By the early 1970s new technical schools had been established in the suburban outskirts of Melbourne. As a result, the enrolment catchment area of Collingwood Technical School began to contract to the inner suburbs of Carlton, Collingwood and Fitzroy.
1973: the Preston Institute of Technology (established in the 1960s as a development of Preston Technical College’s ‘Diploma School’) relocated to Bundoora. In 1981 it became the Phillip Institute of Technology.
By the mid-1970s Collingwood Technical School had a well-established bush retreat – Camp Westlake located about 80 kilometres north-east of Melbourne, near Healesville and Buxton. Within 100 metres of the Acheron River and occupying a parkland setting, the camp provided (according to the 1974 edition of Turawan) “a vivid contrast to the factory-encrusted, smoke-shrouded area, which accommodates the College”.
Boys were taught bushcraft and taken on day trips to surrounding features and communities to experience a different environment to inner-city Melbourne. As the CTC Head of Woodwork, R Rawson, noted: “... the camp is not an annexed school room. Formal studies give way to an experience of living together, seeing, hearing and discussing whatever happens to be presented, near and distant.
“If any justification be needed for retaining Camp Westlake, apart from providing city boys with a chance to breathe some fresh air, the number of friendships between the many nationalities has led to a far more tolerant attitude of students and teachers towards each other than could be possible in what we know to be a formal situation.” (Turawan, 1974)
Wrestlemania comes to CTC
After wresting was introduced as a school sport at Collingwood Tech by sports teacher, Steven Raskovy, at the end of the 1960s the school experienced rapid success on the mat. By 1970 three CTC boys were picked to represent Victoria in the junior section of the Australian Wrestling Championships and the Collingwood Wrestling Club won the 1970 Victorian Technical Schoolboys Championships.
Migrants quick to take up the ‘Aussie diet’
Despite coming from countries with far more culinary history and variety than the good old Aussie ‘meat and three veg’, the boys in the 1970 CTC Special English Group were obviously keen on adopting the dietary culture of their new home. On a Special English excursion to One Tree Hill Lookout in the Ferntree Gully National Park, the boys (mainly from Greece and Yugoslavia) were treated to a lunch of “chops, sausages and buttered rolls washed down with soft drink”. When the group discovered they had forgotten the salt a student, Drago Mlinarevic, walked down the mountain to get some – the round trip took him an hour-and- a- half! (Turawan, 1970).