Associate Professor Alan Clough is an Epidemiologist with a track record over the last two decades in designing, implementing and evaluating community-based interventions to reduce the disastrous effects of substance misuse in remote Indigenous communities, primarily in tropical northern Australia.  Research in remote community populations is widely recognised as being amongst the most difficult. 

In an unusual career path, he has worked at the community level managing alcohol issues in restricted areas in remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.  In his public health practice he has acted as a Member of the NT Licensing Commission (appointed by the Minister) and has heard and determined applications for restricted area declarations supported by alcohol management plans in several NT localities giving him a unique researcher's perspective on the regulatory environment.

Alan is principally recognised in Australia and internationally for his work in the difficult and often neglected area of substance misuse in remote community populations. As well as a rapidly-expanding research career, his CV describes a background in applied community development and advocacy including at the Local Government level. This experience underpins his long commitment to making positive changes at the population level.  Much of his research and practice is intervention research. It has led to positive change in situations where substance misuse has been highly problematic, e.g. reducing cannabis use, reducing petrol sniffing, kava abuse, managing alcohol and investigating ways to reduce the harms from alcohol abuse, smoking cannabis and tobacco in rural and remote populations. In public health generally there is a dearth of intervention research which seeks to document change in populations and which fosters change while the research is occurring.

  • 2012 to present - Program Grants Review Panel - Additional Expert, National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia
  • 2012 to present - Invited participant - Alcohol Data Workshop, NHMRC Prevention and Community Health Committee
  • 2012 to present - Chair - Early Career Fellowship Review Panel, National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia
  • 2012 to present - Member, Health Research Council of New Zeland, Public Health Science Assessing Committee
  • 2012 to present - Member - Grant Review Panel 6A - Project Grants, National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia
  • 2011 to present - Chair - Early Career Fellowship Review Panel, National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia
  • 2010 to present - Research Fellow, The Cairns Institute (Cairns Qld)
  • 2007 to present - Member - Grant Review Panel - NHMRC_GRP5A, National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia
  • 2006 to present - Associate Professor, School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Services, James Cook University (Cairns Qld)
  • 2011 to 2014 - Associate Professor, Sansom Institute, Division of Health Sciences, University of South Australia (Honorary) (South Australia)
  • 2007 to 2010 - Principal Research Fellow, Menzies School of Health Research (Honorary)
  • 2006 to 2009 - Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney (Honorary) (Sydney NSW)
  • 2005 to 2008 - National Healht and Medical Research Council - Postdoctoral Fellow, James Cook University
  • 2005 to 2007 - Senior Lecturer, School of Population, University of Queensland (Honorary) (Queensland)
  • 2011 - Finalist, Queensland Reconciliation Awards, Queensland Police Service and James Cook University for ‘Weed-it-Out’ project.
  • 2011 - Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Award, Partnered Project, Queensland Police Service ‘Weed-it-Out’ and James Cook University ‘Cape York Cannabis Project’. 2011
  • 2010 - Research Fellow - Cairns Insitute - James Cook University

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU.

Journal Articles

ResearchOnline@JCU stores a total of 63 research outputs authored by A/Prof Alan Clough from 2004 onwards.

Current Funding

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

NHMRC - Career Development Fellowship

Reducing harms from substance misuse in remote indigenous communities requires interventions delivered as promised with measurable impacts?

Indicative Funding
$439,920 over 4 years
The aims of the CDF scheme will allow me to achieve my objectives in that i) I am a mid-career researcher becoming independent and self-directed, ii) my research builds on Australia’s public health research capacity, iii) my work program focuses on building and disseminating evidence for health policies that is iv) directly translated into practice and which v) engages with key components of the substance misuse prevention and treatment sector.
Alan Clough (Public Health and Trop Med & Rehab Sciences)
Substance Abuse; Prevention; Mental Health; Methodology; community intervention; Social Determinants of Health; addiction prevention; Injury Prevention

NHMRC - Project Grant

Alcohol Management Plans (AMPs) in Remote Indigenous Communities: Their Impacts on Injury, Violence, Health and Social Indicators and Their Cost-Effectiveness In Cape York, Far North

Indicative Funding
$626,395 over 3 years
The study will describe long-term impacts on important health, economic and social outcomes of complex interventions restricting the supply of alcohol in the Cape York region of far north Queensland. The study will assess impacts of past policy shifts, program changes and local responses to the Queensland Government's Alcohol Management Plans (AMPs) implemented from 2002-03. It will provide an evaluation framework and evidence base to inform communities and governments if future policy and program adjustments are proposed in these and similar Indigenous communities elsewhere in Australia.
Alan Clough, with the help of Stephen Margolis, Reinhold Muller, Christopher Doran, Adrian Miller and Anthony Shakeshaft (Public Health, Trop Med & Rehab Sciences, The University of Queensland, Southern Cross University and The University of New South Wales)
Alcohol; Alcohol Management Plans; Aboriginal & Torres Strait Is People; Social Indicators; Evaluation

Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute - Centres of Research Excellence in Primary Health Care Research

Centre of Research Excellence Prevention of Chronic Conditions in Rural and Remote High Risk Populations

Indicative Funding
$999,384 over 3 years (administered by University of South Australia)
The research team will undertake collaborative research in rural and remote communities of SA and QLD which will contribute directly to the prevention of chronic disease at various stages along the care continuum. They will investigate community and health service based strategies such as obesity prevention, nutrition improvement to prevent the onset of chronic diseases such as diabetes, renal and cardio vascular disease in health adults and children. The collaboration brings together researchers and institutions around three research streams: 1. Nutrition and Physical Activity in chronic disease prevention: let by Professor Kerin O'Dea; 2. Mental Health and Substance Misuse in chronic disease prevention: Led by A/Professor Alan Clough; 3. Clinical Systems improvement in Primary Care: led by Professor Robyn McDermott.
Robyn McDermott, Kathryn Panaretto, Alan Clough, Leonie Segal, Kerrin O'Dea and Kim Usher, with the help of John Setchell, David Schrimgeour, Sabina Knight, Mark Wenitong, Ashim Sinha, Jane Giles and Katina D'Onise (Public Health, Trop Med & Rehab Sciences, Queensland Aboriginal and Torrres Strait Islander Health Forum, University of South Australia, Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition, Royal Flying Doctors Service, Aboriginal Health Council, Medicine, Health & Molecular Sciences, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Cairns & Hinterland Health Service District and SA Department of Health)
chronic disease prevention; Nutrition; Primary health care; Health economics; Indigenous; Rural; remote

Brain Injury Australia - Contract Research

The Development of a Culturally Appropriate NDIS Assessment Process for Indigenous Persons Living With an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)

Indicative Funding
There are currently no ABI specific assessment tools or processes that are culturally appropriate for Indigenous persons. The aim of this project will therefore be to prepare for the transition to an environment that includes a NDIS by developing the following: a) a culturally appropriate instrument for assessing functioning, cognitive impairment, and the care and support needs of Indigenous persons with ABI; b) procedural guidance for engaging Indigenous persons with ABI and their communities so as to administer the assessment instrument effectively; c) a support framework for assessors, including guidelines for training, peer mentoring, supervision, management and review.
Anne Stephens, India Bohanna, Deborah Graham, Alan Clough and Jim Turnour, with the help of Derek Brookes, Jennifer Cullen and Paul Maruff (Cairns Institute, Public Health, Trop Med & Rehab Sciences, Arts & Social Sciences, Brain Injury Australia Inc, Synapse and Cogstate Pty Ltd)
Brain Injury; NDIS; Acquired Brain Injury (ABI); Indigenous; Disability

Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation - Research Grant

Assessing and implanting programs to improve homelessness-related health conditions for Indigenous residents of Cape York

Indicative Funding
This project will follow-up participants of QPS Return to Country Program from 2012, to ascertain their health and housing needs, the level to which these needs are being met, and how to adequately meet their needs. A revised, sustainable Return to Country Program will then be developed in collaboration with QPS, QLD Health, Indigenous health agencies and homeless service providers to ensure the health and wellbeing of Indigenous homeless people from Cape York.
Bronwyn Honorato, Bernadette Rogerson and Alan Clough (Public Health and Trop Med & Rehab Sciences)
Cape York; Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders; Cairns CBD; Indigenous Health; Homelessness; Substance use

Gilead Australia Fellowship Program - Gilead Australia Research Grant Program

Facilitating hepatitis B screening and treatment in the Hmong community of North Queensland

Indicative Funding
Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) continues to cause liver disease and death in Australia due to under-diagnosis and under-treatment. While CHB is endemic in most Asian countries, a particularly high prevalence is found in Hmong migrant populations. This project aims to increase awareness about CHB in the North Queensland Hmong community through an appropriate educational intervention, and to facilitate relationships with primary health care providers, thus enabling health-protective actions such as screening, immunization, monitoring, or referral for treatment if necessary. A new model based on behavioural theory was developed which will make the approach easily replicable in Asian migrant communities nationwide.
Yvonne Drazic, Marie Caltabiano and Alan Clough (Arts & Social Sciences, Public Health and Trop Med & Rehab Sciences)
Chronic Hepatitis B; Liver cancer prevention; Hmong; Migrant health; Hepatitis B; Liver health promotion

Live Life Well Australia - Contract Research

Implementation and Evaluation of Wadakin House

Indicative Funding
$160,000 over 2 years
This project will build on a scoping study evaluation framework and a suite of evidence-asked psychometric assessment and screening instruments already provided by JCU for the Queensland Drug and Alcohol Council (QDAC) for Wadakin House. The goals of this new project are to : 1. Oversee the data collection and modifications to the evaluation framework; 2. Work with staff to implement psychometric tools with the stages and phases of the programme; 3. Conduct appropriate in service for staff on evaluation and monitoring systems, tools and/or processes
Komla Tsey, Deborah Graham, Alan Clough, Anne Stephens, India Bohanna and Jim Turnour (Cairns Institute, Arts & Social Sciences, Public Health and Trop Med & Rehab Sciences)
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Is Health; Alcohol & Other Drug Treatment; Therapeutic Community Rehavilitation

Cairns Regional Council - Contract Research

Inner City Partnership Project

Indicative Funding
$62,946 over 2 years
The Cairns Regional Council and the Community-based Health Prevention Studies Group, JCU, will work collaboratively on a biannual audit and evaluation of aspects of the public-space closed-circuit television system, non-technological development of the 5 year CCTV Strategic Plan, continuing support of the alcohol-related violence study, and evaluation of the local level agreement on homelessness, the victims of crime strategy and the Safe Communities program. This project will contribute to the formal partnership with Professor Ross Homel and Dr Michael Townsley (Griffith University), and further build knowledge sharing and funding links with Griffith University.
Boris Pointing, Charmaine Hayes-Jonkers and Alan Clough (Public Health and Trop Med & Rehab Sciences)
Closed Circuit Television; Injury Prevention; Alcohol-related Assault; Homelessness; Community capacity building

NHMRC - Project Grant

Cannabis withdrawal among Indigenous inmates in north Queensland

Indicative Funding
$279,375 over 2 years
In withdrawal, many Indigenous cannabis users 'stress out' leading to violence and self harm. Among Indigenous prisoners in a north Queensland corrective centre, 69% have been cannabis users and 57% of these suffered 'stressing out'. We will investigate and address cannabis withdrawal symptoms by documenting their onset and severity and by devising culturally acceptable, low-cost resources and support to assist new inmates to manage 'stressing out'.
Alan Clough, Jan Copeland, Petra Buttner and Yvonne Cadet-James, with the help of Wayne Hall, Kimina Anderson, Edward Heffernan, Greg Kingston, Darryl Joseph, Ernest Hunter, India Bohanna, Bernadette Rogerson and Garry Kidd (Public Health, Trop Med & Rehab Sciences, The University of New South Wales, Indigenous Australian Studies, The University of Queensland, Queensland Health, Queensland Corrective Services and Arts & Social Sciences)
Indigenous; canabis; Mental Health; substance use; Prison population

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.

  • Exploring Protective Factors for Violent Offending and Incarceration of Indigenous Adults in Far North Queensland. (PhD, Primary Advisor)
  • Developing Salient Messages for Indigenous Tobacco Control (PhD, Primary Advisor)
  • Patient Safety: Risk Management of Paramedic Initiated Non-Transport Cases. (Masters, Primary Advisor)
  • Towards a National Strongyloidiasis Control Program: Closing the Gap on Strongyloidiasis in Remote Indigenous Communities. (PhD, Primary Advisor)
  • Exposure to tobacco smoke and smoke-free living environments and how this influences smoking up-take and smoking cessation in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations. (PhD, Primary Advisor)
  • Health Status, Health Events, and Health Care Participation of Amateur Performing Artists in Regional Queensland (Mackay) (PhD, Primary Advisor)
  • Heavy Cannabis Use in Remote Indigenous Communities in Cape York: Evidence-Based Harm Reduction at the Community Level. (PhD, Primary Advisor)
  • Maternal Nutrition and Its Role in the Development of the Child in Bangladesh (PhD, Co-Advisor)
  • The Role of Traditional Food and Lifestyle Interventions in Reducing Modifiable Chronic Disease Risk Factors in Australian Indigenous Communities. (PhD, Co-Advisor)
  • Reducing Assaults in the Cairns Night Time Economy Using Realist Evaluation: A Focus on Closed Circut Television (CCTV). (PhD, Co-Advisor)
  • Chronic Hepatitis B: Raising Awareness and Enabling Health-Protective Action in the North Queensland Among Community Focusing on GP Involvement and Antenatal Care (PhD, Co-Advisor)
  • Enhancing the Prevention Diagnosis and Management of Acute Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease in Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander Populations (PhD, Associate Advisor)
  • Qualitative Studies into the Barriers of Infectious and Parasitic Disease Interventions in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities (PhD, Associate 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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Similar to me

  1. Mr Boris Pointing
    Cairns Institute
  2. Mrs Val Wallace
    School of Indigenous Australian Studies
  3. Prof Yvonne Cadet-James
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  4. A/Prof Deborah Graham
    School of Arts & Social Sciences
  5. Prof Komla Tsey
    Faculty of Arts, Education & Social Sciences