Professional Leadership and Service to the Community

Professional Leadership

Commissioner of the Australian Law Reform Commission heading the National Classification Scheme Review

In May 2011, I was seconded to the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) to head the Review of National Classification Scheme Review. This ALRC Review was commissioned by the Attorney-General and the Minister for Home Affairs, and was the first review of classifications in Australia since 1991. This inquiry has been engaged with issues relating to technological change, media policy and community expectations towards media content in the context of media convergence and rapid technological change.

In this role, I have led a team of six researchers, and conducted over 60 consultations with representatives of industry, government and community organisations, as well as media experts in the field. I have led a pilot study into community attitudes to higher-level media content, undertaken an analysis of over 2,300 submissions using Leximancer text analysis software, and presented to five academic conferences, as well as to the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General and the Classification Enforcement Forum. An Issues Paper was released by the ALRC in May 2011, followed by a Discussion paper in September 2011. The Final Report, Classification – Content Regulation and Convergent Media (ALRC Report 108), was tabled in the House of Representatives by the Minister for Home Affairs and Justice, the Hon. Jason Clare MP, on 2 March 2012.

Excellence in Research for Australia: Membership of Research Evaluation Committee

In 2012, I was appointed by the Australian Research Council to the Research Evaluation Committee (REC) for Cluster Two: Humanities and Creative Arts, in the second Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) evaluation round. RECs are established at the discipline cluster level and are comprised of distinguished and internationally-recognised researchers with expertise in research evaluation. There are 149 REC members in total appointed from Australia and overseas, and broadly representative of the disciplines within each Cluster; in 2012, the Humanities and Creative Arts cluster had 22 members.

Australian and New Zealand Communications Association

I was President of the Australian and New Zealand Communications Association (ANZCA), commencing this role in October 2009, and completing my term in September 2010.

In this role, I have attended the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS) event, HASS on the Hill, in Canberra in October 2009, and assisted the Australian Research Council in developing the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) research evaluation exercise. I also prepared a briefing paper for CHASS in September 2010 on science communication courses in Australia, as part of the CHASS input to the Science in the Media Working Group, convened by the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Hon. Senator Kim Carr.

I convened a panel at the International Communication Association 60th Annual Conference in Singapore, on ‘Communications Research in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand’, with Stuart Cunningham (QUT), Sue Turnbull (La Trobe) and Alison Henderson and Mary Simpson (University of Waikato, NZ) as participants. These papers, along with contributions by myself and Donald Matheson (University of Canterbury, NZ) were published under the theme of Comparative Communications Research in Australia and Aeotearoa New Zealand, in Media International Australia No. 136, September 2010.

I was an invited participant to a Roundtable hosted by the Communication Association of Japan (CAJ) on ‘The State of Communication Research in the (non-US) World’ as a pre-ICA conference event at Meiji University, Tokyo on June 20, 2010. Other participants included Francois Cooren (ICA President), François Heinderyckx (President, European Communication Research and Education Association), Bonnie Peng (Minister of Taiwan National Communications Commission, Past President, Chinese Communication Association), and Akira Miyahara (President, Communication Association of Japan). I was also a respondent to papers presented on the theme of ‘Asian Perspectives on Communication’.

I was Organiser of ANZCA09: Communications, Creativity and Global Citizenship, the 2009 Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Communications Association, held at the Creative Industries Precinct, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, 8-10 July 2009. This conference had over 240 attendees from 20 countries, and invited keynote speakers included: Barbie Zelizer (Annenberg School of Communication, University of Pennsylvania); Nick Couldry (Goldsmiths University); Brian McNair (University of Strathclyde); Jack Linchuan Qiu (Chinese University of Hong Kong); and Philip Kitchin (Hull University Business School).

Other roles that I have had in ANZCA include:

  • ANZCA Vice-President 2008-2009;
  • ANZCA Treasurer 2004-2007;
  • ANZCA Queensland Representative 2001-2007;
  • Organising Committee, Managing Communication for Diversity, ANZCA Annual Conference, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, July 9-11, 2003;
  • Organising Committee, Managing Communication for Diversity, ANZCA Annual Conference, Coolangatta, July 2002.

Other Professional Leadership Roles

  • Editorial Board member, Journal of Communication, 2010 – present (flagship journal of the International Communication Association with ISI Journal Citation Reports Ranking: 2009: Communication: 2 / 54; Impact Factor: 2.415).
  • Editorial Board member, Media International Australia, 2011 – present;
  • Editorial Board member, Communication, Politics and Culture, 2012 – present;
  • Reviews Editor and Editorial Committee member, Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 2002-2008;
  • Expert Reader, Australian Research Council, Humanities and Creative Arts panel, 2005- present;
  • Editorial Committee member, Javnost (The Public), 2004 – present;
  • Editorial Board member, Australian Journal of Emergent Technologies and Society, 2003 – present;
  • Member of Australian Key Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Management Committee, 1997-2001;
  • Organiser, Media Wars: Media Studies and Journalism Education, one-day symposium hosted by Australian Key Centre for Cultural and Media Policy, November 1998;
  • Organising Committee, Convergence: Culture and Policy in the Digital Age, Australian Key Centre for Cultural and Media Policy conference, Brisbane, October 1998;
  • Organising Committee, Cultural Crossroads: Ownership, Access, Identity, Australian Key Centre for Cultural and Media Policy conference, Sydney, November 1997.

I am also an active member of the following professional associations:

  • International Communications Association (reader for Global Communications and Social Change, Philosophy of Communications and Journalism Studies divisions);
  • International Association for Media and Communications Research, where I was a founding member of the Global Media Policy Working Group in 2000;
  • Cultural Studies Association of Australasia.