Allan has a strong interest in integrated natural resource policy and management in northern Australia. He has both extensive research and policy expertise in governance systems and integrated natural resource management. He is Chair of Regional Development Australia Far North Queensland and Torres Strait. His past research helped inform the policy and investment foundations for the nation’s regional natural resource management system, and he was also responsible for natural resource policy in the Queensland Government. Allan has also been the CEO of the Wet Tropics Regional NRM Body before returning to this international research role. As Leader – Tropical Regional Development at The Cairns Institute, JCU, he also accesses an international network of research expertise in the governance field, with particularly strong linkages throughout Charles Darwin University, Griffith University and CSIRO. In 2015, Allan gave a TEDxJCUCairns talk which you can view HERE 


  • Regional and natural resource policy/ governance systems
  • Environmental and social impact assessment
  • Indigenous/rural community development
  • Corporate/organization development
  • Lecturing/training in governance theory and planning systems
  • Land assessment and rehabilitation
  • Governance for the management of terrestrial carbon and greenhouse gas abatement
  • Climate change adaptation and disaster management
  • 2010 to present - Research Leader - Tropical Regional Development, The Cairns Institute (James Cook University, Cairns)
  • 2010 to present - Chair, Regional Development Australia FNQ&TS
  • 2005 to 2010 - CEO, Wet Tropics Regional Natural Resource Management Board (Cairns)
  • 2001 to 2005 - General Manager of Resource Policy, Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines
  • 1996 to 2001 - Senior Scientist, Regional Planning, CSIRO - Tropical Agriculture
  • 1993 to 1996 - Manager, Social Impact Assessment Unit, Queensland Department of Family Services, Aboriginal and Islander Affairs
  • Reef and Rainforest Research Corporation (Board Member)
  • Mulgrave Aquifer Community Reference Panel (Independent Chair)
  • Environmental Institute of Australia (Member)
  • International Association of Impact Assessment (Member)
  • 2016 - Queensland Plan Ambassadors Council (Ambassador)
  • 2015 to 2016 - QLD Government Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce (Member)

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 108+ research outputs authored by Prof Allan Dale from 1992 onwards.

Current Funding

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

CRC for Developing Northern Australia Scheme - Contract Research

Strategy and research impact advice to the CRC for developing northern Australia

Indicative Funding
$411,946 over 4 years
This project is to: 1. Provide strategic advice to the CRCNA Board and their CEO to maximise the impact of the CRCNA and its investments; 2. Establishment and maintain cohesive advisory arrangements to the Board and CEO; 3. Frame and support the progression of commissioned knowledge brokerage and research of strategic importance to the Board; 4. Support the CRCNA to identify and attract high impact project proposals; 5. Support the CRCNA in the determination and measurement of impact across the CRCNA activities.
Allan Dale (Cairns Institute)
Northern Australia; Agriculture; Food; Tropical Health; Traditional Owners

QLD Department of Agriculture and Fisheries - Tenders

Rural Economies Centre of Excellence (RECoE)

Indicative Funding
$508,727 over 3 years (administered by University of Southern Queensland)
The Rural Economies Centre of Excellence (RECoE) is a multi-site centre of expertise in rural economic development located in regions across Queensland. It will be based in Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Cairns, Townsville, Emerald, Malanda and Gatton. It is a partnership between universities with key rural economic development expertise across the state:(i) The University of Southern Queensland; (ii) Central Queensland University; (iii) James Cook University; and (iv) The University of Queensland.
Jim Cavaye, John Rolfe, Allan Dale, Rob Cramb, Helen Ross, Stewart Lockie, Zhang-Yue Zhou, Trina Myers, Riccardo Welters, Diane Jarvis and Jennifer McHugh (University of Southern Queensland, Central Queensland University, Cairns Institute, The University of Queensland, College of Business and Law & Governance)
Rural Economies

Queensland Department of Environment and Science - Contract Research

Landholders Driving Change

Indicative Funding
$85,000 (administered by NQ Dry Tropics)
The objective of the Landholders Driving Change (LDC) Major Integrated Project (MIP) is to work closely with landholders in the Bowen Broken Bogie (BBB) catchments to tackle erosion and improve land management, productivity and reef water quality in the Burdekin region.
Allan Dale, Rachel Eberhard, Anthea Coggan, Diane Jarvis, Anna Roberts, Geoff Park, Steve Skull, Romy Greiner and Jennifer McHugh in collaboration with Stuart Whitten (Cairns Institute, Eberhard Consulting, Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation, College of Business, Law & Governance, Natural Decisions, Alluvium Consulting and River Consulting)
Erosion; Natural Resource Management; Burdekin Region; Land Management; Water Quality

Australian Communications Consumer Action Network - Australian Communications Consumer Action Network Grant

Connectivity and digital inclusion in Far North Queensland agricultural communities

Indicative Funding
$36,000 over 2 years
This research investigates consumer needs and issues relating to provision and use of internet services in rural and remote Australia, in particular remote station owners in the Northern Gulf, Far North Queensland (FNQ). Provision of adequate and needs-driven connectivity infrastructure and services - along with essential knowledge and skills (`digital ability?) to apply connectivity to achieve economic and social outcomes for individuals, families, businesses and communities - is essential to the development of Northern Australia, which is both a State and Federal priority. This research will give a voice to consumers who are among the most digitally excluded in Australia.
Allan Dale, Alahna Marshall, Michael Dezuanni, Kathy Rowling and Jennifer McHugh (Cairns Institute, Queensland University of Technology and Northern Gulf NRM)
Internet services; Remote Australia; Northern Gulf; Rural Australia; Digital Ability; Far North Queensland

Mission Australia - Contract Research

Stronger Together ? Cairns South Early Years Collective Impact Initiative

Indicative Funding
$225,000 over 3 years
Community Partner Funding: Cairns South and Yarrabah Communities for Children. This project will support the Early Years sector to lead the development of a detailed child development 'agenda' and to establish long-term system improvements that can lead to better support for children and their families in Cairns South.
Allan Dale, Stewart Lockie, Fiona Allison and Jennifer McHugh (Cairns Institute)
Early years; Socio-economic disadvantage; Cairns South; Collective impact; Yarrabah; Families

Terrain Natural Resource Management - Contract Research

WTIP Influence Strategy

Indicative Funding
This project will develop a wet Tropics Major Integrated Project (WTMIP) Influence Strategy based on identification and prioritisation of external barriers to change (drawing on information from the WTMIP Program Design Phase, focussing on where the WTMIP partnership is likely to be able to have greatest influence. The intended outcomes of this process are to: *identify priority influencing themes and desir2018ed Project Panel influence outcomes; *identify key stakeholders that need to be engaged on each influence theme; *identify key stakeholders that need to be engaged on each influence theme; *identify key partnerships that need to be developed and managed for each influence theme; Identify strategies for influencing focussing on where the WTMIP partnership is likely to have the greatest influence.
Allan Dale and Rachel Eberhard in collaboration with Sheridan Morris and Jennifer McHugh (Cairns Institute and Reef and Rainforest Research Centre)
Governance; Water Quality; Great Barrier Reef

Wet Tropics Management Authority - Student Research Grant Scheme

Enhancing the health of the governance system driving ecosystem service markets in northern Australia

Indicative Funding
Degradation of ecosystems systems and processes is of increasing concern globally. Attempts to maintain the flow of ecosystem services through market-based instruments has, however, had varying success. Good governance is increasingly recognised as fundamental to ensuring equitable social and environmental outcomes, and likely to aid in overcoming some of the challenges faced by a more pure market based approach. This study will empirically analyse the governance systems that are emerging for ecosystem service markets in two synchronous case studies in Far North Queensland using the Governance System Analysis framework.
Rebecca Pearse and Allan Dale (Cairns Institute)
Governance; Ecosystem services markets; adaptive governance; Resilience

Department of the Environment and Energy - National Environmental Science Program (NESP) - Tropical Water Quality Hub (TWQ Hub)

The IMS 2050 Human Dimensions Project: Cost-effective Indicators and Metrics for key GBRWHA Human Dimensions and Indigenous Values Linked to Objectives and Targets in the Reef 2050 Plan

Indicative Funding
$125,000 over 2 years
Building on the work of the GBR RIMeP Program Design Group, this project will develop cost-effective indicators and metrics for human dimension outcomes, objectives and targets in the Reef 2050 Plan, consistent with the Drivers-Pressures-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) framework. It will add value to and ensure continuity with information collected through the Social and Economic Long-Term Monitoring Program for the Great Barrier Reef (SeLTMP). The project will: determine potential and extant indicator sets; evaluate data collection cost-effectiveness; determine thresholds (where applicable); and provide guidelines for a collaborative approach for developing grading scores, using multiple lines of evidence to rate progress towards Reef 2050 Plan targets, objectives and outcomes.
Allan Dale in collaboration with Nadine Marshall, Margaret Gooch and Karen Vella (Cairns Institute, Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Queensland University of Technology)
Great Barrier Reef; Human Dimensions; SELTMP; Reef 2050 Plan

Reef & Rainforest Research Centre - Contract Research

Assessment of the Approached Utilised by the RRRC Pilot Program Building Resilience in Treaty Villages, South Fly district, Western Province, Papua New Guinea Program

Indicative Funding
To provide advice and report on the theory and function of indigenous governance and engagement models, including an assessment of the approached utilised by the RRRC pilot program Building Resilience in Treaty Villages, South Fly District, Western Province, Papua New Guinea Program.
Allan Dale in collaboration with Jennifer McHugh (Cairns Institute)
Resilient Communities; PNG; Goverance

Department of the Environment and Energy - Contract Research

Scoping of Options for the Mid-Term Review of the Reef 2050 Plan

Indicative Funding
$38,334 (administered by CSIRO)
The Department of the Environment and Energy (DotEE) is seeking services to scope options for the upcoming, planned 2018 mid-term review of Reef 2050 Plan which is the overarching framework for protecting and managing the Reef until 2050. A consortium consisting of key leaders and experts from CSIRO, the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences (AIMS) and JCU, complemented with specialist expertise from an independent consultant, Eberhard Consulting has been established to conduct the review.
Allan Dale, Diane Jarvis, Jane Addison and Nerida Horner (Cairns Institute, College of Business, Law & Governance and Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation)
Reef 2050 Plan; Great Barrier Reef; Reef Water Qality Protection Plan; Ecosystem Values; Water Quality; Human Dimenisons of GBR

Terrain Natural Resource Management - Contract Research

Wet Tropics Major Integrated Project Synthesis Report

Indicative Funding
Extensive science has been conducted in the catchments of the wet tropics region with the aim of improving water quality in the Great Barrier Reef. This project aims to compile and synthesise this information for the Johnstone and Tully Catchments. The synthesis will utilize and integrate extensive existing biophysical, land management practice, social and economic data with the aim of generating new and increased understanding of the current status and options for the future. It will be used in conjunction with feasibility studies to inform decision making around the best location and mix of on-ground actions to reduce nutrient and pesticide loads.
Damien Burrows, Stephen Lewis and Allan Dale (TropWATER and Cairns Institute)
Wet Tropics; Water Quality; Cane Farming; Great Barrier Reef; Agriculture

Department of the Environment and Energy - National Environmental Science Program (NESP) - Tropical Water Quality Hub (TWQ Hub)

Building Indigenous livelihood and co-management opportunities in the Northern GBR-ecosystem services and conservation governance for water quality

Indicative Funding
$45,000 over 2 years (administered by CSIRO)
This project supports Indigenous co-management and livelihoods by scoping and developing culturally-appropriate ecosystem services (ES) products focused on water quality. Local and regional Indigenous development agencies in CYP will collaborate with researchers with expertise in Indigenous water, co-benefits, ES, wetland ecology, and governance issues. The project will: i) evaluate international examples of nutrient offsets and watershed ES; ii) scope investor demand and develop innovative water quality ES products suitable for Northern GBR geographic, demographic, and market conditions; and iii) improve wetland protection, co-management, business, and governance capability. Key project objectives are to leverage existing ES-based livelihood opportunities and to realize social co-benefits.
Marcus Barber and Allan Dale in collaboration with Justin Perry, Dion Creek, Tim Jaffer and Michael Winer (Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation, Cairns Institute, Kalan Enterprises and Cape York Partnerships)
traditional co-management; Ecosystem Services; Indigenous; Water Quality; capacity building

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.

  • The Drivers of Sustainability in Small Communities in Northern Australia (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Corporate Mining and Petroleum Engagement with Local Indigenous Communities in Northern Australia and Papua New Guinea (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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