Perth University of Western Australia

University Information, Campus and History
(Perth, Western Australia - WA, Australia)

The University of Western Australia was established in 1911, and it is the oldest university in Perth. This public university is a member of the Group of Eight. It is under the jurisdiction of the University of Western Australia Act 1911, which gives the Australian senate the governing power to set the university's rules, regulations, and laws.

The university's first campus was located on Irwin Street until 1932 when it relocated to Crawley. Sir John Winthrop, the university's first Chancellor, awarded £425,000 to the university to construct more buildings as part of its expansion plans. In honor of his contributions to the university, two buildings were named after him—the Hackett Hall and the Winthrop Hall, which are still standing today. The original campus called Irwin Street Building was moved to Crawley and restored in 1987. It is now used as the University Archives storage area and as a cricket pavilion. Aside from being the main campus, the vast 65-hectare expanse of the Crawley campus is home to over 200 species of trees, plants, and over 55 bird species.

The University of Western Australia aims to be the leader among the international research-focused universities. It has a population of over 17,000 local and international students. Its nine faculties offer undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate degrees to both local and international students. It has already awarded degrees to over 75,000 graduates who have become successful in the local and international scientific, education, and law fields.

There are various facilities for its students and staff at The University of Western Australia. It has seven libraries; several residential colleges that offer students in-campus housing; and a number of theatres where students and faculty gather for lectures, conferences, theatrical productions, and university events.


The University of Western Australia is noted for its museums, art galleries, libraries, and theatres located all over its 65-hectare campus. It has sports centres and a student guild that students can use for their recreational and entertainment needs.

Established in 1976, the Berndt Museum houses the Department of Anthropology's extensive collection of 35,000 photographs, 11,000 object and artefacts, 4,000 volumes of reference material, its own museum archive, and hundreds of video and sound recordings. It is located in the Social Sciences building.

The Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery was built in 1990, and it is lauded as one of the best university galleries in the country. It holds regular exhibits of the gallery's contemporary art collection. Once in awhile, the gallery releases several publications and hosts a number of public programs and exhibitions.

The University of Western Australia has several libraries, and they are:
  • Law Library
  • Biological Sciences Library
  • Mathematical and Physical Sciences Library
  • Education, Fine Arts, and Architecture Library
  • Music Library
  • Reid Library
  • Medical and Dental Library

Thousands of published books, journals, archives, audio visual recordings, and dissertations are contained in these libraries. The seven libraries are open daily to students and university staff.

A noteworthy university structure is the Winthrop Hall that has been dubbed as the jewel in the University's crown. Built in 1932, Winthrop Hall looks like a marble cathedral. It has an auditorium whose acoustic structure is ideal for holding classical and choral music. The hall is also used as a formal dinner banquet venue that can seat up to 400 people.

The University of Western Australia has a number of indoor and outdoor theatres used as conference, lecture, exhibit, and concert venues. They are:
  • Dolphin Theatre
  • Octagon Theatre
  • New Fortune Theatre
  • Somerville Auditorium
  • Sunken Garden
  • Undercroft

The Dolphin Theatre was built in 1976, and it is an ideal indoor venue for theatre and dance productions. The Octagon Theatre is also an indoor theatre with 658 tiered seats and a removable stage that opens up into an orchestra pit. The university usually holds Shakespearian plays in the semi-outdoor New Fortune Theatre. Film premieres are sometimes held at the outdoor Somerville Auditorium that can accommodate up to 1,000 patrons. Weddings are sometimes held in the Sunken Garden, which is an outdoor amphitheatre that can seat up to 385 people. The Undercroft is a 480 square metre-indoor theatre where most of the exhibits and casual functions of the university are held.

Famous Students

Some of the University of Western Australia's famous students are former Whitlam Cabinet Minister Richard Court, former Deputy Prime Minister Geoff Gallop, Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke, Australian politician Kim Edward Beazley, 2003 Australian of the Year awardee Fiona Stanley, 2005 Australian of the Year awardee Fiona Wood, and Nobel Prize awardee Barry Marshall.

Interested international students may email the university at for questions regarding admission requirements, special examinations, course offerings, and student accommodation.

Contact Perth University of Western Australia:
Address: The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, Western Australia (WA), 6009, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)8 6488 6000
Fax: +61 (0)8 6488 1380
Perth University

Perth University

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