Centenary celebrations

In 2013 UWA celebrated our Centenary and ranking as a World Top 100 university. A year of special events were held to acknowledge our 100th birthday as we shared the celebrations with alumni, friends, students, staff, industry partners and the community of Western Australia.

For the past 100 years, UWA has contributed significantly to the intellectual, cultural and economic development of the State of Western Australia and the nation as a whole. Across our Centenary year we showcased our proud heritage, including our recent recognition as a World 100 university, as we shared our vision for century ahead. Helping us to celebrate our 100th birthday and ranking as a world top 100 university, our popular Centenary mascot, Centum, popped up around campus and across the world, starring in photos with students and alumni in some amazing places.


The UWA Crawley campus is widely acknowledged as the most beautiful university campus in Australia and one of the most beautiful in the world. From 7pm until midnight on Friday 8 February 2013, it was transformed into a walk-through phantasmagoria hosting a continuous program of performances, displays and installations, a delight of light, art and history.

The program highlighted key moments and individuals in the University's history through high-quality work designed with a broad public appeal. Many of the activities feature UWA graduates, students and teachers, while others showcase prominent West Australian and national artists. 


Centenary photo gallery

View the amazing gallery of images taken during 2013, UWA’s Centenary year, along with selected historical images.

From the start of the celebrations at LUMINOUSNight, the University’s gift of art and culture to the people of Western Australia; to visits across the State as part of the UWA Gives Back Centenary initiative; and our popular Centenary mascot, Centum – enjoy a wonderful selection of photos which capture the celebrations of a century, along with some beautiful historical images.

You can view these images as still items or as a video.




100 Treasures
To mark its centenary, UWA produced a book that celebrates the University's 100 Treasures. In a delightful mix of the serious and light-hearted, the book's images and captions provide glimpses of a fascinating story of cutting-edge research, magnificent art and cultural collections, iconic buildings, memories of student life, a lively centre for the performing arts, magnificent gardens and, most enticingly of all, some secret places and hidden treasures that rarely, if ever, have seen the light of day.

UWA Centenary History
Seeking Wisdom: A centenary history of The University of Western Australia is a new hardcover book commissioned by the UWA Centenary Planning Committee that charts the changes the University has undergone in its first century as well as the challenges it has met.

Using a thematic approach to depict both the internal and the external aspects of university life, each chapter of Seeking Wisdom draws upon archival research as well as the recollections of graduates to explore the remarkable contribution that the University has made to local, national and international communities. This richly illustrated commemoration of the first one hundred years of UWA is both a record of the University’s past and a promise for its future. Purchase the book online from UWA Publishing.
Centenary Trust for Women
The UWA Centenary Trust for Women was established in 2002 to raise funds to provide scholarships and other support for women whose educational opportunities are limited.

In addition to the annual lunch and seminar, the Trust launched the Centenary Trust for Women's Graduates' Walk which features granite pavers inscribed with names of graduates around UWA's beautiful Oak Lawn. By purchasing a paver and being part of the Graduates' Walk, you will be helping to provide advice, financial assistance and other support to women whose educational opportunities suffer because of distance, financial hardship, cultural differences, disability or responsibility for the care of children, the ill or elderly.
UWA Gives Back

UWA Gives Back was a major UWA Centenary initiative and UWA's opportunity to share the celebrations of a century of achievement with the people of regional Western Australia. All Faculties, SIS, Aspire and Guild took part with Aspire playing a major role across many visits. The initiative also provided a fantastic opportunity to strengthen the University’s relationship with regional Aspire partner schools.

UWA has had a long involvement with the regional communities of WA. Prosperity in WA has always been dependent on the successful collaboration between those working on the land and researchers at the University as well as the Department of Agriculture, and the predecessor of the CSIRO.

It has been recognised that the willingness of Australian farmers to invest in scientific research is unique in the world. It is the farmers and people of regional Western Australian that first recognised the value of science and research to their livelihoods and to the State.

This early collaboration in agriculture and science has expanded across the years and across the disciplines, with all Faculties now having ties across the state.  These enduring relationships were celebrated by all UWA Faculties and the UWA Student Guild, who also celebrated their 100th birthday in 2013, by going on a roadshow around WA throughout 2013.

Through the UWA Gives Back initiatives, students from Kindergarten to Year 12 in regional and remote parts of the state gained valuable insights into university and many of the different disciplines on offer. School staff also benefitted from the expertise of staff who offered professional development sessions during visits to schools.

The visits engaged the local communities, including schools, community members, alumni, industry and local government and highlighted the University’s relationships and connections across the State. They explained research happening at UWA and how it can benefit the people of WA; enthused high school students about tertiary study and the power of education; they became involved in local projects including agriculture, urban planning, arts productions and teaching programs.

Stories from the Archives
Nazi publications, Catalina flying boats, student protests: each of these tales from our Archives form part of UWA’s collective memory. As well as the University’s big stories, its greatest achievements and its most celebrated staff and students, there are many little stories that add colour and depth to the grander picture; stories of the unexpected, of the thing that didn’t quite go to plan, and of the accidental discoveries.
The UWA Foundation Dinner 14 February 2011

Winthrop Hall was the setting for a wonderful night of celebration on Monday, 14 February 2011: almost 100 years to the day, The University of Western Australia celebrated its foundation with a commemorative dinner and the launch of a special book.

Hosted by the Chancellor, Dr Michael Chaney, the 2011 UWA Foundation Dinner brought together 300 distinguished alumni, past and present Senate members, Ministers for Education, Wardens of Convocation, UWA Guild Presidents, UWA executives, distinguished academics, industry and community leaders.

Among the many Guild presidents joining the celebration was the current president, Tom Antoniazzi, and Dr Frank Hibberd, who served as president in 1945.

It was a welcome opportunity for people of different ages to come together and reflect on their time at UWA and the amazing opportunities their education offered them. We were particularly delighted to have former Prime Minister and UWA graduate the Hon Bob Hawke officially launch the commemorative publication 100 Treasures from UWA, Celebrating 100 years.

Bob’s speech fondly reflected on his time at UWA and his appreciation for the education he received here; and guests were entertained with some beautiful music from a UWA School of Music string ensemble led by Winthrop Professor Paul Wright.

In concluding the evening’s celebrations, UWA’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson noted the importance of marking this significant centenary event while looking forward to the University’s mission in the next 100 years.

“As we continue to work to achieve international excellence, it will be our passion, endurance and curiosity that deliver the opportunities to make an enduring impact on society and the world in which we live,” he said.


Watch the speeches given by the Chancellor, Dr Michael Chaney, the Hon Bob Hawke, the Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson, and Dr Ken Michael:

Contact the Archives team

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