Our history

Challenger Institute can lay claim to being the oldest technical educational institution in Western Australia, with its roots dating back to the late 19th century.

Prior to 1900, technical education in WA was sporadic and mostly supported through Mechanics and Miners Institutes. However, Challenger Institute’s technical education record in Fremantle had its beginnings in 1898 when evening classes were conducted at Fremantle Boys School. These took place in the FTI building in Adelaide Terrace. Challenger’s subsequent incarnation was as the Fremantle Technical School. The inaugural class of 1900 comprised 116 male students taking evening classes in the South Terrace building that is still used today as a campus and administrative office.

Some name changes followed in subsequent decades, with the organisation operating at various times as South Metropolitan Technical College, South Metropolitan College of TAFE and Challenger TAFE.

In 1996, the organisation was established as a Statutory Authority under section 35 of the Vocational Education and Training Act 1996.

The formation in 2009 of a new West Australian training department resulted in the launch of a state government training blueprint, Training WA. Integral to this report was the call for public training organisations to become more autonomous, with the government giving TAFE colleges greater scope for flexibility and innovation.

As a result of this change, the name Challenger Institute of Technology was formally adopted on 15 December 2009.



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