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School of Education and Professional Studies

Professional Learning Hub



The Autism Centre of Excellence has a collaborative holistic focus which includes working with people with autism and their families and developing networks and partnerships with service providers, and a range of state and federal government departments and bodies. Our  teaching and research is informed by a strengths-based respectful approach focused on building capacity and recognising and developing the many abilities of people with autism and their potential to contribute to society

Professor Jacqueline Roberts is the Chair of Autism in the Autism Centre of Excellence (ACE) at Griffith University. Jacqui’s background in autism stretches back over 30 years and includes experience as a teacher in both mainstream and special education, speech pathologist, principal, senior manager and academic. 

Professor Jacqueline Roberts

School of Education and Professional Studies

Chair, Autism Centre of Excellence

Fields of Expertise

  • Autism Inclusion into Mainstream Education
  • Communication and Autism
  • Early Intervention for Children with Autism
  • Echolalia
  • Education and Autism
  • Evidence Supported Interventions for people with Autism

Speeches, Seminars and Presentations

Jacqui was the national speaker for Speech Pathology Australia and presented a 2 day workshop on Autism, assessment and intervention for speech pathologists acoss all Australian states and territories. Jacqui has also presented a series of workshops on autism in New Zealand and is a highly sought after speaker.

Industry Experience

Prior to her appointment at Griffith University, Jacqui worked as a consultant and held several fractional research appointments at different universities teaching autism studies and leading/managing research projects including a fractional appointment as Associate Professor at the University of Canberra responsible for content in the Australian Autism Education and Training Consortium (AAETC) Positive Partnerships program. The Consortium provided professional development for teachers and school leaders and for parents and carers of children with autism across Australia as part of the Federal Government Helping Children with Autism package (2008 – 2015).

Jacqui is a director of the Australian Advisory Board on Autism Spectrum Disorders providing input to the board on a national autism research agenda, and served on the DEEWR Students with Disability in Schools Advisory Council from 2010 - 2013. In 2013 Jacqui received the Asia Pacific Autism Conference (APAC) award for outstanding service to the autism community.

In 2003, 2006, 2011, and 2012 Jacqui and colleagues have provided reviews of research into interventions for children with autism and good practice guidelines for state and federal government departments. Jacqui is currently working with Professor Katrina Williams to review and update guidelines for good practice in autism early intervention for the newly launched Australian National Disability Insurance scheme (NDIS).


Research Expertise

In her current position, Jacqui is responsible for developing the research agenda focusing on research that will enhance outcomes for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. ACE is building a strong research profile enhanced through collaborative links with other schools within the university, speech pathology in particular and participation as an essential partner in the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders, granted $31.4 million in Federal funding in February 2013. A core focus for ACE research is improving outcomes for students with autism in schools. The ACE also offers an extensive multidisciplinary postgraduate study program in Autism comprising a graduate certificate, masters and doctoral program in autism studies. Jacqui’s research projects include a trajectory study into understanding the relationship between  a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) characteristics, subtypes of ASD, experiences of intervention and school support with development and behavioural trajectories.

  • · (2018). An exploration of autism-specific and non-autism-specific measures of anxiety symptomatology in school-aged autistic children. Clinical Psychologist, 1–12.
  • · (2018). Exploring anxiety symptomatology in school-aged autistic children using an autism-specific assessment. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 50, 73–82.
  • · (2018). Current status, opportunities, challenges and the paediatricians role as the National Disability Insurance Scheme rolls out across Australia. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 54, 7–10.
  • · (2018). Protocol for a prospective longitudinal study investigating the participation and educational trajectories of Australian students with autism. BMJ Open, 8, e017082–1–e017082–10.
  • · (2018). Telehealth and autism: A systematic search and review of the literature. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 20(3), 324–336.

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