Our Partnerships

Deakin Business School interacts with managers of business corporations to extend our knowledge of their challenges in meeting social and environmental responsibilities and to explore jointly effective approaches to meeting these challenges. 

We engage with industry partners and businesses both nationally and internationally providing opportunities for our faculty to collaborate with external stakeholders to research and solve real-world economic, social and environmental problems, and undertake research that informs relevant teaching practices. international partnerships for sustainable development.

We work and engage with industry partners prioritising innovative opportunities for our faculty to research and solve real-world economic, social and environmental problems, and undertake research that informs relevant teaching practices. In the section below, we outline some of our existing partnerships that facilitate responsible reaching and research.


Partnership with upGrad to deliver MBA Global

In an Australian first, DBS is offering its MBA via India’s largest online higher-education company upGrad to provide transnational educational opportunities for professionals in India from 2020. This initiative is in response to the massive change in the kind of programs that are being considered by students. The program was launched by Australian Trade Minister Senator Simon Birmingham in New Delhi in late February 2020.


The two-year MBA (Global) program will be available exclusively to Indian students with a first intake in March 2020. The program is a blend of rigorous hands-on teaching along with case studies and projects. The digital learning experience will be accelerated by a 360-degree career support aimed at transforming learning into solid career outcomes for each of the students enrolled in the program.

Partnership with Women Leadership Australia

DBS and Women and Leadership Australia in a joint effort in 2020, have started a fast-tracked pathway for women seeking to complete their MBA. This program gives women greater access and opportunity to complete the Deakin MBA, thus opening the door for them to expand their skills and their network.

Women and Leadership Australia is one of Australia’s largest training initiatives and offers women a range of leadership development programs including the Advanced Leadership Program and Executive Ready. Women who complete the program will be eligible for 4 credit points towards a Deakin MBA.


The flexible nature of the Deakin MBA is ideal for women, particularly those who have family and carer responsibilities. Women have the opportunity to do the whole MBA online or they can mix and match study modes to suit their needs. DBS also offers residential programs and international study tours that are great networking opportunities that lead to career success. Since the beginning of the partnership, 24 women have enrolled in the Deakin MBA suite, availing themselves of the credit opportunities.

Partnership with Coles to create a mini-MBA’ in Strategic Category Management

The ‘mini-MBA’ a result of the partnership between DBS and Coles- the leading Australian supermarket, retail and consumer services chain- focuses on retail-specific, technical skills. It accounts for 33% of the academic requirements for a fully-fledged MBA from Deakin, ensuring participants are well on their way to attaining the qualification. The program is made available to current Coles category managers, and has been designed to strengthen Coles’ commercial operations and provide team members with pathways to access further tertiary education.


The mini-MBA will provide category managers with industry-leading training, and ensure Coles continues to be a great place to work and build a career in retail.

Partnership with the Australian Chamber (AustCham) of Commerce in Hong Kong (SAR)

Deakin has partnered with the Australian Chamber (AustCham) of Commerce in Hong Kong (SAR) to provide students a life-changing virtual internship opportunity. During their placement, students gain valuable workplace skills and experiences, including industry briefings from high-level government officials and industry leaders. This program is generously funded by the prestigious New Colombo Plan, supporting students to gain experience studying and working the Indo-Pacific region.


The opportunity will further the relationship between Australia and Hong Kong going forward.


The IPA-Deakin SME Research partnership

Partnering with the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA), the IPA-Deakin SME Research Centre, a first in Australia, conducts multidisciplinary research on small and medium-size private businesses bringing together practitioner insights with world-class analysis, to enable policy development. The IPA-Deakin SME Research Partnership has emerged as an important platform in relation to SME issues with its ongoing impact on driving a credible SME policy voice throughout the region.


  • After the successful launch of White Paper Version 2 for SMEs in 2018, the Centre has launched White Paper version 3 entitled ‘Small Business White Paper 2021: Post COVID Policy Options to Enhance Australia’s Innovation Capabilities’ in July 2021.
  • The Federal government has adopted key recommendations from the White Paper version 2 and introduced a $2b securitisation fund for SMEs. This is just one example of how this research partnership is influencing policy changes that impact small businesses.

Deakin Integrated Reporting Centre (DIRC) Partnership with Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, and KPMG.

DIRC is Australia’s first Integrated Reporting Centre which combines business practice, research and professional education and training. Launched in 2019, DIRC is a collaboration between the DBS, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, and KPMG. The Centre provides leadership in Integrated Reporting across three pillars: thought leadership and business practice, research, and professional education and training.

The Centre is an accredited training partner for the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and provides educational programs (both academic and executive education) and promotes IR in Australia and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.


In 2020, the DIRC has supported KPMG in undertaking the ASX 200 benchmarking outlined in the KPMG 2020 Corporate Reporting Survey. The Centre has also taken over the hosting of the Business Reporting Leaders Forum.

CREATE’s partnership with Bennelong Foundation

Bennelong Foundation that aims to enhance community wellbeing and provide opportunities for positive and lasting change in our community has led to the development of two guides for students from a student or asylum-seeking background.


  • Guide for Tertiary Institutions – Supporting students from a refugee of asylum-seeking background to access and succeed in Higher Education.
  • A Guide for Students from a Refugee or Asylum-Seeking Background Information on how to access and succeed in higher education in Australia.

CREATE’s partnership with Helen Macpherson Smith Trust (HMST)

This partnership has led to the funding of refugee careers clinics for 3 years. These Careers Clinics have been designed to help those from a refugee background to navigate and gain a greater understanding of the employment landscape in Australia. The Centre works with people from a refugee background to identify career pathways; give them the tools to build their networks as well as assisting in sourcing employment opportunities, to prepare job applications, resumes, cover letters, and responses to key selection criteria. The Careers Clinic program is based on a mentor-mentee program. The mentor (someone with experience in the Australian employment landscape) and mentee (person from a refugee background) work together to explore pathways to meaningful employment for the mentee.

The social impact made by CREATE has been recognised with high- profile international awards such as AFR Higher Education Award. CREATE was the winner of the Emerald Real Impact Award for an Interdisciplinary Research Fund, for its work addressing SDGs. CREATE was also recognised by AACSB as one of 25 international ‘Innovations that Inspire’, projects or programs launched by business schools across the world that have a significant social impact.

Impact (until 2020)

  • 10 x (8 week) Refugee careers clinics completed.
  • 125 mentees and 56 mentors participated.
  • At least 60 of our mentees have attained work or access higher education.
  • Participants came from 21 countries and we are working alongside 30 referral points/agencies across Melbourne.

Partnership with Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) to conduct pioneering study on impact investing in Australia

Prof. of Practise Fab Michaux, Assoc. Prof. Adrian Lee and Dr Ameeta Jain from DBS conducted a pioneering industry research study, Benchmarking Impact: Australian Impact Investor Insights, Activity and Performance Report 2020 for Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA). The report synthesises a study of 125 Australian investors – including diverse types of investors and accounting for $1.7 billion of the country’s assets under management; and a study of 111 impact investment products widely offered to Australian investors at 31 December 2019.


The report findings are used as an input into the final report of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Social Impact Investing Taskforce.

Partnership with Ministry of Public Administration (MOPA), Government of Bangladesh

Fara Azmat along with her team members Ahmed Ferdous, Mohammed Muttakin and Huson Ali worked in partnership with Bangladesh Ministry of Public Administration (MOPA) to conduct a specialized training program, ‘Achieving Sustainable Development Agenda through specialized trainings programs’ for high level Bangladeshi public officials. The program focused on assessing the effectiveness of the training program in changing the mind-sets, and perceptions of above twenty participants representing MOPA towards sustainable development, with a focus on SDGs. The program was conducted in Melbourne for a week in December 2019. Following the success of the program, two other training programs were scheduled for 2020 but were postponed due to COVID.


A total of 22 high level public officials received the specialized training program and have been actively disseminating the knowledge to their peers and juniors in the civil service thus enhancing the impact.