University establishes fellowship in honour of Associate Professor Allison Milner

The University of Melbourne has established the Allison Milner Early Career Research Fellowship.

The University of Melbourne has established a fellowship to honour the legacy of Associate Professor Allison Milner who was killed in a tragic accident at Princes Park in Carlton in August.

Allison, 36, was Deputy Head of the University's Disability and Health Unit at the Centre for Health Equity and was highly regarded for her research in the field of suicide prevention.

In honour of Allison, the University has established the Allison Milner Early Career Research Fellowship to fund a talented early career researcher to develop a program of research to reduce inequities in line with Allison’s values and interests.

The fellow will demonstrate the values and qualities that Allison emulated including a commitment to social justice, valuing of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and collaborative team-based research that includes academics, government and non-government organisations and advocates.

Allison was committed to workplace mental health promotion and her research showed how workplaces shaped the mental health of diverse populations including construction workers, health and human service workers, and people with disabilities.

She founded a program of work that investigated how the gendered nature of occupations and workplaces affected the health of men and women. Her research into workplace mental health and suicide prevention especially in high risk occupations was testament to her passionate belief that public health research should directly improve the lives of others.

Hundreds of family, friends and University colleagues, including Vice-Chancellor Professor Duncan Maskell, attended a memorial service at University College yesterday to honour the life of Allison who has been remembered as “a brilliant researcher, a generous colleague, and a loving mum”.

Allison’s family said: “Allison was extremely proud of working at the University and spoke highly of the collaborative research environment. The fellowship is a tangible way of acknowledging her contributions to the academy and the wider community. We’re happy that Allison will be recognised in this way and that she will be able to help early career researchers in some way going forward. Allison was such a passionate advocate for supporting others in the highly competitive world of academia. Grant funding is an overwhelming aspect of research and anything that can support people to navigate that world and focus on good research and good writing was something she would have championed”.

Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences and Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Health) Professor Shitij Kapur said: “Allison was an extraordinary academic with an amazing intellect, wonderful generosity and natural leadership abilities. Despite her relatively short academic career, Allison has left a formidable legacy and we want to ensure her outstanding work and memory lives on”.

A close friend of Allison and the Head of the Disability and Health Unit, Centre for Health Equity in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health Professor Anne Kavanagh said: “The fellowship recognises the positive impact Allison has had on many at the University, and it will also ensure her exceptional scholarly contributions continue to leave a lasting legacy both in the academy and the wider community.”

Anyone wishing to donate to the Allison Milner Early Career Research Fellowship can visit the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health website.