The formation of the Design Institute of Australia.

The Society of Designers for Industry was formed in about 1947 and was followed just over a decade later with the incorporation of the Industrial Design Institute of Australia in Melbourne in 1958.

Bill Gillam, a professional Association Manager employed by the Victorian Employers' Federation, was appointed the first Federal Executive Secretary of the Institute. On his advice, the Memorandum and Articles of the Institute were completely redrafted together with Federal Council By-Laws setting out a model Constitution governing the administration of Chapters. A Federal financing system was implemented and a national membership register established on the basis of records supplied by the original Chapters which were operating very informally. The Institute was already a member of ICSID, the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design.

The Institute was granted membership of the International Federation of Interior Designers (IFI) in October 1982 and in December, the name of the organisation was changed to the Design Institute of Australia.

On 1 July, 1998, the Design Institute of Australia, Society of Interior Designers of Australia (SIDA) and the Australian Textile Design Association (ATDA) were amalgamated. The DIA became a Federal body and Chapters were replaced with Branch Councils.

Past Presidents

1961 - 1965: Peter Hutchison
1965 - 1967: Carl Nielsen
1967 - 1969: Ron Rosenfeldt
1969 - 1971: David Davenport
1971 - 1973: Hugh Whisson
1973 - 1974: Lionel Suttie
1974 - 1978: Derek Hooper
1978 - 1979: Don Goodwin
1979 - 1983: Michael Bryce
1983 - 1986: Desmond Freeman
​​​​​​​1986 - 1988: Rolf Heins
​​​​​​​1988 - 1992: John Harrison
​​​​​​​1992 - 1995: Roger Simpson
​​​​​​​1995 - 1996: Jill Stansfield
​​​​​​​1996 - 1999: Madeline Lester
​​​​​​​1999 - 2000: John Harrison
​​​​​​​2000 - 2008: David Robertson
​​​​​​​2008 - 2010: Joanne Cys
​​​​​​​2010 - 2012: Oliver Kratzer
​​​​​​​2012 - 2014: James Harper
2014 - 2017: Julie Hobbs

DIA Life Fellows & Honour Roles

Under the Constitution of the DIA Life Fellowship may be granted to any Fellow who has rendered distinctive service to the profession and is recognised for their outstanding contribution to the Institute.

Honourary Fellowship is awarded to distinguished persons who are not members but are deemed worthy of recognition by the professional body. It is usually bestowed on individuals who have made a significant impact on, or contribution to, the DIA or professional design.

View the full list of DIA Life Fellows & Honour Roles >