The JRC team has an extensive publication, grant, and student completion record that reflects the multidisciplinary nature of the team. Formerly as CIHER, the JRC has been successful in multiple Category 1 grant applications, including Australia Research Council (ARC) and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grant application rounds. JRC members supervise PhD, Masters and Honours students from a number of Universities according to the expertise of the researchers involved.

Three CQUniversity Colleagues working together at a desk with books and a laptop"Photo shoot of indigenous health researchers at CQ University Cairns Campus, 28 Oct 2016."

JRC comprises five key integrated areas of research strength:

  1. Social and emotional well-being, resilience, and empowerment
  2. Disaster management and public health
  3. Process, impact, and economic evaluation
  4. Community place-based priorities
  5. Language, communication and social and emotional wellbeing


Furst, M., McDonald, T., McCalman, J., Fagan, R., Lee Hong, A., Salinas-Perez, J., Saunders, V., Cadet-James, Y., Salvador-Carulla, L. (2022). Integrated Atlas of the social and emotional wellbeing services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and youth in Yarrabah. Central Queensland University, Jawun Research Centre, Cairns DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.21965.72167/1

Furst, M., McDonald, T., McCalman, J., Jose. S., Nona, M., Rosendale, D., Salinas-Perez, J., Saunders, V., Cadet- James, Y., Salvador-Carulla, L. (2022). Integrated Atlas of the social and emotional wellbeing services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and youth in Cairns. Central Queensland University, Jawun Research Centre, Cairns DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.17771.41765

Mani, S., Johnson, J., Steel, J., Broszczak, D., Neilsen, P., Walsh, K., Naiker, M. (2020). Natural product-derived phytochemicals as potential agents against coronaviruses: a review. Virus Research. DOI:

Natural medicines deliver clues to coronavirus treatment. Natural and traditional medicines have offered up new directions for identifying chemical compounds to fight COVID-19, with a research review from CQUniversity Australia identifying a wealth of anti-viral compounds warranting further investigation. In the absence of a vaccine, anti-viral medicines can be used to prevent or treat the viral infections, increasing the chance of survival. From their review, the team of researchers found the most promising small molecules identified as "coronavirus inhibitors"contained a conjugated fused ring structure, with the majority classified as polyphenols. View the CQUni News Article.

McCalman, J., Benveniste, T., Wenitong, M., Saunders, V.,Hunter, E. (2020). "It's all about relationships": the place of boarding schools in promoting and managing health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander secondary school students. Children and Youth Services Review. DOI:

This exploratory study examines how boarding schools across Queensland promote and manage healthcare and wellbeing support for Indigenous students. Qualitative grounded theory methods were used to sample and collect data from the healthcare and wellbeing support staff of eight Queensland boarding schools using semi-structured interviews.

McCalman, J., Langham, E., Benveniste, T., Wenitong, M., Rutherford, K., Britton, A., Stewart, R., Bainbridge, R. Integrating Healthcare Services for Indigenous Australian Students at Boarding Schools: A Mixed-Methods Sequential Explanatory Study. International Journal of Integrated Care. 20(1): 8, 1–16. DOI:

This study explored students' health status, healthcare service use and satisfaction. 32 Indigenous primary and 188 secondary boarding school students were asked their health status, psychological distress, use of healthcare services in community and boarding school, and service satisfaction. Results were fed back to students, parents and community members, and education and healthcare staff to elicit further explanation and interpretation.

Couzos, S., Smith, D., Stephens, M., Preston, R., Hendrie, D., Loller, H., Tremlett, M., Nugent, A., Vaughan, F., Crowther, S., Boyle, D., Buettner, P., Biros, E. (2019). Integrating pharmacists into Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (IPAC project): Protocol for an interventional, non-randomised study to improve chronic disease outcomes. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy. DOI:

This project aims to improve quality of care outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult patients with chronic disease by integrating a pharmacist within primary health care teams in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs).

Jongen, C., McCalman, J., Bainbridge, R. (2019). A systematic scoping review of school-based resilience interventions for Indigenous adolescents in CANZUS nations. Frontiers in Public Health-Public Health Policy. DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2019.00351.

Review of school-based resilience interventions for Indigenous adolescents found strong alignment with ecological & culturally based resilience theories; outcomes of improved self-esteem, Indigenous identity, peer support, community connection & capacity.

Cargo, M., Potaka-Osbourne, G., Cvitanovic, L., Warner, L., Clarke, S., Judd, J., Chakraborty, A., Boulton, A. (2019). Strategies to support culturally safe health and wellbeing evaluations in Indigenous settings in Australia and New Zealand: A concept mapping study. International Journal of Health Equity. 18 (194).

In recent decades, financial investment has been made in health-related programs and services to overcome inequities and improve Indigenous people's wellbeing in Australia and New Zealand. This study aimed to strengthen culturally safe evaluation practice in Indigenous settings by engaging evaluation stakeholders, in both countries, in a participatory concept mapping study.

McCalman, J., Campbell, S., Jongen, C., Langham, E., Pearson, K., Fagan, R., Martin-Sardesai, A., Bainbridge, R. (2019). Working Well: A systematic scoping review of the Indigenous primary healthcare workforce development literature. BMC Health Services Research 19, 767.

Strong and effective workforce models are essential for improving comprehensive Indigenous primary healthcare service (PHC) provision to Indigenous peoples in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the USA (CANZUS nations). This review systematically scoped the literature for studies that described or evaluated models and systems that support the sustainability, capacity or growth of the Indigenous PHC workforce to provide effective PHC provision.

Lopez Carmen, V., McCalman, J., Benveniste, T., Askew, D., Spurling, G., Langham, E., Bainbridge, R. (2019). Working together to improve the mental health of Indigenous children: A systematic review. Children and Youth Services Review. Vol 104, September 2019,

This review analyses the available literature that underpins intersectoral service integration processes and tools designed to improve mental healthcare for Indigenous children.

Kinchin I, Russell A, Byrnes J, McCalman J, Doran C, Hunter E. (2019). The cost of hospitalisation for youth self-harm: differences across age groups, sex, Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol (2019).

To report the comparative rates, average length of stay and cost per episode of hospital management for self-harm in three age cohorts: 15–19 years, 20–24 years and 25–29 years; by sex and indigeneity.



Leading with local solutions to keep Yarrabah safe: an Aboriginal community-controlled health organisation’s response to COVID-19. McCalman, J., Miller, A., Longbottom, M., 2020. Short term contracted research from Gurriny Yealamucka in Yarrabah to examine their response to COVID and suggest ongoing improvements.

NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence Success

STRengthening systems for InDigenous health care Equity (CRE-STRIDE). Matthews, V., Bailie, R., Bainbridge, R., Larkins, S., Passey, M., McCalman, J., Williams, M., Percival, N., Felton-Busch, C., Cadet-James, Y. 2020. $2,500,000. Lead Institute: University of Sydney / University Centre for Rural Health.

Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowships Program (2020)

Preventing secondary harm: Scaffolding healthcare capacity to promote Indigenous adolescents’ mental health. McCalman, J. 2020. This is an 18-month fellowship being conducted in partnership with three Queensland primary healthcare services (Cape York, Yarrabah, Inala) and Education QLD and an Indigenous youth organisation (DIYDG) to examine the effects of COVID on Indigenous youth wellbeing and mental health - and propose improved primary healthcare screening and support pathways.

Australian Government Department of Health Success

Evaluation of the Australian Government’s Investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care through the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme: Quantitative Data Feasibility Assessment and Analysis Services. Doran C, Eades S, Sanson-Fisher R, Begg S, Shakeshaft AP, Oldmeadow C, Langham E. 2019. $1,500,000 over 3 years. Lead Institute: Allen and Clarke contract held with Australian Government Department of Health.

ARC Discovery Grant Success

Strengthening Indigenous adolescent mental health and wellbeing. Bainbridge R, McCalman J, Cadet-James Y, Tsey K, McGorry P, Ballie R, Dudgeon P, Matthews V, Ungar M, McMillan F, Doran C. Spurling G, Hirvonen T, Askew D, Langham E. 2019. $699,000 over 3 years. Lead Institute: CQUniversity Australia.

NHMRC Project Success

System-level Integration to promote the mental health of Indigenous Children: A community-driven mixed methods approach. McCalman, J., Bainbridge, R., Bailie, R., Tsey, K., Cadet-James, Y., Ungar, M., Matthews, V., Askew, D., Percival, N., Blignault, I. $1,031,575.70 over 5 years. Lead Institute: CQUniversity Australia.

Want to find out more about JRC Grants? Please view the JRC Grants list.

RHD Students

JRC members supervise RHD students from a number of Universities and different disciplines. The JRC RHD Student list outlines all JRC students and their research topics. JRC RHD Students are encouraged to become associate members of JRC and participate in JRC related activities.

Prospective students interested in finding out more information about research at the Centre for Indigenous Health Equity Research should contact the or visit Research Higher Degrees at CQUniversity.

Student Highlight

Alexandra van Beek

"From research to impact within Indigenous student resilience programme: A Systems perspective."

Supervisors: Janya McCalman and Roxanne Bainbridge

Thesis Abstract: This project aims to investigate the impact of the Resilience Study, a multicomponent mentoring intervention intended to enhance the resilience of remote-living Indigenous students compelled to attend boarding school for their secondary education. Improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous peoples is proving to be a “wicked problem”: a complex, multilevel, chaotic process. It requires consideration of tangible practicalities such as geographical locations, financial resources and technological capabilities, but also intangible human factors such as experience, values, and power. Improving Indigenous health outcomes is further hampered by lingering colonisation issues such as discrimination and devaluing of Indigenous ways of knowing and doing. With statistics showing a very high burden of mental health issues for Indigenous Australians, increasing understanding of the impact of Indigenous mental healthcare initiatives such as the Resilience Study, is needed to improve how research is conducted and implemented in this field.

Want to know more about JRC RHD Students? Please view the JRC RHD Student list.