Last updated:

November 17, 2022

To celebrate 150 years of public education in Victoria, we're shining a spotlight on the institutions that have provided young people with vocational training and hands-on learning since the late 19th century.

From bootmaking to cyborg physiology, we delve into the fascinating history of technical education across Melbourne and the regions. The stories include an architect on a mission to banish darkness from the classroom, the domestic studies college seeking to elevate the art of folding laundry and love letters thrown across the divide known as 'no man's land' at Preston Tech.

Tech School brings together stunning archival photographs, sourced from Public Record Office Victoria’s collection, alongside original documents and hand-painted building plans.


Open Monday to Friday 10am - 4:30pm, as well as every second and last Saturday of the month. On until February 2023.



Victorian Archives Centre
99 Shiel Street
North Melbourne


Image Gallery

RMIT painting class on roof. c1960s. Created by the Education Department, VPRS 14517/P0001/16, G850, Negatives of Photographs [Publications Branch]



Athenaeum Theatre, the old Mechanics' Institute. c1930s. Created by the Education Department VPRS 14517/P0001/8, E397, Negatives of Photographs [Publications Branch]



Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples should be aware the collection and website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.

Material in the Public Record Office Victoria archival collection contains words and descriptions that reflect attitudes and government policies at different times which may be insensitive and upsetting.

PROV provides advice to researchers wishing to access, publish or re-use records about Aboriginal Peoples.