Prior to initiating the program at UQ in 2000, she taught Literature and Film at the Brisbane Kindergarten Teachers’ College and Communication in the Faculty of Business at Queensland University of Technology and in the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University.
Associate Professor Petelin edited the internationally refereed Australian Journal of Communication from 1988-2013 and is on the editorial boards of Business and Professional Communication Quarterly (USA) and Corporate Communications: An International Journal (UK). She is a past President and Honorary Life Member of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association and has consulted extensively on writing, editing, and information design to public and private sector organisations in Australia, the UK, the USA, and S. E. Asia.
In 2014, she developed and launched WRITE101x. Since then, over 610,000 students have enrolled in the course. In October 2016, she published the book How Writing Works: A Field Guide to Effective Writing, which explores the concepts covered in WRITE101x as well as writing for social media, online publication, university, and the workplace.