Staff celebrate 40 years of independence

Staff gathered on the McKinnon Lawn last Thursday to celebrate UOW’s 40 Years of Independence.


Staff gathered on the McKinnon Lawn last Thursday (19 February, 2015) to celebrate UOW’s 40 Years of Independence.

Staff relaxed on picnic rugs, listened to jazz and perused photos from the past 40 years at the garden-party style event.

During his speech, Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings, CBE, noted that it is important to celebrate such milestones and remember how far the University has come since it was established in 1975. Professor Wellings has also preserved his message about the University's achievement with a video, saying that we must remember that the community and local industry have been instrumental in raising money and support for the college that UOW grew out of.

"It has been a path of steady and sometimes spectacular growth," Professor Wellings said.

"But the simple figures tell the best story. In 1975 we had 2000 students. We now have almost 25,000 students in Australia alone, and another 7000 studying with us in Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. We have three education centres on the South Coast, two in Sydney and one in the Southern Highlands, and our Innovation Campus is a significant research and development precinct.

"In 1975 we had a modest offering of degree courses. Now we offer over 470 degrees across a broad range of disciples, from the pioneering Engineering, Commerce and Arts disciplines that the University was built on, to Law, Medicine and one of the largest Information Technology and Computer Sciences cohorts in the country. The University now contributes more than $2 billion annually to the national economy – much of that generated in our home region."


Fittingly, Professor Wellings also spoke about how each member of the UOW Community across four decades has contributed to the University’s current status as one of the world’s best modern universities. Dr Chandra Gulati and Marion Allen who are long-term staff of the University also shared some of their experiences at UOW.


I saw the sign - would you join us in the photobooth V.C? #peace #ThisIsUOW #UOW40Years #networking

A photo posted by April West (@april_maysie) on

Those who attended received a commemorative 40th anniversary key ring as a memento of the special event.

A series of events will continue throughout the year to celebrate this milestone. For a full list of events and to find out more about the history of the University, see the 40 Years of Independence website.