About Sonia Allan
- Doctor of Philosophy (Law), University of Melbourne, Melbourne Law School, 2009
- Master of Public Health (with Merit), University of Sydney, 2014
- Master of Laws (Global Health Law) (with Distinction), Georgetown University Law Centre, Washington D.C., 2011-2012
- Graduate Certificate in Higher Education, Deakin University, 2009
- Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, New South Wales College of Law, 2003
- Bachelor of Laws (Honours) 2002
- Bachelor of Arts (Psychology)(Honours) 1995
Dr. Allan has been providing consulting services for a number of years. Examples of her work include:
- Leading the review of the South Australian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 1988 (appointed by the Minister for Health (SA))
- Writing expert reports for law firms (for example in cases of claims related to negligence resulting in loss of ability to carry a pregnancy or birth a child)
- Being engaged by leading legal publishers to write and contribute to a variety of resources including legal dictionaries and encyclopedias, books, educational materials relevant to health law, medical negligence, and general legal concepts
- Conducting extensive global research on legislation and policy for the U.S. Center for Genetics and Society regarding surrogacy, egg donation, and assisted reproduction
- Being invited to present on international law and legal issues at conferences and international meetings (for example, in the U.S. and the Hague)
- Designing and delivering presentations, seminars, and talks related to health regulation, torts, public law, statutory interpretation, regulation, and ethical, legal, social and human rights issues raised in health contexts.
Academic Research, Teaching, Leadership and Service
Dr. Allan has worked as a legal academic for close to fifteen years. She has been employed by the University of Melbourne, the University of Adelaide, Macquarie University, and Deakin University.
Dr. Allan was Head of Department Health Systems and Populations at Macquarie University, Sydney, from 2015-2016 where she established the Department, designed a Master of Public Health program to meet U.S., European, and Australian accreditation standards, and worked to introduce law into the public health curriculum. She also served on numerous boards and committees in that role.
From 2014-2015 Dr. Allan served as Deputy Chair and member of the executive and general Human Research Ethics Committees (Clinical Medicine) engaging in the review of human research applications to ensure that they were ethically acceptable and in accordance with relevant standards and guidelines.
Dr. Allan has published books, numerous articles, reports and other documents; organised workshops; presented at national and international conferences; and delivered research-based professional education and advice. She has also conducted research abroad at Georgetown University, in Washington D.C., and in Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, as a Churchill Fellow. She has designed and taught courses in Health Law and Ethics; Health and Biotechnology Law; Ethics and Professionalism (for doctors); Torts; Contract Law; Misleading and Deceptive Conduct; Property Law; Legal Method and Reasoning; Foundations of the Common Law (JD, LLM, and LLB; Medical programs). In addition, Dr. Allan has mentored and supervised junior staff and students; and participated in advocacy and law reform (see further below).
Editorial Roles and Memberships
- Associate Editor, Global Reproductive Health (International Federation Fertility Society)
- Committee member and Editor, International Federation Fertility Society and WHO ‘Surveillance’
- Australian Human Rights Lawyers
- Public Health Association of Australia
- Public Health Law Network (United States)
- Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (Individual membership)
- Assisted Reproductive Technology Working Group (United States)
- Former Board Member, Autism Advisory and Support Service, NSW (2015)
Dr. Allan’s engagement with law reform projects reflects her applied research focus. Her ability in this regard was shaped by her early work as a Legal Policy and Research Officer at the Victorian Law Reform Commission Melbourne, Australia (2003-2005). It was there that she honed her skills for providing independent research, writing and advice upon legal and policy issues; organising, running and participating in public consultation; analysing submissions using a qualitative analysis framework; negotiating responses and proposing options for legislative development and reform; proposing practical suggestions for service delivery; and liaising with Law Reform Commissioners, government and stakeholders. She has carried these skills into her academic and consulting work.
Dr. Allan has made numerous submissions to government inquiries; been invited to appear before Parliament on a number of occasions; and has participated in, and led positive law reform.
Dr. Allan has also had a variety of other experiences all of which that have enriched her perspective and the skills she brings to her work. For example she has worked as a Graduate at Law/Paralegal/Clerk at a number of law firms; was an English as a Foreign Language Teacher, for NOVA in Kanazawa, Japan; and worked as a Mental Health Worker, for the After Care Association of NSW, Sydney, Australia. She has also volunteered for a Sydney based women’s domestic violence center; St John’s Ambulance Service; and the State Emergency Services.
Dr. Allan speaks English (native); Spanish (basic); and Italian (very basic).
Grants and Awards
- AMP Tomorrow Fund Award, 2014 to support the development of a community internet resource on health law. Dr. Allan was one of 47 recipients out of 5000 applicants. The website Health Law Central may be found here (http://www.healthlawcentral.com).
- Macquarie University, Grant, 2014 with Professor Wendy Rogers to organise an International Workshop on Ethical, Legal and Social Issues regarding Synthetic Biology. With invited contributors from John Hopkins University, University of Edinburgh, University of Sydney, University of Tasmania, and Monash University.
- 2012 CALI Award Georgetown University Law Center Washington D.C. for best performance in Health and Human Rights Law.
- Churchill Fellowship 2011 to undertake a cross-jurisdictional study on regulatory aspects of collecting and releasing information about donors to donor conceived people.
- Global Health Law Fellowship, 2011-2012: Georgetown University, Washington D.C., Global Health Law Fellowship, to undertake Master of Global Health Law. Awarded the title ‘Global Health Law Fellow’ as recognition of academic achievement, professional experience & potential for excellence in global health law.
- Outside Studies Program Award 2011 Deakin University to enhance professional development and improve research potential by working in a sustained manner with leading academics and professionals at other institutions.
- Sydney University School of Public Health competitive tuition scholarship to undertake Master of Public Health.
- Melbourne Research Scholarship 2003-2009, University of Melbourne, providing full PhD funding and living stipend.
- Melbourne Abroad Travelling Scholarship 2005, University of Melbourne, award of competitive funding for PhD research in the United Kingdom in which license holders for research involving human embryos were interviewed.
Dr. Allan has been interviewed by the media on issues related to the regulation of assisted reproduction; pre-implantation genetic diagnosis; gender selection; regulation of the IVF industry; donor conception and information release; surrogacy; genetic implications of donor conception; and medical law. She has appeared in articles, radio and television programmes published by: ABC News; ABC Life Matters; ABC 7.30 Report; ABC The World Today; ABC Fact File; 666 ABC Canberra; ABC Online; Australian Story; BBC World Service; The Project (Channel 10); SBS Online; SBS News; SBS Insight; Sydney Morning Herald; The Australian; The Age; The Leader; The Conversation; The Advertiser; and 6 Minutes.