UNSW's 70th Anniversary 



1961 UNSW’s famed venue The Roundhouse first opened its doors to students and the broader community. Designed by the Government Architect and Edwards Madigan, Torzillo & Briggs Architects, who later built the National Gallery and High Court in Canberra, the venue was considered a cutting-edge architectural statement as Sydney’s first-ever circular building and one of the only buildings solely dedicated to student recreation on a campus in NSW.  The Roundhouse also represented a haven for international students who used the recreational space to connect with their international peers.

Today Six decades on, the Roundhouse remains the heart of student activity at UNSW, and has long been a significant venue in Sydney’s live music scene including local and international acts such as Fatboy Slim, Foo Fighters, The Living End and Nick Cave. The venue has also has hosted a diverse range of events over the last 56 years including wedding receptions, Bacchus Balls, boxing matches, comedy nights, theatre sports, formal dinners, dance parties and even a conga line protest. From 2016-2018, the venue underwent a $30 million refurbishment, partly funded by members of our International Alumni community in honour of their connection to the Roundhouse, and the role it played in building their community while studying at UNSW.

Wallace Wurth Memorial Lecture

1964 The inaugural first Wallace Wurth Memorial Lecture, "The Universities - Some Queries", was delivered by then-Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies on August 28. The lecture series was created in memory of the university's first Chancellor, Wallace Wurth in recognition of his contribution to UNSW and the broader community. The transcript of this lecture is also available here.

Today The Wallace Wurth Memorial Lecture series has become a flagship event and annual tradition for UNSW, attracting a number of renowned speakers over the years, including the Dalai Lama, Jose Ramos-Horta and Professor Noam Chomsky.




1967 UNSW entered into an agreement to establish the Faculty of Military Studies at the Royal Military College (RMC) at Duntroon to deliver programs in arts, science and engineering. The university also entered into an association with the Royal Australian Naval College to present approved courses. This partnership would lead to a longstanding and proud history of UNSW’s association with the Australian Defence Force, providing tertiary education to military cadets in Canberra at what would be known as the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) at UNSW Canberra.

Today In December 2009, a new agreement was signed between the Commonwealth and UNSW Canberra for the provision of educational services for military personnel at ADFA, until 2023. The ADFA Consultative Council was discontinued and the ADFA Working Group established. In 2018, UNSW Canberra celebrated the 50th anniversary of this founding partnership with Defence, today offering a broad range of study options spanning cyber security, space, systems engineering, logistics and public sector management and conflict studies. With this unique vantage point into Defence, UNSW Canberra is also now leading a number of critical research projects, such as recognising and treating Moral Injury in veterans, and defending against sophisticated cyber warfare.


All photos have been provided by UNSW Archives.