Abraham Francis is an Associate Professor in Social Work and Human Services at James Cook University in Australia.  He worked with many NGO’s and Corporate Sector as a social worker. Dr Francis has initiated and established many international research projects, supported a number of 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. He held a stint in Queensland health as Assistant Director of Social work. Dr Francis is associated with many voluntary organisations, associations, professional bodies and developmental projects both in Australia and India. In 2012, Abraham launched an international consortium on strengths-based practice in Mental Health in Nepal. Currently, he is the convener of this international consortium.

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 by 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”. More recently, 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”.


  • WS2513: Community Work (Level 2; TSV)
  • WS4503: Social Work and Mental Health (Level 4; TSV)
  • WS5603: Social Work and Mental Health (Level 5; TSV)
  • Mental health, Strengths based practice, Community work, International social work.
  • 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
  • 2016 - JCU Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
  • 2012 to 2013 - 2012 -JCU Award for Excellence - Partnerships and Collaboration
  • 2010 - Inclusive Practice Award

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
Conference Papers

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 85+ 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.

Epilepsy Queensland - Consultancy

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

Indicative Funding
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

Office for Learning and Teaching - Innovation and Development Grant

International Social Work Student Exchange: Facilitating Good Practice in Australia and Asia Pacific

Indicative Funding
$388,000 over 2 years
Using collaborative and inclusive processes, this project will draw on data from Australian social work education providers and their international partners, to document and analyse current international student exchange practices, highlighting key issues and constraints. Merging this data with a critical literature review, the project will synthesise the knowledge created to develop transferable best-practice models in international student exchange. Focusing on enhancing relationships with the Asia-Pacific, this project aims to document, analyse, develop and disseminate exemplary practices in international social work student exchange. The project will contribute significantly to the development of mutually beneficial international student exchange programs and will support Australian tertiary educators to integrate evidence-led, transferable, good -practice principles into core curricula.
Debra Miles, Nonie Harris, Peter F Jones, Abraham Francis, Narayan Gopalkrishnan and Ines Zuchowski in collaboration with Hurriyet Babacan, Julie King, S Rajeev, Piyachat and Linda Briskman (College of Arts, Society & Education, The University of New England, Queensland University of Technology, De Paul Institute of Science & Technology, Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University and Swinburne University of Technology)
Social Work; International student exchange; Internationalisation; Social Work Education; Curriculum Design

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.

  • Factors Contributing to Recidivism Among Inmates in Ghana Prisons (PhD , Primary Advisor)

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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  2. Prof Debra Miles
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  3. Dr Narayan Gopalkrishnan
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  4. A/Prof Margaret Anne Carter
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  5. Dr Peter Jones
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