Felicity Croker


Dr Felicity Croker
Informed by over 30 years of clinical practice, teaching and research in regional, remote and disadvantaged communities within Australia and the Asia Pacific, Felicity is strongly committed to educating a socially accountable health workforce who can contribute effectively to low resource communities within the tropics. Her two JCU excellence awards reflect this commitment.

Felicity has applied a broad interprofessional focus to teaching and research roles across disciplinary boundaries and campuses while working with social sciences, Indigenous health, education, health sciences, public health, medicine and dentistry.

She completed Education Honours (1st class; 1994), which focused on nursing curricula, followed by a multidisciplinary PhD project that explored rural and remote maternity services (2007). Career highlights include representing JCU in Beijing (1995), coordinating the Swedish rural exchange program (1996-1997), developing a successful dentistry capstone year (2013-2017) and recently enabling young dental researchers to succeed. Current projects focus on rural oral health, dental graduate intentions and destinations, and developing dental students’ capacity to respond to domestic violence and medical emergencies.

While Associate Dean Teaching and Learning (2010 – 2013) she contributed to Faculty performance during a period of significant policy changes and higher education reforms.

As a founding academic in Dentistry, she has contributed to curriculum development, implementation and evaluation of the program leading to full accreditation (2013). She has successfully initiated and managed established 16 domestic and 8 international dentistry placements.

Previously, Felicity successfully managed completion of the NHMRC Longitudinal Indigenous Health project (2008). She contributed to Queensland’s rural and remote training and chronic disease initiatives as a regional project leader (2007-2010). Subsequent consultancies have prepared Aboriginal health services for accreditation and reviewed health workforce planning in the Northern Territory (2009-2010). Currently, with Latrobe and JCU colleagues, she is collaboratively implementing the NHMRC partnership project focussed on Engaging Rural Communities in Oral Health project (2013-2017).

Felicity is a former member of the Cairns and Hinterland Health and Hospital Board (2013-2016). She has twice been appointed to the Regional Development Australia (FNQ & Torres) Board and served on the Cairns Hospital Ethics Committee for 13 years.


Amanda Lee Ross


Amanda Lee-Ross is the CEO of the Cairns Regional Domestic Violence Service in Far North Queensland.

The Cairns Regional Domestic Violence Service (CRDVS) began its life back in 1987 when it grew from a local grass roots group called the Domestic Violence Action Group. In 1992 we became one of the first four Regional Domestic Violence Services to receive funding from the Queensland Government. We use our specialist knowledge and skills to empower and assist those affected by domestic and family violence by providing counselling, crisis support, advocacy and court support and work to prevent domestic and family violence in the community by awareness raising events, community education, professional training and the coordination of sector responses to domestic and family violence.

The organisation’s vision is ‘Making a difference – bringing domestic and family violence to an end’ and its values are Access and Equity; Respect; Integrity and Learning.

Amanda says on average 45 per cent of Queensland’s homicides between 2006 and 2013 were the result of domestic and family violence, and women are nearly four times more likely to be murdered by their partner than men. “I believe that this is simply unacceptable and I am committed to working to ensure that these preventable deaths are stopped.”

If there was one thing Amanda could change to improve the lives of her clients, she says “I would like our organisation to be in a position where we could increase the financial resources of our clients to better meet their safety needs and assist them to build a new life. So many victims of domestic violence experience economic abuse in one shape or another. This often means that their capacity to build a new, safer life is seriously constrained and this has an impact on their belief in themselves that they can achieve a safer and happier life for them and their children. For some this might mean paying for safety upgrades so they can stay in their homes safely; for others, who perhaps can’t access or who might prefer not access shelter, or have relatives willing and able to take them in, it can simply mean the cost of petrol money so they can drive to that place of safety.”

Amanda says her vision for the future “lies squarely with that of my organisation’s and that is to make a difference to people’s lives by ending domestic and family violence. I want Queensland, and the whole world for that matter, to be a place where violence against women and the attitudes that support it, no longer exist.”

She says the best part of her job is two-fold, “first is that I get to spend time, every day, engaging with passionate, empowering, intelligent, funny, skilled and highly committed staff” and secondly “that I get to read client feedback and share that with the staff. The simplest of statements, ‘thanks so very much, I’m very glad you are here’ speaks volumes.”


Ann Carrington



Ann Carrington, PhD, BSW (Hons), is a Lecturer in Social Work at James Cook University. Her practice has been predominantly with those who have experienced domestic violence and/or sexual assault. She developed the ‘Vortex of Violence’ practice model for working with women who have experienced domestic violence as published in the British Journal of Social Work. She continues to research and write in the area of domestic violence, violence against women, integrated responses and other social and gendered issues. Her other area of research and practice interest is the integration of spiritual theory and practice in social work. Areas of interest within this field include: integration of spirituality in social work theory, practice, research, ethics and pedagogy; and exploration of how spiritual theory and practice may add to social works understanding of issues of power, control, privilege, vicarious trauma/burnout and reflective practice.

Dr Ann Carrington is a critical feminist social theorist. Ann joined JCU in 2015 and previously worked at Deakin University, Geelong. Ann’s teaching and research philosophy is informed by her position as a critical feminist social theorist. She brings a critical feminist intersectional critique to the systems and processes in higher education, believing this to be of particular importance in Social Work, where there are high numbers of traditionally marginalised groups. Ann sees education as a transformative process that empowers people, personally and politically, which can work to change the lives of individuals through the redistribute of power in the broader social and political context. Educating for an awareness of and response to issues of power, privilege, oppression and exploitation at personal, cultural and structural levels is essential to social work. In line with these concepts, as a researcher, Ann’s key areas of interest include gendered issues and domestic violence, homelessness, spirituality and pedagogy.

Gendered issues and domestic violence

As a social work practitioner, Ann practiced in the areas of sexual assault and domestic violence. Through her experience working with women subjected to DV and sexual assault she developed ‘The Vortex of Violence’ as published in the British Journal of Social Work. She is currently working in collaboration with Cairns Regional Domestic Violence Service and JCU Dentistry on an innovative program designing and delivering a scaffolded curriculum program to teach dentistry students how to recognise and respond to patients affected by domestic violence.

Ann, with support from Sally Watson, conducted a research project with a regional collective responding to domestic and family violence to explore the influence of discourse and the construction of domestic violence on collaborative community responses. The findings of this project were presented at the 2017 Not Now Not Ever Symposium. Ann recently collaborated with Professor Bob Pease (Deakin University) to provide a commentary for a White Ribbon research paper on the accountability of men as allies.


Ann, with co-investigator Jo Mensinga, was invited to conduct an evaluation of a local Mission Australia program. The report was published in March 2017, with components of the project findings currently in preparation for broader publication.


Ann has contributed to the development of knowledge in the area of spirituality and social work over the last decade. She has produce two theses and a number of papers exploring spiritual research methodologies, paradigms and practice frameworks. More recently, she contributed a chapter to the Routledge Handbook of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work.


Ann has worked with colleagues (from Deakin University Dr Sophie Goldingay, Dr Danielle Hitch, and Ms Viola Rosario and Dr Sharlene Nipperess from RMIT) exploring the embedding of academic literacy within social work curriculum. A current focus is on the use of online and blended learning technologies to teach social work and interpersonal skills. Ongoing focus on educating social work and health professionals in recognising and responding to domestic violence.