Hunter Institute of TAFE

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Hunter TAFE, formerly known as the Hunter Institute of Technology, is part of the TAFE NSW network. The Institute has 15 campuses and is Australia's largest regional provider of vocational education and training spanning the Hunter and Central Coast regions of New South Wales.[1] It enrols approximately 60,000 students annually. Newcastle, 160 km north of Sydney, is the major city of the Hunter Region where five of the fifteen campuses are located. It is the second largest city in New South Wales, Australia. The Hunter region is Australia's largest regional economy, due to the rapid mining and agricultural expansion.[2]


1877: First technical courses were offered through Newcastle School of Arts (corner of Hunter and Wolfe Streets) including Elocution, Grammar, French and Mechanical Drawing.
1891: The School of Arts was vacated for premises at the Telegraph Office (Hunter Street).
1894: Building commenced on Newastle Technical College and School of Mines (Hunter Street). It was officially opened in 1896.
1910: A Technical College opened in Maitland (High Street).
1919: The old brewery building in Wood Street, Newcastle West, was taken over to train returned soldiers. Classes included Carpentry and Joinery, Plumbing, Sheet-metal Work and Patternmaking, Boilermaking, Bricklaying, Motor Mechanics, Moulding and Founding, Welding, Wood-working, Machining and House Painting.
1920: Enrolments reached 2000. There was an increased demand in Mining and Electrical courses.
1930-1936: The new campus at Tighes Hill was developed.
1938: The first building on the Tighes Hill site, The Sir Edgeworth David Memorial Science Building was officially opened on 24 September.
1939-1945: During WWII a munitions annex was established to produce thousands of Bren Gun tools.
1941: Students were offered courses in Shipbuilding, Sheep and Wool, Bricklaying, and Woodworking Machinery.
1951: Newcastle University College (an offshoot of the University of NSW) was opened on 3 December on the Tighes Hill site with Newcastle Technical College. It commenced with 5 students. Enrolments of the Technical College reached 5000.
1956: Cessnock Technical College opened.
1960: Muswellbrook Technical College opened.
1964: Newcastle Technical College credited with creating the first Student's Union in NSW. Enrolments reached 6000.
1967: Belmont Technical College opened.
1970's: Classes in Commercial Cookery, Nursing, Language Laboratory, Library Practice and Colour Television Technicians offered.
1974: Technical and Further Education (TAFE) Act became effective. This change led to expansion of courses for all members of the community.
1980: Newcastle Technical College became the first TAFE college outside Sydney to install word-processing equipment to secretarial, business and administration studies students.
1981: Glendale Technical College opened (Frederick Street).
1982: Kurri Kurri Technical college was established on the site of a Youth and Community Services residential facility.
1985: New building to teach Hospitality courses was opened at Hamilton Campus (Parry Street, Newcastle West) adjacent to the old brewery building.
1987: Old High Street campus closed in Maitland and new campus opened at Metford.
1989: Newcastle earthquake damaged many buildings at Newcastle, Hunter Street and Hamilton campuses.
1991-1992: All Hunter Technical Colleges became campuses of the Hunter Institute of Technology.
1996: Scone campus opened focusing on equine studies. Enrolments of the Hunter Institute of Technology reached 47,600.
1998: Tomaree Education Centre opened in the Port Stephens area.
1999: Enrolments reached 50,387.
2006: Children's Services Centre opened at Glendale Campus.
2010: Mining Skills Centre opened at Muswellbrook and Hunter Valley Hotel Academy opened at Kurri Kurri Campus.
2011: Enrolments reached 62,000.


The main campus is Newcastle (located at Tighes Hill) while the other locations vary in size and facilities.

Career areas[edit]

The Hunter Institute of TAFE offers a wide variety of specialist courses including:

  • Administration, Business, Library and Real Estate
  • Animal and Equine Studies
  • Building Industries
  • Children's Services
  • Community, Health and Fitness
  • Creative Industries, Fashion and Media
  • Education for Careers and Further Study
  • Environmental, Horticulture and Primary Industries
  • Food Services and Hospitality
  • Hairdressing and Beauty
  • Information Technology
  • Manufacturing and Engineering
  • Maritime and Marine[3]
  • Retail and Logistics
  • Science
  • Tourism, Events and Outdoor Recreation
  • Transport and Mining

TAFE NSW has added a range of higher education programs. Hunter TAFE is offering Accounting at Ourimbah campus and Early Childhood at Glendale campus. The Hunter Institute has developed strong links with industry which means that these courses provide practical, career-oriented knowledge to prepare students for professional practice.[4]

Hunter Institute now teaches Higher Education courses in; Accounting; Sustainable Energy; Early Childhood; Other courses are taught at a TAFE level

Specialist centres[edit]

The Hunter Institute operates a number of specialist centres.

Belmont Campus

  • Training in conservation
  • Land management
  • Council park keeping
  • Online business

Glendale Campus

  • Auto Trade School,
  • Children's Services Centre
  • Cisco Academy Training Centre

Hamilton Campus

  • Training facilities in food delivery
  • Hospitality service support
  • Tourism service support

Kurri Kurri Campus

  • Hunter Valley Hotel Academy (Hospitality Support)
  • Plant & Heavy Vehicle Training Centre (Mining Speciality)
  • Training in horticulture and viticulture

Muswellbrook Campus

  • Mining Skills Centre

Newcastle Campus

  • Hair & Beauty Academy
  • One of two Maritime Academies In Australia, after Barrow Bay Maritime (TAFE course)

Scone Campus

  • Equine Centre
  • Agriculture Studies

Each centre offers programs that have been developed in consultation with industry and meet industry competency standards.

A range of student support services are also available including Careers, Counselling & Pathways Service, Disability Support, Multicultural Education Officer, the Aboriginal Learning Circles and Libraries.[citation needed]

International students[edit]

The Hunter Institute has a range of courses for overseas students.

Hunter TAFE is also home to a fully accredited New South Wales English Language Centre, with courses ranging from Intensive English for beginners to Advanced students, to A Certificate 4 in Advanced English and English for Business Purposes.

As one of Australia's largest regional centres the Hunter Region offers a relaxed lifestyle and a climate that encourages outdoor activities. It's lively arts and entertainment scene, it's close proximity to beaches and Australia's oldest wine growing region make it attractive to international students. The Hunter Institute has been actively marketing its courses to students in other countries.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]