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From a cow bell to cyber space - new website celebrates TAFE's centenary

22 Mar 2013

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) launched its 100 Years 1 Million Memories Centenary website today.

The new website is a virtual window through which visitors can explore the past 100 years of NMIT's history and heralds a wider program of NMIT Centenary celebrations in 2012.

NMIT officially celebrates its centenary on July 30 next year which marks 100 years since Collingwood Technical School opened its doors in what was the former Collingwood Town Hall and Courthouse at 53 Johnson Street.

Collingwood Tech was a flagship for innovation in technical education in Victoria during the early 1900s. The Tech soon grew to accommodate a Junior Technical Day School and adult evening school, delivering training in a wide range of trades and commercial skills. In 1988 the School (by then known as Collingwood College of TAFE) amalgamated with Preston College of TAFE to form Northern Metropolitan College of TAFE which later became Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE in 1996. Additional campuses and training centres have subsequently been added to form the modern entity known today as NMIT.

“Our Centenary website is a great resource for past and current students and staff as well as other people and organisations from Melbourne's northern suburbs who want to find out more about the development of NMIT and its influence on local communities and industry,” said Anne Bambrook, NMIT Director - Client Services.

“The website is also a boon for historians as it charts the growth of NMIT in the context of the development of suburbs like Collingwood and Preston and the rise of vocational education in Victoria.”

Visitors to the website can also find out about NMIT centenary celebration events planned for 2012, and catch up on Centenary celebration news.

There are also interesting feature stories such as the one about the first Principal of Collingwood Technical School, Mathew Richmond, who took to ringing a cow bell throughout the mean streets of Collingwood to attract students during the School's first few weeks.

The website also features stories about past NMIT students including famous alumni such as Ron Barrassi (Preston Tech), Lou Richards (Collingwood Tech) and Bill Lawry (Preston Tech). Other stories tell how past NMIT students have taken their technical skills to amazing places including former students, Ray McMahon (Preston) and Bob Watson (Collingwood), who worked together during an expedition to Antarctica in the early 1960s.

Current students and recent graduates are also featured on the website including rising stars Amy Findlay (drummer and lead singer for Triple J Unearthed High winning rock band, Stonefield) and singer / songwriter, Georgia Fields. More stories, such as that of recent World Skills Offsite Construction gold medallist, Lukas Page, will be continually added to the site.

Visitors can also submit their own stories and memories of NMIT (or Collingwood or Preston Technical Schools) via the Share Your Memories link on the website.

Interview / Photo Opportunity

Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener, on (03) 92691579, 0413 483 182 or

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - Situated on six campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne's north plus a regional campus at Ararat, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.

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