Our Team

A/Prof Catrina Felton Busch

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Associate Professor Remote Indigenous Health & Workforce – Head of Education

BA MPH Grad Cert PHC Research PhD (candidate)

Catrina’s research interests reflect her own personal commitment to improving the lives of Indigenous people using methodologies informed by Indigenous epistemologies, ontologies and axiologies (our ways of knowing, being and doing). Catrina’s doctoral studies are investigating the birthing experiences of Aboriginal woman from Mornington Island and their aspirations for having their babies born on Country.

FOR Codes:


  • Anton Brienl Research Centre for Health Systems Strengthening
  • Named Chief Investigator (co-lead) NHMRC Project: Women's action for Mums and Bubs (WOMB): A pragmatic trial of participatory women's groups to improve Indigenous maternal and child health
  • Named Investigator NHMRC Partnership Project: Quality improvement in Indigenous primary health care: Leveraging Effective Ambulatory Practices (LEAP).

Recent Top 5 papers

  • Kristy Hill & Catrina Felton‐Busch. (September 2015). Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Skills Recognition & Up‐Skilling Project: Final Report. Indigenous Health Unit, James Cook University.
    This paper reports on a Health Workforce Australia project to provide current Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Workers with the necessary qualification for AHPRA registration.
  • Mills J, Felton-Busch C, Park T, Maza K, Mills F, Ghee M, et al. Supporting Australian Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal nursing students using mentoring circles: an action research study. Higher Education Research & Development. 2014;33(6):1136-49.
    This paper reports on the methodology of an action research project into the value of mentoring circle for a cohort of Indigenous nursing students who undertake their studies at the JCU study centre on Thursday Island.
  • Mills J, Felton-Busch C, Park T, Maza K, Mills F, Ghee M, et al. Working on each others' ideas: mentoring circles as a method of supporting remote Australian Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal nursing students. 10th International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. 2014, University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign.
    Conference paper presented on the grounded theory methodology of an action research project. The aim of the study was to foster the emotional and social growth of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nursing students to improve the students' experience and retention rates.
  • Felton‐Busch C, Maza K, Ghee M, Mills F, Mills J, Hitchins M, et al. Using mentoring circles to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nursing students: Guidelines for sharing and learning. Contemporary Nurse. 2013;46(1):135‐138.
    This paper reports on an action research project where researchers implemented a mentoring circle in a remote James Cook University satellite campus in the Torres Strait. The researchers offer guidelines to establish a mentoring circle in a tertiary setting.
  • Wronski I, Stronach P, Felton-Busch C. Indigenous health: Can occupational therapy respond to the challenge to ‘Close the Gap’? Australian Occupational Therapy Journal. 2011;58(1):1-2.
    An invited opinion piece regarding the importance of providing specific pathways for Indigenous people into Occupational Therapy for the development of culturally appropriate allied health workforce to "Close the Gap".

Research Links

ORCID 0000-0001-8943-5307
Google Scholar


Santosh Jatrana

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Senior Principal Research Fellow

BA (Engs. Hons), MA, MPhil, PhD, DPH

Role at MCRRH

As the research head at the Centre for Rural and Remote Health, Associate Professor Santosh is responsible for providing research leadership for the development of remote, rural and indigenous health, health services and workforce research. She also supports novice researchers, mentors and train HDRs and ECRs and other student placement.


2007, Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand.     

2001, Certificate in University teaching, Flinders University of South Australia, Adelaide.

1999, PhD (Demography), The Australian National University, ACT.

1986, MPhil (Master of Philosophy), Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.

1983, MA (Geography), Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.            

Previous Experience

Santosh has previously worked at Swinburne University of Technology (Melbourne), Deakin University (Geelong), University of Otago (Wellington) and National University of Singapore. She also currently holds an Honorary Associate Professor status at The Australian National University, a Conjoint appointment at Deakin University, an honorary Senior Research Fellow position at the University of Otago. 

Research Expertise & research topics

Santosh is a demographer and social epidemiologist with skills in: both quantitative and qualitative research design; data collection methods including surveys, focus groups, interviews, participant observation; data analysis, particularly large and complex datasets with the use of advanced complex quantitative method; program evaluation; literature review including systematic reviews. She has research interests and expertise in the following areas:

  • Primary health care
  • Migration and Health
  • Ageing and Health
  • Gender and health
  • Social epidemiology
  • Technical demography and demographic methods specifically cohort analysis
  • Analysis of large and longitudinal data-sets and developing causal methodology


Research funding and fellowships (some examples):

Category 1 grants:

  1. 2021 Australian Research Council Discovery Grant as the lead CI (Chief Investigator) for the project titled “Humanitarian migrants' settlement in Australia: A longitudinal study” (A$368,000.00).


  1. 2012    Australian Research Council Discovery Grant as the sole CI  for the project entitled “Investigating migration and health in Australia: A longitudinal study”, (A$180,000).


  1. 2009    Health Research Council of New Zealand grant as a co-investigator for a longitudinal study entitled “Life and living in advanced age: the cohort study (LiLAC study)” (NZ 2.2million 2009-2012).


  1. 2008    Health Research Council of New Zealand grant as the main CI  for the project entitled “SoFIE (Survey of Family, Income and Employment) -Primary Care” (NZ$ 200,000).


  1. 2008    Health Research Council of New Zealand grant as a co-investigator for the renewal of Health Inequalities Research Programme (NZ$ 4.31 million).


  1. 2006    Health Research Council of New Zealand grant as a co-investigator for the project entitled “Living to advanced age- feasibility for a cohort study” (NZ$ 614, 728).


Research Fellowships:

  • 2018 Endeavour research fellowship at University of Oxford and IIASA, Austria for the project titled ‘Humanitarian migrants’ economic settlement in Australia: the role of human capital’.


  • 2012 Australian Academy of Science Early Career Award for the project titled ‘Brain drain there, brain gain here: Understanding the health impact, regulation and health policy implications of health workforce imbalances in an Indian context’.


  • 2009 Senior Visiting Fellowship at the National University of Singapore.



Professional Activities

Editorship of journals and periodicals/ peer review

  • Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Population Research, Springer.
  • Associate editor, Population and Environment, Springer.
  • Member, International Advisory Board, Asian Population Studies, Routledge.
  • Served as a member of the editorial board for Working Paper series at the Alfred Deakin Research Institute
  • Member of Guest Editorial Board for a 2004 special issue of Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, 13, No. 4, titled “Migration and Health in Asia”.
  • Served as an editor for Asian MetaCentre Research Paper Series, Asian MetaCentre for Population and Sustainable Development Analysis, National University of Singapore, 2002-2004.

Dr Yaqoot Fatima

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Research Fellow

BPharm, MTech, PhD

Dr. Fatima is Research Fellow at Mount Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health, James Cook University. Fatima received her Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the School of Public Health, University of Queensland. Her major interest is in sleep research, specifically in the epidemiology of poor sleep and emerging burden of poor sleep in the young population. She is a member of Australasian Sleep Association (ASA).


  • Institute for Social Science Research, University Of Queensland, Australia
  • College of Medicine, Qatar University, Doha
  • Copenhagen University, Denmark

FOR Code: 1117 Public Health and Health Services

Recent Top 5 papers

  • Fatima, Yaqoot, Doi, Suhail A.R., and Al Mamun, Abdullah (2018) Sleep problems in adolescence and overweight/obesity in young adults: is there a causal link? Sleep Health. (In Press)
  • Fatima, Yaqoot, Doi, Suhail A.R., Najman, Jake M., and Al Mamun, Abdulla (2017) Continuity of sleep problems from adolescence to young adulthood: results from a longitudinal study. Sleep Health, 3 (4). pp. 290-295.
  • Fatima, Y., Doi, S.A.R., and Mamun, A.A. (2016) Sleep quality and obesity in young subjects: a meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews, 17. pp. 1154-1166.
  • Fatima, Yaqoot, Suhail, A.R., Najman, Jake M., and Al Mamun, Abdullah (2016) Exploring gender difference in sleep quality of young adults: findings from a large population study. Clinical Medicine & Research, 14 (3-4). pp. 138-144.
  • Fatima, Yaqoot, Doi, Suhail A.R., O'Callaghan, Michael, Williams, Gail, Najman, Jake M., and Al Mamun, Abdullah (2016) Parent and adolescent reports in assessing adolescent sleep problems: results from a large population study. Acta Paediatrica, 105 (9). e433-e439.

Research Links

ORCID: 0000-0002-2772-2914
Scopus Author ID: 56491100000
Google Scholar


Prof Richard Hays

Dr Alice Cairns

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Research Fellow

Role at the CRRH

Alice Cairns is currently working in Weipa, Cape York, as the Western Cape Site Coordinator and Lecture, for the Centre for Rural and Remote Health, James Cook University. In October 2018, she will commence an Early Career Research Fellowship.


Alice is an occupational therapist who specialised in mental health rehabilitation for over 12 years in clinical and management roles. She has worked across private and government community mental health services within Queensland and in forensic mental health services in the UK. She has a particular clinical interest in the impact of cognitive capacity on occupational performance. She received her PhD titled 'Exploring help-seeking, vocational role function and goal setting of young people accessing mental health services' from the Queensland University of Technology in 2017.

Professional roles/memberships

OT Australia member
SAARAH member

Professional achievements

In Alice's current role she has:

  • Developed a CRRH presence in Weipa through developing relationships with local Queensland Health, Apunipima, Cape York Pharmacy and Education Queensland clinical and operational staff.
  • Supported research capacity building within local Queensland Health clinical staff through supporting the development of research projects.
  • Developed a model for Occupational Therapy student placements within

Research Interests

Alice's research has focused on adult and adolescent mental health, particularly the impact on cognitive function on functioning. In her current role Alice's research interests have broadened to focus on health service research. In 2019 she will be supported by a HOT North Early Career Fellowship to evaluate a student-led older person's wellness service in remote Cape York communities. 


Dr Sharon Varela

Shaun Solomon

Selina Taylor

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Pharmacy Academic

B.Pharm AACP Grad Cert Diabetes Ed.

Selina Taylor commenced her academic career at the Mount Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health (CRRH) – James Cook University in 2011. Selina teaches into both the Bachelor of Nursing Program and Bachelor of Pharmacy Program at James Cook University. Her research interests relate to pharmacy education, diabetes management in indigenous populations and defining the future scope of practice of pharmacists.

Selina’s role at CRRH focuses on improving the rural pharmacy workforce through facilitation of student placements, education for rural and remote pharmacists and multidisciplinary education and teaching sessions for students and health professionals. Her role requires effectively managing project objectives, timelines and budgets.


  • Society of Hospital Pharmacists – SHPA – Member since 2012
  • Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacy – AACP – Member since 2011
  • Australian Diabetes Educator Association – ADEA – Member since 2016
  • Services for Australia Rural and Remote Allied Health – SARRAH – Member since 2015 – Queensland Network Coordinator – 2015 –Current
  • National Rural Health Alliance – NRHA – Member since 2011
  • Rural Pharmacist Support Network – Member since 2011- Deputy Chair – 2014-Current
  • Pharmaceutical Society of Australia – PSA – Member since 2017

Recent Top 5 papers

  • Taylor, Selina. Rural pharmacy: Self-administered blood glucose monitoring in indigenous populations [online]. Australian Pharmacist, Vol. 35, No. 2, Feb 2016: 25. Availability: <;dn=287672887480946;res=IELAPA> ISSN: 0728-4632
  • Kirschbaum, M., Khalil, H., Taylor, S., Page. A., Pharmacy students’ rural career intentions: Perspectives on rural background placements. Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning Volume 8, Issue 5, September–October 2016, Pages 615–621
  • Taylor, S., Yaqoot, F., Navaratnam, L., Roberts, H., Simulated Interprofessional learning activities for rural health care services: perceptions of health care students. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare 2017:10 235-241
  • Taylor, Selina., Fatima Y., Solomon S., Factors affecting the self-monitoring of blood glucose levels in Aboriginal patients: findings from a remote community. Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin. Vol. 17, Issue 3, July-Sept 2017.
  • Taylor S, Hays C, Glass B. Compounding medications in a rural setting: an interprofessional perspective. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare. In press 2018

Stephanie King

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Research Assistant

Stephanie assists in the research of health-related topics as identified by CRRH and the community.
Stephanie has a strong community development background from having worked across sectors such as mining, employment and health.

Stephanie research interest is around the impact of drugs in the community like ICE (methamphetamines).

Recent Top 5 papers

  • Smith, T., Cross, M., Waller, S., Chambers, H., Farthing, A., Barraclough, F., Pitt S.W., Sutton, K., Muyambi, K., King, S., Anderson, J. (2018). Ruralization of students' horizons: insights into Australian health professional students' rural and remote placements. J Multidisciplinary Healthcare, 11, 85-97.

Catherine Hays

Sarah Jackson

Sally West

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Interprofessional Learning Coordinator & Research Officer

RIPRN, GCertDisMgnt, MPH, MNursClinEd

Sally is completing her PHD through JCU completing a clinician research project that is a collaboration with the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service in the Remote implementation of nasal high flow therapy for children, the project is titled “PARIS Remote”.  PARIS stands for Paediatric Acute Respiratory Intervention Studies, which is a group that has provided landmark research in nasal high flow therapy for children, we are applying this intellect to the remote setting using an implementation science framework.


A Commonwealth funded Department of Rural Health
in collaboration with: