Richard Franklin PhD, FACTM, FPHAA, FARL , MSocSc (Health), BSc, GCertAustRurLeadership, GradCertEd, is a pracademic who uses an evidence based approaches to developing real world solutions to improving health, safety, wellbeing and resilience with a focus on injury prevention, health services, rural populations, those working in agriculture, travel & injury, disasters and drowning. He is a Professor in Public Health and the Director for the World Safety Organization Collaborating Centre - Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion and the WSO Collaborating Centre - Disaster Health, Resilience and Emergency Response at James Cook University. 

He has worked in Public Health with a focus on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion since 1996.  He has worked on projects in the areas of general injury prevention, farm safety, rural safety, workplace health and safety, road safety, health promotion, alcohol, disasters, heatwaves, resilience, intentional harm, aquatic safety, cardiovascular health, leprosy, envenomation, ethics, and leadership.  He has a PhD from the University of Sydney which explored the epidemiology of injuries sustained due to farming and possible prevention strategies, a Master of Social Science (Health), his thesis explored pre-hospital coronary care and Bachelor of Science from the University of Queensland.

He has previously worked for the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS), the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety (a centre of the School of Public Health, University of Sydney) and the Royal Life Saving Society - Australia where he continues as a volunteer Senior Research Fellow and Board Member. He has worked on a range of community projects translating evidence into practice aimed at preventing rural, farm, road, aquatic, child and older people related injuries.

His research interests are wide ranging and have included epidemiological, translational, program evaluation, product evaluation, surveillance and pure research. Within the safety domain he is interested in drowning prevention, farm safety, road safety, quad bikes, trauma, CPR, alcohol, chemical safety, child safety, falls, resilience and older people. He works with a range of data including linked datasets. He has recently been a Guest Editor for a three special issues, one on child injury and determinants of health https://www.mdpi.com/journal/children/special_issues/Child_Injury, another on injury prevention and health promotion https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/22011617/29/2 and the third on safeguarding youth from agricultural injury and illness https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/31701/safeguarding-youth-from-agricultural-injury-and-illness-international-experiences#articles

He is the current co-convenor of the Injury Prevention Special Interest Group of the Public Health Association of Australia, a board member of Farmsafe Australia and Queensland, a board member of Auschem Training, Incoming President for The Australasian College of Tropical Medicine, President of Kidsafe Australia and board member for Queensland and Northern Territory and on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education, Journal of Agromedicine and Safety.  He is a member of a range of international and national organisations as well as a former President of the Australian Injury Prevention Network.

He was the first National Manager for Research and Health Promotion with the Royal Life Saving Society Australia and during his time developed the area of drowning prevention research in Australia (and globally). Through his role with Royal Life Saving and work at James Cook University he has appeared numerous times on television and radio talking about drowning and water safety.  Also during his time with Royal Life Saving, he developed for the society a new course aimed at older Australians called the Grey Medallion, a course to train home pool inspectors, and programs targeting parents to ensure the safety of their children around aquatic locations. He has been the facilitator of number workshops in Australia and Internationally. He was Chair of the World Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Conference (Safety 2022). He lead the development of the Townsville Water Safety Plan and is Chair of the Active Transport in the Tropics gourp. 

Prof Franklin uses a range of approaches to public health education where he brings public health practice into the classroom to enhance learning.  Approaches include practice of academagogy [a 'meshed' model of pedagogy (method and practice of teaching), andragogy (adult education) and heutagogy (self-determined learning)], which allows for flexibility in teaching by using a variety of methods. Current teaching areas and roles include: Course Coordinator MPH-MBA, subject coordinator and lecturers for Introduction to Public Health; Public Health in the Workplace; and lectuer for Public Health Management, Leadership, Planning and Policy; and past coordinator of Public Health Placements; Health Policy and Planning. He also provides lectures on injury prevention and safety promotion across a range of undergraduate and post graduate subjects.

  • TM4401: Health, Policy and Planning (Level 4; TSV)
  • TM5502: Tropical Public Health (Level 5; TSV)
  • TM5513: Public Health Management, Leadership, Planning and Policy (Level 5; TSV)
  • TM5540: Public Health and the Workplace (Level 5; TSV)
  • TM5571: Public Health Placement (Level 5; TSV)
  • TM5581: Expedition and Wilderness Medicine (Level 5; TSV)
  • Public Health Association of Australia: - Member 1998-; - Board Member SIG Rep 2012-14; - Board Member VP Finance 2014-2018; - Special Interest Group Convenor Injury Prevention SIG 2006 -
  • Farmsafe Queensland - Board member 2011-
  • Farmsafe Australia - Committee Member 2012-
  • AusChem - Board member 2014-
  • Australian Injury Prevention Network: - Member 1997-; - President 2000-2004
  • Australasian College of Tropical Medicine Member 2011- Honorary Treasurer 2015-
  • Member - Australasian College of Road Safety
  • Member of: Australasian Epidemiological Association; Australian Health Promotion Association; American Society for Agricultural and Biological Engineers; International Life Saving Federation – Research Committee; International Epidemiological Association; Member of the World Safety Organization; International Society for Travel Medicine; International Society of Agricultural Safety and Health
  • Independent Board Member - Royal Life Saving Society - Australia: 2022-
  • President Kidsafe Australia 2022 - Board Member Queensland and Northern Territory Kidsafe Organisations
  • Public Health; Health Promotion; Child Safety; Falls; Disasters; Alcohol; Global Burden of Disease; Human health and Behaviour; Occupational Health and Safety; Aeromedical Research; NTD; Cardiovascular Health; Safe System; Safety Promotion; Risk; Resilience
  • Road Safety, quad bike safety, agricultural vehicles on roads, bicycle safety, motor cycle safety and active transport
  • Farm safety, rural child safety, agricultural vehicles, dog bites, quad bikes, dam drowning, resilience, electricity safety, zoonotic diseases and leadership
  • Drowning prevention, water safety, bystander altruism, First Aid & resuscitation, river safety, child drowning, boating, alcohol, and vulnerable populations.
  • Disasters - flooding, cyclones, resilience, heat, mental health, leadership, NCDs, infectious diseases (COVID-19), epidemiology, and systems
  • Recent Grants: Heatwaves - Department of Environment and Science Drowning - EMH and Wishlist Quadbikes - Department of Workplace Health and Safety Cane Safety - Sugar Research Australia Health Systems - PhD Support - Lowitja Institute
  • James Cook University Academic Board 2012 -13
  • Injury Prevention; Workplace health and safety; management; public health, travel and wilderness medicine, leadership, ethics, policy and evaluation.
  • 2020 to present - Co-director, World Safety Organization Collaborating Centre - Disaster Health, Resilience and Emergency Response (Townsville)
  • 2011 to present - Senior Research Fellow (Volunteer), Royal Life Saving Society - Australia
  • 2011 to present - Director, World Safety Organization - Collaborating Centre for Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion (Townsville)
  • 2011 to present - Associate Professor, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2011 to 2020 - Deputy Director, World Safety Organization Collaborating Centre - Disaster Health, Resilience and Emergency Response (Townsville)
  • 2002 to 2011 - National Manager Research and Health Promotion, Royal Life Saving Society - Australia (Sydney)
  • 1996 to 2002 - Manager, National Farm Injury Data Centre, University of Sydney (Moree)
  • 1996 to 2002 - Director, Farm Injury Research, Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety (Moree)
  • 1995 to 1996 - Project Officer, Queensland Ambulance Service (Brisbane)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2023 - The Best Contribution to Discussion Prize 2023, Lifesaving Foundation 2023 Conference, Waterford Ireland
  • 2021 - ACTM Medal for Outstanding Service to the College
  • 2020 - 2019 SP2 Dean’s Learning and Teaching Award for Subject Excellence TM5513 Public Health Management, Subject Coordinator
  • 2020 - 2019 SP2 Dean’s Learning and Teaching Award for Teaching Excellence TM5513 Public Health Management, Lecturer and Subject Coordinator
  • 2019 - Overall College Winner for Research Excellence in 2018. College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University
  • 2019 - WSO J. Peter Cunliffe Transportation Award
  • 2018 - The Royal Life Saving Society Diploma
  • 2018 - The Sixth International - Safety Media Awards - Bangkok Thailand 2018 - Gold - Print Media Category for 'Respect the River' - with Amy Peden, JCU PhD Student and RLSSA; Professor Peter Leggat JCU; and Julie Power, Journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald.
  • 2017 - WSO’s Award for Achievement in Scientific Research and Development
  • 2016 - HRH Prince Michael of Kent 125th Anniversary Certificate of Merit
  • 2015 - Royal Life Saving Society - Australia - Australian Long Service Order
  • 2015 - Sustained Achievement and Contributions to the Field of Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion – Australian Injury Prevention Network
  • 2014 - World Safety Organisation - Educational Award
  • 2013 - AIPN Peoples Choice Poster Award, 11th Australasian Injury Prevention & Safety Promotion Conference, 11-13 Nov 2013, Freemantle WA. 'I like dogs that don't bite'
  • 2007 - Best Poster World Water Safety Conference and Exhibition –2007 Porto, Portugal 27-29 September 2007. Awarded best poster for: Franklin R, Mathieu E (2007). Understanding older persons water safety needs – research and development.
  • 2021 - Fellowship of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine with through Distinction (FACTM (Dist))
  • 2013 - Fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (FARLF)
  • 2012 - Fellow of the Public Health Association of Australia (FPHAA)
  • 2002 - Churchill Fellowship
  • 2020 - Top Citied Papers (2019) Safety. Pearn JH, Peden AE, Franklin RC (2019). The Influence of Alcohol and Drugs on Drowning among Victims of Senior Years. Safety, 5(1), 8. https://www.mdpi.com/2313-576X/5/1/8
  • 2013 to 2014 - Ambassador Kidsafe Queensland

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 291+ research outputs authored by Prof Richard Franklin from 2005 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Emergency Medicine Foundation - Emerge grant

External Ventricular Devices in Aeromedical Retrieval - are they safe?

Indicative Funding
$9,734 over 1 year
Nationally, 1-2% of th population will sustain a significant bleed due to the rupture of an abnormal ballooning of the blood vessels within the brain. A complicaiton of this, called hydrocephalus, requires a drain to be inserted into the brain to reduce excessive fluid build-up, until the definitive management is achieved. Advances in interventional radiology techniques such as endovascular coiling have become common practice in the management of these patients. In Queensland, endovascular coiling is mostly performed in Brisbane, and therefore patients outside of the Brisbane area are required to travel for this treatment. For critically unwell patients in North Queensland, the only option is aeromedical retrieval. This area of aeromedical retrieval has not been previously explored therefore this project will look at the safety of aeromedical transports of patients with an invasive drain in a patient's brain to work towards Statewide guidelines.
Anita Wall and Richard Franklin (College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Aeromedical Retrieval; Altitude; External Ventricular Devices; Patient Safety; Clinical Practice Guidelines

AgriFutures Australia - Rural Industries Safety and Health Alliance

Reducing fatalities and serious injuries in agriculture associated with mobile plant

Indicative Funding
$23,500 over 1 year (administered by Work Science)
Agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries in which to work, with mobile plant a significant agent of injury and deaths. This project is about improving agricultural mobile plant safety. The objectives of this research are: To better understand how to foster stronger safety behaviour on farm around the use of mobile plant. To identify changes in attitudes/behaviours, practices and systems that will enhance safety on farms through initiating and then sustaining behaviour and practice change. To identify options for engaging farmers (pathway to impact) that could be used by RDCs, and other delivery partners such as representative organisations and Farmsafe.
Richard Franklin in collaboration with Tristan Casey (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences and Work Science)
Farm Safety; Safe Systems; Agriculture; Workplace Health & Safety; Behaviour; Machinery

The Australasian College of Tropical Medicine - Travel Health Advisory Group Grant Scheme

Australians travelling abroad: travel health advice, insurance, concerns and purpose

Indicative Funding
$17,766 over 6 years
Australians have been travelling overseas in record numbers. In previous studies, travellers have not always sought pre-travel health advice or taken out travel insurance, but this may be changing with industry messaging. The purpose of travel may also be changing. The aims of the study are to conduct a survey (a component of the Australian Social Survey): * to describe the patterns and purpose of travel of Australian travellers abroad; * to ascertain the extent to which these travellers sought pre-travel health advice and from whom; * to gain an understanding of travellers' main issues that they may be concerned a bout whilst travelling; * to determine if travellers are taking out travel insurance for their trip and from whom. This information will be able to support travel advice for Australians travelling abroad, by assisting Australian travel health authorities in better directing service delivery for travellers, as well as for teaching purposes to assist in understanding the different risks involved in travel.
Richard Franklin and Peter Leggat (College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Travel Medicine; travel healrth; Death; antimalarials; Malaria

Travel Health Advisory Group - ACTM Research Grant

Travel Health - Deaths, antimalarial prescriptions and Website

Indicative Funding
$35,630 over 7 years
On average each year 300 international travellers die while in Australia. This study aims to update (2006-2012) the previous research (1997-2000 and 2001-2003) on traveller deaths in Australia. There is also a dearth of information about deaths of children travellers and trauma related travellers deaths. Information from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) cause of death information will be utilised to describe travellers deaths 2006-2012. Malaria continues to represent a significant risk for some travellers from Australia and malaria chemoprophylaxis has remained an important countermeasure. Trends in antimalarial use may be influenced by a number of factors, including the availability of antimalarials, increasing resistance, the issuing of updated guidelines for malaria chemoprophylaxis, and continuing education. The aim of this study is to investigate the trends in prescription of antimalarial drugs, particularly those recommended for chemoprophylaxis in Australia, from 2009 to 2013 and to update the last study covering the period 2005 to 2009.
Richard Franklin and Peter Leggat (College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Travel Medicine; Death; Malaria; Travel Health; Antimalarials

Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre Limited - Research Seed Grants

How can referral and access models of cardiac rehabilitation in rural and remote areas in North Queensland be Improved?

Indicative Funding
$34,884 over 2 years
The overall research study aims to improve referral and access to cardiac rehabilitation (CR) in rural and remote (R&R) areas of northern Queensland (NQ). The final two phases of this work is participatory action research in selected communities of NQ. These phases ensure an iterative process through community consultation, including health professionals, data collection, discussion and development of revised models of CR in R&R areas of NQ. Through this process revised models of CR will be developed. Finally this will then lead into an implementation phase.
Patricia Field and Richard Franklin in collaboration with Ruth Barker, Peter Leggat, Ian Ring and Karla Canuto (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, College of Healthcare Sciences and University of South Australia)
Cardiac Rehabilitation; Community Consultation; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Sugar Research Australia - Contract Research

Improving Health and Safety in the Cane Industry

Indicative Funding
$18,597 over 1 year
This project will use a Participatory Action Research (PAR) approach to help to improve workplace health and safety in the cane industry of Queensland. A best management approach (BMP) toward cane production has been developed to help record and verify production practices, called `Smart cane BMP?. There are eight modules to the SmartCane BMP of which three are accredited and considered core. The other five modules which includes a module on `Workplace Health and Safety? (WHS) are not accredited and currently few growers have taken up the WHS module. The aims of this project are: ? Explore barriers and enablers to WHS (including the use of BMP) ? Validate the BMP resources for workplace health and safety for sugar cane production ? Amalgamate additional existing resources which can be used to enact workplace health and safety ? Improve BMP facilitators? understanding of WHS to support the BMP module
Richard Franklin (College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Workplace Health and Safety; Agriculture; Farming; Safety; Occupational Health; BMP

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.

  • Critical Indigenist examination of the impact on efficiency and sustainability of a quality management system in Aboriginal primary health care (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Unintentional Drowning in Indonesia: Mortality Rates, Risk Factors, and Prevention (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • The adult drowning victim (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Exploring the location of missing persons as homicide victims in Queensland (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Using Big Data to Explore Future Directions for a Healthier and Safer Rural Australia (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Exploring climate-related disaster resilience in aged care (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Drowning incidence and risk mitigation strategies for migrant populations living in Australia (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • The impact of heat on driving safety (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Maskhelper Project - using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning based facial recognition technology to create a multi-level scalable health system solution that drives efficiency in selection and reduction in wastage for the mandatory fit testing (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Gender differences for drowning incidents; exploring differences using the Haddon's matrix (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Perils in Paradise: The epidemiology of tourist injuries in Queensland, Australia (PhD , Secondary 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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