Dr Haydn Stanley Williams


1917 – 2003

Dr Haydn Stanley Williams
Dr Haydn Stanley Williams

Dr Haydn Williams, a long-time advocate of technical education in Australia, masterminded the establishment of WAIT along with George Hayman and was the institute’s inaugural director from 1967 – 1979. During his leadership, Williams built the foundations upon which Curtin University of Technology is built.

Throughout the term of his leadership, Williams guided WAIT through its most dramatic period of growth. In 1967, the institute opened with an enrolment of approximately 2,800 students across 40 courses at diploma and associateship levels. By the end of his tenure, more than 12,000 students enrolled across over 100 courses, the majority of which were at degree level, with a variety of offerings for graduate diploma and masters degree students.

Williams’ leadership gave WAIT a strong sense of integrity and gave equal opportunity to those disadvantaged by physical or social handicap, background or place of residence. He was also highly attuned to the external socio-economic factors that influenced WAIT and the result was an outstanding relationship between the institute and all sectors of industry, business and community. This focus on communication with the wider community saw the development of courses that were relevant to the needs of industry.

Williams’ contribution to the development of Western Australia and to education throughout Australia was recognised in 1977 by his being named Western Australia’s Citizen of the Year in the professions, and by the Award of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. In 1978 he became a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Williams retired in 1979 after 40 years of service to education in Western Australia and was awarded the degree of Honorary Doctor of Technology at Curtin in 1982. Today, the Haydn Williams Fellowship recognises his long and dedicated service to WAIT, to education and to the community of Western Australia. The Fellowship is awarded to academics of outstanding international reputation.

Curtin has recognised his work with the naming of:


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