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The Evolution of Bruce

If you studied at the Canberra College of Advanced Education in the 1970s to 1980s, there is a good chance you will be lost among the new additions to what is now the University of Canberra.

There are also locations on campus likely to spark feelings of nostalgia, as you are reminded of the parts of student life that remain the same.

As we celebrate 50 years of education on our campus, join us as we compare student life as it was at the beginning, to student life as it is today.



The Foundation Stone signalled the ceremonial birth of the Canberra College of Advanced Education. It was unveiled by then Prime Minister John Gorton on 28 October 1968. The stone still lives on campus today – between Building 1 and Student Central.

Foundation StoneKirinari Childcare


In 1970, construction began on Building 1. We’ve added more than 30 buildings since then with work currently underway for the Canberra Specialist Medical Centre on the corner of Broula and Allawoona streets.

Construction at UCIcon Cancer Centre Construction



The original on-campus accommodation included 50 study bedrooms, which were first inhabited in April 1971. As of Semester One 2018, there are more than 2,700 beds available on campus. Over the next 15–20 years, a residential community encompassing 3,100 properties will be constructed on campus for all members of the general public to occupy.

Student in accommodationstudent in modern accommodation


The UCU enhances the student experience through their facilities and events. The UC Refectory has hosted many memorable gigs over the decades including AC/DC, Little River Band, Air Supply, Courtney Love, The Smith Street Band, The Cat Empire and Angus and Julia Stone.

Refectory concertModern day refectory concert



Technology has come a long way in the past 50 years, creating a new landscape for student communication, resources and equipment and course content. We introduced our career-driven robot, Cody CareerBot, at our 2017 Open Day. Cody helps students find their future career.

student support at open dayOPen Day 2017


The School of Computing Studies was set up in the mid-1970s after the arrival of the College’s mainframe computer, the Burroughs B5500. The rapid development of computer and software technology has lent itself to a range of courses including software engineering and postgraduate information technology courses.

Computer StudiesComputer studies 2


Over the years, the University of Canberra has established itself as one of Australia’s leading tertiary sports institutions. The Sporting Commons, established in 2014, is home to the ACT Brumbies, Special Olympics ACT, the ACT Sport Hall of Fame and the University of Canberra Research Institute for Sport and Exercise.

students in sports lab


In the early 1970s, the Instructional Media Centre (IMC) produced film, television, audio, graphic and photographic materials for academic staff to use as teaching aids. As the IMC developed, it began offering media courses to students. The TV studio currently lives in Building 9 and is utilised by both staff and students.

old filming studioModern day filming studio

Words by Tara Corcoran

Student Life; Campus