Narayan Gopalkrishnan is a Senior Research Fellow at the Cairns Institute. He has over thirty years of experience in Australia and overseas, working in universities, NGOs and the private sector.  This has included major development projects and large corporate entities in India and work in the not-for-profit sector and academia. Narayan brings extensive experience in international development in Asia and has managed significant research projects in rural development. Narayan has expertise in Participatory Methodologies and has used these in studies at village and district levels in Asia.

In Australia, Narayan has held senior leading roles in research and sector development. Narayan has worked across Queensland in developing social enterprise networks and entrepreneurs. He is the Chair of the Social Enterprise Network for the Tropics (sentfnq.com.au) as well as a Director with the Queensland Social Enterprise Council, the peak body for SE in Queensland. He is also Chair of one of the themes at the Social Enterprise World Forum (academic) in Brisbane in 2022. He was the Founding Director of the Centre for Multicultural and Community Development, at the University of the Sunshine Coast, unique in Australia in bringing together the dual focus on cultural diversity and community development and undertaking groundbreaking work in research, development and training.  Narayan has also coordinated and taught in courses in community development, mental health, counselling, health, globalisation, social disadvantage, human rights and social justice, communication and thought, and social policy.  He has been a visiting scholar in different universities around the world including Africa and Asia.

Narayan is recognised nationally and internationally and is called upon to give keynote presentations at conferences and events.  He has extensive publications in scholarly journals relating to his research interests including publications for bodies such as UNESCO and UNU. Narayan is an engaged scholar.  He has worked in different settings in Australia such as the Australian Red Cross and other NGOs as well as in academia.   He has been one of the founding members of a major NGO, the Multicultural Development Association, the primary provider of settlement services in Brisbane and Toowoomba. He was a member of the Multicultural Community Ministerial Advisory Committee to the Minister of Disability Services and Multiculturalism, Queensland. He has written industry peer reviewed documents such as guides for community development workers on structural change and how government can better engage with citizens. 

 Narayan has a deep passion for social justice and integrated and holistic approaches to human development and participation.   

  • Community Development Social Enterprise Cultural Diversity and Multiculturalism Mental Health Social Determinants of Health and Well Being Integrated Medicine Community and Ecological Sustainability
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2019 - Inclusive Practice Award, James Cook University
  • 2015 - Community Service Award: Australia and New Zealand Social Work and Welfare Education and Research
  • 2013 - The Cairns Institute, James Cook University
  • 2022 - Director, Queensland Social Enterprise Council
  • 2022 - Chair, Academic Symposium, Social Enterprise World Forum 2022

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

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 52+ research outputs authored by Dr Narayan Gopalkrishnan from 2006 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Queensland Police Service - Consultancy

Fire Project Evaluation

Indicative Funding
The Evaluator aims to work collaboratively with the staff of CBCAC and Harbrow Mentoring and other stakeholders to develop and implement a formative evaluation plan for the Fire Project in Cairns. The expected outcomes of the evaluation will include: ? A structured analysis of the project data to clarify the impacts of the project and the achievement of project outcomes ? Identification of qualitative indicators of the impacts of the project ? Identification of barriers and enablers of the project towards improving future work in this field.
Narayan Gopalkrishnan (Cairns Institute)
Youth Justice; Crime Prevention; Exercise and Young People

Torres Cape Indigenous Council Alliance Inc - Contract Research

TCICA Region Telecommunications and Digital Connectivity Strategy for the TCICA region.

Indicative Funding
$70,000 over 1 year
The strategy should identify options for the deployment of fibre, wifi, satellite and mobile technologies across the region to help boost economic growth, digital inclusion and deliver a range of social benefits including the more effective provision of local public services like health and education. It is also expected to support councils to develop their own digital strategies to achieve cost efficiencies and increase community access to council.
Hurriyet Babacan and Narayan Gopalkrishnan in collaboration with Jancy McHugh, Allan Dale and Amber Marshall (Cairns Institute, College of Arts, Society & Education and Queensland University of Technology)
Digital connectivity; Northern Australia

Centacare Cairns - Contract Research

3M Connect Project Evaluation

Indicative Funding
$30,000 over 3 years
The three suburbs of Manoora, Manunda and Mooroobool in Cairns West are among the most disadvantaged suburbs in Australia. The 3M Connect Project takes a localised approach to community development and seeks to build whole-of-community cohesion and connection through initiatives that are driven and designed by local communities. The project evaluation process will involve qulaity improvement as a continuous process that informs the development and implementation of the project and will incorporate participatory action research tools towards ensuring that the outcomes reflect the needs of all stakeholders especially the most disadvantaged.
Narayan Gopalkrishnan (College of Arts and Society & Education)
Community Development; Asset Based Community Development; Indigenous Communities; Community planning

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.

  • A Student Agency Approach to Classroom Engagement (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)

Connect with me

  • D3.102, The Cairns Institute (Cairns campus)
Advisory Accreditation
Primary Advisor
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