ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Associate Professor Peter Simmons

Associate Professor Peter Simmons

Peter has led more than 20 funded research studies and published more than 60 peer-reviewed papers, conference papers and book chapters. He was a Charles Sturt University Research Fellow 2019-2021. Peter uses qualitative and quantitative research, and deep policy analysis methods in diverse contexts (including surgery and general practice, mental health and wellbeing, sport, local government, beach and ocean management) to collect evidence and insights for policy and decision-making.

He has presented his research and findings in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. In 2008 he was the first Australian to receive a Havelange Research Scholarship from FIFA.

Since 2016 he has pioneered a qual/quant research approach using public social media conversations to understand community sentiment on important policy matters. Peter is a senior research officer with the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health, and an Adjunct Associate Professor with Charles Sturt University and the Institute for Land, Water and Society.

Peter has worked on teaching teams designing and delivering in-house training to strategic communication staff in some of Australia's leading organisations including the Australian Defence Forces, Australian Tax Office, Australian Mutual Provident and the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Research Interests

  • Use of social media to inform policy
  • Community mental health and wellbeing
  • Communicating the future
  • Communicating fairness and legitimacy
  • Human relations with non-human animals
  • Government communication

Email


Bachelor of Arts, Liberal Studies MCAE 1986
Graduate Certificate Organisational Communication 1993
Master Arts Communication CSU 1995
Doctor of Communication CSU 2009
Graduate Certificate in University Leadership and Management 2013


External Appointments & Memberships

Australia and New Zealand Communication Association (member) 
International Society of Justice Researchers (member) 
International Association Media Communication Research (member) 
International Communication Association (member)
International Environmental Communication Association (member)


Selected Publications

Peer Reviewed Papers

Simmons, P., Mehmet, M., Curley, B., Callaghan, K., Ivory, N. & Wolfenden, K. (2021) A scenario study of the acceptability to ocean users of more and less invasive management after shark-human interactions. Marine Policy
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2021.104558

Mehmet, M., & Simmons, P. (2019) Operationalizing social media in upstream social marketing. Journal of Social Marketinghttps://doi.org/10.1108/JSOCM-08-2018-0074

Cunningham, I., Simmons, P., & Mascarenhas, D. (2018) Sport officials' strategies for managing interactions with players: Face-work on the front-stage. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2018.08.009

Simmons, P & Mehmet, M (2018) Shark management strategy policy considerations: Community preferences, reasoning and speculations. Marine Policy, 96, 111-119 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2018.08.010

Cunningham, I, Simmons, P & Mascarenhas, D. (2018) Face-work on the front-stage: Sport officials’ strategies for managing interactions with players. Journal of Psychology and Sport Exercise.

Simmons, P. (2017). Transparency and communication can improve wildlife welfare outcomes: A case of kangaroos. SHS Web Conf., 33 (2017) 00073 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1051/shsconf/20173300073

Mehmet, M., & Simmons, P. (2016) Kangaroo court: An analysis of social media justifications for attitudes to culling, Environmental Communication, DOI: 10.1080/17524032.2016.1220966

Simmons, P. & Mehmet, M. (2016) Cullers and guardians: Subcultures, attitudes and culling kangaroos. Jurnal Komunikasi, Malaysian Journal of Communication, 32(2). http://ejournal.ukm.my/mjc/article/view/16162/5029

Mehmet, M. & Simmons, P. (2016). Kangaroo court: An analysis of social media justifications for attitudes to culling, Environmental Communication, DOI: 10.1080/17524032.2016.1220966

Simmons, P. (2016). Listen, involve and represent: Identifying focus for local government communicators. PRism 11(1): http://www.prismjournal.org/homepage.html

Heaselgrave, F. & Simmons, P. (2016) Culture, competency and policy: Why social media dialogue is limited in Australian local government, Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 20 Iss: 2, pp.133 – 147. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JCOM-07-2015-0059

Cunningham, I., Simmons, P., Mascarenhas, D. & Redhead, S. (2015) Skilled communication in officiating: an exploration of player differences in interaction. Movement and Sport Sciences, Special Edition: Officials in Sports,pp.79-90. http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/sm/2014021

Simmons, P. (2014) Challenges for communicators in future Australian local government. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 155:312-319

Simmons, P., Dowell, D. & Small, F. (2013). The influence of fairness on university student satisfaction. The International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation. Vol 19. http://ijlae.cgpublisher.com/product/pub.251/prod.3

Simmons, P. & Cunningham, I. (2013) Communication and sports officials. The Routledge Handbook of Sport Communication.

Simmons, P. & Small, F. (2012) Promotion, monitoring and strategic advice: Professional communication in Australian local government. PRism online public relations journal 9(1): http://www.prismjournal.org/fileadmin/9_1/Simmons_Small.pdf

Simmons P. & Walsh, B. (2012) Public Relations and Organisational Justice: More fairness or just more cooperation, Public Relations Inquiry, 1(2), 141-158.

Simmons, P. (2011) Competent, dependable and respectful: Football refereeing as a model for communicating fairness, Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics. Vol 8 (3/4), 33-42.

Book Chapters

Simmons, P. & Cunningham, I. (2013) Communication and sports officials. In Paul Pedersen, (Ed)The Routledge Handbook of Sport Communication. Routledge.

Small F., Simmons, P. & Dowell, D. (2013) Teacher communication preferred over peer interaction: Student satisfaction with different tools in a virtual learning environment. Chapter 10 in H. Estelami (Ed) Frontiers of Distance Learning in Business Education. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing http://www.c-s-p.org/Flyers/Frontiers-of-Distance-Learning-in-Business-Education1-4438-4452-7.htm

Conference Papers and Presentations

Simmons P. (2020) Social media and other listening to community thinking on shark management. National Shark Bite Mitigation Measure Workshop, Adelaide

Simmons, P., Mehmet, M., Callaghan, K. and Redshaw, S. (2019) Listening to ocean user perspectives on shark management: Respect for marine life, hope for technology, and anger at the media. International Conference on Communication and the Environment, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Callaghan, K., Mehmet, M. & Simmons, P. (2018) Facebook and Twitter utility for policymakers. Paper presented to Australia and New Zealand Marketing Association Conference, Adelaide.

Callaghan, K & Simmons, P. (2018, October) Analysing citizen justifications online to understand attitudes to policy and communication options: The case of shark management in NSW. Presentation to Public Relations Institute of Australia National Research Symposium, University of Technology, Australia.

Simmons, P. & Mehmet, M., (2018) Respect for marine life, hope for technology and anger at the media: A focus group and social media study of ocean user attitudes to shark management, Paper presented to International Communication and Media Conference, UUM, Penang, Malaysia. Best Paper Award.

Wursch, L.& Simmons, P. (2018) Transactional analysis and organisational communication. Paper presented to International Communication and Media Conference, UUM, Penang, Malaysia. Best Paper Award.

Mehmet, M & Simmons, P. (2018). Sharks, Social Sentiment and Science. Paper presented at International Social Marketing Conference, James Cook University, Singapore.

Mehmet, M., Pawsey, N., Nayeem, T., D'Alessandro, S., & Denyer-Simmons, P. (2017). Community Carp Virus Concerns: Appraising Recreational Fishers. In L. Robinson, L. Brennan, & M. Reid (Eds.), ANZMAC 2017 Conference Proceedings: Marketing for Impact (pp. 775-778)

Simmons, P. & Mehmet, M. (2015, October). Subcultures in the online wilderness. Paper presented to Mention: International Communication and Media Conference, UKM, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Simmons, P. (2017) Communication for the voiceless: The case of Bathurst kangaroos. Presented at the 3rd International Compassionate Conservation Conference, Leura, NSW, Nov 20-24

Simmons, P. (2016) Transparency and communication can improve wildlife welfare outcomes: A case of kangaroos, presented at the International Communication and Media Conference, Sept 18-20, Kuala Lumpur

Simmons, P. & Mehmet, M. (2016) Moral responsibility, economic advantage and the conflation of
interests and attitudes towards kangaroo culling. Presented at the Land Dialogues Conference, CSU, Wagga Wagga, April 13-15.

Simmons, P. (2013, February) Who are you and what do you want? Issues for Australian local government communicators. Presentation to Government Communications Australia, National Convention, Sydney.

Simmons, P., Dowell, D. & Small, F. (2013). The influence of fairness on university student satisfaction. The International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation. Vol 19. http://ijlae.cgpublisher.com/product/pub.251/prod.3

Simmons, P. & Small, F. (2012) Promotion, monitoring and strategic advice: professional communication in Australian local government. PRism public relations journal. PRism 9(1): http://www.prismjournal.org/homepage.html

Simmons, P, Small F., (2012, November) Public relations practices in Australian local government authorities. Paper presented to the World Public Relations Forum, Melbourne, Australia.

Simmons, P, Small F., (2012, November) Politics, promotion and pavements: professional communication in Australian local government. Paper presented to International Communication and Media Conference (I-Come), Penang, Malaysia.

Dowell, D., Simmons, P & Small, F. (2012, December) Grouping complainers: An investigation of Complaint Behaviours Using Segmentation Analysis of Service Dimensions. Paper presented to the Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy (ANZMAC) Conference, Adelaide, Australia.

Simmons, P, Small F., (2012, November) Public relations practices in Australian local government authorities. Paper presented to the World Public Relations Forum, Melbourne, Australia.

Simmons, P, Small F., (2012, November) Politics, promotion and pavements: professional communication in Australian local government. Paper presented to International Communication and Media Conference (I-Come), Penang, Malaysia.

Cunningham, I, Simmons, P & Mascarenhas, D. (2012, November) Sports Officiating Communication: 'Developing a Feel for the Game'. Paper presented to The Worlds of Football II: Heritage, Communities and Cultures international conference, Melbourne, Australia.

Reports

Simmons, P, Lewis, C & Callaghan, K (2021) Riding a Bike in Regional NSW. Report to Bathurst Regional Council and Cyclesafe Bathurst.

Simmons, P, Mehmet, M, Lewis, C, & Martin, C (2021) Surfer and Body Boarder attitudes to mitigating the risk of shark incidents and determining their information needs. Major report to the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Simmons, P, Mehmet M, Curley, B, Callaghan, K & Wolfenden K. (2020) A study of influences on preferences, tolerance and thresholds of acceptability for shark management options in NSW. Major report to the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Simmons, P, Mehmet M & Martin, C (2020) Attitudes to SMART Drumlines as a shark mitigation strategy. Major report to the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Simmons, P. (2019) Analysing social media for better public policy Institute for Land, Water and Society Report nº 134. Albury, NSW: Institute for Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University.

Simmons P & Mehmet M (2018) The attitudes of beach and ocean users to shark mitigation following SMART Drumline Trials in NSW. Major report to the NSW Department of Primary Industries.
https://www.sharksmart.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/871688/assessment-of-the-attitudes-of-beach-and-ocean-users-to-shark-mitigation-following-smart-drumline-trials-in-nsw.pdf

Commentary

Simmons, P., Mehmet, M.  (2018) Feeding Frenzy: public accuse the media of deliberately fueling shark fear. The Conversation June 22


Current Projects

Preferences for future shark management. (2021 on going) Mehmet, M, Simmons P, Lewis, C.NSW Department of Primary Industries, $88,000

Completed Projects

Surfer and body boarder attitudes to mitigating the risk of shark incidents and determining their information needs. (2020-2021) Simmons, P., Lewis,C., & Mehmet, M. NSW Department of Primary Industries, $73,000

Shark Sentiment Study. (2017-2020), Simmons, P., Mehmet, M. NSW Department of Primary Industries, $91,000

A study of influences on preferences, tolerances and thresholds of acceptability for shark management options in NSW. Simmons, P. & Mehmet, M. (2018-2019) NSW Primary Industries – NSW Shark Management Strategy, $50,000 Project details

Assessment of the attitudes of beach and ocean end-users to shark mitigation since trials of SMART Drumlines in NSW. Simmons, P., Mehmet, M.  (2018) NSW DPI, $55,012 Project details

Shark deterrents and detection: Community perceptions, sentiment and preferences for shark management strategies. (2017) Simmons, P., Mehmet, M.  & Clarke, R. (UOW)  A collaborative project between CSU (ILWS), UOW and NSW DPI with funding from the NSW Shark Management Strategy (SMS) Competitive Annual Grants Program. Project details