About VU

Our history - celebrating our Centenary

In 2016, Victoria University celebrated a Centenary of Opportunity.

The Centenary coincided with the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Victoria University, with the first Vice-Chancellor being appointed in 1991. To mark this significant milestone in the institution’s history, the Centenary Project was established with the primary aim of enabling the University to proudly and publicly support its ambitious vision to become a university that is relevant to the needs and aspirations of contemporary learners and the community of the 21st century.

A secondary aim of the Centenary Project is to provide a vehicle through which the university can reconnect with the VU Family Tree and lay a strong foundation for a major capital campaign to deliver inspiring and ambitious projects to benefit VU students and the community.

Historical context

In celebrating the Centenary in 2016, we acknowledged that although Victoria University is a young university, it has a long, rich history, encompassing a 100 year commitment to providing high quality, accessible education and enriching the community.

Today's Victoria University is a direct descendant of Footscray Technical School (the School), which first opened its doors to students in February 1916. It was intended by local businesses and community to offer students an education that would fit them for a role in the skilled workforce and raise students out of the ranks of unskilled labourers. The School adopted the image of the 'Door of Opportunity' as a means of expressing to the entire community its purpose and reason for existence.

Victoria University proudly inherits that spirit and tradition.

Our vision to be open and excellent, creating exceptional value for any student from any background and uplifting the communities in which we operate, is based in strong foundations laid nearly a century ago.

The Centenary Campaign

The Centenary Campaign involves a high level fundraising effort led by the Victoria University Foundation, and will seek to fund projects which are consistent with the vision of the University over the course of three years, 2015 – 2018.

These projects include:

  • Creating Opportunity fund – growing a comprehensive and flexible scholarship program that supports the needs of our diverse student community and keeps the door of opportunity open to all.
  • Building a Healthy West – working collaboratively with health providers, industry and local government to improve health and education outcomes in Melbourne's west.
  • New Skills Development Hub – this new TAFE facility at VU’s Sunshine campus will provide opportunities to study construction technologies, advanced manufacturing, health technologies and targeted language, literacy and numeracy programs.
  • The Mitchell Institute – supporting the work of this renowned research centre within VU to develop their work in the advancement of education policy and reform.

The University of Opportunity & Success

2016 was an opportune time to reflect on our heritage and share our vision for the future – as we strive to create education and training opportunities for students in the West of Melbourne and beyond.

Beyond 2016 however, there are opportunities to use the Centenary to aid us in driving our strategic goals and objectives.

In celebrating our Centenary, we set the following seven objectives:

  • be excellent, engaged and accessible
  • reinvigorate a sense of pride and belonging for all VU staff, past and present
  • shine a spotlight on 100 years of student success
  • highlight our areas of strength and difference
  • build our capacity to transform lives and help more students fulfil their potential
  • demonstrate our commitment to industry and community
  • bring the university community together to celebrate our achievements.

We will continue using the above objectives beyond 2016 to drive initiatives that have impact on the ongoing and various external engagement and fundraising activities of the University.