La Trobe University was named after Charles Joseph La Trobe, the first Superintendent of the Port Phillip District from 1839 to 1850 and first Lieutenant-Governor of the new colony of Victoria from 1851 to 1854. He was a man driven by his need to make a difference to the communities he served, leaving a legacy that continues today at La Trobe University.
Sir Charles La Trobe did more to shape the Australian State of Victoria than any other man. From his love of the Australian environment and its conservation, his ambitious plan to transform the colony of Victoria, to his concern for the welfare of the first Australians, he was a man deeply driven by progressive social values.
His values are echoed in La Trobe University's founding mission to serve the community through improving access of higher education, and it is a tradition that continues today with a range of programs and initiatives to increase higher education participation rates amongst Victoria's disadvantaged communities.