ITSSA History

History of ITSSA

ITSSA began in early 1984 as the TAFE Computer Managers Network. TCMN was a network of computer managers from Victorian TAFE Colleges. The organisation consisted of 9 country and 18 city TAFE Colleges (Appendix 1). TCMN was initiated as a forum for managers whose TAFE had recently obtained Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) VAX computer systems.

The objectives were:
(a) To provide a forum for the exchange of experience and ideas.
(b) To encourage co-operation between Colleges to realise the advantages of co-operative ventures.
(c) To identify and foster common interest.

Meetings were held monthly and where possible the location of each meeting was rotated between city and country colleges. The organisation had two office bearers: A chairperson and a minute’s secretary. Membership was open to all computer managers from TAFE providers.

The first conference was held at Bendigo TAFE in December 1986 and ran for two days, a Thursday and a Friday. Accommodation was at The Shamrock Hotel at a cost of $48 per person per night including breakfast.

In 1995 TCMN held its first annual conference at The Rich River Golf Club and this association has lasted to the present day. Ron Gascoigne (Holmesglen), Frank Harris (Wangaratta) and Joan Eerbeek from Bendigo were responsible for recommending this venue to TCMN members. Minutes of the meeting show that 27 managers and guests attended the two day conference at Moama NSW.

TCMN morphed into ITSSA in 2000 and became an incorporated not-for-profit association. Through amalgamations and closures a number of both city and country colleges disappeared and universities which now had a TAFE sector were eligible to join ITSSA.

In 2005 Tony Harding from AMES wrote to the secretary seeking permission for his organisation to join ITSSA. The committee approved his request unanimously and AMES has remained a full member of ITSSA.

Over the years ITSSA and its predecessor TCMN have entered into vendor arrangements for hardware and software. Most notably was the establishment in 1989 of the DEC Education Software Library operated by Andrew Macneil from Box Hill TAFE and a DEC Hardware Maintenance Agreement. All TAFE colleges participated and enjoyed substantial savings through the generous discounts as a result of this joint arrangement. Over the years, software agreements have existed between WordPerfect, Lotus 123, Plato and Novell. Today ITSSA is responsible for negotiating the ongoing Microsoft Agreement for participating Institutions.


ITSSA Committee

President: Angela Smith, Federation University
Vice-President: Chris Puchalski, Holmesglen Institute
Secretary: Darren Ollis, The Gordon
Treasurer: Manuel Bervanakis, Victoria University
Committee Members:
Jason Phillips, Federation Training,
Michael Kershler, Wodonga TAFE,
Kumar Santhakumar, Goulburn Ovens

Administration: Malcolm Gill


TAFE Colleges in 1985.



Box Hill

State Training Board
The Gordon
Western Institute

Ballarat School of Mines
East Gippsland
Goulburn Ovens
Loddon Campaspe