This year will mark 25 years of university education in the Northern Territory and a milestone for Charles Darwin University, which in 2013 celebrated its 10th anniversary as the Territory’s university.
A range of events is scheduled for throughout the year to mark the milestones including a gala Anniversary Celebrations Dinner on 22 March.
CDU Emeritus Professor and organising committee chair Charles Webb said 2014 marked a number of significant anniversaries in the history of university education in the Northern Territory.
“The Territory struggled long and hard to establish a university,” Professor Webb said. “The pioneers of higher education in the NT knew that a university would encourage our young people to stay in the Territory to complete their education.
“It was also apparent that a university would be central to developing the NT into the thriving, diverse and unique place it is today.”
This year also marks 40 years since the creation of the Darwin Community College and 35 years since the Community College of Central Australia opened its doors. This signalled the beginning of further education offerings in the NT, and was followed by the formation of CDU’s predecessor institution, the Northern Territory University, in 1989.
Professor Webb said one of the highlights of the celebrations would be the Anniversary Celebrations Dinner at the Darwin Waterfront Convention Centre on 22 March for university staff, friends and alumni.
“At the anniversary dinner we will premiere the screening of an oral history project that highlights the people and significant events in the university’s past,” he said. “It will also be an opportunity to celebrate the university’s achievements over the past 25 years.”
Media personality and comedian Adam Spencer will host the evening and entertainment will include a performance by an ensemble of the Darwin Symphony Orchestra, which also celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2014.
Professor Webb said many of CDU’s faculties and schools were planning projects to mark the anniversaries, including exhibitions and community events held throughout the Territory.