Fiona has been working since early 2011 as a Senior Research Officer within the Justice and Social Inclusion Unit at the Cairns Institute, JCU. During this time, she has been senior researcher on and project coordinator for theIndigenous Legal Needs Project (ILNP), an Australian Research Council Linkage Project (LP 100200455). The ILNP is the first comprehensive exploration of the civil and family law needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people nationally. It examines the nature and extent of civil/family law need, Indigenous peoples’ access to civil and family law justice and the connection between unmet civil/family law need and social exclusion of and criminalisation within Indigenous communities. Fiona has also taught human rights and related subjects to staff of Papua New Guinea’s Department of Justice whilst at JCU.

Past projects

Fiona has researched at JCU and UNSW and as a consultant on a number of projects with an Indigenous rights focus. To date, these have included:

- research into introduction of Indigenous bail diversion initiatives in Victoria for the Koori Unit, Department of Justice (Vic); 

-  caseload comparison for Aboriginal Legal Services nationally, comparing workloads and outputs for ATSILS and other legal services; 

-  an evaluation of the Remote Justices of the Peace (JPs) Program for the Department of Justice and Attorney General (Qld); 

-  mapping and evaluation of Indigenous Justice Agreements for the Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department; 

- project coordination and research for the NT Council of Social Services and North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) working towards introduction of justice reinvestment in Katherine, NT

 - research for the Department of Justice and Attorney General (QLD), working towards introduction of justice reinvestment in Cherbourg, QLD

Current projects include:

- project consultant for the Department of Justice and Attorney General (QLD) for a justice reinvestment project in Cherbourg, QLD 

- project consultant for justice reinvestment project in Katherine, NT, in collaboration with Charles Darwin University

- project consultant for evaluation of health-justice partnership between the Homeless Persons Legal Clinic/LawRight (QLD) and Wuchopperen (Aboriginal Medical Service), Cairns

- collective impact project in Cairns South, seeking to improve outcomes for 0-12 year old children, with Mission Australia and Communities for Children

Fiona is currently undertaking a PhD at JCU as an Australian Postgraduate Award Industry (APAI) scholarship holder, investigating Indigenous access to racial discrimination law. She has also completed both a Bachelor of Laws and Masters in Law. Fiona chairs a national forum of agencies/individuals working on Justice Reinvestment in Australia.

Prior to working as a researcher, Fiona practiced as a lawyer within the community legal sector in both NSW and the NT as an Aboriginal Outreach Solicitor on a number of remote communities, a generalist solicitor and a family violence solicitor. She has also worked at the Australian Human Rights Commission and has taught law subjects to Indigenous students at Tranby Aboriginal College as part of the National Indigenous Legal Advocacy (NILA) program.

Particular areas of interest include access to justice, Indigenous contact with the criminal justice system, law reform, Indigenous social justice, discrimination, international and domestic human rights, and community development 

Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters
Other research outputs

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 18+ research outputs authored by Fiona Allison from 2008 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Department of Social Services - Contract Research

Cairns South Collective Impact continuation

Indicative Funding
$80,000 over 2 years (administered by Mission Australia)
The Project will bring together representatives from government, community organisations, and a wide range of service providers to focus on this particular social issue. It will support the Early Years sector to lead the development of a detailed child development 'agenda' and to establish long-term system improvements that will increase support and enhance outcomes for children and their families in Cairns South.
Allan Dale, Jancy McHugh and Fiona Allison (Cairns Institute)
Human Dimensions; Marine Estate Planning

Australian Red Cross - Tender

Collation and analysis of quantitative data and other research tasks associated with justice reinvestment in the Katherine

Indicative Funding
$15,000 (administered by Charles Darwin University)
The aim of the project is to inform the work of the Katherine Youth Justice Reinvestment Working Group?s vision of redistributing justice reinvestments in the town of Katherine and surrounds away from more punitive responses to offending, with a particular focus on reducing incarceration of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people aged 10-25 years old. The intent is to develop a clear strategic vision and respective funding proposal/s to advocate for a longer-term investment in justice reinvestment (JR) in Katherine, as well as laying groundwork for longer-term JR implementation. For the current project Ms Allison will collate and analyse justice, non-justice, population and service delivery to inform strategic planning and funding proposals for JR in Katherine. The other research tasks to be undertaken by Ms Allison include sharing expertise with the research team based at CDU about JR, collective impact and knowledge related to prior consultations conducted by JCU in 2015-16.
Fiona Allison and James Smith (Cairns Institute and Charles Darwin University)
Youth justice; Justice reinvestment; Indigenous; Northern Territory; Katherine Ykouth Justice Reinvestment Wo

Mission Australia - Contract Research

Stronger Together ? Cairns South Early Years Collective Impact Initiative

Indicative Funding
$225,000 over 3 years
Community Partner Funding: Cairns South and Yarrabah Communities for Children. This project will support the Early Years sector to lead the development of a detailed child development 'agenda' and to establish long-term system improvements that can lead to better support for children and their families in Cairns South.
Allan Dale, Stewart Lockie, Fiona Allison and Jennifer McHugh (Cairns Institute)
Early years; Socio-economic disadvantage; Cairns South; Collective impact; Yarrabah; Families

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