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Dr Gavan Palk

Faculty of Health,
School - Psychology and Counselling


Dr Gavan Palk
Visitor's position
Faculty of Health,
School - Psychology and Counselling
Discipline *
Psychology, Criminology
+61 7 3138 4911
+61 7 3138 0111
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Doctor of Philosophy (Queensland University of Technology), Master of Philosophy (Applied Psychology) (University of Queensland)

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008



Gavan Palk is a Lecturer at CARRS-Q. He has graduate and post-graduate qualifications in counselling and psychology. He completed his Research Masters in the field of forensic psychology and has also completed all of the Queensland Barristers Board law courses. He is currently undertaking his PhD in the area of psychophysiology and aggression. Prior to joining CARRS-Q he was a Regional Director with Corrective Services and has a wide variety of experience in managing offender related issues particularly with respect to the development of offender rehabilitation and educational programs. He is currently a member of the national executive of the Australian College of Forensic Psychologists.

Research Highlights

Alcohol and drug misuse in the community and the development of best practice models for policing

The characteristics, attitudes and beliefs that influence police response to various alcohol and drug related incidents will be examined and compared across incidents, outcomes and officers involved.

The relationship between these social, psychological and organizational factors and how these drive police responses will be identified and explored.

A model of how these police beliefs and responses can be incorporated into more effective policing strategies for managing alcohol and drug related incidents will be developed.

Obtaining comprehensive knowledge of how police respond to managing alcohol and drug related incidents and the factors that influence their responses will provide information that will allow for the development of best practice policing strategies in order to reduce alcohol and drug related violence and other harms in the community.

The information obtained through the study will allow the development of cost effective interventions to prevent and reduce incidence of harms associated with alcohol and drug misuse in particular community settings such as licensed premises, amongst indigenous people and in family violence.

The data and information collected will also provide a more precise measure of attendance by police at drug and alcohol-related incidents as well as a greater understanding of the social, psychological and organizational factors that influence police. In addition the information can be used to develop more efficient polices and procedures and develop evidence based education and training programs. This will enable law enforcements agencies to develop more effective and consistent policing strategies to manage drug and alcohol-related incidents as well as preventing and reducing the associated harms.

Research Interests

  • drink driving
  • recidivism
  • cost effectiveness of rehabilitation programs
  • aggression, the law and indigenous issues.
This information has been contributed by Dr Gavan Palk.


For publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.