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Professor Kate Ames

PhD, MLitt(CultStud),GradCertTertiaryEd, BBus(Comn), CertIV TAE
Director, Learning Design and Innovation
Office of Education, Strategy and Innovation
Centre for Research in Equity & Advancement of Teaching & Education (CREATE)
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About Me

I am a Professor in Learning Design and Innovation, and Director, Learning Design and Innovation at CQUniversity. I lead an amazing team of educational designers, academics, administrators, and multimedia experts who work with CQUniversity's academic staff across our multi-campus VET and higher education network to support our students.

I have been nationally recognised for my approaches to teaching via distance education including receipt of an Australian Award for University Teaching (AAUT) National Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning (2015) and Award for Australian Teaching Excellence (Humanities) (2019).

I have more than 20 years' experience in communication and education, including continuous service as a part-time Army soldier/officer since 1997. I currently hold the rank of Lieutenant Colonel as a senior military public affairs officer in the Australian Army (Reserve).

I am a passionate advocate for distance education and am an active mentor of staff new to online learning. I have an academic background as a cultural sociologist, with interest in community connection, public interaction and storytelling, and accordingly am an experienced and active qualitative researcher in a wide range of methods, including nominal and focus groups, interviews, surveys, forms of discourse analysis, and also linguistic analysis supporting ethnomethodological approaches.

I am the author of Time Management for Academic Impact (2019) which provides strategies for managing the complexities of teaching in online and on-campus settings, and co-author of Managing your Academic Research Project (2020) and the memoir Will to Live (2014).

I try to juggle academic work, military life, team leadership, innovative ideas, and a family with a sense of humour and perspective. We spend too much time at work to not have fun.

Universities Studied At

  • University of Sydney [PhD]
  • Queensland University of Technology [Bachelor of Business (Communication)]
  • CQUniversity [Master of Letters, Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Education]

Universities Worked At

  • CQUniversity


University Teaching
  • 2019 Australian Teaching Excellence Award - Humanities and the Arts, Australian Awards for University Teaching.
  • 2015 Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning, Australian Awards for University Teaching, Office of Learning and Teaching, Department of Education and Training, Commonwealth Government. $10000. For excellence in applying professional communication expertise and knowledge to improve students’ learning experience within a complex learning environment.
  • 2014 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Learning and Teaching for 2014 (Tier 2), $5000. For contribution to learning and teaching at CQUniversity for outstanding contribution to curricula development and delivery that reflects expertise in professional communication to promote student learning, student engagement, and program improvement.
  • 2012 Student Voice Commendation, Distance Educator of the Year (as Course Coordinator, Feature Writing), Central Queensland University, Australia.2012 Elected Honorary Member of Golden Key International Honour Society, based on “outstanding contribution to the CQUniversity student community as a senior lecturer and the wider community through your work for the Riding for the Disabled organization”.
  • 2011 Student’s Choice Award, Quality Teaching, Faculty of Arts, Business, Informatics and Education, Central Queensland University, Australia.
  • 2012 Nominated, Volunteer of the Year, Riding for the Disabled Association of Queensland.
  • 2010 Top 10 Moodle Course (design and presentation), Desktop Publishing, Central Queensland University, Australia [Based on student feedback and peer review of online course design.]


  • 2020. Chief of Defence Force Commendation for service associated with the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force. 
  • 2003. Chief of Defence Force Commendation (Joint/Team Award) for contribution to public affairs as a member associated with the 1st Joint Public Affairs Unit. 

Previous teaching

University - Course

  • MBA (Leadership) – Managed the implementation of the MBA (Leadership) as a disruptive innovation project, commencing 2017. In 18 months, this course built to more than 400 students, contributing 30% of growth to CQUniversity's postgraduate domestic full-fee paying load and becoming the university's largest postgraduate domestic full-fee paying course.
  • CG04 Bachelor of Professional Communication – Developed the new program, initiated in 2006.

University - Unit

  • COMM11003 Professional & Technical Communication
  • COMM12030 Desktop Publishing
  • COMM12116 Contemporary Photomedia
  • JOUR11005 Introduction to Journalism
  • JOUR19024 Public Relations & the Media
  • JOUR12010 Feature Writing
  • JOUR12039 News Writing & Reporting
  • COMM12033 Speech & Script
  • COMM13110 Communication Project A
  • COMM13111 Communication Project B
  • COMM11007 Media Writing

Military - Course

  • Senior Instructor/Course Manager for the Public Affairs Training Course, offered to tri-service military personnel involved in operational public affairs, on behalf of the Vice-Chief of Defence Force. 
  • Instructor and Senior Instructor for Command, Leadership, and Management modules of the Australian Army (Reserve) All Corps Captain and Major Courses, required for promotion. 

Professional Memberships

Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA)


·  Editorial Board, Discourse Context and Media (Q1) [Since Jan 2018]

Recent Research Projects
QCWA Country Kitchens Program Evaluation 2020-21
From: 30/10/2020 to 24/12/2021
Grant: Contract Research (Category 3: Industry and Other)
Funding Scheme: QCWA Country Kitchens
Total Funding: $100,000.00
Australian Award for University Teaching - Award for Teaching Excellence 2019
From: 25/02/2020 to 01/03/2023
Grant: Scholarly activity (Ineligible)
Funding Scheme: Learning and teaching awards 2020
Total Funding: $0.00
QCWA Country Kitchens Program Evaluation 2019-2020
From: 28/10/2019 to 20/12/2020
Grant: Contract Research (Category 3: Industry and Other)
Funding Scheme: QCWA Country Kitchens
Total Funding: $80,000.00
QCWA Country Kitchens 2018-2019 Program Evaluation
From: 01/09/2018 to 31/12/2019
Grant: Contract Research (Category 3)
Funding Scheme: QCWA Country Kitchens
Total Funding: $80,000.00
AAUT Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning 2015
From: 01/10/2015 to 30/09/2018
Grant: Award - External (Not Specified )
Funding Scheme: Australian Awards for University Teaching - Citation 2015
Total Funding: $10,000.00
Research Supervision

I am currently accredited for supervision in the following:

  • 3904 Specialist Studies in Education
  • 4701 Communication and Media Studies

At the level of Principal Supervisor

Current Capacity
I am currently available to supervise more research candidates
No Supervisions to display.
Research Interests

Curriculum and Pedagogy - Creative Arts, Media and Communication Curriculum and Pedagogy


Curriculum and Pedagogy - Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development

Languages, Communication And Culture

Communication and Media Studies - Media Studies

Languages, Communication And Culture

Cultural Studies - Consumption and Everyday Life

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