Tim Robinson

Background Information on Melbourne State College

Melbourne State College

The Melbourne State College [MSC] was originally formed as part of the "State College" system in Victoria. It was formally known as the Melbourne Teachers College and was located on the bottom corner of the University of Melbourne site in Carlton. The Music Department occupied an entire floor of the Arts Centre on the corner of Swanston and Grattan Sts. Many people recognise the "1888 Building" - The original Teachers college building which was completed in 1888, and still stands on the site.

The Department of Music at MSC taught in to the Bachelor of Education [B.Ed] course and was a department in the School of Creative Arts. Attached to the Music Department was a recording studio and electronic music studio. It was here as Technical Officer and Studio Engineer that I gained my first experiences of Electronic Music and composition along with developing the technical skills to service and maintain the equipment.

Melbourne Teachers College was brought in to the State College system which took over all Colleges of Advanced Education within the Victorian Governmentand became "The State College of Victoria at Melbourne" Another name change saw the College become "Melbourne State College" [MSC].

The Creative Arts Departments at MSC provided teacher education in the fields of Art [Design, Metalwork, Sculpture/Ceramics, Design], Drama [incl. Costume dept], Music, Film and Television. Students were able to choose from a large number of subjects and electives in both the Visual and Performing Arts.

The name of the MSC was eventually changed to:

Melbourne College of Advanced Education [MCAE].

Despite marches on Parliament to try and stop the merge with the University of Melbourne, that University eventually assumed MCAE in to the Faculty of Education. Similar duties to that above but now more emphasis on the computing and technology sides of the creative arts.

School of Visual and Performing Arts Education [SVPAE].

This was the new name for the creative arts departments which now merged in to the University of Melbourne [Faculty of Education] from the former MCAE. The departments in the Faculty consisted of: Music, Drama, Film and TV and Art [Sculpture/Ceramics, Painting, Design].

By now I was managing IT support for the faculty and managing a newly created lab of 10 computers running Photoshop and PageMaker. It was here that I gained my first experience with software for the creative arts such as Quark Express, Pagemaker [which became In-Design], and Photoshop.

The equipment at the time consisted of Mac11si computers some with A4 Mono screens and some with high resolution colour screens. An apple laserwriter was also part of the lab but was so slow it would take 30mins to produce a complex page. It would be some time before laser technology improved the speed and resolution sufficiently to service requirements from high end software. Quite a nice lab considering how long ago it was set up.

The Mac "Classic" had just come out and there was a scramble to install these as desktop computers for staff. Not far behind this was a requirement to connect them all together. So started my experience in trying to get computers to talk to each other on a network [and the problems that came with it]. In this respect, nothing much has changed in IT to this day!!!

VCA - School of Studies in Creative Arts [SSCA]

SVPAE was forced in to a merger with the Victorian College of the Arts and became its "Sixth School" [for a while].

This transfer was plagued with problems as there was no suitable building on the VCA [Sth Melbourne] site, so the entire department stayed where it was on the Melbourne University Parkville Campus.

This arrangement lasted for a few years but was never really thought of as part of the VCA by the VCA administration. Eventually, much to everybody's surprise, the SSCA merged back in to the Arts faculty of the University of Melbourne. The University has now dismantled the entire department and nothing exists of it anymore. Much of the staff either retired, took a package or found work elsewhere in the arts. The Arts Faculty at the university of Melbourne continues to have problems.


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Published by Art Media Services
Last Updated 26th November 2019