About

Professor Komla Tsey is Tropical Leader and Research Professor in Education for Social Sustainability within the School and The Cairns Institute. He is a highly qualified research professor with more than 25 years experience who provides leadership as part of transdisciplinary teams across the School of Education, The Cairns Institute and beyond to; undertake developmental research in the field of education for social sustainability; build a longer-term education for social sustainability collaborative research agenda; and mentor and support emerging researchers to become independent competitive researchers.

Professor Tsey is passionately committed to the ethical conduct of research, and to ensuring that research that he leads demonstrates tangible benefits for the research participants. 

Professor Tsey was Head of the Central Australian Unit Menzies School of Health Research (1995-99) and contributed significantly towards the setting up of Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health (now Lowitja Institute) and was one of the CRC’s 5 inaugural Research Program Leaders. Over the past decade, Komla has led a research team at JCU and The University of Queensland to operationalise and build research evidence-base for Aboriginal-developed community empowerment programs.

He is an expert in leading diverse research programs into politically sensitive and contemporary health, education, welfare and other social issues concerning Australia’s Indigenous and rural Ghanaian communities and beyond. He utilises original and collaborative empowerment and participatory approaches to improving understanding of social circumstances and the relationship between these and government policies, thereby improving and sustaining health and wellbeing in population subsets.

Interests
Research
  • Assessing the effectiveness of a community reinforcement and family training intervention for alcohol misuse with Indigenous Australians. An ARC Linkage Project with the National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW; The Lyndon Community; School of Education; Yoorana Gunya Family Violence Healing Centre Aboriginal Corporation
  • A whole-of-community approach to promoting engagement into education in a discrete indigenous community: A mixed method study. An ARC Discovery Project.
  • Building a cohort of indigenous research leaders in community health development. An NH&MRC Capacity Building Grant with the University of South Australia.
  • Building research capacity in Indigenous Australians and community controlled services. An NH&MRC Capacity Building Grant with the School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences; Indigenous Health Unit; Australian Institute of Tropical Medicine; School of Medicine & Dentistry.
  • Swine influenza containment strategies: Feasible containment strategies for swine influenza H1N1 in rural and remote indigenous communities. An NH&MRC project with the School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences; School of Education.
  • Economic evaluation of interventions to reduce the burden of harm from alcohol misuse in Indigenous Australians. An NH&MRC project with the School of Indigenous Australian Studies; School of Education.
  • The feasibility and effectiveness of a family based intervention for Indigenous Australians. An NH&MRC project with the School of Education.
  • Palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with end-stage renal disease: An action research initiative. An NH&MRC project with School of Medicine; School of Indigenous Australian Studies.
  • Pandemic influenza containment strategies in Aboriginal communities: What is acceptable and feasible? An NH&MRC project with the School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences; School of Education.
  • Pearl in the oyster: Caring for country and building mental health resilience to adverse climate change in rural and remote Aboriginal communities. An NH&MRC project with the University of Canberra, CSIRO, ANU, School of Indigenous Australian Studies.
  • A structured systems approach for improving health promotion practice for chronic diseases in indigenous communities. An NH&MRC project with the Northern Territory Department of Health and Community Services (NTDHCS); Menzies School of Health Research (MSHR); CRC for Aboriginal Health (CRCAH).
  • Tropical, Rural and Indigenous Communicable Disease Control (TRICDC). An NH&MRC project with the School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences; School of Education.
  • Strategies designed to promote the longer term sustainability of the Empowerment Research Program. A Department of Education, Employment & Workplace Relations - Research Infrastructure Block Grant with the School of Education; School of Indigenous Australian Studies.
  • Implementation of a program of applied research and evaluation focusing on priority issues for the improvement of social and emotional well being and mental health among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of North Queensland. A Queensland Health project with the School of Indigenous Australian Studies, School of Education and The University of New South Wales
  • Sexual health management in NPA & TSI with the delivery of the Family Wellbeing Program. A Queensland Health – Consultancy with the School of Education; Tropical Population Health Unit, Queensland Health; Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health. Preparedness of schools for climate change contingencies. A JCU Collaboration Across Boundaries Grant with the School of Education, Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition.
  • Making a difference: Promoting sustainable change in education, training and employment in Yarrabah. Indigenous Coordinating Council, Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council, Education Queensland. Project with the School of Education.
  • Making a difference: Planning for improved emotional and social wellbeing for Yarrabah. A Gurriny Yealamucka Health Service - Collaborative Research Project with the School of Education.
  • Preparedness of schools for climate change contingencies. A JCU Collaboration Across Boundaries Grant with the School of Education, Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition.
Experience
  • 2012 to present - Program Leader, Healthy Communities and Settings, The Lowitja Institute, Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
  • 2009 to present - Research Professor, The Cairns Institute (James Cook University, Cairns)
  • 2009 to present - Tropical Leader, James Cook University (Cairns)
  • 2000 to present - Founder and Patron, Botoku Education Trust (Ghana)
  • 2005 to 2009 - Associate Professor and Principal Research Fellow, National Health and Medical Research Centre
  • 2005 to 2009 - Program Leader, Empowerment Research Program, James Cook University (Cairns)
  • 2005 - NHMRC Principal Fellow and Associate Professor, University of Queensland
  • 2002 to 2004 - Head of North Queensland Health Equalities Promotion Unit, University of Queensland
  • 2000 to 2002 - Senior Lecturer, University of Queensland
  • 1999 to 2000 - Senior Lecturer and Indigenous Health Research Coordinator, James Cook University (Cairns)
  • 1996 to 1999 - Inaugural Research Program Leader, Menzies School of Health Research
  • 1995 to 1999 - Senior Lecturer and Head of Central Australian Unit, Menzies School of Health Research
  • 1993 to 1994 - Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of Aboriginal Health Worker Training, Anyinginyi Congress Aboriginal Health Service, Bachelor College (Alice Springs)
  • 1992 to 1993 - Lecturer, University of New South Wales (New South Wales)
  • 1991 to 1992 - Lecturer, University of Wollongong (Wollongong)
  • 1986 to 1991 - Lecturer, University of Ghana (Ghana)
  • 1984 to 1987 - Tutor/Lecturer, University of Glasgow (Scotland)
  • 1980 to 1982 - Tutor, University of Ghana (Ghana)
  • 1974 to 1977 - Community Development Worker, Ministry of Health and Community Development (Ghana)
Socio-Economic Objectives
Honours
Awards
  • 2006 - Most successful team with research funding within JCU's People, Identity and Place research hub
  • 2005 - National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Population Health Research Career Development Award
  • 1994 - AJ Thompson Award for Good Practice in Public Health
Memberships
  • Oxford Round Table participant
  • Central Australian Rural Practitioners Association
  • Public Health Association of Australia
  • Social Inclusion, Empowerment and Participation Network of the World Health Organisation Commission on the Social Determinants of Health.
  • African Studies Association
Publications

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
More

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 191+ research outputs authored by Prof Komla Tsey from 1994 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 - LI Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) funding

The Co-production of the Lowitja Institute Knowledge Translation to Research Impact for Empowerment Approach

Indicative Funding
$225,000 over 1 year
Summary
This research project will involve the co-development of a Knowledge Translation to Research Impact for Empowerment Approach with the Lowitja Institute Research and Knowledge Translation (R&KT) team. The co-development of this approach will incorporate and work off three major products that will provide the building blocks to improving Knowledge Translation (KT) and research impact for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research: 1. Lowitja Institute Knowledge Translation and Research Impact Indicators; 2. Lowitja Institute Research for Impact Tool co-developed with James Cook University (JCU); and 3. Lowitja Institute KT to Research Impact Framework. This research project will combine the proposed programs of work which will lead to the JCU team and the Lowitja Institute developing the first known Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander KT to Research Impact Approach that will underpin research commissioning, monitoring and reporting, translation of knowledge into practice, workforce development and so on. It is anticipated this work will have significant implications for the broader Australian health research environment.
Investigators
Felecia Watkin, Komla Tsey and Lynda Ah Mat (Indigenous Education & Research Centre, College of Arts and Society & Education)
Keywords
Research Impact; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander He; Knowledge Translation

Neami Limited - Contract Research

Evaluation of Early Implementation of the Connect to Wellbeing Service

Indicative Funding
$54,546 over 2 years
Summary
The project team will provide: * Independent analysis and interpretation of de-identified data provided by Neami National; * A research report for Neami national's internal use; * A research paper for publication in peer reviewed journal in collaboraltion with Dr Ennals and Neami staff.
Investigators
Komla Tsey, Josephine Pryce, Leigh-Ann Onnis and Carrie Lui (College of Arts, Society & Education, College of Business, Law & Governance and Cairns Institute)
Keywords
Mental Health; Wellbeing; Evaluation
Supervision

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.

Current
  • Understanding How Adults with Lived Experience of Schizophrenia Interpret Recovery Processes: A Qualitative Study with Thematic Synthesis. (Masters , Primary Advisor)
  • Promoting student wellbeing: the feasibility of Family Wellbeing soft skills approach in a university access course (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
Completed
Collaboration

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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