Personal details

Associate Professor Phil Crane
Adjunct Associate Professor
Faculty of Health,
School - Public Health and Social Work
IHBI Membership
Institute of Health Biomedical Innovation (IHBI),
IHBI Health Projects,
IHBI Public Health and Social Work - HDHS
Discipline *
Sociology, Social Work
+61 7 3864 4663
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Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work (University of Queensland), MAdmin (Griffith University), GDOutdoorEd (Brisbane College of Adv. Ed.), BA (University of New South Wales)

Professional memberships
and associations

Australasian Evaluation Society (AES)

Institute for Health and Biomedical Innovation

Action Learning, Action Research Association (ALARA)

Australian and New Zealand Social Work and Welfare Education and Research (ANZSWWER)

International Federation of Social Workers



Juvenile justice, Young people & families, Young people & public space, Young people - services to, Young people in the media, Youth homelessness, Youth policy & youth affairs

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



Phil has an interest in human services policy and practice, with a particular focus on young people and practice with individuals and communities which responds to complexity. His major interests include

  • early intervention into youth homelessness
  • youth alcohol and other drug practice
  • integrated and context responsive approaches to practice
  • legal and ethical aspects of practice
  • university- community engagement and innovation
  • the more inclusive and socially sustainable development and management of urban areas.

His research is largely qualitative or mixed method, with a particular interest in action research as a practice development and evaluation tool.


  • 2007: Vice-Chancellor’s Performance Award, in recognition of a significant and superior contribution to the work of the University
  • 2003: QUT Carseldine Staff Achievement Award in recognition of advancing understanding of young people and public space.

Research highlights

Characteristics of early intervention good practice identified through research adopted by the Australian Reconnect program.

The development of the first protocol specifying how an inclusive approach could be used by a shopping centre in respect of young people. This applied research resulted in the Myer Centre Youth Protocol, an approach that has since been adopted in many other centres around Australia and is supported by the Shopping Centre Council of Australia.

Use of participatory action research in human services. Co-Chair of the Australian Government FaHCSIA Reconnect Action Research Committee from 2000 till 2010.

Current research projects

  • Youth services practice (Lead investigator)
  • Cannabis and mental health in young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people (JCU Team Member)
  • Health of truckies in Queensland study (Team member)
  • Community engaged learning network (in development- Lead investigator)
  • Leaving care practice in remote settings (in development- Lead Investigator)

Research interests

  • membership of Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (Human Health and Wellbeing Domain)
  • participatory action research and community based participatory research
  • young people and public space issues
  • transition from care practice
  • youth homelessness, particularly early intervention
  • human services practice with young people, particularly issues pertaining to systems complexity and the need for context responsiveness
  • youth AOD practice
  • Indigenous young people
  • participatory approaches to enhancing Indigenous communities.

Project highlights

  • Lead investigator for the Leaving care and homelessness study undertaken as part of the Australian Homelessness Research agenda.
  • Lead author of the Action Research manual to be used by early intervention services, funded by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. Titled On PAR: Using participatory action research to improve early intervention (Crane and O’Regan 2010).
  • Lead Investigator of various projects investigating social tensions in public spaces, Shopping Centres Protocol Projects for the Redland City Council and Brisbane City Council
  • Lead author for three of the Dovetail Good Practice Guides for youth AOD practice funded through Queensland Health
  • Provision of action research support and training to various agencies.
This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Phil Crane.


Teaching areas

  • social work and human services theory, practice, law and ethics
  • the application of complexity theory to social work and human services
  • youth services and associated policy
  • public space theory and practice
  • participatory action research
  • human services evaluation.
This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Phil Crane.


Professional practice

Continuing community level practice through consultancy, research and engagement which responds to the needs of vulnerable young people and their communities.

Current engagements include:

  • Supporting teams of students to assist the Cherbourg community to progress questions that are identified within the community as important
  • Continuing involvement as a critical friend and advisor to Melbourne City Mission
  • Current Board member of Mantle Housing
  • Engagement with agencies in Cairns around leaving care and youth AOD practice.
This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Phil Crane.


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