Dr Maxine Newlands (BA (Hons), MA, PhD, FHEA) is a Senior lecturer in Political Science and International Relations in the School of Social Science at JCU.  Her PhD studies were in environmental politics and the media over in the UK, and she moved to Australia and JCU shortly after finishing her PhD (2013).

Before entering academia, Maxine was a broadcast journalist with the BBC and commercial radio. She continues to write for the Ecologist magazine, and is a regular political commentator for Australian and International media. Maxine's is the author of Environmental activisim and the Media: the Politics of Protest , with Peter Lang Publishers.

Maxine is a Research Fellow at the Cairns Institute of Tropical Societies and a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

PostGraduate (PhD, MA) or Honours (Hons.) enquiries

Maxine currently supervises two PhD candidates. If you are interested in studying for a Master or PhD in the following areas, please do contact Maxine or the Graduate Research School

  • Great Barrier Reef-
    • Governance and the politics of the GBR
    • GBR and communication practices.
    • Advocacy and the media.
  • Environmental governance and climate change 
    • Media representation
  • Gender representation
    • Environmental Advocacy
    • Developing world
    • Pacific Region (inc PNG)
  • Social Network Analysis, including
    • Social media analysis
    • Political communication
    • Environmental communcation
  • Discourse and Critical Discourse Analysis
  • Political Science and International Relations with a focus on Indo-Pacific region

Honours studies can start in either February or August. Students interested in undertaking a PhD or Masters project should contact Maxine to  discuss potential projects or the  Graduate Research School. The deadline for applications are the 31st August (international applicants) and the 31st October (domestic applicants) every year.

Current Research Projects

Maxine is currently conducting research around the Great Barrier Reef

  • RRAP project mapping stakeholder engagement, governance and media analysis.
  • CSIRO Townsville and the College of Business, Governance and Law on environmental communication.
  • Creative Ecologies project.

And,  with colleagues at UPNG on gender, climate change and govenance in PNG.

Recently Completed Projects

Most Recent Political Commentary in the Media 


Community Engagement

Maxine is the convenor of the following programs

  • Open Book Seminar Series - joint initiative with the Cairns Institute and College of Arts, Society and Education, JCU
  • Ecofeminism, Educators and Climate Change network and symposium
  • Young Diplomats Program (YDP).   YDP is a program that works with year ten students from local school culminating in a Day of Diplomacy, and the Townsville Protocol. (2016). Funded by JCU·
  • PL1001: The Political World: An Introduction to Political Science (Level 1; CNS & TSV)
  • PL2006: Political Communication in the Global Environment (Level 2; CNS & TSV)
  • PL2110: Government and Politics in Developing Areas (Level 2; CNS & TSV)
  • PL2153: International Politics and Foreign Relations (Level 2; CNS & TSV)
  • PL3003: Democracy and the State (Level 3; CNS & TSV)
  • PL3250: Australia and World Politics (Level 3; CNS & TSV)
  • PL4002: Theory and Method in Political Science (Level 4; CNS & TSV)
  • PL5110: Shifting Geopolitical Environments in Emerging States (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
  • PL5153: Politics and Foreign Relations (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
  • Maxine is the Project Manager and lead investigator for the Townsville 150 Old and the News exhibition (Feb 2016 - Jan 2017) at the Museum of Tropical Queensland.
  • Maxine is interested in social media analysis, social netwrok analysis and discourse analysis. She has conducted consultation work for the Bureau of Meteorology on best practice for social media strategies. Please contact Maxine to discuss consultation works.
  • Maxine's research focuses -Political Ecology -Political Communciation -Environmental journalism -environmental politics and governance - radical politics and protest movements ; and Media discourse and the Great Barrier Reef. - Gender disparity in the developing world. Maxine's methodological approaches centers on critical discourse analysis, discourse analysis, focus groups, content analysis and empirical research. Maxine's monograph 'Environmental Activism and the Media: the Politics of Protest' (Peter Lang Publishers, forthcoming)
  • 2017 to present - Editor (Reviews), Journal of Environmental Education (Aus.)
  • 2015 to present - Member, Social Science Network, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. (Townsville, QLD)
  • 2015 to 2019 - Fellow, Cairns Institute (Cairns, Qld.)
  • 2015 - Visiting Academic, National University of Samoa (Apia, Samoa)
  • 2010 to 2014 - Fellow, London East Research Institue (London, UK)
  • 2009 to 2013 - Senior Lecturer, University of East London (London, UK)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2017 - 3 Minute Thesis: Early Career Researcher. JCU/ DTES Runner up
  • 2016 - TropEco Leadership & Governance - Highly Commended for EfECC Symposium.
  • 2014 - TROPECO - Learning and Teaching Award, Highly Commended for embedding sustainability in teaching and learning activities
  • 2014 - TROPECO - Research Award Highly Commended for outstanding research activities that contributes to a more sustainable society and environment.
  • 2014 - Overall Winner - TROPECO Excellence award for Outstanding contribution to sustainability at JCU and in the wider community
  • 2016 to 2017 - Scholarship- Australian Higher Education Sector Leadership Colloquium; Australian School of Applied Management.
  • 2016 - New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant ($110,000) over two years, working with colleagues in Samoa.
  • 2014 - Winner: Division of Tropical Environment & Societies Three Minute Thesis Competition ECR category
  • 2010 - Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK.
  • 2015 to 2018 - Visiting Fellow, Media and Journalism, National University of Samoa
  • 2010 to 2014 - London East Research Institute (LERI)
  • 2016 - Centre for Research & Innovation in Sustainability Education
  • 2013 - Journalism Education and Researchers Association of Australia (JERAA)
  • 2015 to 2018 - Cairns Institute, JCU, Cairns.
  • 2007 to 2013 - Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA)

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters
Other research outputs

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 46+ research outputs authored by Dr Maxine Newlands from 2008 onwards.


Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Living Nature: Western Thinking and the Experience of Nature in the United States and in Australia in the 21st Century (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Defining Nannagogy: Investigating Older Women’s Environmental Citizenship Learning through the Experiences of the Knitting Nannas Against Gas (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

These are the most recent metadata records associated with this researcher. To see a detailed description of all dataset records, visit the JCU Research Data Catalogue.


The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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