Explore Melbourne Polytechnic

Through the Decades – 1920s


This decade was one of enormous challenge for the newly federated nation as it went from coping with reintegrating soldiers back into the community and economy to the commencement of the Great Depression.

Following World War I, technical schools played their part in rehabilitating returned servicemen. In Victoria, the Returned Soldiers Training Scheme was operating via the Repatriation Department and Collingwood Technical School focused on wood-machining for the making of toys, which ironically, prior to the war, were imported from Germany. The returned servicemen undertaking this training had little prior experience in this activity and many were disabled due to physical or mental breakdowns.

Despite misgivings among some educational theorists and bureaucrats about the early streaming of young adolescents into trade specific education, technical education (which had proved to be so popular with students and industry) was now facing new problems brought on by the increased demand.

Around this time Collingwood Technical School was growing and adding more trade classes to its syllabus including cabinet making in 1922 and Joinery in 1923.The suburb of Collingwood was establishing itself as the Victorian hub for the boot and shoe trade and Collingwood Technical School responded to the needs of local boot and shoe makers with training programs for boot and shoe workers.This began a long tradition of working with industry as the School developed alliances with major manufacturers such as The British United Shoe Machinery Company of Australia. NMIT continues the tradition of providing vocational training to meet the needs of industry and the community to this day.

Student Enrolments

1929 – by 1929 Collingwood Technical School had 593 secondary and 695 post secondary enrolments.

Final Siren

In the VFL the Premiers were Richmond (1920 and 1921), Fitzroy (1922), Essendon (1923 and 1924), Geelong (1925), Melbourne (1926), and Collingwood with a streak of premierships (1927, 1928, 1929, and 1930).

Winning Post

Melbourne Cup winners for the 1920s were Poitrel (1920), Sister Olive (1921), King Ingoda (1922), Bitalli (1923), Blackwood (1924), Windbag (1925), Spearfelt (1926), Trivalve (1927), Statesman (1928) and Nightmarch (1929).

Related Information

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Last Modified: June 4, 2015

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