• The University of Western Australia (M257), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Rob Cover is Associate Professor in the School of Social Sciences at The University of Western Australia. He is a social, media and cultural studies researcher whose work focuses on the implications of media and digital cultures for minorities, particularly in respect to health, social integration, diversity, ethics and belonging. He is a Chief Investigator on a current ARC Discovery Project investigating Australia’s rich history of gender- and sexual-diversity in film and television (DP180103321) and Chief Investigator on a separate Discovery Project examining the history, conditions and frameworks of LGBTQI youth sexuality support (DP150101292). Other current projects are investigating the utility of ‘resilience’ among service providers working with young minorities, and the creative practices related to the continued circulation of stereotypes in online settings.

He has published widely on topics related to digital media/communication in the context of identity, youth, health, wellbeing and resilience. His recent books include: Queer Youth Suicide, Culture and Identity: Unliveable Lives? (Routledge 2012; re-released paperback 2016), Vulnerability and Exposure: Footballer Scandals, Masculinity and Ethics (UWAP Scholarly 2015); Digital Identities: Creating and Communicating the Online Self (Elsevier 2016) and (forthcoming from Routledge) Emergent Identities: New Sexualities, Gender and Relationships in a Digital Era.

He has had substantial professional experience as a freelance journalist and writer and, more recently, as a communication strategist across various departments in the Government of Queensland.

He has won several prestigious teaching awards and has a reputation for successful teaching innovations such as the production of video documentaries as teaching tools and international video-conferenced collaborative teaching.

Rob recently developed the new, highly successful Master of Strategic Communication (postgraduate coursework) program at UWA, and teaches topics in strategic communication, journalism, and gender.

Rob is a member of the Executive of the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia (WA Representative), of the Board of the Association for Cultural Studies (international), sits on the editorial board and/or peer reviews for over a dozen journals in the field, is an ARC Assessor and ERA Peer-Reviewer (FoR Codes 2001 and 2002) and a regular contributor to OnLine Opinion as well as other opinion writing.

Funding overview


ARC Discovery Project, 2018-2020, "Representation of Gender and Sexual Diversity in Australian Film and Television, 1990-2010." DP180103321.

ARC Discovery Project, 2015-2018 "Transitions to adulthood: support, belonging and sexual citizenship among sexual and gender diverse youth." DP150101292, with Scientia Professor Peter Aggleton (UNSW), Professor Mary Lou Rasmussen (ANU), Dr Daniel Marshall (Deakin).


Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia-India Council): "Video and Face-to-Face Engagmenet for Cross-Cultural Learning". $10,000, with Professor Anjali Gera Roy, Indian Institute of Technology.

Australian Sports Commission $30,000 Integrity in Sports Literature Review (with Chris Beasley and Mandy Treagus)


Space Doctors / MetLife: "Australian Health Communication Update".  2018.  Consultancy



2017: Worldwide Universities Network—Research Development Fund, “Communicating Good Health and Wellbeing: Promotion, Advocacy and Resilience”  R Cover (lead investigator), with: L Baldassar, F Fozdar, K Atwell, A Bartlett, S Carr, N Mavaddat, H Christian, and universities of: Cape Town, Sheffield, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Alberta, Auckland and Ghana.  $33,306.

2016: The University of Western Australia Research Collaboration Award, “Digital Stereotypes: Combatting Minority Stereotypes of Sexual and Gender Diverse Persons in Digital Search Images Online” (with J Lydon, K Clarke, Partner organisations: National University of Singapore, University of New South Wales, University of Durham, University of Queensland, University of Salford, Deakin University, Monash University, University of Tasmania, University of Amsterdam.) $29,160.

2014: The University of Western Australia Research Collaboration Award, "Community, Popular and Digital Media in Migrant Settlement, Integration and Resilience: Mobilities and Belonging" (with F Fozdar, L Baldassar, J Elfving-Hwang. Partner organisations: University of Leeds, University of Sydney, Auckland University, Indian Institute of Technology, Monash University, Adelaide University, Wollongong Unviersity, La Trobe University, National University of Singapore.) $16,000

2014: The University of Western Australia TR Award, "Pilot—Media and Cultural Approaches to Resilience and Social Inclusion for LGBT Young Adults" $20,000

2014: The University of Western Australia Teaching Fellowship, "Streaming and Recorded: Digital and Video Resources for Internationalised Teaching and Learning in Cycle 2 Communication and Media Studies Programs" $20,000

2013: The University of Western Australia Educational Strategies Office, "OLT Seed Funding Grant" $5,000.

2012: The University of Western Australia, Diversity Initiatives Fund, "Improving Learning Equity for students from diverse backgrounds through enhanced digital access and skill" $5,000

2012: The University of Adelaide, Fay Gale Centre for Research on Gender, Research Development Grant, "Masculinity and Sports Integrity" with Dr Mandy Treagus, $3,500

2012: The University of Adelaide, Fay Gale Centre for Research on Gender, Book Development Grant, "Queer Memory" with Dr Rosslyn Prosser $5,000.

2010: The University of Adelaide, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Category 1 Support Grant “Queer Memory Project” $600.

2010: The University of Adelaide, Fay Gale Centre for Research on Gender Article Fellowship “Queer Memory Project” $600.

2010: The University of Adelaide, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Research Grant “Community Media in Transition: Understanding community print publications’ needs and goals in an era of digital transition.” $3,900.

2009: The University of Adelaide, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Research Grant "Media Professions and Processes: An examination of media/communication industry skills, procedures and project management processes.” $4,500.

2009: The University of Adelaide Equity & Diversity Grant “Digital Divisions: Improving equity in learning for students from diverse backgrounds through enhanced digital access and digital skill acquisition.” With Dr Ros Prosser. $4,784.

2008: The University of Adelaide, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Research Grant “Digital Literacies: Determining the relationship between recent school-leavers’ digital media skills, higher education and professional choices and contemporary industry requirements.” $9,914.

2005: Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Research Grant “Popular Media, Electronic Gaming and Representations of Youth Suicide” NZD$3,500.

2005: Victoria University of Wellington, University Research Fund “New Media, Gender, Sexuality & Youth Suicide in New Zealand” NZD$16,000.

2003: Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Research Grant “Video Gaming and Youth Identity in New Zealand—A Pilot Study” With Associate Professor Roy Shuker. NZD$4,927.

2004: Victoria University of Wellington Senior Management Team Discretionary Research Fund “The New Zealand Electronic Games Industry: Local Production in a Global digital Future” With Associate Professor Roy Shuker NZD$5,067.

Previous positions

2008 – 2011: Senior Lecturer in Media, School of Humanities, The University of Adelaide

2006 – 2007: Consultant, Principal Planning Officer (Acting), Senior Communications Officer: Queensland State Government Department of Communities, Department of Child Safety and Disability Services Queensland.

2003 – 2006: Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Media Studies, School of English, Film, Theatre & Media Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

Teaching overview

COMM3004 Journalism in Practice.

SCOM5303 Communication Strategies for Change.


Rob researches and publishes in media, social theory and cultural studies with a particular interest in digital cultures, gender/sexual diversity, youth, mobility/population and belonging. His work can best be understood as falling under three areas:

How we can understand media and communications environments in the contexts of interactivity; social networking; emergent identities online; gaming cultures; digital/strategic communicationand social change; representations of Sports Scandals

Minority and Migrant Media; Service Providers to Vulnerable Groups and Resilience; Debates about Population and Policy; Refugees, Migrants and Ethics of Vulnerability, Recognition and Welcome; Refugees, Representation and Social Change

Queer Youth Suicide and Culture/Identity; Suicide Theory; Digital Media and Younger Persons; Young Sportsplayers and Ethical Behaviours Off-field; Masculinities Studies.


Further details and useful links:

Rob's Austlit Page:

Rob's Google Scholar Page:

Rob's Academia.edu page:

Rob's Researchgate page:

Rob's Expert Guide Profile:

Rob's OnLine Opinion Author Profile

Migration, Mobilities and Belonging (MMoB) Initiative

Google Search



  • Digital communications, digital media
  • Community publications and newspapers
  • Social networking
  • Strategic communications
  • Sexualities
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual media and representation
  • Youth suicide
  • Population
  • Refugees
  • Scandals
  • Footballers and media
  • Media ethics
  • Stereotypes
  • Television narrative
  • Television series
  • Science fiction

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Research Output 1999 2019

Queer generations: Theorizing a concept

Marshall, D., Aggleton, P., Cover, R., Rasmussen, M. L. & Hegarty, B., 1 Jan 2019, In : International Journal of Cultural Studies.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Emergent Identities: New Sexualities, Genders and Relationships in a Digital Era

Cover, R. I., 2018, Oxon: Routledge. 163 p. (Gender and Sexualities in Psychology)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

gender studies
cultural studies

Facts of life and liveability: asylum seekers, political narratives, ethics

Markham, T. & Cover, R. I., 20 May 2018, In : Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies. 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

asylum seeker
moral philosophy
nation state

Gay, famous and working hard on YouTube: Influencers, queer microcelebrity publics and discursive activism

Abidin, C. & Cover, R. I., 2018, Youth, Sexuality and Sexual Citizenship. Aggleton, P., Cover, R., Leahy, D., Marshall, D. & Rasmussen, M. L. (eds.). USA: Routledge, p. 217-231 15 p. (Sexuality, Culture and Health).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapter

Heterosexuality and Race in the Australian Same-Sex Marriage Postal Survey

Hegarty, B., Marshall, D., Rasmussen, M. L., Aggleton, P. & Cover, R. I., 2018, In : Australian Feminist Studies. 33, 97, p. 400-416 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Activities 2012 2016

  • 2 Membership of board

Association for Cultural Studies (External organisation)

Rob Cover (Member)
2016 → …

Activity: Membership typesMembership of board

Cultural Studies Association of Australasia (External organisation)

Rob Cover (Member)
2012 → …

Activity: Membership typesMembership of board