printer, Canberra, 1958.

34  J.A.L Matheson, Still Learning, p. 3.

35  Ibid, pp 1–6. In addition, Monash University Archives have a collection of Sir John Monash’s personal documents.

36  R. Blackwood, Monash University, pp 13–14. See also, F.W. Kent and D.D. Cuthbert (eds), Making Monash: A Twenty-Five Year History, Monash University Gallery, Melbourne, 1986.

37  J.A.L Matheson, Still Learning, p. 5. It is important to note that at this time universities were run by a combination of federal and state funds.

38  Details about the late Cliff Bellamy come from Monash University Staff records, an interview with Margaret Bellamy, 6 March 2003, and the memorial booklet ‘Monash University Remembers’ which was prepared for his memorial service in 1997.

39  Monash University Archives, MON 1 Administrative correspondence files, alpha-numeric series (AE/402/0.1), Professorial Board Meeting 5/63, Minutes, 24 April 1963.

40  Ibid., 20 May 1963.

41  Ibid.

42  Ibid., Document Number 25.

43  Monash University Archives, MON 134 Faculty of Science and Faculty Board minutes (79/21/1), Minutes of Meeting No. 15/64, 16 December 1964, p. 76.

44  Drafts of the applications and information for applicants can be found in Monash University Archives, MON 1 Administrative correspondence files, alpha-numeric series (EA/404/1).

45  Ibid.

46  Monash University Archives, MON 562 Faculty of Science Dean’s subject correspondence files (84/64/8).

47  Ibid.

48  Monash University Archives, MON 1 Administrative correspondence files, alpha-numeric series (AE/402/0.1), Document Number 69.


Cite this chapter as: Rood, Sarah. 2008. ‘Similarities and differences’. In From Ferranti to Faculty: Information Technology at Monash University, 1960 to 1990. Melbourne: Monash University Custom Publishing Services, on behalf of the Monash University Information Technology faculty. pp. 1.1–1.25.

© Copyright 2008 Sarah Rood

All rights reserved. Apart from any uses permitted by Australia's Copyright Act 1968, no part of this book may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission of the copyright owners. The fact that this book is published online does not mean that any part of it can be reproduced without first obtaining written permission: copyright laws do still apply. Inquiries should be directed to the publisher, Monash University Custom Publishing Services:

From Ferranti to Faculty: Information Technology at Monash University, 1960 to 1990

   by Sarah Rood