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Ray James Award

RayJamesRay James was a great and admired thinker and innovator in health promotion and was an experienced figure in community based public health in Australia. His early work was in the USA, India, New Zealand and Latin America until he moved to WA in 1980. After a brief return to the USA he spent about five years on the North Coast of NSW. His work in the area of community based health promotion interventions in NSW was well published and among Australia’s earliest and best known health promotion initiatives of that time. His return to WA in early 1990’s saw him hold a number of positions including at the National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University, as a senior manager in the Health Department of WA including directing public health programs in the SW from Bunbury, a period at the Institute of Child Health Research, and in later years at the Centre for Behavioral Research in Cancer Control at Curtin University where he has directed the Mentally Healthy WA project.

Since the early 1990’s Ray was a member of the research team that developed and revised health promotion competencies for health promotion practitioners. The work resulting from these projects has received substantial international coverage, and has been used in several other countries. Ray contributed extensively to a number of professional associations, in particular the Australian Health Promotion Association. As well as being a member of the National Management Committee he served for many years on the WA Branch committee in various roles including terms as Branch President. Ray was one of the founders of the Health Promotion Journal of Australia and a founding editor.

Common themes of his professional work included: innovation; willingness to risk trialing new approaches; mentoring early-career professionals and helping others beyond the call of duty. In 2000 Ray was awarded a Life Membership of the Australian Health Promotion Association in recognition his outstanding and distinguished service to the Association and to health promotion in Australia. Following his death in early 2008 the Australian Health Promotion Association endorsed the establishment of an annual award in his memory.

  • The Ray James Memorial Award is presented for excellence and innovation in health promotion research published during the previous year in the Health Promotion Journal of Australia. The first author must be a member of AHPA.
  • If no articles are considered to meet the selection criteria for the year the Award will be held over to the following year
  • The Award will be presented at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Association, during the Australian Health Promotion Association National conference or at another suitable time as agreed by the Board
  • The Award will include $1,000 prize money. In the case of multiple authors this money will be shared between the authors. The award recipient/s may be invited to write a brief article for the Australian Health Promotion Update national newsletter outlining how the prize money is intended to be used.


Health Promotion Journal of Australia

Winner 2023

Congratulations to Jennie Haarsager, Paula Legerton, Claire DeBats, Glenn Austin, & Paul Vardon for winning the 2023 Ray James Memorial Award with their paper titled Perceptions and implications for cervical screening and self-collection: A qualitative exploration of never and under-screened Queensland womenHealth Promotion Journal of Australia, Volume 34, Issue 4. 

Please read below from lead author Jennie Haarsager on winning the 2023 Ray James Memorial Award:

“I am honoured to accept the Ray James Award on behalf of the research team. Our research sought to understand the barriers and enablers to cervical screening among under and never screened Queensland women, as well as explore the acceptability of cervical screening self-collection for this cohort. Our study was informed by health promotion principles such as community participation and empowerment, along with improving equity of outcomes. We found that women and people with a cervix have very personal reasons for not participating in screening, however the self-collection method could potentially overcome some of the identified barriers. We hope that our research contributes to a better understanding of the needs of under and never screened women and further supports greater participation self-collection.”

Winner 2022

Carlin, E., Cox, Z., Spry, E., Monahan, C., Marley, J., & Atkinson, D. 2022. When I got the news”: Aboriginal fathers in the Kimberley region yarning about their experience of the antenatal period. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, Volume 32, Issue 3. 

Hear from 2021 winner Emma Carlin below: 

Winner 2021

Canuto, K.J., Aromataris, E., Burgess, T., Davy, C., McKivett, A., Schwartzkopff, K., Canuto, K., Tufanaru, C., Lockwood, C., Brown, A. 2021. A scoping review of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health promotion programs focused on modifying chronic disease risk factors. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 32(1), 46-74.

Hear from the 2021 winner Karla Canuto below:

 Dr Ray James Memorial Award 2021

Winner 2020

Heard, E., Oost, E., McDaid, L., Mutch, A., Dean, J., & Fitzgerald, L.
2020 How can HIV/STI testing services be more accessible and acceptable for gender and sexually diverse young people?: A brief report exploring young people's perspectives in Queensland. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 31(1), 150-155.

Highly Commended 2020

Wiseman, N., Rossmann, C., Lee,J., & Harris, N.
2019 "It's like you are in the jungle": Using the draw-and-tell method to explore preschool children's play preferences and factors that shape their active play. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 30(S1), 85-94.

Winner 2019

Schultz, R., Abbott, T., Yamaguchi, J., & Cairney, S. 
2018 Injury prevention through employment as a priority for wellbeing among Aboriginal people in remote Australia. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 29(2), 183-188.

Highly Commended 2019

Gray, C., Crawford, G., Reid, A., & Lobo, R.
2018 HIV knowledge and use of health services among people from South‐East Asia and sub‐Saharan Africa living in Western Australia. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 29(3), 274-281.

Winner 2018

Hector, D., Edwards, S., Gale, J., & Ryan, H. 
2018 Achieving equity in Crunch&Sip : a pilot intervention of supplementary free fruit and vegetables in NSW classrooms. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 28(3), 238-242.

Winner 2017

Heesch, K. C., & Langdon, M.
2017 The usefulness of GPS bicycle tracking data for evaluating the impact of infrastructure change on cycling behaviour. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 27(3), 222-229.

Watch Dr Kristi Heesch discuss her article "The usefulness of GPS bicycle tracking data for evaluating the impact of infrastructure change on cycling behaviour" by clicking here

Highly Commended 2017

Wolfenden, L., Kingsland, M., Rowland, B., Dodds, P., Sidey, M., Sherker, S., & Wiggers, J.
2016 The impact of alcohol management practices on sports club membership and revenue. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 27(2), 159-161.


Axford, A. & Carter, D.
2015 article: Building workforce capacity for ethical reflection in health promotion: a practitioner’s experience
Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 26(3) 222-230. 2015


Giles-Corti, B., Macaulay, G., Middleton, N., Boruff, B., Bull, F., Butterworth, I., Badland, H., Mavoa, S., Roberts, R., & Christian, H.
2014 article: Developing a research and practice tool to measure walkability: a demonstration project.
Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 25(3), 160-166. 2014


Roberts, M., Pettigrew, S., Chapman, K., Quester, P., & Miller, C.
2013 article: The advertised diet: an examination of the extent and nature of food advertising on Australian television.
Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 24(2), 137-142. 2013

Comfort, J., & McCausland, K.

2013 article: Health priorities and perceived health determinants among Western Australians attending the 2011 LGBTI Perth Pride Fairday Festival.
Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 24(1), 20-25. 2013


Leavy, J. E., Heyworth, J., Middleton, A., Rosenberg, M., & Woloszyn, M.
2012 article: Tap into Good Teeth-a Western Australian pilot study of children’s drinking patterns.
Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 23(1), 42-47. 2012


Adams, J., Molyneux, M., & Squires, L.
Sustaining an obesity prevention intervention in preschools.
Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 22(1), 6-10. 2011


Wise, M., Harris, P., Harris-Roxas B., & Harris, E
2009 article: The role of health impact assessment in promoting population health and health equity
Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 20(3), 172-179. 2009

A special commendation certificate was awarded to: Jillian Adams, Avigdor Zask and Uta Deitrich
for their article in the August 2009 issue: Tooty Fruity in Preschools; an obesity prevention intervention in preschools targeting children’s movements skills and eating behaviours.

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