Animation program ranked #1 in Australia and #8 globally

Animation program ranked #1 in Australia and #8 globally

The 2020 Animation Career Rankings have seen RMIT’s animation program take the step up to number one in Australia, and eighth globally.

The rankings recognised the program’s multi-disciplined design study, access to new animation and game design studios, and key industry partnerships.

Dean of the School of Design Professor Laurene Vaughan said the animation degree had grown in stature and success since its launch in 2003.

“We’ve seen the quality of graduate work increase each year thanks to our state of the art facilities and a curriculum designed upon studio practice,” Vaughan said.

Reflecting the success of the program, graduates are finding work in the thriving Australian animation scene.

Dance of the Dead A still from Scarlet Sykes Hesternan's Day of the Dead short film

Scarlet Sykes Hesterman completed the Bachelor of Design (Animation and Interactive Media) in 2018. Her short film Dance of the Dead was featured as part of the Animation Shorts program at the 2019 Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) and she’s since moved on to a flourishing career in animation.

Hesterman said she’d always had her eye on RMIT as a leading university of art and design but came to the program with limited technology skills.

“I was exclusively doing hand-drawn stuff on paper before starting and so working with a digital pen on a computer was a completely different thing, she said.

“I started the course not knowing much about technology and computers, but everyone had really good access to technology and the lecturers were great at giving us an idea of the skills we’d need for industry.”

Hesterman is now working on an animation sequence for an international feature film alongside other RMIT alumni.

“I knew when I left uni that I wanted to work on group productions and learn from others, but I didn’t expect it would be on a feature film; it’s such exciting opportunity,” Hesterman said.

Sylvie La Couteur animation Still from Sylvie La Couteur animation

Alumnus Sylvie Le Couteur has worked on a range of projects since graduating in 2018, including with RMIT, where she produced an animation promoting good hygiene for the School of Design.

Le Couteur said the program provided students with an opportunity to explore and develop their own processes in animation while also teaching a more defined animation pipeline both individually and in larger groups. 

“I was most interested in the course for its practicality, she said.

“What really makes the program is the way it pays regard to students’ more explorative and creative work without ignoring the importance of the reality of the industry, which has its own processes.”

Acting Associate Dean Mark Lycette said the School of Design was proud to be leading the industry in educating, employing and celebrating animation talent.

“Sylvie and Scarlet epitomise the commitment and endeavour we celebrate in our graduates and set a benchmark for our current and future students,” Lycette said.

“Through the hard work of our students and alumni, combined with a highly motivated staff and a supportive School we are recognised locally and internationally as a destination for quality education in Animation.


Banner image: From a Hesterman amd La Couteur group assignment at RMIT. theoretical opening credits for the 1994 film 'The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert' .

Story: Karen Phelan 


  • Rankings
  • Design
  • Alumni

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