Please Note: The Aspect Research Centre for Autism Practice (ARCAP) Conference 2020 is postponed to 26–28 October 2020. We will keep delegates, speakers and other stakeholders informed of any further updates. Read more here.


Invited speakers

Further invited speakers will be announced soon.

Andrew Whitehouse
Angela Wright Bennett Professor
Telethon Kids Institute

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Andrew Whitehouse is the Angela Wright Bennett Professor of Autism Research at the Telethon Kids Institute and Professor of Autism Research at The University of Western Australia. He is also Research Strategy Director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC) and Adjunct Professor at Curtin University and Edith Cowan University.

At the Telethon Kids Institute  he leads a large team that use a wide range of methodologies to investigate the early intervention and clinical management of children with Autism Spectrum Conditions. Andrew has published over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and attracted over $40 million in competitive research grants. He currently presents an internationally syndicated video series called ’60 Second Science”, which has been viewed by over 1 million people. He is an advisor to State and Commonwealth Governments on policies relating to children with Autism Spectrum Conditions, and he chaired the committee that generated Australia’s first national guideline for autism diagnosis.

Andrew has published one edited book with his twin-brother (Ben), and a popular science book that examined the science behind some of the myths of pregnancy and child development (Will Mozart Make My Baby Smart?). He has also been awarded Australia’s most prestigious scientific award, the Eureka Prize. Prior to coming to the Telethon Kids Institute, Andrew was a Fellow at the University of Oxford.

Dr. Iliana Magiati
Clinical psychologist and an Assoc Prof. of Clinical Psychology
University of Western Australia

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Dr. Iliana Magiati is a UK chartered clinical psychologist and an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at the School of Psychological Science, University of Western Australia. She was previously an Associate Professor (2017-2019) and an Assistant Professor (2009-2017) at the Department of Psychology, National University of Singapore (NUS). She completed her doctoral training in clinical psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry (IOP) in London and her Ph.D. at St George’s Hospital Medical School on early interventions for children with ASD. She worked as a research Psychologist in academic & research settings in the UK and as a clinical psychologist within multidisciplinary child development & community child psychology teams in the UK National Health Service before moving to Singapore and NUS in 2009. Her research and clinical interests include: mental health and emotional well-being in ASD, with an emphasis on investigating the phenomenology, assessment of and factors associated with anxiety in young people with ASD; screening and diagnosis of ASD in different cultural/ linguistic settings; diagnosis and post-diagnostic support for autistic people identified in adulthood; supporting autistic people in higher education; autistic traits and their relationship with emotional and behavioural problems in non-autistic samples; and adult outcomes in ASD. She is a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (JADD), Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders (RASD) and a Review Editor for Frontiers in Psychology (Special Educational Needs). She is also an ADOS-2 trainer.

Prof. Sally Robinson
Professor of Disability and Community Inclusion
Flinders University

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Sally Robinson is Professor of Disability and Community Inclusion at Flinders University. Her work is focused on opportunities and barriers to flourishing lives for people with disability. Most of Sally’s research is co-produced with people with cognitive disability. She works collaboratively across disciplines, with government and in community organisations to address key social concerns such as safety and abuse, wellbeing, participation, and funding and organisation of community services.

Prof. Cheryl Dissanayake (PhD)


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Professor Dissanayake is the Founding Director and inaugural Chair of Australia’s first research centre dedicated to autism, the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre at La Trobe University, established in 2008. She has been an autism researcher since 1984 when she began her PhD at Monash University. She undertook her postdoctoral training at UCLA, and established and led an active autism research program upon joining La Trobe University in 1996. Her research focus has been on understanding developmental mechanisms in autism particularly in infancy and early childhood, covering the areas of early identification, early intervention, and social-emotional and social-cognitive development. More recently, she has published in the area of adulthood, particularly regarding employment and mental health.

Prof. Dissanayake was instrumental in bringing together Victorian and Australian autism researchers, having co-founded the Autism Victoria Research Group (in 2003), the Australasian Autism Research Alliance (in 2005), the Australasian Autism Research Collaboration (in 2009) and the Australasian Society for Autism Research (2011), a member based society of which she is vice-President. She is a Project Leader in the Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism, and sits on the editorial boards of Autism Research and the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Professor Dissanayake was amongst the first ten scholars to be inaugurated as a Fellow of the International Society of Autism Research in 2018, and was elected vice-President of INSAR in 2019. She also serves on the INSAR Senior Global Leaders Committee and Fellows Committee. 

Dr. Wenn B. Lawson (PhD)
Autistic lecturer
University of Birmingham’s

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Dr. Wenn B. Lawson (PhD), an autistic lecturer, psychologist, researcher, advocate, writer and poet has passionately shared his professional and personal knowledge re: autism, for 25 years. He has written and/or contributed to over 25 books and many papers. He is Senior Adviser, Complex Support with the Complex Needs Team, Disability Policy & Programs, Education Department SA Government, Tutor for the University of Birmingham’s Masters Autism course, participant with the autism Co-operative Research Centre (ACRC), Co-Chair of the Autism Research Council Australia, ambassador for the ‘I CAN’ agency of Australia, and resides on the Editorial Board for the Journal, Autism in Adulthood. Dr. Wenn is a family man with autistic adult offspring and autistic grandchildren. In 2017 he presented to the United Nations on matters of Autism and ageing.  

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Vicki Gibbs
Clinical Psychologist and National Manager

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Vicki is a Clinical Psychologist and National Manager of Aspect Research Centre for Autism Practice (ARCAP). Vicki has presented at numerous national and international conferences, workshops and training seminars and has co-authored a number of published papers into autism assessment. As a former police officer, Vicki has a particular interest in the issues that autistic people face within the criminal justice system. She received the 2019  Autism CRC Award for Achievement in Autism Spectrum Research for her research into autistic people’s interactions with police and the development of  an Australian first online autism training module for police.

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