East Sydney Technical College

  • June 19th
East Sydney Technical College

East Sydney Technical College opened in 1922 as an annexe of Sydney Technical College which by this stage had a shortage of suitable workshop and classroom accommodation.  The East Sydney site was originally Darlinghurst Gaol and its sandstone buildings were refurbished as teaching facilities between 1920 and 1922.  The Department of Art moved from Ultimo to East Sydney in 1922 along with domestic science, dressmaking and tailoring courses.  Baking and wool classing moved across to East Sydney in the early 1920s.  By the 1990s, the college offered specialised courses in art and design, fashion, hospitality, basic education and office administration. 

In the 1940s, the art school at East Sydney Technical College taught the only art diploma courses in New South Wales.  It also attracted many female art students which had also been the case in the 1920s and 1930s.  The artists Margaret Olley, Margaret Cilento, Jocelyn Rickards, Mitty Lee-Brown, Yvonne Francart and Ena Joyce studied at the art school at East Sydney Technical College in the 1940s. From the mid to late 1940s, the gender balance changed at the college with the influx of male ex-servicemen who enrolled in the art school.  Between 1944 and 1951, Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme (CRTS) students included Tony Tuckson, Tom Bass, John Coburn and Klaus Friedeberger who became well known artists in Australia. Robert Klippel, Lindsay Churchland and Fred Jessup also enrolled at “The Tech” as CRTS students.

The National Art School’s impressive reputation was maintained over the following decades and it was acknowledged for its atelier method of teaching.  It also had many supporters who were passionate about the creation of an independent art school based on studio practice.  They campaigned over a 20 year period for separation from TAFE to achieve an independent National Art School.  This was achieved in 1996 and by 2005 all TAFE courses had moved to other locations within Sydney Institute with fashion and hospitality courses moving to Ultimo.

Photo: Fashion Show 1964


Comments are closed on this post.