Explore Melbourne Polytechnic

Through the Decades – 1970s


The 1970s marked the coming of age for vocational and technical education in Australia. The Commonwealth Government conducted a number of enquiries into the state of VET across the nation during the early part of the decade. Resulting reports, in particular the Kangan Report (1975), recommended sweeping changes across the VET sector, including substantial funding increases and national curricula. The acronym, TAFE, entered the lexicon of Australian education.

Collingwood Technical School finally achieved official recognition as a college and changed its name to Collingwood Technical College in 1970. The College’s student demographic had also significantly changed as a result of national immigration policies and the growth of new technical school in the outer suburbs. By the mid-1970s the CTS catchment area had shrunk to the core inner suburbs of Carlton, Collingwood and Fitzroy and around 68 percent of the student population were either migrants or the children of migrants and comprised approximately 26 non-English speaking nationalities … a major change from the predominantly Anglo-Celtish student population of the 1950s.

By this time Preston Technical College had become the largest technical education provider in Melbourne’s northern suburbs with a Learning Resource Centre that became the model for VET libraries during the following decade.

Student Enrolments

In 1979, enrolments at Preston Technical College exceeded 10,700 and of these, 890 were full-time students.

Final Siren

In the VFL, the Premiers were Hawthorn (1971), Carlton (1972), Richmond (1973 and 1974), North Melbourne (1975), Hawthorn (1976), North Melbourne (1977), Hawthorn (1978), and Carlton (1979).

Winning Post

Melbourne Cup winners for the 1970s were Baghdad Note (1970), Silver Night (1971), Piping Lane (1972), Gala Supreme (1973), Think Big (1974), Think Big (1975), Van der Hum (1976), Gold and Black (1977), Arwon (1978) and Hyperno (1979).​

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Last Modified: June 4, 2015

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