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2021 Distinguished Fellow Program Recipients

Distinguished Professor Stuart Cunningham

Stuart Cunningham AM is Emeritus Professor of Media and Communications, Queensland University of Technology and Senior Associate, Outside Opinion. He has published extensively on topics such as emerging digital industries, the creative industries and national innovation policy, and Australian screen culture and industry.  He directed the first ARC Centre of Excellence based outside the sciences (Creative Industries and Innovation) from 2005 to 2014 and has had substantial senior management experience at QUT. He is a fellow of the UK-based Academy of Social Sciences and the International Communication Association, and an inaugural fellow in Cultural and Communication Studies, Australian Academy of the Humanities. He was invested as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2015. His books include Hidden Innovation: Policy, Industry and the Creative Sector (University of Queensland, 2013) and the co-authored Media Economics (with Terry Flew and Adam Swift, Palgrave, 2015,) and Social Media Entertainment: The new intersection of Hollywood and Silicon Valley (with David Craig, New York University Press, 2019). Creator Culture: Studying the Social Media Entertainment Industry (edited with David Craig, New York University Press) and Wanghong as Social Media Entertainment in China (with David Craig and Jian Lin, Palgrave) are forthcoming in 2021.


  • Tuesday 16 March 2021: Public Lecture - Don't mention the i-word - view the live stream here.

Professor Lisa Waller

Dr Lisa Waller is Professor of Digital Communication in the School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, Australia. Since entering academia in 2007 she has published widely in Media and Communication studies. Her research is concerned with how the media shapes society, from Indigenous Affairs policy, to its roles in regional and rural areas, the administration of justice and political accountability. She is a member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and is a Research Associate in the Centre for Rural Criminology at the University of New England. Lisa is a chief investigator on four current Australian Research Council funded projects: Breaking Silences: Media and the child abuse royal commission (DP190101282); Promissory democratic representation: Campaign promises in Australia (DP210102480); Amplifying Indigenous news: A digital intervention (LP180100201) and Innovation and the civic future of Australia’s country press (LP180100813).

Lisa was a journalist on newspapers, including The Australian, and The Australian Financial Review before entering academic life. She is the co-author of Hess, K & Waller, L (2017) Local Journalism in a Digital Age (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan) and McCallum, K & Waller, L (2017) The Dynamics of News and Indigenous Policy in Australia (Bristol: Intellect).


Professor Sara Wilkinson

Professor Sara Wilkinson is a chartered Building Surveyor and Australia’s first female Professor of Property. Her transdisciplinary research program sits at the intersection of sustainability, urban development and transformation, with a focus on green cities and preparing our urban environments for the challenges of climate change. Current projects include Wallbot and Using VR to Assess Willingness to Pay for Green Infrastructure in Residential Development (with KTH Stockholm and Skanska). Sara works with academics and industry partners in construction, engineering, science, health and business to deliver building adaptation, sustainability and resilience, and green infrastructure projects. Sara has written 9 books, 30 book chapters, 63 refereed journal and 105 refereed conference papers, and 9 keynote presentations.

She is the Director of ZEMCH (Zero Energy Mass Custom Housing) Australia and the Australian Hub Leader for the Carbon Leadership Forum and a member of The Indigenous Infrastructure & Sustainable Housing Alliance (TIISHA) at UTS. Sara is a PRRES Board Member & Secretary, and the Regional Editor for the International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation. She is an editorial board for Building Research & Information (impact factor 3.468).

In professional practice, Sara worked extensively on building retrofit and adaptive reuse.