“Melbourne Polytechnic Gave Me Back My Sanity”

October 28, 2019

Melbourne Polytechnic is a respected and popular provider in Melbourne’s north, with a rapidly growing presence in the south. Seven campuses provide increased pathways and choice to higher education and ongoing learning. We offer students the unique opportunity to integrate practical learning with traditional theory. The practical, personal and empowering lifelong education we provide, translates into successful avenues to employment for our student body.

The origins of Melbourne Polytechnic are based in the sociology of the past. In that era, adequate technical education was lacking and became a focus in the Victorian Parliament early in the 20th century. After much debate and discussion among politicians and educationalists, The Education Act No. 2301, 1910 was passed. This Act made possible the establishment of new technical schools to address the dearth of skilled tradespeople.

Melbourne Polytechnic – what’s in a name?

In October 2014, the Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT) changed its name to Melbourne Polytechnic. This change of name was part of a wider, strategic process to transform the Institute into a contemporary provider of high quality education and student experiences. The term polytechnic aligns more closely with what we offer today and has greater recognition internationally – specifically across Europe and Asia. Our name reflects the broadening of the Institute’s operations to markets outside of northern metropolitan Melbourne.

Melbourne Polytechnic

NMIT opened doors in the south in 2014, with a campus in High Street, Prahran. The Prahran campus was originally named Melbourne Polytechnic before the name went institute wide from October of that same year – no longer was Melbourne Polytechnic exclusive to the north!

Melbourne Polytechnic has been accredited to deliver over 300 nationally recognised qualifications and more than 400 Institute accredited courses in everything from accounting to equine studies, childcare to commercial cookery, fitting and turning to floristry and beauty therapy, to meat processing. These study programs are delivered across seven campuses and additional specialist training centres throughout metropolitan Melbourne and country Victoria.

Today our programs encompass a broad course range that transcends the days of carpentry, plumbing and sheet metal. We offer programs that include pre-apprenticeships, apprenticeships, certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas, associate degrees, bachelor degrees and master’s degrees. There are also articulated pathways to university studies. Melbourne Polytechnic hosts a large cohort of international students as well as delivering programs with 25 partner institutions throughout Asia.

One of the most significant aspects of Melbourne Polytechnic’s development are the strong links forged with industry and the community. Students are taught by industry experienced teachers in courses that meet the needs of industry today.


Grandmother of four, Julie Harris had worked as an Area Manager for BOC Gas for over 25 years before she began pursuing her true passion of cooking and cake decorating in 2017. With 3 certificates now under her belt; Certificate III in Patisserie, Certificate III in Retail Baking and Certificate IV in Patisserie, she is currently undertaking 2 other courses. Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery and also a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. 

Julie had previously thought about doing a short course while she was working at BOC Gas but sadly never found the right one to fit her schedule. So, in 2016, when Julie left work to take care of her mother who was suffering from Alzheimer’s, she had the strong desire to do something different with her life and reinvent herself. 

She soon found herself in the Melbourne Polytechnic skills and job centre located in Plenty Valley where she discovered the numerous options of the courses she would later end up pursuing. Hesitant about returning to study in her late 50’s, Julie found that all quickly went away when she discovered how welcoming her teachers and peers were. Over the years she has developed many close friendships which she now considers her family. 

Melbourne Polytechnic gave Julie such a positive and purposeful experience saying it gave her back her sanity during a hard and stressful time with her mother being ill. She also found that they were very understanding of her situation and still finds it something to look forward to each day. 

Last year as a part of her retail baking class she entered the Fine Food Show Exhibition in which she placed Gold in the Wedding Cake category and Silver in the Model/Novelty Cake category. 

Other achievements include: Melbourne Show 2018 

  • Celebration Cake – First prize 
  • Floral Showpiece – First prize 
  • Miniature Cake – Second prize 

Whittlesea Expo 2018 

  • 1st – Hot Cross Buns, White Bread Rolls, Miniature Cake and Marzipan Fruit 
  • 2nd – Rocky Road, Nougat, Chocolate Truffles, Gingerbread House, Flower Show Piece 
  • 3rd – Celebration Cake 

When asked what advice would she give to others considering a career change or upskilling, Julie highly recommends Melbourne Polytechnic to many of her friends and says “Just go for it, there are absolutely no boundaries when it comes to age” 

“I’ve always had a strong passion for cooking and cake decorating and regret that I didn’t do it sooner.” 

For more information on courses available at Melbourne Polytechnic, please visit: https://www.melbournepolytechnic.edu.au 

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