The exhibition explores Curtin’s past five decades of development from early days as the WA Institute of Technology (WAIT) to the University it has become today.  Each story, though different, highlights Curtin’s passion for innovation, inclusivity and collaborative approach to education.

On the genesis of the exhibition, University Archivist Elizabeth McKenzie, said, “The idea came from wanting to share the untold stories about WAIT and Curtin, how certain things came about (the WAIT symbol for example), and why the campus was originally designed and laid out the way it was.

“The 50 Years: Our Stories exhibition has been very well received by staff, students and the broader community who visit the Gallery,” she said.

“We hope we have cast a small light on how staff and students, both now and back when we were WAIT, have embraced the opportunity to be different, to be part of the community, [and] to excel.”

The initial display opened in August and featured four stories showcasing WAIT and Curtin’s innovative approach to technology, design, sport and architecture.  Curtin hopes to add new stories before the exhibition closes later in the year.

Visitors to the Gallery have been very enthusiastic about the trip down memory lane.  Postcards featuring images from each of the exhibition’s stories are available for visitors to take as souvenirs.  There is even a postcard targeted at Curtin graduates asking them to suggest 50 things students should do before they graduate.

If you have suggestions for future stories, please contact the University Archivist, Elizabeth McKenzie, on 9266 1063 or email

The University thanks UniSuper for their generous support of this exhibition.

Story by Kyrstie Rankine