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G a r r y   G i l l a r d :   F i r s t s

First graduate, 5 April 1978. I am proud to be the First Graduate of Murdoch University, according to the Alumni Office, as the person with the lowest enrolment number to receive a degree at the first graduation ceremony. (My student number ends ...003: the other two didn't finish their degrees.)

First Alumni Visa card, 1992. As First Graduate, I received the first Murdoch University Alumni Visa card, as a photo opportunity for the University and the then R&I Bank (now Bankwest). Bank and University discontinued this card in January 2003, and I had to give mine back.

First in electronic mail, 1987. Before most of the University community had even heard of electronic mail I was the Administrator of the Murdoch node of the Australian Open Learning Information Network—a network of fifty educational institutions throughout Australia running on the (then) Telecom system Keylink-T. The twenty-five or so people in Western Australia who participated under my leadership in this pioneering Project were among the very first users of email in the State. Here's my 1989 Report.

First in (telephone) teleconferencing. From 1987, I convened the University's Teleconferencing Group under the auspices of the Deputy Vice Chancellor. The purpose of the group was to involve key people in each School and Office in increasing the awareness of the potential of teleconferencing (by telephone), particularly in the context of the move towards videoteleconferencing. Habituation in the use of audioconferencing, and the training of one staff member in each area to advise others, were seen as the necessary first steps towards being able to take advantage of the full potential of conducting conferences of any kind with distant participants.

First in (telephone + radio) teleconferencing. In 1989, I was involved in assisting other staff in offering a series of tutorials by talkback radio, on the subcarrier signal of 6UVS (now RTR) FM.

First in videoconferencing. In second semester 2002 I coordinated the delivery of lectures in H232 Screen Texts from the main campus to the Rockingham campus using the videoconferencing equipment provided at both campuses. I believe this was the first time that lectures for a unit were delivered via this medium. The project was reported both in University publications and in the local paper.

First unit on the Web 1995. I put the first (whole) course unit on the World Wide Web, second semester, July, 1995: Narrative Fiction II.

I was co-coordinator of one of the first Part II units offered at Murdoch University, H237 African Literature, in 1977.

I was possibly the first person to be awarded two Murdoch research degrees, 1977 and 1994: MPhil and PhD.

I put up one of the first individual Web homepages August 1995—perhaps the first to be served from the user's own PC (Mac, actually). I continued to serve my personal pages from my the machine on my desk until it was no longer safe to do so (about 2000).

I was the first non-Engineering teaching staff member appointed fulltime to the Rockingham campus, 1997.

I was one of the first student representatives on a University committee (Board of Part I Studies 1974).