One measure of the growing size of the University was the formation of a Staff Association in 1944 not so much to engage in tough bargaining over salary and conditions, but rather to be better-informed participants in University affairs.
Conflicts over salaries and consultation did not emerge until the 1950s and it would be 1978 before the Federation of Australian University Staff Associations (FAUSA) moved fully into the State and Commonwealth industrial arbitration systems. It later joined with the University of Melbourne General Staff Association to become a branch of the National Tertiary Education Union.
In the meantime, the Staff Association had successfully negotiated to take possession of Professor Hartung’s house on his retirement and refurbish it as University House for use as a staff club from 1953. It had been built in 1885 for Professor Nanson and later occupied by A C D (David) Rivett. Since 1955 it has enjoyed the adornment of an arched iron portico saved from Ogg’s Pharmacy in Collins Street when the City Council banned posted street verandahs. Extensions in 1960, 1965 and 1970 added a Main Dining Room, the Main Lounge and the Upper and Lower East Dining Rooms.