The idea of a second university for South Australia is conceived and in 1960 government owned land in Bedford Park is allocated to The University of Adelaide for a second campus. This is at a time when the population of South Australia is rapidly increasing and more people are seeking higher education.

In 1963 the first academic appointments are made and capital works begin later in the year.

In 1965 after the Australian Labor Party wins the State election, it's decided that this site will become a separate university.




Flinders University is named after the English navigator, Matthew Flinders, who explored and surveyed the southern Australian coastline in 1802.

The Flinders University crest includes a reproduction of Flinders' ship ‘Investigator' and an extract from his book ‘A Voyage to Terra Australis'.

The University is opened on 25 March by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the late Queen Mother, and the Chancellor Sir Mark Mitchell.

Flinders University comes into existence as a separate university on 1 July 1966.

Professor Peter Karmel is the inaugural Vice Chancellor.

Flinders University has 90 staff and 400 students enrolled in less than ten courses.



Independence Day is celebrated with a student prank when students open the 'Sir Lavatory Bonython fountain' in the Plaza.



Student magazine, Empire Times, begins. It is the only student publication with its own printing press and will be described as 'racy, argumentative, politically radical, often crude and obscene'. It is produced until Voluntary Student Unionism in 2006 and then begins again in 2013.

1970 University Hall is opened to provide accommodation for international and country students.
1974 The University introduces an Early Leavers Scheme, later to become the Mature Entry Scheme. The scheme offers free places to a limited number of older students who are not formally qualified for entry.
1974 First students are accepted for a degree in medicine.

Flinders Medical Centre is opened and the first patients are admitted.

The Union Tavern is opened. This leads to more socialising on campus after hours, and on weekend nights.

 1985 Vicki Spencer, a Politics graduate, becomes the University's first Rhodes scholar.
The bust of Matthew Flinders, by South Australian sculptor, John Dowie, is unveiled by His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.
1991 The Sturt campus of the South Austalian College of Advanced Education, located next to the University, becomes part of the University.
1992-1996 Information Science and Technology, Engineering and Law/Commerce buildings are added to the campus. The Library is extended and a new Yunggorendi Mande is opened to house the Indigenous Higher Education Centre. 
1995 The Lincoln Marine Science Centre is established in Port Lincoln for marine researchers and students.
1999 A $2.2 million Centre for Remote Health, based in the Alice Springs Hospital, is established by Flinders University and the Charles Darwin University (formerly Northern Territory University).
2000 Greater Green Triangle University Department of Rural Health is established. It is a collaboration between Flinders University and Deakin University.
2002 Our success rate for obtaining research grants from the Australian Research Council is the second highest in the nation and more than 28% above national average.
2004 Student accommodation on campus is expanded with the creation of the Deirdre Jordan Student Village.
2008 New buildings for Education and Health Sciences are completed. These accommodate the School of Education and a number of departments from the School of Medicine respectively.
2009 A presence in Victoria Square is opened which gives future student enquiries a city-based outlet, and also offers some courses.

Our relationship with Charles Darwin University is strengthened when the Flinders University Northern Territory Medical Program begins. The first intake of students into program includes ten Indigenous students.


Flinders University announces a $200 million investment in the Flinders Future Focus program.

The sod is turned to mark the commencement of construction of the Plaza and Student Hub.

2015 Flinders University opens the Tonsley facility.

Flinders celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Flinders University's Plaza and Student Hub is launched.