Jim Barbour retires from Swinburne

Jim Barbour retires from Swinburne University this week, after more than 25 years with the university. Swinburne’s commercial radio course folded last year.

Prior to joining Swinburne, Jim worked at SAFM in production and was a record engineer, helping to produce Men at Work’s Business As Usual album and Mondo Rock’s Nuovo Mondo.

He will continue to work on his PhD and will be spending plenty of time traveling with his wife, who is retiring at the same time.

For anyone who would like to contact Jim after this week, his new email is [email protected].

Colleague Peter Marcato wrote this tribute to Jim on behalf and the staff and students of the Swinburne course, who have valued his leadership and mentoring over the past quarter century:

I’ve had the pleasure of being a student of the course (2005) and also working alongside Jim for the past six years in delivering the program. Having the opportunity to work closely with Jim has given me a greater understanding of why he is held in such high regard within the radio industry and beyond.

Those who have been students in the course over the years will remember different aspects of the course, from the sticker wall in the BA building to Jim’s famous lecture on microphones. The Ries and Trout video on positioning to the cart machines for manual radio. In fact the course has spanned a couple of generations of radio technology, cassettes to minidiscs, turntables to computer automation. Reel to reel to Adobe Audition.

It isn’t really known as the commercial radio course at Swinburne, it’s simply Jim’s course. And it achieved real results, still around the 80% employment mark to this day. Jim’s always been available to talk to and assist former students from each year. He also takes great joy (as I do) in students going on to win ACRA awards and takes pride in all of their achievements.

Jim is a man of the highest integrity, someone who practices what he preaches and treats all within the industry, university and beyond with an enormous amount of respect. He sets an excellent example for others to follow. Having had the pleasure of being a student and colleague, he has been an invaluable mentor to me as well as many others.

I know Jim is quite humbled with all the attention, and doesn’t like the spotlight being on him, but I think it’s important to recognise the person who has been pivotal to so many careers. From engineering Men at Works Business as Usual album, to working at SAFM, to starting the course in 1989, Jim has enjoyed plenty of success over his career.

More about the Swinburne course here.

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