Chief Research Officer appointed to lead Autism CRC research program

Autism CRC is pleased to announce that Professor Andrew Whitehouse will lead its comprehensive whole-of-life research program, as its new Chief Research Officer.

Until now, Professor Whitehouse has been the inaugural Director of Autism CRC’s Early Years Program. He will commence his new role on 31 July 2017.

Based in Perth, Western Australia, Professor Whitehouse will be responsible for driving high quality research outcomes where autistic people are empowered to discover and use their diverse strengths and interests.

Autism CRC Chair, Judy Brewer AO, said, “Professor Whitehouse has been a key team member since the inception of the CRC, and leading collaborations that align with Autism CRC’s core objectives and philosophy – recognising that the impact that our unique national collaboration will achieve as a whole is far greater than that attainable by the sum of its parts.

“He has continued this commitment in helping to develop key partnerships beyond our CRC program with organisations such as the National Disability Insurance Agency, which now sees Andrew leading the development of Australia’s first national guidelines for autism diagnosis,” Judy said.

In his new role, Andrew will continue the legacy established by Autism CRC Research and Education Director, Emeritus Professor Sylvia Rodger AM, who sadly passed away in April, after successfully driving the Autism CRC program from its commencement.

“I am honoured to start this role, and am committed to continuing Sylvia’s vision for a comprehensive research program addressing the needs of those with the lived experience of autism across the lifespan,” Professor Whitehouse said.

“This vision is reflected in Autism CRC’s work across Australia and internationally – from earlier diagnosis and better targeted early intervention; to improved educational environments and programs; to greater employment, further education and health and wellbeing outcomes for autistic adults”.

Autism CRC Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Davis is looking forward to Professor Whitehouse commencing as Chief Research Officer and the potential of having such a senior internationally-recognised researcher on-board to continue to drive Autism CRC’s research program and the continued development of our existing and new partnerships.

“Autism CRC is the world’s first national research effort, working across the lifespan with the autism community to provide the evidence base to support individuals on the spectrum and their families,” Andrew Davis said.

“Professor Whitehouse’s new role will drive our research activities into the future, both for the current CRC program and beyond.

“In addition to Andrew’s appointment, we look forward to announcing new initiatives and resources directed at empowering autistic individuals and inclusive community capacity building over the coming months.”

Professor Whitehouse will continue to direct the Autism Research Team at the Telethon Kids Institute, which seeks to discover new ways of identifying autism as early as possible and develop innovative methods for helping children with autism reach their full potential.

Professor Whitehouse has published over 150 peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as two books and two internationally-used clinical assessments. He currently writes a popular column on child development for the Conversation. Andrew has been a Fellow at the University of Oxford, and is currently the Winthrop Professor of Child Development at the Telethon Kids Institute, University of Western Australia, where he leads a prominent research team.

Autism CRC is now considering candidates for the role of Director of Autism CRC’s Early Years Program and hopes to make an announcement in the near future. Other organisational arrangements for Autism CRC’s research and education team will be finalised shortly as part of Andrew’s leadership of the team.