The Allison Milner Early Career Research Fellow announcement

The Faculty of Medicine Dentistry and Health Sciences and the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health would like to announce the appointment of Marissa Shields to the role of Allison Milner Early Career Research Fellow.

The Allison Milner Fellowship has been established in honour of Associate Professor Allison Milner and the legacy and impact she made to her peers, colleagues and her discipline.  A/Prof Allison Milner was a social epidemiologist specialising in workplace mental health at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, Faculty of Medicine Dentistry and Health Sciences. A/Prof Milner was Deputy Head of the Disability and Health Unit at the Centre for Health Equity, at the time of her untimely death in 2019. Allison was an outstanding epidemiologist, who was passionate about reducing inequalities in health by addressing socio-economic disadvantage. Her expertise extended across employment, gender, mental health and disability. Within these domains, she demonstrated exceptional impact across program and policies regarding mental health, workplace mental health and suicide prevention, program evaluation related to disability, and evaluation of gender equality initiatives.

The Allison Milner Early Career Fellowship supports a talented early career researcher (ECR) to develop a program of research on the social determinants of health inequities in line with Allison’s values and interests, positioning the fellow to be a future research leader in this field.

As Marissa’s mentor, Allison encouraged Marissa to undertake a PhD and was her primary PhD supervisor when Marissa commenced her candidature in 2019. Marissa’s thesis, entitled “Working it out: a social epidemiological analysis of labour force status, mental health, and disability among young Australians”, uses quantitative methods to assess how employment impacts the mental health of young people with disabilities. A key finding of Marissa’s PhD research is that interventions to improve employment rates may decrease the mental health inequalities experienced by young Australians with disabilities.

Marissa Shields

Marissa has published 20 peer-reviewed journal articles (six as first author), one book chapter, numerous reports, and has won awards for leadership and conference presentations.  Marissa is well-placed to have an outstanding career in public health and a very appropriate incumbent to further the legacy of A/Prof Milner.

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