|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
The Bendigo School of Mines was opened in 1873 to meet the scientific and technical needs of the mining industry on the local gold fields. Mining, chemistry, geology, metallurgy and art were taught. The school was opened following the first report of the Technological Commission in 1869 which recommended the establishment of schools of design and science. A school of design was established in c. 1870 and first classes at the School of Mines were held in 1873. It is not known, but is assumed, that the school of design was incorporated into the School of Mines. The School of Mines was renamed as the School of Mines and Industry in 1883.
It is likely that there was a relationship between the Bendigo Mechanics Institute, which was established in 1854, and the establishment of the schools of design and mines at Bendigo. The Mechanics Institute was apparently liquidated and its assets and buildings acquired by the School of Mines in 1904.
In c.1907 a Junior Technical School commenced to operate at the School of Mines and Industry. In c.1961 the junior technical school ceased to operate with that function being transferred to the White Hills and Kangaroo Flat technical schools.
The Bendigo School of Mines and Industry became known as the Bendigo Technical College from 1 July 1959. It operated under that name until February 1967 when it became the Bendigo Institute of Technology (B.I.T.). Construction work commenced in c.1965 saw the Institute progressively re-locate to new buildings at Flora Hill.
For further information regarding the history of this agency, see Vision and Realisation 1973 volume one.
Throughout its history as a school, college and institute, B.I.T. operated administratively under an independent council. B.I.T. became affiliated with the VA 571 Victoria Institute of Colleges (V.I.C.), probably in 1965 when the V.I.C. was established. The V.I.C. exercised control over its member colleges' and institutes' staff establishments, salary scales, major financial and building programs, general oversight of academic standards and the awarding of degrees. The colleges and institutes continued to be controlled by independent councils with authority over staff appointments, enrolments and instruction, arrangement of courses, and financial management within the budget allocated by the V.I.C. The V.I.C. was therefore a superior agency to its member colleges and institutes, in this case, Bendigo Institute of Technology.
B.I.T. remained affiliated with V.I.C. and continued to offer diploma and or degree courses in the fields of applied science, art and design, business studies, engineering, general studies, metallurgy, mathematics, commerce and information science until 1975. From 1976 B.I.T. merged with the State College of Victoria at Bendigo (VA 3090) and became the Bendigo College of Advanced Education (VA 1186) which is a subsequent agency to B.I.T.
Location of the Records
See List of Holdings 1985, Section 5.21.0. for records of VA 1186 Bendigo College of Advanced Education and its previous agencies and Section 5.250.0 for records of VA 571 Victoria Institute of Colleges. Other records of B.I.T. are held by the archives of the La Trobe University College of Northern Victoria (VA 3089) which assumed responsibility in 1991.