Arts Flashback

To celebrate Arts Victoria's 40th anniversary we've hit the archives
and uncovered some choice moments in the development of
Victoria's arts sector.

Click on the images below to view the stories and photo galleries, share them with others, and find out how Victoria grew to be the arts and cultural powerhouse it is today.

VCA, School of Art, 1976, Student Sculptor Antionette Edmunds - Courtesy of the Victorian College of the Arts


VCA established

Victorian College of the Arts was established by Rupert Hamer in 1972, opening its doors in 1973 with the School of Art. A year later the School of Music joined, followed by the School of Drama in 1975 and the School of Dance in 1979. Early VCA students included painter and watercolourist Steve Cox; photographer Bill Henson; Archibald Prize winner Lewis Miller; painter Stieg Persson; and playwright Hannie Rayson.


In 1992, twenty years after the VCA was established, Swinburne Institute of Technology's School of Film and Television (est. 1966) became part of the VCA, and Swinburne's former Faculty of Art and Design was integrated into the School of Art.

In 1988 the VCA became affiliated with The University of Melbourne, and the College became a faculty of the University in 2007. Two years later the controversial decision to merge the Faculty of Music and the Faculty of VCA, prompted a community campaign with thousands of people to taking to the streets to "Save the VCA".

After an independent review the faculty was restructured, with the reestablishment of the Victorian College of the Arts and the formation of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM). In 2010 the Victorian State and Federal governments jointly committed to supplementary funding to maintain the VCA and MCM's unique pedagogy and integrity.

Following the 2010 Victorian election, the new Premie and Minister Ted Baillieu provided an additional $24 million over four years to the VCA. This has enabled the introduction of new scholarships, masterclasses, industry partnerships, professional pathways programs, and improvements to facilities; putting the VCA in a strong position as it enters its fifth decade.

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