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Photograph: Mr. George Thomas Teacher and Councillor CTS 1937-1972

From the Collection of NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE)

Black and white photographs of Mr. George Thomas who had a long association with Collingwood Technical School and Collingwood Technical College, spanning the years 1937-1972. He began his connection with the school as a teacher and went on to become a member of the School Council.

He introduced Electroplating as a trade to be taught at Collingwood Technical School in 1937. (Scott p36)

The photographs include one of Mr. George Thomas in Monash University regalia 1971.
Another of Collingwood Technical School Council 1972 with Mr. Thomas.
Images also include an excerpt from Mr. Scott's history.
245mm height X 200mm width
Attached Files
Object Registration
collingwood technical school, george h. thomas, electroplating course, nmit
Historical information
Mr. George Thomas' connection with Collingwood Technical School began as a junior technical student at Collingwood in 1913. He then became an apprentice in the electrical trades during which time he also undertook a Diploma course in Electrical Engineering.
Mr Thomas was appointed as a teacher (part-time) of Electrical Wiring at Collingwood in 1922 having had previous experience teaching in Geelong at the Gordon Institute of Technology.
In 1930 Mr Thomas became a full-time teacher in Electrical Trades, the year of the commencement of the Apprenticeship Commission in Victoria.
In 1937 he was instrumental in introducing electroplating as a trade whereas it had previously only been taught as a section of the Electrical Trades. This was a period of severe economic constraints following the Great Depression and spending on education was limited. Needing the latest knowledge of industrial practices, Mr Thomas canvassed electroplating industries around Melbourne seeking employment opportunities and met with favourable responses. He approached Quinton’s electroplating firm in North Melbourne with the proposal to work for them on Saturday mornings without payment. In return for his labour, he asked to be taught the basics of the trade. During the week he was able to impart his knowledge to his students. Initially, he wanted to develop electroplating as an outlet for the Youth Employment Training Scheme. Once the class was firmly established, he submitted a proposal to the Education Department to establish an Electroplating Department, and this became the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
He gave up teaching in 1939 to become the Northcote City Electrical Engineer where he served for 26 years. During this time he was also a Consulting Electrical Engineer to Box Hill and Port Melbourne Councils. His association with Collingwood Technical School (and later, College) continued, first as an examiner on the State Electricity Commission (SEC) panel and from 1947 as a member of the School Council.
He was president of the Council in 1961 and 1962. He also represented the College on the Northern Regional Council and participated in the selection of Electrical Trades teachers. For four years, 1967-1971, he represented the metropolitan Technical Schools and Colleges on the Council of the Monash University, in which capacity he gave outstanding service to technical education.
George H. Thomas attended his first Council meeting on June 12, 1947 and remained on the Council until the secondary and post-secondary sections were separated in 1981 – a period in excess of 34 years.
(See Scott p36).
Last updated
3 Mar 2017 at 10:09AM