Warwick Eunson

Warwick Eunson
Louis Kahan (artist), Warwick Eunson, 1972, oil on canvas, 89.7 x 67.2 cm. Reg. no. 1972.0091, commissioned by Melbourne Teacher's College, 1972. The University of Melbourne Art Collection. Reproduced with permission from the Kahan estate.

BA.,B.Ed.,ALAA,TPTC (1907-1983)

Warwick Eunson was the Principal of the Melbourne Teachers’ College 1962-1972 and a visionary in the field of librarianship.

He trained at the Melbourne Teachers’ College 1928-29 and taught in primary and secondary schools. As a teacher he encouraged his students to research by creating and facilitating access to a collection of organized resources including books, pamphlets and newspaper cuttings. In recognition of his work, the Department sent him to Sydney where he trained as a librarian under John Metcalfe. Upon his return he was appointed Chief Librarian at the Melbourne Teachers' College 1949-1958.

Whilst Chief Librarian, he worked to recognise the educational value of school libraries and the notion of making the library the hub of the school (O’Keefe, 1972). In 1955 the first Trained Teachers' Librarianship Certificate course was introduced at the Melbourne Teachers’ College.

Warwick Eunson left the Teachers’ College in 1959 to take up the position of foundation principal of Frankston Teachers’ College.

He returned in 1962 to take up the position of principal of the Melbourne Teachers’ College, a position he held until his retirement in 1972.

During the decade as Principal he played a key role in the amalgamation of the Melbourne Teachers’ College and the Secondary Teachers’ College and the establishment of the State College of Victoria.

As the first president of the Victorian Association of Principals of Teachers’ Colleges,  he was influential in  developments that led to the autonomy of teachers' colleges and their separation from the Education Department of Victoria.

He was instrumental in the establishment of the ERC (Education Resource Centre, now the Eastern Resource Centre) Library and oversaw the inclusion of maps and audio visual materials in the collection, and for a time was a part- time lecturer in the Faculty of Education of the University of Melbourne.

In 1960 he was appointed the first president of the School Library Association of Victoria.

“He was quietly persuasive and had excellent relations with staff and students who admired his sympathy and sense of fairness.”(O’Keefe 1972, p. 7)

“Quiet gentlemanly and a capable administrator, he rode out the difficult years, making concessions to changing times where necessary and preserving valuable traditions and ideals where possible.” (Garden, 1982, p. 185)

Reference List

Blake, L. J (Ed.). (1973). Vision and Realisation, Vol. 1, Melbourne: Education Department of Victoria.

Garden, D. S. (1982). The Melbourne teacher training colleges: from training institution to Melbourne State College, 1870-1982. Richmond, Vic.: Heinemann Educational Australia.

O’Keefe, K. (1972). The retirement of Warwick Eunson. The Trainee, 1972, 6-7.