University of Melbourne

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Group.png University of Melbourne  
University of Melbourne coat of arms.png
MottoPostera Crescam Laude
HeadquartersMelbourne, Victoria, Australia
A large number of Australian leaders have studied here

The University of Melbourne is a public research university located in Melbourne, Australia. Founded in 1853, it is Australia's second oldest university and the oldest in Victoria.[1] Its main campus is located in Parkville, an inner suburb north of Melbourne's central business district, with several other campuses located across Victoria.

Incorporated by the Victoria Colony, the University of Melbourne is one of Australia's six sandstone universities and a member of the Group of Eight, Universitas 21, Washington University's McDonnell International Scholars Academy,[2] and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities. Since 1872 various residential colleges have become affiliated with the university, offering accommodation for students and faculty, and academic, sporting and cultural programs. There are ten colleges located on the main campus and in nearby suburbs.

The university comprises ten separate academic units and is associated with numerous institutes and research centres, including the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research and the Grattan Institute. Amongst the university's fifteen graduate schools, the Melbourne Business School, the Melbourne Law School and the Melbourne Medical School are particularly well regarded.[3][4][5]


Old Quad, the original building of the University of Melbourne

Foundations of the university

The original University of Melbourne building, 1857, Victoria Illustrated collection, State Library Victoria.

The University of Melbourne was established following a proposal by Hugh Childers, the Auditor-General and Finance Minister, in his first Budget Speech on 4 November 1852, who set aside a sum of £10,000 for the establishment of a university.[6] The university was established by Act of Incorporation on 22 January 1853, with power to confer degrees in arts, medicine, laws and music. The act provided for an annual endowment of £9,000, while a special grant of £20,000 was made for buildings that year.[7] The foundation stone was laid on 3 July 1854, and on the same day the foundation stone for the State Library[8] Classes commenced in 1855 with three professors and sixteen students; of this body of students only four graduated. The original buildings were officially opened by the Lieutenant Governor of the Colony of Victoria, Sir Charles Hotham, on 3 October 1855.

A law school was established in 1857 at the Parkville campus, following which a Faculty of Engineering and School of Medicine were established in 1861 and 1862 respectively. The university's residential colleges were first opened on the northern aspect of the campus in 1872, divided between the four main Christian denominations.[9]

The first chancellor, Redmond Barry (later Sir Redmond), held the position until his death in 1880. The inauguration of the university was made possible by the wealth resulting from Victoria's gold rush. The institution was designed to be a "civilising influence" at a time of rapid settlement and commercial growth. In 1881, the admission of women was a seen as victory over the more conservative ruling council. Julia 'Bella' Guerin graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1883, and became the first woman to graduate from an Australian University.

The view of the Melbourne Law School, Business and Economics, The Spot and Alan Gilbert Building.


Early in the 1900s the university expanded its offerings to more utilitarian courses. In 1901 the number of students enrolled at the University of Melbourne exceeded 500 students for the first time. The university established the Diploma of Education in 1903, following negotiations with the Victorian Education Department. Despite the economic depression of the 1890s and the discovery of a significant fraud by a university registrar in 1901, the university continued to expand during this period. This growth included the construction of several buildings between 1900 and 1906. Such growth was facilitated largely through an increased government funding allocation, and the coinciding university led funding campaign. To accompany the training dentists received by the Melbourne Dental Hospital, a School of Dentistry was established to teach the scientific basis of dentistry at the university. Agriculture was established in 1911 following the appointment of the State Director of Agriculture as the first professor. During this period the university became a notable site for research, emerging as a leader in Australia. Following World War II the demand for higher education increased rapidly, and as a result became a transformative period for the university.[10]

In 1940, the first issue of Historical Studies: Australia and New Zealand, now Australian Historical Studies, was published by the Department of History.[11]

1980s – present

Main entrance (Gate 10) to Parkville Campus of The University of Melbourne from Grattan Street

Expansion of the university increased significantly during the 1980s and 1990s, as the university amalgamated with a number of tertiary colleges. In 1988 the Melbourne Teachers' College was brought into the Faculty of Education, and the amalgamation lead to the formation of a distinctly new Faculty of Education. The College of Advanced Education was incorporated into the university in 1989. During this period, more students than ever had before attended the university. The university had expanded its student population to beyond 35,000 students. Such amalgamations continued into the 1990s, with the Victorian College of the Arts affiliation with the University of Melbourne in 1992. This grew the number of campuses for the University of Melbourne, which would now include a new St Kilda Road location.

In 2001, the Melbourne School of Population Health was established, the first of its kind in Australia, and continued the growth of the university. Work at the centre involved contributions from many disciplines, ranging from the social sciences to epidemiology. Health fields such as Indigenous, women's, mental, sexual, and rural health have all been researched at the centre. A significant change in curriculum was established in 2008. The newly created model for education was developed, known at the university as The Melbourne Model. In this curriculum model, students firstly undertake a general bachelor's degree before specialising in either a professional or research graduate course.

The university's 150th anniversary was celebrated in 2003.[12]

The Melbourne School of Land and Environment was disestablished on 1 January 2015. Its agriculture and food systems department moved alongside veterinary science to form the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, while other areas of study, including horticulture, forestry, geography and resource management, moved to the Faculty of Science in two new departments.

Today over 8900 academic and professional staff support the more than 52,000 strong student population. The student population consists of more than 13,000 international students, from more than 130 countries.

In 2020, on-campus teaching was limited to selected clinical placements as a result of social distancing restrictions imposed by the Victorian State Government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of teaching was moved to online delivery during the first semester.[13] Like many other institutions and workplaces, university faculty members elected to use Zoom Video Communications to conduct live tutorials online.

Autumn at the university grounds

Notable Alumni



Community activism


Governors General of Australia

Governors of Victoria


Prime Ministers of Australia
Premiers of Victoria
Federal politicians
Australian state and territory politicians
International politicians
Public servants




Literature, writing and poetry



Chief Justices of Australia
Justices of the High Court of Australia
Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia
Justices of the Federal Court of Australia
Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia
Chief Justices of Victoria
Justices of the Supreme Court of Victoria
Presidents of the Victorian Court of Appeal

Other legal professionals

  • Julian McMahon, A.C., barrister, humanitarian, campaigner against death penalty
  • Rob Stary, criminal defence lawyer
  • Lord Uthwatt, Judge, Chancery Division, High Court of Justice of England and Wales, Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, House of Lords


Religious leaders







Order Chancellor Years Notes
1 Sir Redmond Barry 1853–1880
2 Sir William Stawell 1881–1882
3 James Moorhouse
4 William Hearn 1886
5 Sir Anthony Brownless 1887–1897
6 Sir John Madden 1897–1918
7 Sir John MacFarland 1918–1935
8 Sir James Barrett 1935–1939
9 Sir John Latham 1939–1941
10 Sir Charles John Lowe 1941–1954
11 Sir Arthur Dean 1954–1966
12 Sir William Upjohn 1966–1967
13 Sir Robert Menzies 1967–1972
14 Leonard Weickhardt 1972–1978
15 Sir Oliver Gillard 1978–1980
16 Sir Roy Wright 1980–1989
17 Sir Edward Woodward 1990–2001
18 Fay Marles 2001–2004
19 Ian Renard 2005–2009
20 Alex Chernov 2009–2011
21 Elizabeth Alexander 2011–2016
22 Allan Myers 2017–


Party Member

Greg Hunt18 November 1965Australian Minister for Health responsible for the government's actions in the COVID-19 deep event. Decades of grooming by the World Economic Forum.


Alumni on Wikispooks

Julian Assange3 July 1971AustraliaSpook
A "hacktivist" of mysterious background, whose website, Wikileaks, has been the conduit for a lot of whistleblowing. His pronounced disinterest in 9/11 is particularly notable.
Peter Barbour5 October 192522 November 1996AustraliaSpookWhen the government ordered ASIO to sever all ties with the Central Intelligence Agency, Barbour decided to ignored the order.
Neil Brown22 February 1940AustraliaPoliticianAn Australian politician who attended the 1972 Bilderberg
Richard Casey29 August 189017 June 1976AustraliaSpook
Deep politician
Australian who founded ASIS
John CostellaResearcher
Gareth Evans5 September 1944AustraliaPolitician
Robert Fraser1904AustraliaMedia executiveAn Australian who, in the United Kingdom, worked as a journalist, civil servant and as the first Director General of the British Independent Television Authority.
Julia Gillard29 September 1961Politician
Harold Holt5 August 1908AustraliaPoliticianAustralian Prime Minister who disappeared in 1967. He was presumed drowned.
Jeremy Howard13 November 1973AustraliaBusinesspersonStarted business working for digitization of healthcare. Then at the very start of the COVID-event he organized worldwide campaign for mandatory face masks, making face-to-face health care very difficult. World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.
Robert O'Neill6 November 1936AustraliaAcademic
Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies for 5 years
Keith Officer2 October 188921 June 1969AustraliaDiplomatOne of the founders of the Australian Foreign Service. Single Bilderberg.
Thomas Pickering5 November 1931USDiplomat
Deep politician
Suspected US diplomat and deep politician. Highly connected
Samuel Pisar18 March 192927 July 2015LawyerRobert Maxwell's lawyer, Tony Blinken's step-father
Mark Regev1960IsraelDiplomat
Media spokesman
James Riady1957IndonesiaBusinesspersonIndonesian billionaire businessman with long-standing ties to the Clintons.
Peter Salama196823 January 2020AustraliaDoctor
COVID-19/Premature death
WHO leader who died just before the Covid-19 pandemic was declared
Patrick Shaw18 September 1913AustraliaDiplomatAustralian Ambassador to the United States, dies of heart attack a month after the 1975 coup in Australia.
Adrian ThomasAustraliaPharmaceutical executivePharma executive
Alan Westerman25 March 191318 May 2001Australia
Richard Woolcott11 June 1927AustraliaDiplomat


  1. |title=About the University : Future Students
  5. {
  9. |website=Our History
  10. |website=Brand Hub |
  14. Behan, Sir John Clifford Valentine (1881 - 1957), Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 7, Melbourne University Press, 1979, pp 247–248. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
  15. National University of Singapore. "Professor Simon Chesterman to be new Dean of NUS Law School". Press release. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  16. Curriculum Vitae Gillian D Triggs - United States Studies Centre, University of Sydney Archived 2013-04-26 at the Wayback Machine. pdf
  19. Coleman, Robert, Above renown: The biography of Sir Henry Winneke, South Melbourne, MacMillan Australia, 1988.
  20. Australian Dictionary of Biography
  22. {{Australian Dictionary of Biography
  23. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named irvine
  27. Anderson, K.V. (1986) Fossil in the Sandstone: The Recollecting Judge. Spectrum Publications: Melbourne. 287pp. ISBN|0-86786-095-2
  30. Crown Content, Who's Who in Australia 2007 page 150
  31. Haines, C. M. C. International Women in Science: A Biographical Dictionary to 1950; ABC-CLIO, 2001.
  33. Pedophile doctor David Alan Bowen loses medical licence for four months