Dr Deborah Wise

Dr Deborah Wise


School of Creative Industries

Career Summary


Deborah Wise (PhD) is a teacher, researcher and consultant in professional communication. Her research interests are in the area of organisational communication and strategic positioning, with a focus on how organisations/entities use words and images to influence how people feel, think, and act. Much of her work applies a positioning theoretical framework to ask what are the associated rights and duties incumbent on these entities to adopt particular positions in the contested environment in which such messages are promulgated? As such, issues of power and where power lies are of central concern.

In October 2019 Deborah was awarded the Faculty of Education and Arts Excellence Award for International Engagement and in July 2018 she was awarded $60,000 in New Colombo Plan funding by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), to take 18 communication students to Indonesia for a 2-week educational and professional development program. 

Prior to commencing in her current role at UoN in mid-2016, Deborah was the National Public Relations Officer for Australia’s largest community service organisation, and she has an impressive track record in delivering high level public relations outcomes in Australia and internationally. Her career move to a full-time position in academia was driven by her passion to pursue research which contributes to understanding complex social issues. 

Deborah is currently the course coordinator for several public relations courses taught as part of the PR major at the University of Newcastle's Callaghan and Singapore campuses. She has previously taught into public relations courses at the University of New South Wales, and she has coordinated courses for Newcastle International College. Deborah’s professional background is also in design and she has worked in the fashion industry. Her work experience, together with her research interests, mean she is committed to research that is focused on how social perspectives can benefit industry, the community and government. 


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Communication, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Communication (Honours), University of Newcastle


  • Critical analysis
  • Digital Media
  • Health communication
  • Organisational communication
  • Political Public Relations
  • Positioning Theory
  • Public Relations
  • Risk communication
  • Social Media
  • Strategic communication

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
200101 Communication Studies 50
200105 Organisational, Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication 50

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Creative Industries


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Chapter (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2014 Wise DJ, 'The HPV School Vaccination Factsheet: Communicating Risks and Benefits', Issue and Crisis Management: Exploring Issues, Crises, Risk and Reputation, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, Australia (2014)

Journal article (6 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2019 van Langenhove L, Wise D, 'Introduction: The relation between Social Representation Theory and Positioning Theory', PAPERS ON SOCIAL REPRESENTATIONS, 28 (2019)
2019 James M, Wise D, van Langenhove L, 'Virtual strategic positioning to create social presence: reporting on the use of a telepresence robot', PAPERS ON SOCIAL REPRESENTATIONS, 28 (2019) [C1]
2019 Wise D, 'An Analysis of the Strengths and Weaknesses of Applying James' (2014) Framework for Intentional Positioning in Public Relations', PAPERS ON SOCIAL REPRESENTATIONS, 28 (2019) [C1]
2015 Wise DJ, 'Positioning PR: An analysis of the representation of public relations in Australian political speeches', Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, 16 90-106 (2015) [C1]
2013 Wise D, James M, 'Positioning a price on carbon: Applying a proposed hybrid method of positioning discourse analysis for public relations', Public Relations Inquiry, 2 327-353 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1177/2046147X13494966
2012 Wise DJ, James MB, 'The HPV school vaccination program: A discourse analysis of information provided to parents', PCR: Public Communication Review, 2 3-15 (2012) [C1]
Show 3 more journal articles

Conference (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2013 Wise DJ, 'PR, positioning & a carbon tax: applying a new conceptual framework to the analysis of polarised political positions', Crises, Creative Destruction and the Global Power and Communication Orders: Papers presented at the 2013 conference of the International Association for Media and Communication Research, Dublin (2013) [E2]

Grants and Funding


Number of grants 3
Total funding $64,900

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

20191 grants / $2,000

26th International Public Relations Research Symposium (BledCom), 4-6 July 2019, Slovenia$2,000

Funding body: Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle

Funding body Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle
Scheme FEDUA Conference Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2019
Funding Finish 2019
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE

20182 grants / $62,900

Advancing Australian Public Relations Student’s Understanding of Professional Practice in Indonesia.$59,400

The New Colombo Plan Scholarship is a signature initiative of the Australian Government which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo Pacific in Australia by supporting undergraduate students to study and undertake internships in the region. 

The funding I have received will be used to send 18 public relations students from the University of Newcastle, to Indonesia for a 2-week educational professional development program. While they are there, students will visit leading public relations firms and they will work ion a real-world public relations campaign for an Indonesia-based client. In addition, students will learn introductory Bahasa, and they will attend public relations classes and lectures at the University of Brawijaya to learn how public relations is taught and practiced in this country. 

For students, the visit will result in a heightened understanding of Indonesia and how PR is practiced. Students will also derive heightened educational outcomes and professional skills, as well as the development of professional and collegial relationships with Indonesian public relations students and academics, Indonesian PR firms, and Indonesian PR practitioners. The program will also further develop and strengthen the existing partnership between the University of Newcastle and the University of Brawijaya in Malang, Indonesia.

Funding body: Department Foreign Affairs & Trade

Funding body Department Foreign Affairs & Trade
Project Team

Dr Deborah Wise

Scheme New Colombo Plan
Role Lead
Funding Start 2018
Funding Finish 2019
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS

Visiting Academic Scholar, 3-in-1 program, University of Brawijaya$3,500

During September and October 2018 I was invited to be a visiting scholar as part of the University of Brawijaya's 3-in-1 program. The program is designed to internationalise the course offerings at the University of Brawijaya and this is the first year of the program. While I was there I taught into public relations courses and conducted workshops for post-graduate students and junior lecturers. I also participated in a panel with a leading Indonesian public relations practitioner and met senior University executives to discuss future collaborations between the University of Newcastle and the University of Brawijaya.  

Funding body: University of Brawijaya

Funding body University of Brawijaya
Project Team

Dr Deborah Wise, Dr Maulina Wulandari

Scheme UB 3-in-1 program
Role Lead
Funding Start 2018
Funding Finish 2018
Type Of Funding C3232 - International Govt - Other
Category 3232

Research Collaborations

The map is a representation of a researchers co-authorship with collaborators across the globe. The map displays the number of publications against a country, where there is at least one co-author based in that country. Data is sourced from the University of Newcastle research publication management system (NURO) and may not fully represent the authors complete body of work.

Country Count of Publications
Australia 4
Belgium 2

Dr Deborah Wise


School of Creative Industries
Faculty of Education and Arts

Contact Details

Email deborah.wise@newcastle.edu.au
Phone 0421950617
Link Twitter