The First conference in 1992 was developed to bring together a fragmented discipline and nurture a network of developers to share their expertise. The Proceedings from that conference are a landmark in multimedia development in Australia. Further, the document, "A Need for a National Agenda" produced from a workshop on the last day of the 1992 conference and sent to the Federal Minister for Education, prefaced many of the issues which were to arise in the use of multimedia in Australia. This conference, whose theme was chosen two years earlier, proved to be particularly relevant bearing in mind the developments in multimedia which followed.
The theme for the Second conference in 1994 proved no easier to choose. The multimedia "industry" in Australia was very small and many of the innovative developments in multimedia applications were being carried out by academia. It seemed that there was a need to bring together the industry and academic developers to encourage partnerships. The second conference theme was chosen to try to meet that need. Additionally, the multimedia industry needed a voice and it was particularly gratifying to see the emergence of the Australasian Interactive Multimedia Industry Association (AIMIA) which had found its origins in the 1992 conference. Again the 1994 conference Proceedings are a significant benchmark for multimedia development through a particularly dynamic era.
In 1994, we were again faced with predicting what would be the issues in 1996 and maintaining the 1996 conference as a significant international event. Clearly, the networking and inter-networking of computers to widen access to information was always going to be of pivotal concern, but where would the development be two years hence. Would the use of networking technology be of any real practical use to the non-computer specialist?
The theme for the 1996 conference was chosen to mirror that concern, since the growth of use of networked computer multimedia was accelerating at a pace that meant even just the simple task of counting the users exceeded the technologies capabilities of arriving at an answer. Access to information at such a scale needed the development of new user interfaces, communication technologies and new techniques in applications. Alongside this there are additional policy implications of ownership, security of information and access, among many other issue that come with breaking down international, personal and educational barriers in the way that Internet has done.
These Proceedings show that these issues are of paramount importance and rank alongside the technical developments in terms of what multimedia through inter-networking means to the industry, the users and policy planners in both education and government. The Australian Federal Government has led the way for growth of the multimedia industry with "Creative Nation" and will need to rapidly address the communication issues brought by inter-networking. The 1996 conference again leads the way in raising the issues and examining some of the solutions developed by some of the worlds brightest minds in multimedia.
I am again particularly proud to demonstrate Australian multimedia innovation in an international context through the 1996 conference and these Proceedings. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Conference Steering Committee, the conference organisers, the paper reviewers and not least the Proceedings editors for their efforts in producing yet another landmark in multimedia development in Australia. I do not envy the 1998 conference organising team the task of choosing the theme for a conference at a time where change is occurring more rapidly than could ever have been envisaged in 1990.
Dr T. H. Edgar
1996 Conference Chair
|Dr Roger Atkinson
Dr Harry Edgar
Dr Athula Ginige
Assoc Prof Mike Grant
|Assoc Prof Colin Latchem|
Curtin University of Technology
Dr Clare McBeath
Dr Rob Phillips
Edith Cowan University
Advanced Manufacturing Technologies Centre
http://www.devetwa.edu.au/tafe/amtc/index.htm (now East Perth Campus of Central TAFE, http://www.central.wa.edu.au/)
Department of Education, Western Australia
Department of Industry, Science and Technology
http://www.das.gov.au/~dist/home.html (now Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources, http://www.industry.gov.au/)
IMAGO (Cooperative Multimedia Centre) Ltd
ASCILITE, Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education
|Please cite as: Edgar, T. H. (1996). Preface. In C. McBeath and R. Atkinson (Eds), Proceedings of the Third International Interactive Multimedia Symposium, iii-iv. Perth, Western Australia, 21-25 January. Promaco Conventions. http://www.aset.org.au/confs/iims/1996/preface.html|