About Melanie James

Melanie James (PhD) has won international, national and state awards for her communication campaigns, innovative course design, and academic work. She undertakes selected communication and freelance work.

Her professional senior management roles in strategic communications, public relations and media have been in the government, health and financial sectors.

Melanie held various academic positions at the University of Newcastle, Australia from 2006 to 2018.

Melanie project managed the first Massive Open Online course (MOOC) development for the University of Newcastle, which won the global award “MOOC of the Year” for Exceptional Contribution to Online Learning by Edx.

Melanie James’ academic research builds on Positioning Theory, focusing on strategic communication. Her academic book (Routledge), Positioning Theory and Strategic Communications: A new approach to public relations research and practice. It is regularly cited in multidisciplinary research contexts.

Melanie researched the application of her strategic positioning framework to the field of Science Diplomacy. The paper reporting on this exploratory research was accepted into the Public Diplomacy stream of the 2020 International Communications Association Conference and was presented 21-25 May 2020.

Melanie is also is a published creative writer, and has been a finalist in the Australian Vogel Literary Award and the 2016 University of New Orleans Press non-fiction/memoir competition.

Employment history and academic qualifications can be found here (opens in new window on LinkedIn).

Melanie lives in Newcastle, Australia – a city situated on a beach and a harbour!

Other Highlights include:

As project manager, she lead the first Massive Open Online course (MOOC) development for the University of Newcastle, which in December 2017 won the global award “MOOC of the Year” for Exceptional Contribution to Online Learning by Edx.

In 2017 Melanie was a Visiting Research Fellow at UTS and was a Visiting Researcher at the United Nations University – Centre for Regional Integration Studies, Bruges, Belgium.

Her contributions on “Emergent Strategy” and “Strategic Readiness” for the Wiley International Encyclopedia of Strategic Communication (2018) are available.

She was an invited contributor as a “thought leader in social media” in both the 2017 and the original 2014 edition of Lipshultz’s book, Social Media Communication: Concepts, Practices, Data, Law and Ethics (Routledge). 

Having been awarded the National Educator of the Year Award 2015 by the Public Relations Institute of Australia, Melanie’s third year students, with technical officer, George Hyde, made this video as a tribute to her teaching: View here (30 secs).