The award is in memory of Prof Colleen Mills, who died in 2022, and is funded by her family. Colleen was a committed member of AANZCA, including a member of its Executive for 20 years and the second editor of our journal Communication Research and Practice. The award remembers her generosity towards early career scholars and her commitment to excellence in communication research on organisations.


Early career (a student or junior scholar up to 5 years out from their PhD)


For scholars working on research that contributes to understanding critical interfaces, international scholarship and practice in the broadly defined field of organisational and strategic communication. Such research may include but is not exclusive to, talk at work, corporate communications, change management communication, organisational discourse, communication management, socio-material studies, sensemaking, and entrepreneurial discourse.


NZ$ 2,000 a year or as agreed by the AANZCA Executive


1) Conference attendance. Applicants will nominate that they wish to be considered for the award when submitting for the conference. The award recipient would be expected to present their work in person.

2) Overall research program and need for funding. Applicants must include a brief statement on their need of funding and a research program related to the goals of the award.  (Max 1000 words). Statements should address how the applicant’s research program fits the field of the award and how the conference submission fits within this program. The statement should also address the need for funding related to employment and institutional support.

3) Quality of research. Applicants will be judged on the quality of their submission to the conference. There should be a clear link between the submission and their broader outlined research program. The research must relate to strategic and organisational communication broadly defined. This includes research such as organisational discourse, internal and external communication management and sensemaking in organisational contexts. The award winner is strongly encouraged to submit a full paper based on the winning submission to Communication Research and Practice.


The award will be made by the current president in conjunction with a subject expert (a senior organisational or strategic communication scholar).

Past recipients

2023: Dr Juan Liang, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (inaugural winner)

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