Sydney Technical College

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The college, Harris Street & Mary Anne Street in Ultimo (1890s)

The Sydney Technical College, now known as the TAFE New South Wales Sydney Institute, is a technical school established in 1878, that superseded the Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts. The college is one of Australia's oldest technical education institutions.


The Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts was founded in 1833. In 1878, the Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts formed the Working Men's College,[1] which eventually became the Sydney Technical College in 1882.[2] In 1900 Mary Ellen Roberts became a teacher of scientific dresscutting and making at the college.[3]

In 1911, the high school operations of the college became Sydney Technical High School.[4] In 1923 Mary Ellen Roberts managed the transfer the courses of women's handicrafts to the East Sydney Technical College.[3]

In 1949, the New South Wales University of Technology was founded on its main site, as a separate institution.

In 1969, part of the college became the New South Wales Institute of Technology (NSWIT). This institute was reconstituted as the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), in 1988.[citation needed]

The college continued to operate, eventually becoming part of the New South Wales Technical and Further Education (TAFE) system. It became known as Ultimo College, due to its location. This then became part of the Sydney Institute of Technology, which was later renamed Sydney Institute. This college is the largest TAFE campus in New South Wales.

Architectural students[edit]

Many prominent Australian architects studied architecture at Sydney Technical College before there was a university architecture course available in Sydney, but also attended architecture lectures in the Engineering Faculty at the University of Sydney.



  1. ^ Mark Dunn (2011). "Technical and Working Men's College". Dictionary of Sydney. Dictionary of Sydney Trust. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  2. ^ Catherine Freyne (2010). "Sydney Technical College". Dictionary of Sydney. Dictionary of Sydney Trust. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b Teale, Ruth, "Mary Ellen Roberts (1866–1924)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, Canberra: National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, retrieved 19 October 2023
  4. ^ "Sydney Technical College, New South Wales". Museums Victoria Collections. Retrieved 18 October 2022.