Dr John was born and raised in Sydney where he attended Fort Street High and then Bathurst Teachers College. He graduated in 1960 and had his own one teacher school south of Deniliquin at the age of 18: four years older than some of his students!
After some years of primary teaching, John undertook External studies at the University of New England in NSW where he won the Shell Prize for Arts for his undergraduate degree, and then the University Medal for his honours degree.
Dr John became a lecturer in Special Education and Child Development and Behaviour Management at the Armidale Teachers College and at the University of New England before moving to Toowoomba to head up the Early Childhood Education training program at the University of Southern Queensland. Whilst there, Dr John completed his Ph.D. on children's play in 1980. He then returned to NSW as Principal Lecturer and Dean of Academic Studies at the School of Early Childhood Studies, now attached to Macquarie University.
In 1984 Dr John and his brother, Warwick, began the READ clinic on a part time basis until John resigned from his academic post and became full time in private practice and the media in 1988 with the release of his first book Coping with Kids.
Since then, John has had an extensive role in the media, where he became the most heard and read and seen child psychologist nationally. Dr John has also been a consultant psychologist at the Central Coast Grammar school from 1986 to 2009.
In more recent times Dr John is working part time in the clinic with preferred areas in co-parenting programs and behaviour management. He also undertakes an extensive national speaking schedule nationally in his role as a child psychologist but also as Patron for Family Day Care, Kidsafe, Homestart, and as Ambassador for Playgroups. In the last 10 years Dr John has written over 1000 newspaper and magazine articles, has produced over 5000 radio segments for syndication around Australia and has written several books including his latest Thriving at School. His A Handbook for Happy Families has been developed and expanded into four different DVDs covering his unique reparations management system and also covering the 0-5, 6-11 and teen years.
Dr John is proud to see the exciting developments in the READ clinic where he remains a Director and current Chairman.
John Irvine travels from New South Wales Australia