Peter West is a lecturer in Communication Design in the school of Media and Communication. He has a diverse teaching practice across areas such as communications strategy, art direction and design for social change.
Peter’s teaching practice incorporates practical knowledge of both art direction and communications strategy. These design approaches are used to engage students with a range of social issues. This occurs through direct participation in the task at hand via client contact, collaboration, peer critique and reflective practice. This aim is to engage the cohort with all aspects of the studio enquiry, or client objective, in an immersive manner, bringing students into a practical understanding of how their design skills can be utilised for collaboration with the client and not merely as a technique for output.
He teaches at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. In addition to this Peter was the Honours Year Co-ordinator of the Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) ‘Meanwhile’ a Work Integrated Learning Program (WIL) 2004 -2009.
Peter’s research focuses on developing communication strategies with Indigenous communities to support Indigenous self determination. His research interests traverse areas of communication strategy, narrative based story-telling, humour and nostalgia as means of creating connections. Peter sees this research as an opportunity to develop design languages and methods which respect cultural protocols and reflect a detailed understanding of how design can support diverse cultures. These investigations are framed within a practice, project based context.
Research grants and projects
Peter is a Partner Investigator on the Melbourne School of Government Research Cluster Grant: “Indigenous Nation Building: Theory, Practice and its emergence in Australia’s public policy discourse.” 2013- 2016 and a named Research Assistant on ARC Linkage Gran (LP14t: Indigenous nationhood in the absence of recognition: Self governance insights and strategies from three Aboriginal communities 2014 -2017.
The thematic of how we engage with Indigenous storytelling and narrative, is a trajectory which runs through his research and comprises the enquiry and project components of his MA/PHD, commenced in 2015.
Peter is as a chief investigator on Sovereign Weaving Project: 'Practicing Sovereign Relations through Weaving a Treaty' The project seeks to support Indigenous Nations to practice their sovereignty, through the realisation of a woven treaty as the conclusion of their diplomatic responsibilities. This project will involve many Indigenous nations throughout Victoria, NSW and South Australia and will be conducted through a series of events. This project is supported by RMIT, Melbourne University, Charles Sturt University and Wagga Council.
AIDS; Gays and Aborigines; A place for all in Indigenous Nation Building.
Funded by NIRIKAN. 2015 – July 2016
Peter West’s professional career includes working as both an art director, copywriter and communications strategist at multinational advertising agencies and mid-sized local communications agencies; servicing both retail and social issue communication objectives.
Since 2000 the range of clients Peter has worked for has included, Telstra; regional outlets, Bupa, Telsta T-Life stores, Yellow Pages, Pal Pedigree and Qantas.
Peter has also worked for not for profit organisations such as the VAC, (Victorian Aids Council) Amnesty International. Diabetes Australia, Vision Australia, White Lion and Art Support for Youth.
Peter’s has worked across a variety of media forms including press advertising, television, digital strategy, radio, event management and long form corporate training, film packages.
- Akama, Y.,Evans, D.,Keen, S.,McMillan, F.,McMillan, M.,West, P. (2017). Designing digital and creative scaffolds to strengthen Indigenous nations: being Wiradjuri by practicing sovereignty In: Digital Creativity, 28, 58 - 72
- Akama, Y.,Keen, S.,West, P. (2016). Speculative design and heterogeneity in indigenous nation building In: Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS 2016), Brisbane, Australia, 4-8 June 2016
- West, P.,Akama, Y.,McMillan, M. (2016). "I was worried about insulting Indigenous communities with my designs": shifting from fear to recognition to create a meeting place of sovereigns In: Proceedings of the 2016 Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools Annual Conference, Brisbane, Australia, 29-30 September 2016
- Talking Country: Sharing Indigenous stories of place through mobile media. Funded by: ARC Linkage Project Grants 2018 from (2020 to 2024)
- Designing for Indigenous cultural sustainability. Funded by: Australia Council University Art and Design Schools Grant 2016 from (2016 to 2017)