Rowena Specht-Whyte

Communication for Social Change in Brisbane, Australia

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After working in commercial litigation for over ten years (in Australia and the UK), I left legal practice with a view to combine my various skills and experience and be directly active in social change. On 9 July 2021, I graduated with a coursework Masters in Communication for Social Change at the University of Queensland, home of the world renowned Centre for Communication for Social Change, achieving a cumulative GPA of 6.636, and a High Distinction for my Masters thesis. The program at UQ focuses on Participatory Communication strategies and practices to design, implement and evaluate sustainable social change projects and processes. As a disabled queer person, with an undergraduate qualification in psychology as well as law, my interest in social change stems from lived experience as well as understanding and recognising the complexity of systemic privilege and marginalisation.

I was the singer and joint songwriter for progressive rock band "never" for five years in Brisbane, Australia, and then singer and joint songwriter in an industrial duo "Opaque", in each case the sole lyricist. After moving to London, UK, I continued writing and performing original music. Now back in Brisbane, I am writing new material, collaborating with musicians worldwide, and looking forward to being back on stage.

In 2012, I had my first short story published, and I am excited that this story is now republished and back out in the world again in a great anthology by Vision Writers: “Best of 25 Years!” I am also working on new short stories and a novel in the urban fantasy and horror genres. I was a judge for the Australian Aurealis Awards in 2009, 2010 and 2014, and am judging the Anthology and Collections categories for 2021.

As a creative professional, I understand the power of music, writing and popular culture to spur change. I aim to inform my practice in the field of social change with the skills and experience I have as a conflict resolution professional and creative.

  • Education
    • The University of Queensland