Staff Profile: Associate Professor Catrina Felton-Busch

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Staff Profile: Associate Professor Catrina Felton-Busch

Associate Professor Catrina Felton-Busch

Head of Education

BA, MPH, Grad Cert PHC Res, PhD (candidate)

Catrina is an Aboriginal woman from Mornington Island with family ties to the Yankaal and Gangalida people of the Gulf of Carpentaria.


1993  Bachelor of Arts, Monash University
2008  Master of Public Health, James Cook University
2012  Graduate Certificate of Primary Health Care Research, James Cook University
Current - Doctor of Philosophy (candidate), James Cook University

Previous Experience:

2010 – 2015
As Director of the Indigenous Health Unit, was tasked with operationalising the strategic goals of the division’s Indigenous Health agenda, Catrina worked with community, professional, industry and government stakeholders to deliver on this agenda.
2001 - 2009
Academic career commenced with James Cook University (JCU) at the Mount Isa Centre for Rural & Remote Health (MICRRH) within the Faculty of Medicine Health & Molecular Sciences (FMHMS).  MICRRH a “university department of rural health” or UDRH, is one of a national network of commonwealth funded, rurally based academic facilities.  These centres are multidisciplinary and engage in education, research and workforce development to improve the health of rural and remote communities.  Appointed to the position of Co-ordinator of Indigenous Studies, Catrina was given responsibility for one of MICRRH’s key domain: Indigenous community engagement in health. Her family background, cultural connections to the Indigenous communities of North West Queensland and work experience, provided essential skills and knowledge for this work.

Some examples of this work include:

  • Indigenous representative  on  the  Mount  Isa  Human  Research  Ethics Committee
  • Board member of Yapatjarra Aboriginal Medical Service, later reconstituted as the Mount Isa Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service trading as Gidgee Healing.
  • Gulf Communities Indigenous Health Summit
  • Consultative committee member for North West Queensland Allied Health Service
  • Mount Isa NAIDOC Committee
  • Aboriginal Health Worker Training Program
  • Cultural Awareness training and mentoring for health students (undergrad, postgraduate and international) and staff.

Research & Project Management Experience:

Catrina’s research interests lie within projects that provide the opportunity to be engaged in work that is aligned with her own personal commitment to improving the lives of her own people.  Her research experience to date is further evidence that she possess the skills, knowledge and experience to successfully undertake research and project management that utilising Indigneous methodologies and is informed by Indigenous epistemologies, ontologies and axiologies (our ways of knowing, being and doing).  Various examples of Catrina’s work follows (with reference to authorship of  *corresponding publications).

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Skills Recognition & Upskilling Project (2013 -current) – Project Manager -funded by the former Health Workforce Australia (now by the Australian Government’s Department of Health), to provide for a recognition of skills and/or upskilling of  Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Workers who current have certificate iv qualifications and work in a clinical setting, to qualify for registration as Aboriginal Health Practitioners with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA).  This work built on decades of commitment to the advancement of Aboriginal Health Workers by the Division of Tropical Health & Medicine (formerly Faculty of Medicine, Health & Molecular Sciences) at James Cook University.
*Kristy Hill & Catrina Felton-Busch. (September 2015). Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health  
WorkerSkills Recognition & Up-Skilling Project: Final Report. Indigenous Health Unit, James Cook University.