Students at the University of Sydney

The first 24 students

Alexander Oliver

Oliver matriculated at the University of Sydney amongst the first students in 1852, but cut short his studies to accompany his family to England. He later graduated Master of Arts in 1869.


His early life

Alexander Oliver was born in Sydney in 1832, the eldest son of Mr Andrew Oliver of Manchester, an early pioneer settler who, after a fruitless attempt to take up land for horse-breeding purposes at Swan River in the year 1830, and subsequently in New Zealand, finally settled in New South Wales.

Oliver was educated at William Timothy Cape’s school in O'Connell Street, and at George Taylor’s school in Fort Street.

After leaving Mr Taylor's school, he went again to Mr Cape's school, then at Darlinghurst, where he remained until, by a gun accident at Bondi, his left arm was shot away. After recovery he went as a prlvate pupil to Mr Henry Carey's school at Darling Point.

His student days at the University of Sydney

Oliver matriculated at the University of Sydney amongst the first students in 1852, gaining a scholarship shorly afterwards. He and won a Classics prize in the yearly examinations and obtained first class honours in Classics in 1853.

Whilst keeping his University terms Oliver was articled to Mr G K Holden, of the firm of Holden and McCarthy, solicitors.

He was, however, obliged to cut short both University studies and articles in order to accompany his family to England.

Oliver later graduated Master of Arts from the University of Sydney in 1869.

His career

In 1856 he was admitted to the Inner Temple, graduated Bachelor of Arts in 1860 from Exeter College, Oxford, and was called to the Bar in 1862. He practised as a barrister in England until he returned to Sydney in 1864.

He enjoyed a distinguished career in the public service of the colony, holding a wide variety of positions including Parliamentary Draftsman and Secretary to the Law Reform Commission. In 1892 he was appointed President of the Land Appeal Court, a position which he held until his death on 2 June 1904.

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His membership of Senate

He was a Fellow of the Senate of the University from 1879 to 1901.

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