Researcher biography

Specialises in the diverse matters relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in tourism.

Dr Damien Jacobsen is a descendent of the Bulgun Warra people, whose traditional lands form part of the Guugu Yimithirr language region near Cooktown, Cape York. Damien's qulaifications include a Bachelor of Business (Tourism) and Masters by Research (Tourism) from Southern Cross University, and a PhD in tourism from Charles Darwin University. His post-graduate inquiry focused on reconciliation in tourism, which is an issue he encountered first-hand in the mid-90s working in the tourism industry and continues to investigate today.

He has worked in Centre for Regional Tourism Research, the CRC for Sustainable Tourism and the Desert Knowledge Co-operative Research Centre. More recently, Dr Jacobsen completed a 6-year appointment (funded by the Commonwealth CRC Program) from the Co-operative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation as Principal Research Leader for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism Product Project. Involving over 70 stakeholders (mainly small businesses) from remote Australia, the program examined ways that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander enterprises can remain resilient in challenging remote areas.

Dr Jacobsen has a strongly applied research background ultimately focused on enabling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to strengthen the wellbeing of their culture, country and people. He has produced a body of industry development resources and academic publications based on qualitative and quantitative research. He founded an Aboriginal non-for-profit corporation aimed at capacity building Aboriginal people involved in tourism, and he maintains links with Aboriginal tourism stakeholders throughout the country. Some of his other advisory roles include the Scientific Committee for the World Indigenous Tourism Summit 2020, the 10 Deserts Tourism strategy and tourism development for the Aboriginal art sector.