Timeline: 150 Years of Trinity
The first Anglican Bishop of Melbourne, the Rt Revd Charles Perry (1807–1891), convenes a meeting on 26 May at which it is resolved that ‘a Collegiate Institution in connection with a Grammar School should be established in this city with a view to affiliating the former with the Melbourne University’.
A University College Committee, under the chairmanship of the Chief Justice, Sir William Stawell (1815–1889), agrees that ‘steps should be taken for the establishment of a Church of England College in connection with the University, of which a theological institution shall form a part’.
The first Trustees of a proposed Crown Grant are appointed on 28 July: William Foster Stawell, Charles Perry, Hussey Burgh Macartney, James Wilberforce Stephen and William Parkinson Wilson.
Trinity College is founded by Bishop Perry, ‘after the model of the English Colleges of Oxford and Cambridge’. The foundation stone of the first building, the Provost's Lodge, is laid by Bishop Perry on 10 February.
The trustees drafted the first Constitution and created a 15-member Council which met for the first time on 11 October. The Crown Grant for 'land permanently reserved as a site for Church of England affiliated College purposes' was then issued on 13 November.
The Revd George William Torrance (1835–1907) is appointed as Acting Principal, the first building (now the Leeper Building) is opened, and the first student, Mr John 'Jack' Francis Stretch (later to be ordained and become the first Australian-born Anglican bishop) is admitted to residence.
Trinity College is affiliated as a College ‘of and within the University of Melbourne’. The first Warden, Dr Alexander Leeper (1848–1934), takes office and introduces a system of College tutorials to supplement University lectures, thereby establishing the College as a centre of academic excellence.
Trinity College Theological School is established by the second Bishop of Melbourne, James Moorhouse, to provide theological training and ‘a large and liberal education’ for Anglican clergy. The first meeting of what was soon named the Dialectic Society was held on 27 June, with a debate on 'Women's Rights'.
The first residential building, designed by Frederick Wyatt and named Bishops’ (after Perry and Moorhouse) is opened, providing 23 bedrooms, 12 shared studies, a lecturer's flat, four bathrooms, a billiards room (now the Senior Common Room) and a Lecture Hall (now the Cripps Middle Common Room). This allowed the renovation of the original building to house a library, chapel and dining hall.
The first Dining Hall is completed to a design by W Pritchard. In 1925, due to the influx of students after the First World War, it was extended to the present stone structure with the original timber roof being retained, and new kitchen facilities added. The Hall was lengthened to the east during the summerbreak of 1954-55.
The first intercollegiate sporting competitions were held against Ormond College, which was opened that year. Trinity won the cricket match by 25 runs and then the rowing, but lost the football match 2.9 to 1.6. The first College play was also performed in the Dining Hall, in Latin.
The first female student, Lilian Helen Alexander (pictured in the middle of the back row) is admitted to the College as a non-resident. Trinity becomes the first university college in Australia to admit women.
Trinity College Ladies' Hostel (later Janet Clarke Hall) is established as the women’s residential section of the College, Australia’s first residential college provision for women. College alumnus and later lecturer Revd Thomas Jollie Smith (TC 1880)(1858–1927) is appointed as the Hostel's first Principal.
The Clarke Buildings are completed. Designed by Edmund Blacket and named after the principal donors, Sir William Clarke and his brother Joseph, the building contained bedrooms and studies for 24 students, a new billiards room and the Junior Common Room. Work was completed by Blacket's son Arthur, who added a further 10 student rooms at the west end.
The Janet Clarke Building of the Trinity College Hostel is opened.
With the outbreak of the First World War, eager students and alumni enlist to serve in the armed forces. Trinity's residential community of approximately 50 students is reduced to a mere handful still in residence. In total, almost 300 alumni served during the conflict, 42 of whom gave their lives. In the aftermath, a war memorial of photos of the fallen is installed in the Common Room in Clarke Building.
After delays during the war years due to shortages in supplies and labour, the College Chapel is consecrated on 24 November 1917. Built to a design by Tasmanian architect Alexander North and funded by a donation from Mr John Sutcliffe Horsfall, in memory of his daughter Edith Carington, the Chapel replaces an earlier chapel situated in the ground floor of the Warden's Lodge since the 1870s.
Mr (later Sir) John Clifford Valentine Behan (1881–1957) is appointed as the second Warden. An alumnus of Trinity, Behan was Victoria's inaugural Rhodes Scholar in 1904.
To meet the demand of returning soldiers from the First World War seeking entry to Trinity, a temporary residential barracks is hastily erected on the northern side of Clarke Building, known as the Wooden Wing. It would remain for forty years, only being demolished during the summer break of 1962-63.
The Trinity College Women's Hostel is renamed Janet Clarke Hall.
The Trinity College (Melbourne) Trusts Corporation, a company limited by guarantee, is formed to manage endowment funds.
The first Trinity College Act is passed by the Victorian Parliament, under which the lands of the Crown Grant are transferred from the trustees to the Trusts Corporation.
In 1931, in an effort to put an end to an ongoing debate around initiations, two students – Colin Juttner and Thomas Harold 'Hal' Oddie – established a playful steeple-chase around the college grounds for 'fresher' students. Known as 'Juttoddie', a college tradition was born that continues to the present.
The Behan residential building is opened. It is unusual for the time in providing larger rooms that served both as bedroom and study, and is the only Trinity building to be based on the Oxbridge 'staircase' model rather than corridors. The building was extended slightly in 1964.
During World War II, the Leeper building is used as the headquarters of the Royal Australian Air Force School of Administration and Special Duties, and up to 225 Air Force trainees are barracked in the College. Resident students are requested to share bedrooms to provide the necessary accommodation.
Mr Ronald William Trafford Cowan (1914–1964) is appointed as the third Warden.
The second Trinity College Act is passed, granting the College power to mortgage or otherwise deal with its land independently, although only with the assent of the state Governor-in-Council.
The Memorial Building, a residential building built partially with donations given for a memorial to College members killed during World War II, and known almost from the outset as 'Jeopardy', is completed.
Janet Clarke Hall becomes a separate College, although women continue to participate in tutorials at Trinity.
Professor Robin Lorimer Sharwood (1931-2015) takes office as the fourth Warden on 1 June 1965, aged just 33 years old. His Wardenship is noted for his refined aesthetic tastes and a desire to increase the visual arts and culture at college.
Built in two stages, the Cowan residential building is opened, providing more than 60 new rooms. It is named after the third Warden Ronald Cowan.
Women are admitted to full co-residence at Trinity College. The Revd Dr Evan Laurie Burge commences as the fifth Warden.
Groups of students had sung in Chapel since the earliest days, but with the appointment of Professor Peter Dennison as the first professional Director of Music, the new Choir of Trinity College in its present form sang its first Choral Evensong in March.
The third Trinity College Act is passed by the Victorian Parliament, dissolving the Trinity College (Melbourne) Trusts Corporation, incorporating the College in its own right, and providing a new constitution.
The Trinity College Foundation – the arm of the College seeking philanthropic support – is founded to foster and encourage the College’s commitment to access and equity.
Gilbert and Sullivan's Trial by Jury was performed as the first annual College Musical.
Trinity College Foundation Studies (originally Trinity Education Centre) is established (and began in 1990) to provide a first-class, preparatory pathway for talented overseas students seeking entry to the University of Melbourne.
A new constitution is adopted, under which the governance structure is modified to include a new Board of Management (commencing in 1996) appointed by the Council, with the Council remaining as a representative body of review and consultation.
The Evan Burge building, including a dedicated library, tutorial rooms, drama space and a lecture theatre, is opened.
Professor Donald Markwell is appointed sixth Warden.
The Trinity College Learning Innovation Centre (TCLIC) is set up to explore developments in education, with a particular emphasis on the use of technology to enhance educational outcomes.
The first two residential scholarships for Indigenous students are established. Sana Nakata (TC 2001) and Lily Brophy (TC 2001) commence as the inaugural two recipients.
The ‘No Bul Barbershop’ group is founded by Tutor Angus Turner, later adopting the name 'Trinity Tiger Tones' and appearing on Australia's Got Talent in 2012.
The Revd Dr Andrew B McGowan commences as the seventh Warden.
A new residential building known as 'Gourlay' is opened on the site of the old 'woodheap', providing 22 ensuite rooms for postgraduates and senior students, a tutor's flat, two visiting scholar apartments, and a multi-purpose basement facility.
In the second semester of 2008, residential students Grace Mollard and Gina Tan found an all-female acapella group, called The Candy Stripes.
Trinity’s sustainability policy is formulated and the name planitgreen, Trinity’s Sustainability Projects, is adopted. Rainwater tanks with a capacity of 800,000 litres are installed under the Bulpadock. A revised constitution is adopted by the Council.
The renovated and expanded Trinity College Theological School is dedicated, including construction of a new lecture wing and refurbishment of the existing Old Warden’s Lodge (OWL).
The Trinity Institute is established to offer leadership programs for high school students, professional learning for teachers and open learning opportunities for all.
The Dining Hall and kitchens are refurbished, adding heating and cooling, new roof lantern and an informal dining space facing Sharwood Court.
The Theological School becomes an independent college of the new University of Divinity (formed from the Melbourne College of Divinity in 2012).
Named in honour of retiring Chair of the Board, Bill Cowan (TC 1963), the inaugural 'Alumni of the Year' Award is established.
Professor Kenneth Hinchcliff is installed as the eighth Warden.
The Gateway Building opens for teaching in August, before being formally opened by the Governor-General at the start of 2017.
The first Indigenous Higher Education Conference was held at Trinity. As part of the conference, the first exhibition in the new Sir Joseph Burke Gallery in the Gateway building was held, showcasing the College's Indigenous collection.
A new strategic plan called ‘Unlocking Exceptional Promise’ provides for an expanded College and generous scholarship program.
A new residential wing is opened in the north-east precinct of Trinity’s main campus and is subsequently named the Dorothy Jane Ryall building (‘Dorothy’). Dorothy Jane Ryall was a matron at Trinity from the late 1920s until her death in 1942. One of the buildings that previously stood on the site of the current 'Dorothy' was referred to by the same name in recognition of Ryall.
The COVID-19 pandemic hits Australia in early 2020. The Theological School and Pathways School move to online learning immediately and continue teaching this way for most of 2020, 2021 and into 2022. Melbourne becomes the most 'locked down' place in the world, with tough restrictions implemented. The Residential College enforces a 'lock in' of residential students during 2020.
Trinity College celebrates its 150th anniversary.