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. Alan has a strong track record of doing research which translates into policy and regulation.

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.

  • TM5575: Substance Misuse Prevention (Level 5; CNS)
  • Public Health Law, Research and Policy
  • 2016 to present - Professorial Research Fellow, Cairns Institute (Cairns, Australia)
  • 2016 to 2017 - Chair, NHMRC Career Development Award Panel (Cairns, Australia)
  • 2010 to 2016 - Research Fellow, The Cairns Institute (Cairns, Australia)
  • 2006 to 2016 - Associate Professor, School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Services, James Cook University (Cairns, Australia)
  • 2015 - Member, NHMRC Career Development Award Panel (Cairns, Australia)
  • 2011 to 2014 - Associate Professor, Sansom Institute, Division of Health Sciences, University of South Australia (Honorary) (South Australia)
  • 2012 to 2013 - Chair - Early Career Fellowship Review Panel, National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (Australia)
  • 2011 to 2013 - Chair - Early Career Fellowship Review Panel, National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (Australia)
  • 2012 - Member, Health Research Council of New Zeland, Public Health Science Assessing Committee (Australia)
  • 2012 - Program Grants Review Panel - Additional Expert, National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (Australia)
  • 2012 - Member - Grant Review Panel 6A - Project Grants, National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (Australia)
  • 2012 - Invited participant - Alcohol Data Workshop, NHMRC Prevention and Community Health Committee (Australia)
  • 2007 to 2010 - Principal Research Fellow, Menzies School of Health Research (Honorary) (Australia)
  • 2006 to 2009 - Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney (Honorary) (Sydney, Australia)
  • 2005 to 2008 - National Healht and Medical Research Council - Postdoctoral Fellow, James Cook University (Australia)
  • 2007 - Member - Grant Review Panel - NHMRC_GRP5A, National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (Australia)
  • 2005 to 2007 - Senior Lecturer, School of Population, University of Queensland (Honorary) (Australia)
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 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
  • 2013 to 2016 - Career Development Award Fellowship, National Health and Medical Research Council
  • 2006 to 2008 - Early Career Fellowship, National Health and Medical Research Council

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

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 159+ research outputs authored by Prof Alan Clough from 1995 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Australian Institute of Criminology - Indigenous Justice Research Program

A collaborative throughcare model for reducing the over-representation of Australian Indigenous youth living in remote and rural Northern Australia.

Indicative Funding
$181,818 over 2 years
There is an increase in the numbers of young Indigenous people involved in a cycle of reoffending behaviour. Research states that breaking the cycle of crime can be achieved through programmes that address the drivers of crime particularly when young people leave detention and re-enter their communities. However, there are challenges to providing a coordinated approach of throughcare due to the ?siloization? of services particularly in remote and rural Indigenous communities. The proposed research will attempt to address these challenges by conducting community- based research leading to development of a model of throughcare beginning when young people enter detention to when they re-enter their communities. The resultant community model based throughcare model will identify, engage and divert Indigenous young people living in remote communities from further offending by better health outcomes.
Glenn Dawes, Alan Clough, Kirstie Broadfield and Victoria Graham (College of Arts, Society & Education, College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Indigenous; Youth; Remote; Recidivism; Throughcare

Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation - Research Grant

A comparison of the experiences of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians subject to Emergency Examination Authorities

Indicative Funding
$5,000 over 1 year
This project aims to investigate the far-reaching implications for individuals who have been subject to an EEA and their families. It is expected that this project will reveal the experiences of individuals and their families in their encounters with members of the police, ambulance and emergency department through the EEA process. By understanding the experiences of individuals who have been subject to an EEA and their families, this project has practical implications that will benefit the people of Far North Queensland experiencing disturbances in their mental capacity.
Kirstie Broadfield, Alan Clough and Richard Stone (Cairns Institute, College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Emergency Examination Assessment; Mental Health; Indigenous Australian

Emergency Medicine Foundation - Leading Edge

Emergency Examination Authorities and their Impacts on North Queensland Hospitals

Indicative Funding
$92,979 over 4 years
Emergency Departments (EDs) receive persons suffering major disturbances in their mental capacities, detained and transported by police or ambulance. The proposed study will fill a gap in literature by providing basic information about the challenges ED clinicians face in these complex circumstances while also documenting the need for information to guide the difficult decisions required when treating such patients.
Richard Stone, Ulrich Orda, Rajesh Sehdev, Neale Thornton, Alan Clough, Kristy Grant and Jessica Watt (Childrens Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service, North West Hospital and Health Service, Townsville Hospital and Health Service, Mackay Hospital and Health Service, College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Emergency Medicine; Mental Health

Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation - Research Grant

Health informatics for mental health at FNQ

Indicative Funding
$5,000 over 1 year
This project will construct a mental health database combining demographic, household economic, geographic and pharmaceutical information on 1000 unique emergency mental health related admissions at four FNQ Hospital and Health Services, Cairns, Townsville, Mount Isa and Atherton. The construction of the database will follow the relevant privacy and data security protocols. It would then be used for a more detailed evidence-based explanation of patterns and variation of incidents adjusting for confounding and contributing factors and offsets including economic and demographic factors such as age-stratified population, household income, existing co-morbidities and lifestyle choices.
Sourav Das and Alan Clough (College of Science & Engineering, College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Mental Health; spatial epidemiology; health informatics

North Queensland Primary Health Network - Contract Research

Internal Evaluation of the ex-ADF and Families Suicide Prevention Project

Indicative Funding
$60,208 over 1 year
An internal evaluation of Op Compass (OC), working collaboratively with its Staff, NQPHN and (where appropriate / required) the external evaluation team from The University of Melbourne. OC?s multi-sectorial strategies aim improve social connection and service access for ex-ADF personnel in Townsville. The theory-based evaluation will systematically evaluate context and processes in a multi-method design. Data will include: collated project records; direct observations; stakeholder interviews and focus groups. The final report will document how the program works, and make recommendations linked to academic and authoritative literature (May-June 2020; 16-24 pages, excl recommendations, appendices and references).
Alan Clough and Veronica Graham (College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)

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.

  • Knowledge and Attitudes to Reproductive Technology among Aboriginal Families who are at risk of Machado-Joseph Disease (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Involuntary treatment of people experiencing mental health crisis in the community: A study of the 'least restrictive way' doctrine in Queensland mental health legislation (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Oral Cancer in rural and regional Australia: Awareness, prevention and intervention strategies. (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Clubfoot in the Northern Territory (PhD , Secondary 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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