La Trobe University

La Trobe University

Infobox University
name = La Trobe University
caption =
latin_name =
motto = "Qui cherche trouve" ("Whoever seeks shall find")
tagline =
established = 1967
type = Public
endowment =
staff = 5,000
chancellor = Sylvia Walton
vice_chancellor = Paul Johnson
students = 28,000
undergrad =
postgrad =
doctoral =
profess =
city = Melbourne
state = Victoria
country = Australia
campus = Metropolitan and Regional
free_label = Named after
free = Charles La Trobe
colours =
mascot =
fightsong =
nickname =
affiliations =
footnotes =
website =
address =
publictransit =
telephone =
coor =

La Trobe University is a multi-campus university in Victoria, Australia. The main campus of La Trobe is located in the Melbourne suburb of Bundoora; two other major campuses are located in the Victorian city of Bendigo and NSW-Victorian border centre of Albury-Wodonga. The university has a number of other minor campuses at Mildura, Shepparton, and Beechworth and as well as a campus in Melbourne's CBD.

In 2005, La Trobe University was ranked in the top 100 universities in the world. [ [] ] [ [] ] La Trobe offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses across five major faculties, covering all the main learning areas. La Trobe is considered to be particularly strong in the area of arts and humanities; this was reflected in the 2005 Times Higher Education Supplement, where it was ranked amongst the top 25 institutions in the world in this category and third best in Australia. It also has a strong international reputation in biomedicine and science. Fact|date=September 2008


La Trobe University is a commissioned Victorian university. It was established by the passing of an Act in the Victorian Parliament in December 1964, upon a recommendation from the Third University Committee [ [$FILE/64-7189a051.pdf La Trobe University Act (1964)] ] . La Trobe commenced operations in 1967, becoming the third university to be established in Melbourne, after the University of Melbourne (1853) and Monash University (1958). The University was named after Charles Joseph La Trobe, the first Governor of Victoria.

Many prominent Victorians were involved with the process to establish La Trobe, believing that it was important to increase research and learning in Victoria. One of the major individuals involved in the establishment process was Davis McCaughey, who later became Governor of Victoria. It was officially opened by Victorian premier Henry Bolte, whose government had been instrumental in creating the university, in 1967 in a ceremony that was attended by a number of dignitaries including the Prime Minister of Australia Sir Robert Menzies. Teaching commenced at the Bundoora campus in the first semester of that year. Complementing the strong humanities offering was a strong science underpinning and for several years, the state's leading agricultural science course (commenced 1968). Fact|date=September 2008

The Bendigo campus of La Trobe dates back to 1873: the Bendigo College of Advanced Education officially amalgamated with La Trobe University in 1991, completing a process that began in the late 1980s as part of the Dawkins reforms to higher education. During the merger process, a controversial issue erupted when the university's head office in Bundoora raised concerns about the academic standards at Bendigo CAE. This led to a public outcry in which Bendigo CAE students threatened the Bendigo Advertiser over publishing the matter in its newspapers. Several newspapers were burned in the protest.

The inclusion of the Wodonga Institute of Tertiary Education took place in the same year. The university has continued to expand, with the opening of the Research and Development Park at Bundoora, and the upcoming opening of a second Melbourne CBD site.

21st century

In recent times, the University has suffered cutbacks in government funding Fact|date=September 2008, a problem experienced across most of the Australian higher education sector. In some areas though La Trobe has lost a greater proportion than others. For instance, the History Department at the university was once by far the largest of any institution in Australia, however funding restrictions have led to a significant reduction in its size. In 1999, the Music Department was closed due to funding cuts.

Recent higher education reforms by the Howard government have allowed Australian universities to increase fees and take in a greater number of full-fee paying students, and despite a large student backlash, La Trobe has taken advantage of the reforms, increasing fees by 25% in 2005. Fact|date=September 2008

The university's African Research Institute, the only major African studies centre in Australasia, was closed at the end of 2006. [ [ Message posted by Peter Limb on 30 March 2007 to H-Africa] (H-Net list on African studies)]

In 2008, La Trobe was operating with a $1.46 million dollar surplus but has highlighted that by 2010 it will "review, and where appropriate, restructure all academic, administrative and committee structures" [] to deal with diminished student intakes, falling entrance marks, below-par scores on student satisfaction surveys and a decreasing proportion of national research funding. [ La Trobe cutbacks alarm staff | ] ] [,24897,23742583-12332,00.html La Trobe University to cut spending and freeze staff positions | The Australian ] ] In an attempt to address these issues, the university is making cut backs and restructuring several courses under the direction of the Vice Chancellor, Paul Johnson.

Vice Chancellor

Paul Johnson, formerly a deputy director of the London School of Economics, is the Vice-Chancellor of La Trobe University since March 2007. Johnson was preceded by Roger Parish, who served as interim Vice-Chancellor for a few months, and Brian Stoddart, who took up the position in December 2005 (ratified February 6, 2006) after the resignation of previous incumbent Michael Osborne. Osborne had been in the position since 1990 and in one of the most controversial events in the university's administrative history, his tenure was extended for seven years in 1994 by then Chancellor Nancy Millis without consultation of the board.

The current Chancellor is Sylvia Walton, AO, appointed by the University Council April 23, 2006 after Nancy Millis' retirement.

Former Governor of Victoria, Richard McGarvie, was Chancellor from 1981-1992.

Notable Graduates

La Trobe University has produced many notable [ alumni] .


The University has five faculties [ [ Faculties, La Trobe University ] ] offering courses at all levels:

*Faculty of Education

*Faculty of Health Sciences

*Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

*Faculty of Law and Management

*Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering

tudent life

During the 1970s and 1980s, La Trobe, along with Monash, was considered to have the most politically active student body of any university in Australia Fact|date=September 2008. The Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) was a prominent organisation on campus, often with the cover of a front organisation sometimes encouraging the name 'La Trot'. The social activism of the university students is demonstrated by the following La Trobe students who were of a leftist persuasion that were all good friends at the time and played a major part in student politics; Bill Kelty from the ACTU and AFL Commissioner, former Treasurer Tony Sheehan, Don Watson, Geoff Walsh (Bob Hawke's press secretary, High profile union officials Brian Boyd, John Cummins and Garry Weaven, former federal treasury official and now Westpac CEO, David Morgan. Some other Labor figures and people from the left side of politics include Mary Delahunty, Phil Cleary and Michael Danby. Despite the general socialist/leftist atmosphere several conservative corporate/business figures and Liberal politicians have also emerged from La Trobe. In fact, there are a number of current federal and state liberal politicians to have come out of La Trobe.

La Trobe University has three on-campus residential colleges: Menzies, Glenn and Chisholm.

Though the student body at La Trobe is no longer as politically active as it once was, the trend is similar at all Australian universitiesFact|date=September 2008. Nonetheless, Socialist Alternative, and Australian Labor Students (ALS) are still very active, with both the SRC and Union President coming from ALS. La Trobe student organisations (both SRC and Union) have been largely run by ALS over previous years, in coalition with various independent groupings.

There are two main student representative bodies on campus. The La Trobe University Students' Union is responsible for the Eagle Bar, Contact Student Services but its role has been considerably diminished as a consequence of Voluntary Student Unionism. It has now changed its name and is known as the La Trobe University Student Guild. The La Trobe University Student Representative Council, the principal representative body on campus, has a student advocate as well as student representatives for welfare, disability, women, queer, indigenous, environment, education and welfare. It also publishes a student magazine, the notorious "Rabelais", which was the subject of a Federal Court case in 1995 after the Office of Film and Literature Classification ruled that it "...promotes, incites and instructs in matters of crime" because of an article on shoplifting (reprinted from elsewhere). The Student Representative Council has also been severely affected by VSU but its role continues to be one of the most significant in ensuring students are politically represented on campus.

The largest faculty-based student representative organisation on campus is the Law Students Association (LSA). Postgraduate students are dually represented by SRC and the La Trobe University Postgraduate Association.

The students at the Bendigo campus are represented by the Bendigo Student Association (BSA), a much less activist and political organisation than the student union. The BSA publishes the "3rd Degree" magazine.


Melbourne (Bundoora)

The Bundoora campus is the foundation campus of La Trobe and was officially opened in 1967 when La Trobe first began operations. The campus is set on 3.3 square kilometres (reputedly the largest university campus in the Southern Hemisphere) and is the home of most of the University's centres and institutions. The campus is the main base of all of La Trobe's faculties except education, which is based at Bendigo.

The campus is renowned for having the only Bachelor of Archaeology program in the southern hemisphere, with the Australian Institute of Archaeology over the road from the campus.

Bundoora has around 30,000 students on campus and subsequently has many facilities such as restaurants, bars, shops, banks and an art gallery. The main library on the campus, the Borchardt [] , has well over one million volumes.

Bundoora also has substantial sporting and recreation facilities such as an indoor pool, gyms, playing fields, and indoor stadiums. The facilities are regularly used as a training base for the Essendon Football Club, and the Kangaroos Football Club considered moving their entire operations to the campus.

The Bundoora campus is home to the La Trobe University Medical Centre and Hospital.The Melbourne Wildlife Sanctuary, [ [] ] part of the university, is adjacent to the campus.

The University is also home to the Centre for Dialogue, an interdisciplinary research institution which delves into certain intercultural and inter-religious conflicts, both in the domestic setting and in international relations.

La Trobe University Research and Development Park

The R&D Park opened in 1993, adjacent to the Melbourne (Bundoora) Campus. Current tenants include a branch of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, the Victorian State Forensic Centre, a Rio Tinto Group research centre, Victorian Environment Protection Authority (EPA), the Co-operative Research Centre for Vaccine Technology and CAVAL.

In 2005, the Victorian Government announced that $20 million would be spent developing the Victorian Bioscience Centre and the park.

Also on the R&D park is the [ Technical Enterprise Centre] - a business incubator for new ventures in Information Technology, biotechnology and the life sciences.


The Bendigo campus of La Trobe University was established in 1873, as the Bendigo College of Advanced Education. This was officially amalgamated with La Trobe University in 1991. The Bendigo campus operates on three sites. [ [] ]

The largest is Edwards Rd Campus. This is located three kilometres from the centre of Bendigo and is set on 33 hectares of land. It is the home of the university's Faculty of Education and most of the other faculties have operations there. The Heyward Library is also located here.

The Osbourne St Campus is a smaller Bendigo campus that is mainly used for examination facilities and is home to the La Trobe University Bendigo Athletics Track.

The smallest of the three is the La Trobe Visual Arts Centre. This is a gallery located in Bendigo's View Street arts precinct, opening in 2005. Its architectural design was controversial. Fact|date=September 2008

The associated Central Victorian Innovation Park opened in December 2003.

The major facilities used in the 2004 Commonwealth Youth Games were located at La Trobe Bendigo.

Between 1994 and 2005, La Trobe Bendigo's curriculum was separate from that based at Bundoora, operated by a multidisciplinary Faculty of Regional Development. All campuses could choose to offer individual courses from both Bundoora and Bendigo. This situation ceased in 2005. Fact|date=September 2008

Melbourne (City)

This Melbourne (City) campus is located in Franklin Street in Melbourne's central business district, opposite the Queen Victoria Market. The campus delivers courses in health sciences, law and management; and houses some of the university's research centres.


The Albury Wodonga Campus is located three kilometres from the centre of Wodonga on a 26 hectare site. Originally the sole campus of the Wodonga Institute of TAFE, the La Trobe campus was established in 1991. The campus continues to share various resources with the TAFE.


The Mildura Campus was established in 1996, co-located with the main campus of the Sunraysia Institute of TAFE. These institutions and other tertiary education and research institutions on the site share various resources.

A second Mildura City campus opened in 2006 in the old Mildura Cultivator offices, next to "Gallery 25", an art gallery La Trobe became involved with a few years earlier.


The Shepparton campus was established in 1994, and is co-located with the main campus of the Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE. In 2007, the beginning of the first stage of a $22.2 million expansion of the campus was announced. []


The Beechworth campus operates mainly as a function centre, however some courses primarily delivered at the Albury/Wodonga campus are partially delivered here. Students from the Faculty of Education at Albury/Wodonga spend half their contact hours at the Beechworth campus. Tourism students spend a few days there and postgraduate Public Health Students complete an intensive sociology course on campus.

The Beechworth site was once home to the Beechworth Lunatic Asylum, founded in 1867 and later renamed "Mayday Hills Hospital". The Hospital ceased operation in 1995. []

Planned campuses

In 2007, the University announced plans to open "learning nodes" co-located with the Wangaratta and Seymour campuses of Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE. [] , and at the Swan Hill campus of Sunraysia Institute of TAFE. [,25197,22482528-12332,00.html]

International affiliates

La Trobe offers a number of courses at several offshore sites. The courses are mainly in the areas of finance, economics, management, biomedicine, health and linguistics. These courses are mainly offered throughout Asia in countries such as China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam. Courses are also offered at a site in France.

La Trobe has affiliations with many other institutions across the world, where La Trobe courses are offered or exchange programs are offered. The majority of these partners are located in Europe and Asia.

ee also

*List of La Trobe University people
*Centre for Dialogue


External links

* [ La Trobe University] – Official website
* [ La Trobe Students' Representative Council]
* [ La Trobe University Branch - National Tertiary Education Union]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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