When Jeff Kennett was Premier of Victoria, the land where the Lilydale campus of the Swinburne University Of Technology now stands was compulsorily acquired for the purpose of setting up a university campus.
Swinburne was given the opportunity to establish it’s campus at Lilydale and in return was rewarded by becoming a university of technology. This allowed students from poorer families living in the Yarra Valley the opportunity to complete a university course.
Somehow along the way, our new leaders in education and in government have lost sight of Swinburne’s vision and the hopes of our community. Those who have easy access to a quality education because of location, social position or wealth don’t realise how difficult it is for those who struggle. The former have chosen to ignore the enormous effort and achievement of many which has made our university a happy and inclusive place of learning.
Swinburne University paid nothing for this site and is now seeking to sell off this land to make a handsome profit! The Lilydale campus is a resource we cannot afford to lose. It benefits our community academically and commercially. It is a jewel in Lilydale’s crown, set in a beautiful place, that will educate and inspire our children, grandchildren and generations to come.
If Swinburne cannot or will not provide this service for whatever reason, then they must hand over the reins to another university that can.
— Faye Clarke, Montrose