Jo Lukins

2016 College Recipient. College of Healthcare Sciences

Dr Joann Lukins is Director of Peak Performance Psychology, and is an Associate Professor (Adjunct) at James Cook University.

Dr Lukins is an outstanding psychologist, recognised within her field and the broader community as a professional who makes a difference in the lives of others.

Studying her initial degree in Psychology at James Cook University, Dr Lukins developed a passion for understanding people and working with them to reach their potential.

Her study and research areas are based within the field of positive psychology -the scientific study of what goes well.

Dr Lukins commenced a research and teaching position within the-then School of Psychology in 1991 and then moved in 2004 to the Institute of Sport and Exercise Science.

She was, and remains, the only psychologist within the program, teaching and researching in sport and exercise psychology, and professional programs. This position fired her curiosity for understanding how people think, and spanned areas including sport psychology, research design and health psychology.

A shift in the sporting landscape in North Queensland in 1995 saw the entry of the North Queensland Cowboys into the National Rugby League.

Despite being not much older than the players themselves, Dr Lukins’ passion for sport psychology resulted in her appointment as the inaugural Sport Psychology Consultant for the team, a position she has now held for 21 years.

This is a notable appointment in what has been a traditionally male-dominated professional sport.

Her expertise in sport psychology has been recognised by sporting teams and individual athletes throughout Australia and New Zealand.

She has consulted to many elite athletes who have competed in world championships and each Olympic Games since Sydney 2000.

Dr Lukins is the inaugural Sport Psychology Consultant to the JCU Townsville Fire basketball team. Working closely with the team’s Head Coach, earlier this year the Fire secured their second WNBL premiership.

She has a particular interest in education, and has held the role of Positive Education Mentor at Townsville Grammar School for three years. This interest has resulted in her consulting to many schools across Australia.

Engaging with the media has been another way Dr Lukins has been able to share the field of positive psychology across the community.

She is regularly interviewed on radio, for national magazines and on television.

She features in a regular fortnightly interview with ABC North Queensland and is a regular guest on ABC Northern Grandstand.  She has also presented at TEDx Townsville.

Dr Joann Lukins received a Bachelor of Psychology with Honours from James Cook University in 1992, a Graduate Certificate of Education (Tertiary Teaching) Award in 1994 and a Doctor of Philosophy in 2005.