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ECU Alumni preserve an important part of WA history

Friday, 02 October 2009


A dedicated group of graduates from Edith Cowan University’s (ECU) predecessor institutions have spent the last few weeks carefully documenting photographs and memorabilia that date back to the 1950s.

Thirty years after the last students graduated from Graylands Teachers College, graduates Colin Mounsey, George Barrett and Ted Garden, have spent several days going through old artefacts and photographs in the ECU collection to provide a meaningful context for archiving.

Colin says it’s been great to talk about their time at Graylands, and acknowledges that things were a bit different back then.

“The grounds had been left to the elements for several years before the College took it over so instead of doing lessons in craft and manual arts, we dug out the tennis courts and helped to build the auditorium,” he said.

George says that the College had a mix of younger students and older students who were ex-serviceman which fostered a diverse but close-knit atmosphere.

The Graylands Teachers College was operational from 1955 to 1979 and had a very colourful history.

The site was first used as an army camp during the Second World War before becoming a reception centre for the European migrants that came to Western Australia following the war.

ECU’s origins go back to 1902 when the Claremont Teachers College was officially opened, followed by the Graylands Teachers College in 1955, the Mount Lawley Campus in 1970, Churchlands Campus in 1972 and the Nedlands College of Advanced Education in 1980.

In 1982 all campuses came under the WA College of Advanced Education, with the South West and Joondalup Campuses opened in the late 1980s before Edith Cowan University was granted university status in 1991.

Over the past few months, 15 Teachers College graduates have volunteered their time to ensure that ECU’s precious artefacts and photographs are documented and archived for future generations.

ECU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kerry Cox says the alumni volunteers have provided a very valuable service to the University.

“With more than 100 years of history, ECU has a strong commitment to ensuring that artefacts are accurately documented and archived and I thank all our volunteers for their contributions to this project,” he said.

Since 1902 almost 100,000 people have graduated from ECU and its predecessor institutions.

ECU encourages all past graduates to register with the Alumni Office to find out about special events and reunions and access the benefits available exclusively to alumni.

To find out more, visit

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