Ashley McAllister

BMOS (University of Western Ontario)                  
PhD Candidate                  
Sydney School of Public Health      


Ashley McAllister is a PhD candidate with the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney. Her project is entitled: Australian and Ontarian approaches to disability income support design and mental illness: A comparative study. She is interested in using an interdisciplinary approach to identify possible policy responses to increase the social and economic participation of those with mental illness.

Prior to beginning her PhD in 2010, Ashley worked as an Economist at the Ontario Ministry of Finance in Canada working on retail sales tax reform and was extensively involved in the implementation of the Harmonized Sales Tax in Ontario. She has also worked as a Principal Economist for the Energy Strategy & Reform team at Industry and Investment NSW delivering economic research, analysis and advice contributing to the delivery of strategic policy advice and initiatives for Government on the safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable supply and use of energy. She has also been a Senior Business Analyst for the NSW Department of Family and Community services working on program reviews. Much of her policy work has revolved around the economic and social implications of reform policies in an Australian and international context.

Ashley was also an Associate Lecturer for the Masters of Sustainability – Populations and Health Unit as well as an academic tutor in the Political Economy Department at the University of Sydney. Ashley is currenlty a visiting student in the Equity and Health Policy Research Group at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

Research Interests

Social and economic policy and mental illness; comparative research; health policy

Current Projects

PhD Student - Comparing how disability income support is designed in Australia and Ontario for people with mental illness.


Neurosciences and Mental Health


  • Burström, B., Backhans, M., Nylen, L., McAllister, A., Blomqvist, S. (2014) Economic change and social protection: Labour market policies which help to increase employment among persons with chronic illness, report submitted to the European Union.
  • McAllister A. (2014) Physicians acting as disability income support gatekeepers for people with mental illness in Australia and Canada. [platform] 7th European Public Health Conference. Glasgow, 18 – 22 November 2014.
  • McAllister A. (2013) Designing disability income support policy for people with a mental illness in Australia and Canada: The inside view. [oral e-poster] 9th World Congress on Health Economics. Sydney, NSW. 7 – 10 July 2013.
  • McAllister A. (2012) Why welfare-to-work doesn’t always work – especially if you have a mental illness. Mental Health Matters: Mental Health Association of NSW Issue 23.
  • McAllister A. (2012) The times they are a-changin': The compatibility of universal health care and mental illness in Australia and Canada. Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research Conference. Montreal, 29 – 31 May 2012.
  • McAllister A. (2011) Do welfare-to-work policies work for people with a mental illness? Australian Political Studies Association Conference: Crisis, Uncertainty and Democracy. Canberra, 26 – 28 September 2011.
  • McAllister, A. (2010) Is universal health care enough to keep Australians and Canadians healthy? The 32nd Australian Conference of Health Economists. Sydney, 30 September – 1 October 2010.