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Dr. Upamali Amarakoon

PhD in Business; MBA in Human Resource Management; B.Sc. (Hons) in Industrial Management
Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management
School of Business and Law
Centre for Regional Economies and Supply Chains
400, Kent Street - Level 6
Sydney, NSW, 2000
About Me

I bring 13+ years of extensive teaching experience, including over eight years in teaching-focused roles in universities in Sri Lanka and Australia.

I completed my Bachelor of Science Honours degree (with first class) in 2005. My passion and interest for HRM made me complete my Master of Business Administration degree in HRM in 2009 (with three gold medals) and PhD in HRM at University of Queensland in 2014 (with Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research Higher Degree Thesis).

I also have two years of experience working in private sector organisations in human resource management (HRM) related roles in Sri Lanka and India. My tenure at the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Sri Lanka, sharpened my competencies in collaborating with multiple stakeholders for national-level policy planning.

I am currently teaching Human Resource Management related units at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. While leading a stakeholder engagement project funded by Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre, I am also continuing multiple research projects on HRM innovation and regional HRM challenges.

Universities Studied At

PhD in Human Resource Management in 2014- The University of Queensland, Australia
Thesis Title: The Role of Human Resource Innovation in Firms’ Competitive Advantage in Australian Manufacturing and Service Firms

Master of Business Administration in Human Resource Management in 2009 - University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
Thesis Title: The Impact of Work-Life Balance on Employee Engagement

Bachelor of Science (Hons) First Class in 2005 - University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka

Main subjects: Industrial Management (major), Operations Research & Information Technology

Universities Worked At

Senior Lecturer/Lecturer Department of Industrial Management, University of Kelaniya Sri Lanka

Feb 2015 to May 2016 & Mar 2007 – May 2010

Visiting Lecturer Faculty of Management and Finance, University of Colombo Sri Lanka

Nov 2015 to May 2016

Research Assistant The University of Queensland - Business School Australia

Jul 2010- Jan 2015

Tutor The University of Sydney - Business School Australia

Aug 2013 – Nov 2013

Tutor The University of Queensland - Business School Australia

Feb 2011 – Jun 2013

Course Module Writer The University of Moratuwa Sri Lanka

Apr 2007 – Mar 2008

Assistant Lecturer Department of Industrial Management, University of Kelaniya Sri Lanka

Sep 2006 – Mar 2007


People's Choice Award and Arts, Humanities, Business, and Law stream award winner of CQUniversity 5 minute Research Pitch (5RP) 2019 competition.

CQ University Students' Voice Commendations in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Vice Chancellor’s Award – 2015, in appreciation of the honour bought to The University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka.

Deans Award for Outstanding Research Higher Degree Thesis – 2014, The University of Queensland Graduate School, Brisbane, Australia.

Outstanding Reviewer – Southern Management Association Annual Conference – November 2013 - Louisiana, USA.

Best Research Student Paper award – Human Resource Management and Professional Development Conference – July 2013, Singapore.

Highly Commended Research – Research Colloquium 2011, The University of Queensland Business School, Brisbane, Australia.

Recipient of,

The University of Queensland International Student Scholarship

The University of Queensland Research Scholarship

The University of Queensland Business School Top-up Scholarship

Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree Program of the University of Colombo in 2009;

Gold Medal for the Highest Marks in Thesis

Gold Medal for Operations Management

Gold Medal for Business Statistics

Media Citations

HRM Innovation: An Overlooked Opportunity

Deans Award for Outstanding Research Higher Degree Thesis – 2014

Publication of HR Challenge

Professional Experience

Management Trainee Featherlite Products (PVT) Ltd India

May 2005 –Jan 2006

Management Trainee Coca Cola Beverages Ltd Sri Lanka

Nov 2003 –Mar 2004

Professional Memberships

Professional Member (MAHRI) - Australian Human Resource Institute (AHRI)

Member - Australia and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM)

Computer Software

Proficient in IBM SPSS and AMOS

Industry Reports

Amarakoon, U., Bird, S., Liang, C., & Pearson, D. - Enhancing Volunteer Engagement: Pilot Project at Foodbank Victoria – ISSBN 978-1-921047-47-3 – CQUniversity, Sydney Australia.

Colley, L., Amarakoon, U., Stewart, G., & Franettovich, M., - Human Resource Management in Regional Australia- A case study of (de-identified) Group – ISSBN 978-1-921047-82-4 – CQUniversity, Brisbane Australia.

Consultancy Work

Apr – Sep 2006    Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Sri Lanka

Research Supervision

I am currently accredited for supervision in the following:

  • 3505 Human resources and industrial relations

At the level of Principal Supervisor

Current Capacity
I am currently available to supervise more research candidates
Current Supervision
Doctor of Philosophy (Industry)
How Implementing Multiple Organisational Restructures in Quick Succession Affects Competitive Advantage
Associate Supervisor
Doctor of Philosophy
Principal Supervisor
Doctor of Philosophy (Industry)
Closing the Tap - A study to investigate the factors affecting attraction and retention of skilled workers in regional Queensland’s water industry
Principal Supervisor
Master of Research
Enhancing Remote Workforce Management Using Workforce Analytics
Principal Supervisor
Research Interests
Commerce, Management, Tourism And Services

Business and Management - Human Resources Management
Managing volunteers. My current research project focuses on managing volunteers at Foodbank Australia.

Commerce, Management, Tourism And Services

Business and Management - Human Resources Management
Addressing regional staffing challenges. We are currently carrying out a pilot project.

Commerce, Management, Tourism And Services

Business and Management - Human Resources Management
Strategic HRM and HRM innovation

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