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Dr Kerrie Milburn

Lecturer, Advertising / Public Relations


Kerrie brings to the public relations discipline her knowledge and experience as a distinguished public relations practitioner, deep understanding of the tertiary sector through program development, teaching (post- and undergraduate levels), consulting at four major Melbourne universities, and significant experience in the establishment of partner arrangements between universities, professional bodies and industry, together with a strong, early academic research agenda.

She is the Discipline Leader for the public relations major, convenes and teaches into a range of public relations units and supervises students undertaking professional placements and internships with industry. She is also responsible for academic support and quality assurance for public relations units offered through Swinburne Online and Swinburne's partners in Vietnam.

She is member of Swinburne's Early Career Researcher Advisory Committee and has served Swinburne as a member of Academic Senate; the University’s Academic Policy and Regulation Committee; Course Director (Work integrated Learning) in the Department of Media and Communication (DMC); member of the School of Social Sciences, Media, Film and Education (SoSSFME, formerly ASSH) Academic Committee; and Chair of the DMC’s Teaching and Innovation Committee.

Kerrie successfully completed her PhD at Swinburne in December 2021, examining public relations and propaganda, with specific reference to post World War II West Germany, and the implications for public relations, both as an academic discipline and a profession in an era of digital disruption, disinformation and ‘fake news’. Her research interests include propaganda and persuasion, public relations ethics, public relations history and German public relations. Kerrie has presented her research at conferences in Australia and overseas and had two papers based on her PhD published in international peer-reviewed journals. Her PhD research has been acknowledged directly by international scholars in an academic discipline whose evolution and emerging architecture are still in their early stages. She is a registered HDR supervisor at Swinburne and registered external examiner for the Master of Public Relations and Corporate Communication, Ajman University, UAE. She is currently collaborating with the Victorian Hydrogen Hub, in research investigating hydrogen acceptance, public perception and message modelling, and high leverage points for interventions to facilitate social outcomes.

Kerrie has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons 1) (German Studies), Graduate Diploma in Languages, Bachelor of Arts, and Associate Diploma in Professional Writing.

Prior to joining Swinburne, she worked in public relations as both a consultant and in-house employee, with ASX Top 100 companies, government, and non-profit organisations. She has Board experience with Kimberly-Clark Australia and BreastScreen Victoria. In recognition of her contribution to public relations, Kerrie was elected a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) in 2000. She is a former Victorian President of the Institute and national Education Committee member.

Research interests

Propaganda and persuasion; Public relations ethics; Public relations history; German public relations

Fields of Research

  • Communication And Media Studies - 470100
  • Other Language, Communication And Culture - 479900

Teaching areas

Public Relations Theory and Practice;Global Public Relations;Issues, Crisis and Risk Communication;Professional Communication Practice


Also published as: Milburn, Kerrie; Milburn, K.
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