Award-winning Digital Media team ready for new challenges

Published:21 November 2018

1. Dr Ashley Holmes receives the 2018 Opal Award for Engaged Education and Training on behalf of the teaching team. 2. Plantasy team engage online with their client, Neil Hoy, President of Native Plants Capricornia (NPC) using the Zoom teleconferencing application during the development of a new web site for NPC. Clockwise from top left: Chantel Russell (Coral Cove), Ashley Holmes (Mackay), Luke Bundesen (Bundaberg), Neil Hoy (Rockhampton), Lauren Gull (Rockhampton) and Ben Rutherford (Bundaberg). The team also developed a new logo for NPC. 3. Coastal Exposure team, based in Mackay, produced five open-caption instructional videos for a local swim school. Team members: Caitlin Crabbe, Clarence Dupalco, Shannon Stone and Adam Tippett. Team supervisor: Ashley Holmes. 4. Street Light team, based in Brisbane, produced a video promoting Brisbane Twilight Markets for Bris Style and Brisbane City Council. Team members: Nicholas Hadwen, Tyler Mander, Najjil Nicerio, Kristian Shipman. Team supervisor: Peter Cox. 5. Coastal Connections team members advised the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce on their web and social media strategy. Team members: Jazmin-Marie Burnham, Joshua Hill, Alice Robertson, Amy Rook. Supervisor: Brendan Murphy.

With a decade of successful community projects and a major award under their belt, CQUniversity's Digital Media teaching team is looking for fresh challenges for students in 2019.

The team is inviting not-for-profit community organisations who could benefit from digital media projects, free of charge, to register interest by emailing

Suitable challenges for Collaborative Digital Media Project student teams include:

- content management system-based websites;

- digital videos for all purposes including 2D and 3D animations;

- virtual and augmented reality audio-visual content;

-- mobile application and digital game proofs-of-concept;

- digital communications strategy and social media content.

CQUniversity's Digital Media academics recently won a CQUniversity Opal Award for excellence in community engagement projects staged from 2007 to 2017. They also released a dossier of projects completed in 2018.

The Opal award recognises the success of a unique arrangement for matching the digital communication development needs of organisations with the skills of advanced digital media students.

Unit Coordinator, Dr Ashley Holmes accepted the award in Mackay on behalf of the multi-campus teaching team that includes Peter Cox, Andrew Martin, Brendan Murphy and Gianni Wise.

“It is excellent to have the long-term success of this capstone unit recognised,” Dr Holmes said.

“The hybrid service-learning/consultancy studio approach requires students to collaborate on digital communication projects that would otherwise not be possible for an organisation to accomplish because of lack of budget.

"The students volunteer and gain authentic experience on real projects.

"Around half of them are studying in distance mode and so the more common ‘placement’ model of work-integrated-learning does not suit them.

"In this unit, teams of students contribute virtually to designing and developing a useful product.

"Many not-for-profit organisations have benefited, and every year more continue to do so."

Dr Holmes explained that projects commence in March and come to fruition in October each year.

Organisations need to provide an initial project brief and a ‘client representative’ who can commit to liaising with the student team on a regular basis, providing information and feedback. Students opt in for a project that interests them.

The unit, Collaborative Digital Media Project, runs in two consecutive parts. During Part A, students perform needs elicitation and analysis, propose a solution to the challenge, and propose a production plan.

In Part B, the plan is developed in stages with associated work-in-progress presentations. The client and stakeholders’ timely provision of feedback at each stage is essential for a professional quality outcome.