Kerslake Hall History
Kerslake Hall was built in the early 1970's
to house students attending the then Tasmanian College of Advanced
Education (TCAE) which, in 1984 changed its name to the Tasmanian
Institute of Technology (TSIT).
In 1990 the Launceston campus of the TSIT became part of the
University of Tasmania. Between 1990 and 1997 Kerslake Hall accommodated
153 fully catered residents annually.
In 1998 Kerslake Hall was closed due to falling interest from
students requiring catered accommodation. P Block which consists
of 62 rooms remained open for casual self-catered accommodation.
An increase in student demand in 2001 resulted in H Block and
P Block being re-opened to accommodate 107 fulltime self-catered
When originally built, Kerslake Hall was on the outskirts of
the Campus, but with increasing infrastructure, today Kerslake
is located in the centre of the Launceston Campus.
The Hall was named after the first Female Warden at the Launceston
Teachers' College, the late Irene Kerslake. Upon her death Ms
Kerslake bequeathed some of her many loved tapestries, which are
currently displayed in P Block.
Irene Kerslake, Women's Warden, 1948-71
Irene Kerslake was born in 1913 and died in 1995 she was the longest
serving employee at the Launceston Teachers' College, and her
influence throughout its life was very strong. She was a member
of a family who lived at Erriba in the north west of the State.
Her well-read mother had encouraged her children from their earliest
years to gain a good education, something she herself had not,
in the formal sense, enjoyed. Irene matriculated from Devonport
High School in 1929 with brilliant results. At 15 years of age,
too young to go to Teachers' College, she gained a position as
a junior teacher in a Hobart school and commenced a BA at the
University of Tasmania. She completed her BA in 1933, and her
MA in 1935. At that time she was the youngest person to gain the
MA from the University of Tasmania.
In 1948 she was appointed Women's Warden at the TCAE. In this
role she was responsible for the general welfare and behavioural
standards of the women students and for the activities of the
Student Association. These roles placed her in a position of great
influence and responsibility within the centre. She perceived
herself to be "old-fashioned", but she did her best
to get to know the students well and related easily to them. Students
soon realised that she was very kind and intent on doing her best
for them. She was practical, down-to-earth, not at all unworldly,
and seemed to have an intuition about people that helped her enormously.
Miss Kerslake cared very deeply for her students, and the profession
they were entering. She became a quiet agitator for women's rights
and alerted many to the discrimination against women that the
then system generally accepted and perpetuated without much thought.