In October 1918, Mr. Robert Hudspeth was appointed as the first headmaster of the Hobart Junior Technical School which was to open in February 1919 with an enrolment of 50 boys. He was faced with the onerous task of not only looking after his own school and getting it established, but also obtaining equipment for and organising Junior Technical Schools at Launceston, Queenstown and Zeehan.
In addition, he had to train six teachers in Woodwork, Sheetmetal Work and Practical Geometry to take charge of these subjects in the newly formed Junior Technical Schools and in Woodwork schools that were to be established in Launceston and Hobart. Thus technical education in Tasmania owes a tremendous amount to his work – it had firm foundations.
From 1919 to 1946 he saw the school grow from 50 pupils and a staff of 5 to a school of over 400 boys and a staff of over 20.
Not only did the school grow in size during this period but also in importance and standing in the community. The foundations of the school tradition were firmly laid.
His staff and the many hundreds of students who knew him as their headmaster retain a vivid memory of his professional example – his honesty of purpose, his sincerity, his personal integrity, his humanity. His acute understanding of human nature led him to refrain from judging others too harshly; to look always for the good in those with whom he came in contact and to promote the welfare of his colleagues and pupils.
Thus he enlisted spontaneous co-operation and inspired confidence.
He was gifted in many directions in the creative fields and gave unstintingly of his talents both to the school and the people of Hobart. Among his diverse interests were acting, reading, art and music.
The influence of Robert Hudspeth still inspires those who loved and respected him.