History

Deakin has always been ahead of the curve. We have a proud history of innovation in education and research, made possible by the people, ideas and events of our almost 50-year history.

Explore the moments, people and places that made Deakin University

Year after year, advancements in technology, groundbreaking research outcomes and course delivery methods have put Deakin at the forefront of higher education. We’ve gone from strength to strength – from being the first Australian university to specialise in distance education to cementing our position in the top 1% of universities globally.

Use our interactive timeline to explore almost 50 years of events, people and places that have made Deakin University. You'll find highlights such as:

  • the establishment of our vibrant campuses
  • our pioneering approach to distance education
  • launch of schools and research centres
  • awards, accolades, and more.

Created by the Deakin Library, the Our history website includes a full timeline of our history, along with detailed stories and an extensive range of archival material.

Go to the full timeline

Our stories

Deakin has many stories to tell. Learn more about the University's first years of foundation and the many accomplishments along the way – from creating new campuses to developing a renowned distance education approach and a research program that makes a difference to our communities.

Early years

Deakin was established as Victoria's fourth university. It was the result of many years of debate and lobbying, and a desire to increase students' access to education.

Find out more about Deakin’s foundation

Antecedents

The antecedent institutions that laid the foundation for Deakin date back as far as 1887, but it was not until the 1970s that these institutions took new shapes that began the shift toward the Deakin we see today.

Find out more about our antecedents

Distance education

For the past 40 years, we’ve been perfecting distance and online learning. Championed by Deakin’s first Vice-Chancellor, Deakin quickly developed an international reputation as a creative and innovative distance education provider.

Find out more about distance education at Deakin

Our places

From our beginnings at Waurn Ponds to magnificent award-winning buildings, our campuses are known for their world-class facilities and friendly, welcoming atmospheres.

Find out more about our campuses and buildings

Top 1% worldwide

Our world-class research and teaching positions us in the top 1% of universities globally*.

People

Our people – from Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors to teaching staff and students – have helped shape the University from its foundations to present day.

Find out more about Deakin's people

Archives and publications

Deakin has a wealth of rich archival material, including records of people, groups, institutions and societies connected to Deakin University and its antecedents.

Find out more about the Deakin archives

Connect with us

Are you interested in what you’ve seen? Want to learn more, or access archival material?

Contact Deakin Archives

Deakin acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of our lands and waterways. We pay respects to Elders past, present and emerging. Deakin campuses are built on the traditional lands of the Wadawurrung people of the Geelong region, the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the greater Melbourne region, and the Gunditjmara people of the Warrnambool region.

*ARWU Rankings