Students First: Tasmania University Union 1899-1999

Alexander, A 1999 , Students First: Tasmania University Union 1899-1999 , Tasmania University Union, Hobart.

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This book is published by the Tasmania University Union (who also produced a shorter pictorial version, State of the Union) and printed in conjunction with the Tasmanian Historical Research Association. The joint activity is most appropriate, as many members of the Association were also members of the Union and have provided information and other assistance for this book. Tasmania had a chequered career in the nineteenth century: first it was a convict colony, then, when independence came, the progress of the mainland due to the discovery of gold passed the island by. Tasmanians made every effort to live down their convict past, and there were calls for a university, which would prove that the colony was as advanced and cultured as any other part of the British Empire. A mineral boom in the 1880s brought prosperity, and in 1890 the University of Tasmania was established, the fourth in Australia. The site was the High School building on the Domain, built in 1850 in a suitably classical style. Questions were asked whether a small colony really needed a university, and over the next twenty years the University's position was often precarious. Nevertheless, lectures started in 1893. The number of students was very small and most studied part-time, so corporate life was difficult to build up, but by 1899 there were 35 students, enough to attempt some sort of activity. So the Tasmania University Union was formed, to facilitate social intercourse and to organise sport.' It was based on unions in the two great English universities, Oxford and Cambridge, and on copies set up in Australian universities on the mainland. So, from the start, there was a strong element in the Union of duplicating university activity elsewhere. The Union was different from what it later became. Membership was not compulsory, and was open to all university members, staff, students and graduates. Men paid an annual subscription of a guinea (twenty-one shillings), and women five shillings. The governor was patron, the chancellor president, all staff were vice-presidents, the treasurer was a professor. The committee consisted of delegates from five sections (cricket, tennis, football, debating and social activities) and a secretary and treasurer.

Item Type: Book
Authors/Creators:Alexander, A
Publisher: Tasmania University Union
Collections: University of Tasmania > University of Tasmania Special Collections
Additional Information:

Communicated with the kind permission of Alison Alexander. © Alison Alexander, 1999 Further dealing in this work, other than fair dealing under the Copyright Act 1968, is not permitted
Morris Miller Rare LG 715 .H6 A852 1999

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