Dear ASfAR Member,
I would like to take this opportunity of introducing you to the new ASfAR Executive Committee who were appointed at the recent AGM held in conjunction with the ASfAR Conference on 5th December, 2014 in Melbourne . The Committee includes existing and new members and represent a wide range of autism researchers across Australia. They include:
- President, Dr Trevor Clark, Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect)
- Vice-President, Professor Cheryl Dissanayake, OTARC La Trobe University
- Secretary & Treasurer, Associate Professor Mark Stokes, Deakin University
- Professor Sylvia Rodger, Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Autism CRC)
- Professor Andrew Whitehouse, Telethon Institute for Child Health Research
- Professor Jacqueline Roberts, Griffith University
- Dr David Trembath, Griffith University
- Professor Valsamma Eapen, University of NSW
- Associate Professor Peter Enticott, Deakin University
- Clare Holmes, Flinders University (Student Representative)
It is great to have the new team on board to support the very important work of ASfAR in the coming year. Early next year, we will post a profile of each of the new Committee members on the ASfAR website so that you are more aware of the autism research experience and interests of the group.
I would like to acknowledge the work of the previous outgoing Committee members who have helped to grow the ASfAR membership and to advance the cause of autism research in Australasia. I also would like to particularly acknowledge the dedication and support of the previous Chair, Professor Katrina Williams and also Professor Deb Keen who are both stepping down from the Committee due to other commitments.
Importantly, the incoming Committee would like to acknowledge the tremendous work of ASfAR’s Deputy President, Professor Cheryl Dissanayake and her team from OTARC (the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre) who were instrumental in hosting the ASfAR 2014 Conference and making it such a wonderful success. Thank you also goes to the Conference Scientific Committee for ensuring the high standard of presentations included in the program. The Conference was the most successful to date 207 delegates attending, three international keynote speakers, sixty-two oral presentations and 54 poster presentations. We were also delighted that Patricia Howlin was able to join us.
The Conference was for the first time held in conjunction with the new Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Autism CRC) and their first Scholar and Participants Day. Thank you to Sylvia Rodger for organising this collaboration with ASfAR.
On behalf of the ASfAR Executive Committee I would like to thank you those who were able to attend the Conference and your completion of the evaluation survey that will help us plan for the next conference in 2016.
We look forward to your continued support of ASfAR over the coming year and wish you all a relaxing holiday and festive season.