Our staff

Our journalism and media team includes award-winning journalists and documentary makers who continue to work as practitioners. Our public relations team brings decades of professional experience to the classroom.

Dr Kevin Brianton (Senior Lecturer, Public Relations and Head of Department) has more than 30 years' experience in market research, journalism and public relations. He worked as both a consultant and as a manager in government and private industry. He coordinates the Master of Communication (Public Relations) degree.

Professor Lawrie Zion worked as a journalist and broadcaster for two decades before joining La Trobe in 2006. He heads the ARC-funded New Beats project, a five-year study investigating the aftermath of journalism redundancies in Australia. His book The Weather Obsession, was published by Melbourne University Press in 2017. He is coordinator of the Bachelor of Media and Communication and Director of the Transforming Human Societies Research Focus Area.

Dr Nasya Bahfen (Senior Lecturer, Journalism) coordinates the Master of Communication (Journalism Innovation) degree, teaches undergraduate journalism subjects, and supervises research students. Nasya is the Department's research coordinator, responsible for all higher degree research students and for coordinating research opportunities and initiatives. Prior to teaching Nasya was a journalist and producer for ABC Radio Australia, ABC Radio National, and SBS in radio and online, and she is an AFL Multicultural Community ambassador.

Dr Ivo Burum (Lecturer, Media Industries) is a journalist and an award-winning television, writer, director and executive producer. He has produced more than 2500 hours of prime-time cross genre television for local and international audiences, across a range of program styles including: documentary, reality, docudrama, nightly public affairs, consumer affairs and current affairs. Ivo manages our Media Industries major and his research focuses on communication technology and digital media studies.

Dr Merryn Sherwood (Senior Lecturer, Sport Journalism) is a former Canberra Times journalist, also joined the team in 2015. She lectures in sport journalism and is the Sport Journalism coordinator for the Bachelor of Media and Communication. She completed a PhD thesis on sports communications and is a Chief Investigator for the New Beats project. Merryn is on leave in 2018.

Dr Brigid McCarthy (Lecturer, Journalism) a former sports journalist and radio presenter. She has written about international artistic gymnastics for several sports publications and gymnastics federations, including coverage of World, European and World Cup championships. Her research interests include sports, fandom and social media, as well as issues of race, gender and representation in narrative television.

Natalie McKenna (Lecturer, Public Relations) is a media and communications professional with a background in public relations, television and radio. Her expertise is in image development, branding and social media strategy. Natalie has lectured in public relations, strategic communication and entrepreneurship at RMIT University. Her research investigates barriers to career advancement in female professionals.

Mark Civitella (Lecturer, Public Relations) is a communications professional who, as a consultant has advised a number of major organisations. Mark specialises in political and issue communication. Mark is also the manager of our internship program and coordinates the Public Relations major.

Bill Bainbridge (Lecturer, Journalism) is an ABC senior producer and journalist who is teaching Broadcast Journalism in 2018. Bill is an ABC most recently worked at the ABC's Asia Pacific News Centre where he prepared and delivered material across TV, radio news and current affairs. Bill has also worked as a staff trainer at the ABC and has previously taught at both Melbourne University and Swinburne.