Research Affiliates

Dr Jodie Baillie

Jodie is a health services researcher and evaluator based at The University of Sydney’s, University Centre for Rural Health. Her research interests have a strong health equity agenda, which focuses on strengthening the quality of primary health care being delivered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and people with disability. Jodie has expertise in evaluations of national research collaborations, and applies a variety of approaches to this work, including developmental evaluation and principles-focused evaluation. Prior to 2014, Jodie held non-academic roles in primary health care policy and practice, and leadership roles with a Division of General Practice/Medicare Local. This unique policy-practice-research set of skills ensures her research and evaluation has relevance and impact beyond the academy. Jodie is currently contributing to the evaluation of the CRE-DH and Work Program 1.

Dr Laura Davy

Laura is a Research Fellow at the ANZSOG Canberra and Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU. Her research focuses on Australian disability policy design and implementation, and the experiences of people with disability and their families in the context of large-scale change and reform of the disability policy and services environment. This research examines the policy factors that influence the health and wellbeing of people with disability, as well as issues of access and equity within mainstream service areas such as health. Current projects include collaborating with CRE-DH on the analysis of policy lab data, a book project about the concepts of personal autonomy that inform current disability policy and politics, and co-editing a book volume about the philosophical and policy implications of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCPRD). 

Associate Professor Sonja de New

Sonja de New is a researcher with the Centre for Health Economics at Monash University. She is also the Vice President of the Australian Health Economics Society (AHES). Her research focuses on the intersection between labour and health economics with a particular focus on policy evaluation and the mental health and labour market outcomes of disadvantaged populations, including people living with disabilities. Her research is supported by Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery and Linkage grants. 

Dr Alexandra Devine

Alex is a Senior Research Officer with the Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne. Her local and international research and technical experience has a focus on disability inclusive development. Alexandra’s recent research activities include as lead researcher on a UNICEF funded situation analysis of children with disability in Cambodia. The project utilised participatory research techniques to include the voices of children with disability; lead researcher on study evaluating exploring sport for inclusive development programs in the Pacific; Co-investigator for an Australian Development Research Award aimed at improving access to quality Sexual and Reproductive Health for women with disability in the Philippines; and, Co-investigator on an Australian Government funded study to develop the Rapid Assessment of Disability – a toolkit to measure the effectiveness of development activities which target or include people with disabilities. Alex Devine is currently providing technical assistance to an Australian Government funded Skills for Development Program in Kiribati, and recently completed a PhD exploring access to employment for job seekers with psychosocial disability.

Dr Ariella Meltzer

Ariella is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Impact UNSW Sydney. Her research focuses on lived experience in disability services and support; the relationships between people with disability and their families, especially their siblings; inclusive practice; and accessible information, especially Easy Read materials for people with intellectual disability. Her disability research has crossed areas including health, employment and other forms of social and economic engagement, peer support, service implementation, advocacy, family and community relationships and social inclusion.

Dr Ashley McAllister

Ashley is a public policy researcher who investigates the role of stigma in high-level decision making. At present, she is a postdoctoral researcher at the Karolinska Institute on a visiting fellow position in the Disability and Health Unit at The University of Melbourne. Most recently, Ashley conducted the largest attitudes study of Swedish physicians about their attitudes towards persons with psychosocial disabilities needing a disability pension. Preliminary results highlight the inequalities that exist between the type of disability and gender. Ashley is committed to  producing policy-relevant research to reduce inequalities experience by people with psychosocial disability. Similar to the CRE-DH, Ashley aims to measure and quantify discrimination towards persons with disability, and is currently conducting a cross-national research project on the inequalities of employment among older persons with chronic health conditions and disability.

Ms Karinna Saxby

Karinna is a PhD candidate and Research Fellow at Monash University’s Centre for Health Economics. Her research focuses on the extent to which supply and demand factors influence healthcare use across different groups, with a particular focus on mental health and people living with disabilities. Karinna uses econometric techniques to show how policies can best reduce inequity of healthcare access and improve health outcomes.

Dr Sophie Yates

Sophie is Research Fellow at the Public Service Research Group, School of Business, UNSW Canberra. She is interested in a gender and equality lens on public administration and public policy. Her PhD focused on gender, intersectionality and family violence. Her current disability research includes investigating the intersection between disability and the criminal justice system, and leading a project on gender inequality and individualised funding schemes. She has previously published on the experiences of children and young people with disability and their families during COVID-19.

Ms Marissa Shields

Marissa is a PhD student in the Disability and Health Unit and completed her Master of Public Health at the University of Melbourne in 2017. Marissa’s uses quantitative research methods to assess areas  such as disability, gender, and employment characteristics as determinants of mental health. Her PhD explores the mental health impacts of school to work employment transitions among young people with disability. Marissa also works as a research assistant on the NHMRC partnership project “Youth Employment Study (YES)” looking at the transition from school to work in the context of COVID-19.

Dr George Taleporas

Dr George Taleporos is chairperson of the Victorian Disability Advisory Council and host of the podcast Reasonable and Necessary. George has held managerial roles in advocacy and played a leadership role in the development of individualised and self-directed support. George has provided policy advice in a range of areas including DHS standards, capacity building through peer support, Individualised Support Packages and the implementation of the NDIS in Victoria.

Ms Ivy Yen

Ivy is a PhD Candidate at the University of Sydney, undertaking a qualitative investigation into social care markets (disability and aged care), to understand the extent to which marketisation has impacted social care values that had been previously delivered by the not for profit sector. Prior to her PhD, Ivy worked at the University of Sydney on various projects that include evaluating the implementation of Partners in Recovery (PIR) in two regions in Western Sydney and most recently a national policy consultation project that resulted in the Mind the Gap report into the NDIS and psychosocial disability. Ivy has over 15 year’s experience working in the disability and aged care sector and has firsthand experience of the impact of significant social policy changes in both sectors.

Dr Glenda Bishop

Glenda is a Research Assistant in the Disability and Health Unit at the University of Melbourne, examining how social determinants of health lead to mental health inequalities for people with disabilities. Glenda uses her diverse background in disability research, behavioural neuroscience, nutrition and health data science to apply analytical epidemiological strategies to large administrative datasets and longitudinal surveys. She also brings the personal perspective of lived experience with disability.

Mid-Career / Senior Research Affiliates

Dr Sean Byars

Sean is a Data Science Research Fellow at The University of Melbourne. Sean has worked at Yale University on the Framingham Heart Study and as a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellow at the University of Copenhagen while working on the national Danish Health registries. His work has investigated developmental origins of health and disease and risk factors for common diseases occurring in later life in various worldwide populations, and has utilised a range of computational and biostatistical methods on large-scale administrative, clinical and genetic datasets. Sean works on a range of data analyses on the social determinants of health.

Professor Shane Clifton

Shane Clifton is an an Honorary Associate at the Centre for Disability Research and Policy at the University of Sydney. He is also Professor of Theology and Ethics at Alphacrucis College in Sydney. Shane’s research is on the flourishing of people with disabilities, and brings together the fields of disability studies, virtue ethics, and spirituality. He lives with a spinal cord injury (C5 incomplete) following an accident on a bicycle in 2010. He is currently the Assistant Director of Research at the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.

Celia Green

Celia is a Research Fellow working in the area of policy reform. Celia is also completing her PhD at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at ANU where she is investigating how welfare state models influence the policy process. Celia’s research interests include public policy, social equity and public health. Celia has previously worked as a research associate for the University of New South Wales and Monash University on the provision of emergency financial aid, service provision in the public sector, gender equality strategies in public service agencies, and policies to achieve flexibility and autonomy for low paid service delivery workers. She has extensive experience in conducting qualitative and quantitative social science research incorporating literature reviews, stakeholder interviews and data analysis.

Dr Michael Palmer

Michael is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Western Australia, and previously worked as a Research Fellow at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health.  Michael’s research has focussed predominantly on disability, and in particular the economics of disability in an international context. His previous research has focussed on disability in Vietnam, specifically modelling health care utilisation and costs. He has worked for the World Health Organisation to undertake analysis of the health status and utilisation of health care of persons with disabilities in Cambodia and his more recent work has focussed on the modelling of the direct costs associated with disability more generally using a method known as the Standard of Living Approach.

Associate Professor Georgina Sutherland

Georgina is a Senior Research Fellow at the Disability and Health Unit in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne. Georgina has a background in social epidemiology with research experience in a range of content areas including disability, women and children’s health, public health law, mental health and wellbeing, suicide prevention and violence against women. She is currently leading a primary prevention research project for women with disability in partnership with Respect Victoria. In addition, Georgina is the lead researcher on a national project on violence prevalence against people with disability in Australia. This work is intended to assist the disability community with their advocacy work and for informing submissions to the Disability Royal Commission.

Dr Sarah Wayland

Dr Kim Bulkeley

Kim is a senior lecturer in Occupational Therapy at the Sydney School of Health Sciences at The University of Sydney. Her research has focused on allied health service design and development for people with disability in rural and remote communities. Kim is committed to collaborative research approaches and has completed projects in western NSW with the Wobbly Hub Research team and the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health on allied health service design with communities; NDS in Tasmania on allied health assistant roles in rural areas; Early Childhood Intervention Australia, NSW Chapter on allied health students placements in the early childhood sector; and a telehealth project with an allied health NDIS provider in rural Australia. Kim is currently working on two ARC Indigenous Discovery projects, one exploring aspects of NDIS plans in rural and remote areas and the other looking at front line Aboriginal workforce in NSW disability, health and aged care sectors. Kim is also partnering with two NDIS providers exploring telepractice and therapy assistant roles in rural and remote areas.