Dr Natalia Veles coordinates Graduate Certificate of Career Development course and course subjects at James Cook University and is based on Townsville campus. She is the Head of Professional Programs portfolio at the Academy leading development, curriculum improvement and delivery of career development, research methods, academic practice, continuous professional development, short courses and micro credentials.  

Her extensive professional experience in education leadership, project management and international market strategic business development compliments and informs her academic research in career development, university third space, intercultural and cross-boundary collaborations in higher education and staff professional identities. 

Natalia is based at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia with a research and doctoral student supervision and research affiliation with the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. She is a third space professional whose higher education management practice, passion for lifelong learning and commitment to enhancing the learning experiences and improving the careers and self-realisation opportunities of university students and staff drive her research interests and motivation for improving academic practice and enhancing research collaborations. 

Natalia’s academic background is in organisational sociology, intercultural psychology, career education and development and applied linguistics (Mandarin Chinese language) within the interdisciplinary higher education field of research, with a particular curiosity for how organisations work, and how organisational boundaries and discursive spaces are co-constructed and enabled by individuals and organisations. 

Natalia’s current research focus is on sustainable careers of the university third space professionals, university staff collaboration, career pathways and career motivations. Her recent research monograph Optimising the Third Space in Higher Education: Case Studies of Intercultural and Cross-Boundary Collaboration was published by Routledge in 2022.

  • ED5581: Theories and Assessment in Career Development (Level 5; ONL)
  • ED5582: Professional Practice of Career Development (Level 5; ONL)
  • ED5583: Labour Market Information and the Future of Work (Level 5; ONL)
  • ED5584: Career Development Theories and Counselling Approaches in Practice (Level 5; ONL)
  • Journal Associate Editor: Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education
  • Editorial Board member: Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, an international journal of professional higher education research and practice
  • Regular reviewer for the Journal of Higher Education Policy Management
  • Regular reviewer for Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education
  • Career planning, career development, sustainable careers in higher education, career assessment; higher education staff: identities, collaboration and agency
  • Career education and development
  • University third space
  • Sociology of organisations
  • Career development theories
  • Research methods
  • 2022 to present - Academic Head, Professional Programs, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2022 to present - Course Coordinator, Graduate Certificate of Career Development, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2019 to present - Adjuct HDR Supervisor, University of Southern Queensland (Toowoomba)
  • 2015 to 2022 - College Manager, College of Arts, Society and Education, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2021 - Lecturer, Research Methods, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2010 to 2015 - Director, Community Services, TAFE Queensland (Sunshine Coast)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2022 - Dean’s Award for Higher Degree by Research Excellence
  • 2021 - PhD - James Cook University
  • 2021 - Graduate Certificate in Career Development - James Cook University
  • 1999 - Bachelor of Arts (Applied Linguistics, Asian Studies, Chinese language)
  • 2023 - RPCDP (Registered Professional Career Development Practitioner)
  • 2022 - Asia Pacific Career Development Association (APCDA)
  • 2022 - Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA) registration
  • 2022 - National Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (NAGCAS)
  • 2019 - Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE)

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
Other research outputs
Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Queensland Government - Youth Research Grants Program

Youth Research Grants Program

Indicative Funding
$200,000 over 1 year
The Youth Research Grants Program aims to stimulate interest in research which reflects the needs and views of young people through enabling them to be involved in setting priorities for and selection of research projects. The Program supports the vision set out in the Queensland Youth Strategy (QYS) that promotes young people?s active contribution to Queensland's economic, civic and cultural life. This project aims to engage with young people (17?24-year-olds) in north and far north Queensland currently studying at James Cook University (JCU), to provide an opportunity to share their thoughts, concerns, dreams and desires, and to provide inspiration for a JCU-led research project with and for youth with a focus on wellbeing, future aspirations, concerns and potential solutions to urgent issues. The project would focus on JCU discipline areas of Social Work, Sociology, Education and Creative Arts, with an intention for young people to develop and present art works- and in particular visual and wearable art- expressing their concerns and aspirations. Please refer to the Project Proposal for full details of the Project?s timing and objectives.
Natalia Veles, Glenn Dawes, Tanya Doyle, Peta Salter, Robyn Glade-Wright and Abraham Francis (College of Arts and Society & Education)
Young People; Youth Justice; creative arts; diversity; enablement

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