Dr Ruari Elkington

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Lecturer in Creative Industries, QUT

Doctor of Philosophy (Queensland University of Technology), PhD (Queensland University of Technology), BA (Hons) (Queensland University of Technology)

I am a creative industries and screen industries academic combining successful inclusion of Indigenous perspectives in my learning and teaching with effective enterprise skills development. My industry engagement and academic research is driven by questions around how screen content connects with discrete audiences in markets increasingly under pressure through creative and commercial tensions.

I received my PhD (The Education Market for Documentary Film: Digital Shifts in an Age of Content Abundance) through the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Creative Industries and Innovation and am a Chief Investigator with QUT’s Digital Media Research Centre and now publish in the field of screen distribution, screen studies and education. My research builds upon significant industry experience in screen media distribution and sits broadly within the field of screen studies with a specific focus on film distribution and theatrical exhibition studies. This work draws on my significant screen industry experience in the acquisition, marketing and distribution of documentary, feature film and innovative digital content to theatrical and online audiences.

I am AMP ‘Tomorrow Maker’ who in 2016 developed Altruistix, a social enterprise focussed on fundraising and audience building in the arts and culture sector. In 2018 I was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to investigate new initiatives connecting Creative Industries students and online video creators in collaborative work. I am a Fellow, and an Associate Fellow (Indigenous), of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

I continue to mentor others in leading a faculty-wide community of practice to support fellow CIESJ educators to complete the Indigenous Perspectives in Learning and Teaching (IPLT) modules to evidence their teaching in applying for the AFHEA (Indigenous) award. Throughout my academic domains of activity, I drive a culture responding directly to the real-world community expectations of QUT - to lead in the recognition of the contribution of Indigenous Australians and foster a deeper understanding of the world’s oldest continuing culture. This change agent work continues to animate my leadership into the future.

I currently lecture in Creative Industries at the Queensland University of Technology’s Creative Industries, Education and Social Justice Faculty.

Additional information

My real world engagement is evidenced in my 2019 peer reviewed appointment to the World Economic Forum (WEF) Expert Network (Future of Information and Entertainment) building on my 2016 AMP “Tomorrow Maker” award and funding. Over the last five years my external leadership work within the screen sector has also included National Executive Committee Membership (2019) to the Australian Screen Production Education and Research Association (ASPERA), and institutional membership and ongoing student mentorship and screening facilitation for the Australian Academy of Cinema & Television Arts (AACTA) /Australian Film Institute (AFI).

In 2020 I was awarded three-year New Columbo Plan (NCP) mobility grant funding to connect CI students with World Economic Forum (WEF) 'Global Shapers' in Samoa. This engagement builds upon my own WEF Expert membership in addition to my International Centre for Democratic Partnerships (ICDP), membership and 2019 dialogue facilitation. ICDP’s ‘Pacific Connect’ helps to deliver the Australian Government’s agenda to step-up Australia’s Pacific engagement by building stronger relationships between people in Australia and the Pacific.

My strong commitment to real-world engagement is also evidenced in my development, program delivery and academic leadership of Advance Queensland’s “Create Queensland” (CQ) program, an initiative of the Queensland Government and YouTube, developed in partnership with organisations committed to growing the digital economy in Queensland. These organisations included Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ), Screen Queensland, the Department of Innovation, Tourism Industry Development and Commonwealth Games (DITID), Changer Studios and University partners Griffith University, Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA), and QUT’s then Creative Industries Faculty (CIF). Over three years (2016-2019), alongside Griffith University’s Professor Richard Fabb who led the Griffith University component, I led the QUT academic mentorship, development and co-production of new serialised YouTube content resulting in the tangible subscriber and channel growth for the Creator participants.

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