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Shane Henderson

Lecturer, Games Design and Culture

Faculty of Education & Arts


Finding passion for art through technology

Throughout primary school and high school, I was uninterested in academia. I left high school at the end of year 10 and quickly fell into a routine of finding work as a labourer or manual worker to pay for the travelling bug that had bitten me pretty hard. It wasnt until I was working as a mineworker for BHP in Newman at the age of 30 that I started thinking seriously about my future; after all, you don't see too many 50 year old labourers.

I was also starting a family so we packed everybody up and; travelled down to the big smoke to see if we could make a go of it. I quickly discovered Amiga computers and the amazing world of computer graphics. All through my secondary schooling, being left-handed had caused issues, especially in art. Give me a clean piece of paper and a piece of charcoal and in 2 minutes I'll have created a mess not only on the paper but also all over me. This didnt happen in a digital studio. For the first time I was able to create art that was clean and controllable.

I quickly developed an understanding of computer-generated imagery and decided that I needed formal qualifications. I enrolled in an Electronic Prepress course that gave me a Cert II, which enabled me to get work as a Mac operator for various agencies in Perth. While this was providing an income, it wasn't exciting to me so I continued to develop my skills, concentrating on 3D modelling and animation, which was becoming popular. I soon started offering 3D content through my small business, which led to me provide content for Channel 31, Perths community television station (now unfortunately defunct). This was how I got my introduction to university life.

At the time, ECU was looking for 3D tutors and I was lucky enough to be offered a part time tutoring role. Students appreciated my industry background and I enjoyed sharing the process of content creation in 3D space. My unit coordinator encouraged me to pursue a degree and we decided that a degree in training and development would enable me to pursue both my love (3D content creation) and help develop my career in teaching.

I completed my degree in 2008. I am now enrolled in my Master's course, pursuing a Master of Innovative New Technologies (perfectly suited to where I want to be), and researching new and innovative ways to combine the latest computer graphics technologies with approaches to training and development opportunities in industry and education.

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