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Professor Julian Thomas

Director, Swinburne Institute for Social Research, Professor of Media and Communications


Julian Thomas is Director of the Swinburne Institute for Social Research, and also Professor of Media and Communications. Julian's main interests are in digital media, information policy and the history of communications technologies. Recent publications include The Informal Media Economy (Polity, 2015), with Ramon Lobato, Fashioning Intellectual Property (Cambridge University Press, 2012), with Megan Richardson, and the co-edited collection Amateur Media (Routledge, 2013).

Julian is also Chair of the management committee of the website Australian Policy Online, and is a member of the Telstra CEO's Consumer Forum, the ARC College of Experts, and the Advisory Board of QUT's Digital Media Research Centre.

Research interests

New Media and the Internet in Australia; Media and communications policy; Histories of new communications technologies; Information policy

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

PhD topics and outlines

Digital inclusion and the digital divide: We welcome proposals on the following topics: digital inclusion and social, educational, and economic participation; the development of measures and evaluation tools for interventions in this area; other studies of policies and programmes designed to increase digital participation.

Piracy, copyright and informal media: We welcome proposals around any of the following topics: media piracy, pirate labour, streaming, file-sharing, social media distribution, theories and models of the informal economy (in relation to media), case studies of particular networks and infrastructure, field-based studies of informal media workers, especially in Asia or comparative studies of media systems.

Fields of Research

  • Media Studies - 200104


  • 2014, International, Best Information Website - Australian Policy Online, AuDA and Internet New Zealand

Further information



Also published as: Thomas, Julian; Thomas, J.
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2020: ARC - Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society *; ARC Centre of Excellence Scheme
  • 2018: Linked semantic platforms for social & physical infrastructure & wellbeing *; ARC Linkage Infrastructure and Equipment Scheme
  • 2016: Connecting the Australian Policy Online Collection *; NATIONAL COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE STRATEGY Australian National Data Service (ANDS)
  • 2016: Linked Data PolicyHub Stage II: Urban & Regional Planning & Communications *; ARC Linkage Infrastructure and Equipment Scheme
  • 2014: Swinburne University Major Open Data Collections: Policy Online Research Data Citation (RDC) Project *; National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS)
  • 2013: Linked Data PolicyHub - Connected Resources for Social Research *; ARC Linkage Infrastructure and Equipment Scheme
  • 2013: MRBDS - Support for ARC Centre of Excellence for Digital Transformations bid *; Research Advisory Group - Major Research Bid Development Scheme 2013
  • 2012: Grey literature, policy innovation and access to knowledge: realising the value of informal publishing *; ARC Linkage Projects Scheme
  • 2012: Is there a 'tipping point' at which additional services for homeless people do not lead to additional improvements in health abnd well-being? A study of the STAY service in Tasmania *; Housing Assistance and Homelessness Prevention program
  • 2012: Which neighbourhoods have the highest risk of homelessness? *; Housing Assistance and Homelessness Prevention program
  • 2011: Australian policy online research infrastructure agreement *; Australian National University
  • 2011: Digital innovation pilot: applied research collaboration *; Convience Information Systems Pty Ltd
  • 2011: Home Internet for Remote Indigenous Communities *; ARC Linkage Projects Scheme
  • 2011: Housing for older, single women survey *; The Salvation Army
  • 2011: Informal economies and audiovisual industries: histories, dynamics, legal and policy responses *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme
  • 2011: Safe from the start - Tasmanian Aboriginal project *; The Salvation Army
  • 2010: The determinants for success for home internet for Indigenous consumers in remote Australia *; Australian Communications Consumer Action Network Independent Grants Program
  • 2010: The YOUCOMMNEWS research and development project *; Victorian Department of Innovation, Industry & Regional Development

* Chief Investigator