teacher,visionary, pioneer, enabler of the industry, and founding
father of the AIM Centre courses.
recognition of his achievements in education and industry, RMIT
University bestowed John with an Adjunct Professorship in July
1996 upon his retirement as Program Director of the Centre for
Animation and Interactive Media.
continues to work as a consultant and policy advisor to government,
education and industry bodies and retains an active interest
in the courses he founded through his membership of AIM's Course
Advisory Committee. He is currently steering the Cyberport
One project which is conducting trials to provide high bandwidth
network infrastructure for Melbourne's media post-production
community to enable digital collaboration on local and international
has a background in illustrative art and graphic design. He
became a lecturer in film and television at Swinburne during
the formative years of its renown School in the mid 1960's and
was instrumental in establishing the School's postgraduate program
in 1976. This provided Australia with it's first accredited
course in animation and helped grow a lively and vibrant local
the late 1970's and early 80's, John saw the potential of putting
computers into the hands of artists and animators. To this end
he persuaded the Victorian Government to fund the establishment
the Computer Animation Development Centre in 1983.
was the largest grant that Swinburne Institute of Technology
had received in its day and preempted the development of the
local industry by some years. This pioneering initiative gave
the Film School's students of the animation course access to
the cutting-edge resources they needed to explore the creative
potential of computer animation, and provided training in 3D
computer animation through a suite of short courses.
1990, staff and students of the course began producing interactive
works. In the following year, an interactive stream was formally
introduced into the animation course of the School.
stayed on at Swinburne and set up the Centre for Animation and
Interactive Multimedia when the Film and Television School was
transferred to the Victorian College of the Arts in 1992. Later
that year, the Victorian Education Foundation, industry and
the University provided funds and resources to establish the
National Centre for New Media Arts and Technologies. The Centre's
charter was to explore the creative potential of digital production
and communication tools and to provide a talented workforce
of high caliber appropriate for an emerging industry.
Centre and its course was transferred to The Department of Visual
Communication, RMIT in January 1995 with an expanded academic
program that now includes MA and PhD studies. Students of the
Centre have produced works which have been widely acclaimed
for their quality and innovation.
maintains a passionate interest in the careers and fortunes
of his past graduates.
recognition of John Bird's contribution to the industry, Cinemedia
has sponsored an annual award in his name. The "John Bird Award
for Excellence in an Online Production" salutes the pioneering
contribution that Professor Bird has made to Victoria's Multimedia
industry by encouraging excellence and innovation in online
and networked projects created by postgraduate students of RMIT's
centre for Animation & Interactive Media.
inaugural award was presented