Abraham Francis is an Associate Professor in Social Work and Human Services at James Cook University in Australia.  He has worked with many NGOs and  Corporate Sector as a social worker. Dr Francis has initiated and established many international research projects, supported several international field placements, and has been instrumental in establishing international partnerships and research collaborations with Universities and organisations in South Asia. He taught Social Work at the Delhi University in India and also worked as a senior mental health Social Worker with Country Health South Australia, before moving to Townsville to join James Cook University. Dr Francis is associated with many voluntary organisations, associations, professional bodies, and developmental projects both in Australia and India.

Dr Francis is passionate about working and researching in Strengths-based practice in mental health. He has extensively contributed to the literature on Social Work practice in mental health through his publications, convening conferences, establishing research networks and developing consortiums. His other research interests are in the field of communities, criminal justice, international social work, and gerontological social work.  His excellence in teaching has likewise been recognised on a number of occasions.  For example, in 2010, he was a recipient of James Cook University’s Inclusive Practice Award for his “exceptional support for students with a disability”.  In 2016, he received the University’s ‘Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning' for his “leadership and expertise in Social Work education in mental health that inspires and nurtures students to be competent, confident and compassionate practitioners”.

Dr Francis was one of the finalists at the 2018 India Australia business and community awards in the category of Community Services Excellence Award and Business Leader/ Professional of the Year. In 2018, Dr. Francis received the NAPSWI (National Association of Professional  Social Workers in India) lifetime achievement for his outstanding contribution to Social Work Education.

  • WS2008: International Exchange (Level 2; TSV)
  • WS3025: Group Work (Level 3; TSV)
  • WS4503: Social Work and Mental Health (Level 4; TSV)
  • WS5103: Community Development (Level 5; TSV)
  • Community Work Professional Supervision
  • Mental Health in Higher Education: Conference organisor and Co-Chair of Australasian Mental Health in Higher Education (2017-2020)
  • Mental Health: Current research project on COVID-19 and Mental Well-being of International Students in North Queensland
  • International Social Work, Criminal Justice Social Work, Mental health, Community Development
  • Strengths Based Practice
  • Professional Development, Group Work, Communitiy work and Research
  • Mental Health and Social Work Practice,
  • 2019 to present - Head of Social Work and Human Services, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2017 to present - Co-Chair - Australasian Mental Health in Higher Educaiton research, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2017 to present - Adjunct Faculty for MSW Programs, Prasanna School of Public Health (PSPH) (Manipal)
  • 2017 to 2018 - Associate Dean for learning and Teaching, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2016 to 2017 - MSW Course coordinator, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2006 to 2010 - Senior Mental Health social Worker, Govt.South Australia (Adelaide)
  • 1999 to 2005 - Lecturer, Delhi University (DELHI-India)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2018 - NAPSWI Life time Achievement Award
  • 2018 - The Brisbane Institute of Strengths Based Practice Social and Community Practice Award
  • 2018 - IABCA 2018 Finalist ( India Australia Business & Community Awards)
  • 2018 - ANZSWWER (Australia and New Zealand Social Work and Welfare Education and Research ) runner up for the Community Service award
  • 2016 - JCU Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
  • 2012 to 2013 - 2012 -JCU Award for Excellence - Partnerships and Collaboration
  • 2010 - Inclusive Practice Award, James Cook University
  • 2017 - International Association of Youth Mental Health (IAYMH).
  • 2017 - International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW)
  • 2017 - Member of Australian & New Zealand Social Work & Welfare Education & Research association (ANZSWWER)
  • 2006 - Member of Australian Association of Social Work.
  • 2005 - Life Member of National Association of Professional Social Workers in India

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 107+ research outputs authored by A/Prof Abraham Francis from 2010 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Queensland Government - Youth Research Grants Program

Youth Research Grants Program

Indicative Funding
$200,000 over 1 year
The Youth Research Grants Program aims to stimulate interest in research which reflects the needs and views of young people through enabling them to be involved in setting priorities for and selection of research projects. The Program supports the vision set out in the Queensland Youth Strategy (QYS) that promotes young people?s active contribution to Queensland's economic, civic and cultural life. This project aims to engage with young people (17?24-year-olds) in north and far north Queensland currently studying at James Cook University (JCU), to provide an opportunity to share their thoughts, concerns, dreams and desires, and to provide inspiration for a JCU-led research project with and for youth with a focus on wellbeing, future aspirations, concerns and potential solutions to urgent issues. The project would focus on JCU discipline areas of Social Work, Sociology, Education and Creative Arts, with an intention for young people to develop and present art works- and in particular visual and wearable art- expressing their concerns and aspirations. Please refer to the Project Proposal for full details of the Project?s timing and objectives.
Natalia Veles, Glenn Dawes, Tanya Doyle, Peta Salter, Robyn Glade-Wright and Abraham Francis (College of Arts and Society & Education)
Young People; Youth Justice; creative arts; diversity; enablement

Epilepsy Queensland Inc. - Consultancy

Improving access to disability information and supports in Charters Towers and Hinchinbrook Shires

Indicative Funding
$24,541 over 1 year
As an evaluator, JCU will work collaboratively with the project leader from Epilepsy Queensland and evaluate both the research process and outcome. During this participatory evaluation process, a number of activities will be undertaken such as field visits to Ingham and Charters Towers, Designing the evaluation process, meeting with community leaders, consumers and family members. The outcome of the evaluation will be documented as a report for the organisation, and based on the feedback received, strategies for improving access to disability information and supports in Charter Towers and Hinchinbrook Shires will be made available for consideration.
Abraham Francis and Nonie Harris in collaboration with Muriel Lin (College of Arts and Society & Education)
Disabilities; Community; Access to Health Care; Evaluation

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • A Feminist Analysis of the Settlement Experiences of Women from Diverse Countries of Africa who have Arrived as Humanitarian Entrants to Regional North Qld (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Iranian migrant integration experience into the Australian labour market under the Global Talent Independent (GTI) Program (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Understanding the resilience of Young African migrants and refugees living in Southern Queensland (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Improving the Wellbeing of South Asia Migrants in Queensland” (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • An exploration of trauma informed practice education for social workers in an Australian context (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Examining identity and sense of belonging among African youth in North Queensland (PhD , Advisor Mentor)
  • The Wellbeing of Indian Diaspora: Explorative studies in Queensland,Australia (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • The Psychosocial experiences of parents who take care of children with an intellectual disability in Australia – A mixed methods study (PhD , Advisor Mentor)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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