Dr Janya McCalman is a Senior Research Fellow in The Cairns Institute at James Cook University as Lead/Chief Investigator on 21 grants through the Empowerment Research Program under the mentorship of Research Professor Komla Tsey.

Janya has worked as a researcher in Indigenous health for 10 years; bringing in more than $2.25m in competitive grants since 2006; most recently as Chief Investigator (CIB) on a National Health and Medical Research Council suicide prevention grant (2014).

Janya has published 44 peer-reviewed articles (another 3 under review) in national/international peer-reviewed journals and produced 4 books or book chapters and 16 reports for government and community-controlled organisations. She has also contributed to policy directions; and developed community health and educational resources.

Higher degree studies supervised by Janya include:

1. Improving the treatment and management of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with alcohol problems: a partnership between researchers and an Indigenous drug and alcohol treatment service.

2. Aboriginal health advocacy on Stradbroke Island from 1940-1970.

3. A multi-component mentoring training: Enhancing the work practices of support staff to improve the resilience of remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students that transition from their communities to boarding schools.





  • Transfer and implementation of services and programs
  • Empowerment and resilience
  • Health promotion
  • Indigenous health
  • 2005 to present - Senior Research Officer, James Cook University (Cairns)
  • 2003 to 2005 - Senior Research Officer, University of Queensland (Cairns)
  • 1995 to 2003 - Senior Health Promotion Officer, Queensland Health, Tropical Public Health Unit (Cairns)
  • 1990 to 1995 - Senior Policy Analyst, NSW Health, AIDS and Infectious Diseases Branch (Sydney)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2013 - James Cook University Dean’s Award for Research Higher Degree Excellence
  • 2012 - JCU FAESS Research Performance Award - 17 publications during PhD candidature
  • 2010 - JCU Faculty of Arts Education and Social Science, Research Performance Award - External Research Income
  • 2009 - James Cook University Staff Awards for Excellence
  • 2002 - Queensland Health Benjamin Award
  • 2011 - Australian Health Promotion Association
  • 2008 to 2014 - International Society for Third Sector Research

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 82+ research outputs authored by Dr Janya McCalman from 2001 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Lowitja Institute-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health CRC - Research Activity Funding

Sustainable implementation of Indigenous early childhood family support programs that work: a Family Wellbeing (FWB) Case-Study

Indicative Funding
$503,553 over 3 years
The aim of the project is to define and develop funding models and mechanisms that can support FWB empowerment program integration and implementation within early childhood family support programs. The FWB program attends to the social and emotional wellbeing needs of the family and in this instance will integrate FWB at different levels to enhance broader community capacity to create supportive environments for children to thrive. A whole of community approach is a defining feature of this project which will bring together Indigenous early childhood family support service providers, policy makers and researchers through collaborative partnerships. Improving the health and wellbeing of children is vital to ensuring that good health continues into adulthood which has implications for positive social, cultural, educational and economic outcomes.
Yvonne Cadet-James, Komla Tsey, Irina Kinchin, Roxanne Bainbridge, Claire Campbell, Jane Mills and Janya McCalman in collaboration with Catherine Brown, H Klieve, Mary Whiteside and Louis McPherson (Indigenous Education & Research Centre, College of Arts, Society & Education, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, College of Healthcare Sciences, Griffith University and La Trobe University)
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander; Family Wellbeing; Early Childhood

NHMRC - Mental Health Targeted Call for Research

Psycho-social resilience, vulnerability and suicide prevention: a mentoring approach to modifying suicide risk for remote Indigenous students who are compelled to relocate to boarding schools

Indicative Funding
$824,875 over 5 years
Responsive to concerns of suicide risk for transitioning students by Education Queensland's Transition Support Service, this study will examine the implementation and effectiveness (including cost-effectiveness) of a targeted mentoring approach that promotes psychosocial resilience against suicide for remote Indigenous students who are compelled to transition to boarding schools. It will contribute practice - and policy-relevant knowledge for education providers and broader Indigenous suicide prevention efforts.
Roxanne Bainbridge, Janya McCalman, Komla Tsey, Ernest Hunter, Patrick McGorry, Mark Wenitong, Yvonne Cadet-James, Anthony Shakeshaft, Christopher Doran and Christopher Lalonde in collaboration with Catherine Brown, Les Baird, Nerina Caltabiano, Melissa Haswell-Elkins, Sue McGinty, Marie O'Dea, Lynne Russell, Sandy Russo, Katrina Rutherford, Vicki-Lea Saunders and Richard Stewart (Cairns Institute, The University of Queensland, Orygen Research Centre, Apunipima Cape York Health Council, Indigenous Education & Research Centre, The University of New South Wales, The University of Newcastle, University of Victoria, Wontulp-Bi-Buya College, College of Healthcare Sciences, College of Arts, Society & Education, Headspace, Cairns, Victoria University of Wellington, Education Queensland, College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
suicide prevention; Mentoring; School-based Intervention; Aboriginal mental health; Adolescent Health; Intervention study

Australian Research Council - Discovery Indigenous

Developing a framework for measuring Indigenous research benefit

Indicative Funding
$612,845 over 3 years
The proposed project will bring together researchers and Indigenous community members to develop a collaborative framework for measuring research benefit. It will address two main 'Closing the Gap' priority areas, Indigenous health and education, by questioning what constitutes research benefit from an Indigenous perspective, and how can the benefits of research be measured to ensure sustainable outcomes for Indigenous communities. The innovation of this project lies in its methodology which will unpack the benefit construct from an Indigenous worldview to enable future research projects to be designed with outcomes in mind that are acceptable and valued by Indigenous beneficiaries and be informed by Indigenous knowledge.
Felecia Watkin, Roxanne Bainbridge, Yvonne Cadet-James, Komla Tsey and Janya McCalman (Indigenous Education & Research Centre, Central Queensland University, College of Arts and Society & Education)
Aboroginal & Torres Strait Islander; benefit; research impact

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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  • D3.102, The Cairns Institute (Cairns campus)
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Similar to me

  1. Prof Komla Tsey
    College of Arts, Society & Education
  2. Prof Sarah Larkins
    College of Medicine & Dentistry
  3. Prof Yvonne Cadet-James
    Indigenous Education & Research Centre
  4. Dr Irina Kinchin
    Cairns Institute
  5. Dr Roxanne Bainbridge
    Cairns Institute