Dr Karen Sutherland

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Dr Karen Sutherland


Teaching areas

  • Public Relations – Contemporary Perspectives
  • Community Engagement
  • Social Media
  • Public Relations Writing

Research areas

  • social media
  • social media in the not-for-profit sector
  • social media pedagogy
  • work integrated learning


Dr Karen Sutherland completed a Bachelor of Communication/Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing at Monash University, a Master of Marketing (with Merit) from the University of Newcastle, a Postgraduate Diploma of Arts (Research) and PhD also at Monash University. The focus of her thesis was on social media approaches by Australian not-for-profit organisations. Her other research includes social media, social media ethics and Work Integrated Learning in relation to internships.

In addition to her educational qualifications, Karen has worked in the fields of public relations, marketing and communication since 1999. During that time she has performed roles at high-profile organisations such as the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABCTV), Grundy Television, Fremantle Media, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service and Monash University.

Her roles have ranged from coordinating international publicity and web presence for the television program Neighbours, to devising public relations campaigns to boost blood donations for the Australian Red Cross.

Karen's professional memberships include the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA), as well as contributing to the Response Ability for Public Relations Expert Working Group for the Mindframe National Media Initiative facilitated by the Hunter Institute of Mental Health.

Stay in touch with Karen at:

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Professional memberships

  • Public Relations Institute of Australia


Sutherland, K.E. & Barker, R (2014) The Influence of Transmedia Storytelling Portfolio Examples on Employer Perceptions of Public Relations Graduate Employability – A Pilot Study, Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, Vol 15 No. 1 pp. 55–69.

Barker, R & Sutherland K.E. (2013) Employer expectations of public relations graduates’ transmedia storytelling proficiency, Prism Journal, 10(1), pp. 1–9.

Sutherland K.E & Symmons M (2013), Development of processes and assessment to facilitate a broad multidisciplinary Work Integrated Learning package, Asia Pacific Journal of Collaborative Education, 14(4) pp. 295–304.

Sutherland K.E, (2011), Utilising Facebook to create an online community for PR students, Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, Vol 12 No. 2 pp. 1–19.

Research grants

Project name         Investigators Funding body     Year Focus
Increasing student engagement and community via the integration of social media technologies to enhance/inform blended learning at USC Dr Uwe Terton and Ms Irene Visser (Leads), Professor Cindy Davis and Ms Karen Sutherland Exploratory Learning and Teaching Grant, USC (A$10,000) 2015–2016 To increase student engagement and community via the integration of social media technologies to enhance/inform blended learning at USC
Social media for digital leaders Karen Sutherland and Dr Susie Ho Better Teaching, Better Learning Grant, Monash University (A$2,000) 2014–2015 Multidisciplinary social media workshops for undergrads/social media pedagogy
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