George Hayman

1897 – 1968

William George Inglis (George) Hayman, known to all as George Hayman, is remembered as one of the main driving forces behind the establishment of WAIT. Together with Dr Thomas Logan Robertson and Dr Haydn Stanley Williams, Hayman campaigned vigorously for an institute that would meet Western Australia’s demand for skilled workers.

Emigrating from England to Perth as a teenager, Hayman joined the Perth Technical College as a senior cadet and became assistant lecturer in physics in 1918. Studying part-time at the college, he gained diplomas in mechanical and electrical engineering and later graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Education. After spending some time researching wireless technology in England he returned to Perth and in 1939 was appointed head of the engineering department at Perth Technical College.

Hayman was appointed Superintendent of Technical Education in 1948. Soon after his appointment as Superintendent, he began urging Director of Education Dr Thomas Logan Robertson to consider building an institute of technology in Western Australia but the proposal wasn’t seriously considered until a couple of years later.

As the prospect of WAIT became more certain, Hayman was responsible for the selection of a suitable site for the campus, the floor plan of the institute, equipment required and staffing specifications. In December 1960, he released a detailed report of what was required, inspired largely from his travels to colleges in Canada and the US in 1956. His report placed the institute next to the State Library in central Perth but after discussions with architect Vin Davies and the Perth City Council, the Collier Pine Plantation in Bentley (which had been considered years prior), was chosen.

Hayman was appointed Deputy Director General of Education in 1960 and retired in February 1962. He passed away on 16 September 1969, survived by his daughter and son.

Curtin has recognised his work with the naming of:

  • Hayman Road
  • Hayman Lecture Theatre

Bibliography

White, Michael. 1996. WAIT to Curtin: A History of the Western Australian Institute of Technology. Perth: Paradigm Books Curtin University.

Birman, Wendy. 2005. Hayman, William George Inglis (1897 – 1968), Australian Dictionary of Biography, Supplementary Volume. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.