I am an Aboriginal woman from Townsville in North Queensland. I currently hold the position of Associate Dean Engagement and Strategy in the College of Medicine & Dentistry, located in the Division of Tropical Health and Medicine. In the College of Medicine & Dentistry I provide leadership and strategic advice in the Generalist Medical Training (GMT) program, and oversee GMT’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health activities. For nearly three decades, I have worked in higher education, primarily on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.


I am appointed to numerous boards and committees and hold a Master of Public Health & Tropical Medicine. My research interests are centred on health systems, health workforce and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.


  • HS4801: Tropical Australian Health Internship (Level 4; CNS & TSV)
  • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health; Health workforce & service delivery; Research capacity development
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2009 ALTC Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning - Dr Marion Gray, A/Prof Jacinta Elston, Marianne Bonassi and Yvonne Thomas (James Cook University)
  • 2007 Honorary Member, Golden Key Society

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
Other research outputs

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 17+ research outputs authored by Prof Jacinta Elston from 2002 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Queensland Health - Queensland Genomics Health Alliance Project Fund

Bringing Modern Genomics to the Management of Lung Cancer in Queensland

Indicative Funding
$221,388 over 2 years (administered by QUT)
Our project will overcome many of the issues slowing the implementation of cancer genomics and personalised medicine in the state, including (and where relevant, in partnership with the QGHA capability projects): ? We will develop models of care covering all aspects from consent, sample collection and handling, genomic profiling, data analysis and reporting of both somatic and heritable variants, to enable clinical uptake. ? We will develop education programs for health care workers and patients. ? We will establish protocols for cancer genomics in Indigenous populations in consensus with Indigenous communities. ? We will perform a comprehensive analysis of the performance of all aspects of the upgraded model of care and compare it with the current standard of care to identify areas for improvement, and to establish the case for its broader implementation. A system of performance analysis and systems improvement will be built into the care pathways developed, to ensure continuous service improvement beyond the life of this project.
Matt Brown, Ken O'Byrne, Fong Kwun, Ian Yang, Stephen Fox, Jayesh Desai, Alan Baxter, Emily Callander, Sabe Sabesan, Jacinta Elston, Nick Graves and Paul Leo (Queensland University of Technology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, The Prince Charles Hospital, The University of Queensland, Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, College of Medicine & Dentistry and Division of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Genomics; Lung Cancer; Clinical care

National Health & Medical Research Council - Partnership Projects

Population Health Planning for Rural Medicare Locals: evaluating a community participation method for delivering outcomes

Indicative Funding
$209,673 over 3 years (administered by SWIN)
The study, in six communities, will evaluate whether an evidenced based method of rural community participation from the UK translates to assist healthcare planning by Medicare Locals. Medicare Locals must involve local people in designing services to improve health, but lack methods to do this. The focus of the study is oral health, a major issue in rural areas. The study evaluates whether new services are designed and implemented and whether there is a change to health knowledge and behaviours.
Jane Farmer, Sarah Larkins, Mark Gussy, Amanda Kenny, Felicity Croker, Andrea Silva-Sanigorski, Jacinta Elston and Virginia Dickson-Swift in collaboration with Tracy Cheffins, Benedict Keith, Kate Silburn and Judy Taylor (La Trobe University, College of Medicine & Dentistry, The University of Melbourne, College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
primary care; health planning; consumer participation; Rural Health; Oral Health; Priority Setting; access to dental care; Workforce Policy; Evaluation Studies

National Health & Medical Research Council - Project Grant

ABCD Case Studies Project: Quality improvement in Aboriginal primary health care: lessons from the best to better the rest.

Indicative Funding
$598,580 over 3 years
High performing primary health care (PHC) services are essential to "close the gap" in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes. Little previous research has investigated the contextual factors around a particular service that influence the success of quality improvement initiatives. We aim to transfer knowledge about the processes that facilitate the success of quality improvement initiatives in these services whilst building research and evaluation capacity in the services.
Sarah Larkins, Sandra Thompson, Jacinta Elston, Christine Connors and Komla Tsey in collaboration with Dallas Leon, Elizabeth Moore, Jacqueline Ward, Ross Bailie, Ru Kwedza, Tania Patrao and Veronica Matthews (College of Medicine & Dentistry, The University of Western Australia, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, Department of Health (NT), Cairns Institute, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council, Aboriginal Medical Service, Menzies School of Health Research and Queensland Health)
Quality improvement; Aboriginal Health; Primary care; Health services research; Chronic diseases

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 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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  4. Dr Rebecca Evans
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  5. Prof Sarah Larkins
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