The antecedent of First Site Gallery can be traced back to the formation of a Gallery Collective in 1968 that was created soon after the establishment of RMIT Union (now RMIT Student Life). The first gallery, known as ‘The Collective Space’ ran exhibition programs from June to December each year as well as events, such as chess club nights, music performances and discussion groups.
The union’s gallery was relocated and renamed three times over the next fifteen years until, in 1996, it was moved to its current site and named First Site. From its inception, First Site was conceived as a space to provide students with a conduit into creative practice, independently from RMIT’s teaching programs.
As its founders imagined, First Site provided students with a space where they could experiment, take risks and learn about presenting their work publicly. In the past 23 years, First Site has presented over 850 exhibitions involving 4000 students that were appreciated by audiences of over 400,000.