Skip to Content

Autism Public Workshop and Lecture

CCD Public Workshop - What is Autism?

5th December 2012, 2.00 pm - 6.00 pm


Autism is defined in terms of social and communication difficulties that co-occur with repetitive behaviour and restricted interests. However, these formal definitions fail to do justice to the huge variation that exists within autism, the many other challenges that autistic people face, or the skills they often possess.

In this free public workshop, researchers looking at different aspects of autism will present their own perspectives on the question, "What is autism?" We will also hear a first-hand perspective from a young man with autism. The workshop will conclude with an open forum discussing forthcoming changes to the definition and diagnosis of autism.

Speakers will include

  • Associate Professor Cheryl Dissanayake, La Trobe University
  • Thomas Kuzma
  • Dr Elizabeth Pellicano, Institute of Education, The University of London
  • Professor Nicole Rinehart, Monash University
  • Dr Giacomo Vivanti, LaTrobe University
  • Associate Professor Andrew Whitehouse, Telethon Institute for Child Health Research

Faculty of Human Sciences Public Lecture - Searching for autism in the social brain

5th December 2012, 6.00 pm - 8.00 pm
Professor Kevin Pelphrey, Yale University

As humans, we are constantly engaging in acts of social perception, using cues from facial expressions, gaze shifts, and body movements to infer the intentions of others and plan our own actions accordingly. In this lecture, Professor Kevin Pelphrey will describe his laboratory's research using functional neuroimaging to identify the brain mechanisms for social perception in typically developing children and adults. He will then describe their recent efforts to chart the development of these social brain mechanisms in children with autism, as well as their unaffected siblings.

Speaker Profile

Professor Kevin Pelphrey is Harris Professor in the Yale Child Study Center, Professor of Psychology, and Director of the Child Neuroscience Laboratory at Yale University.  He has received a John Merck Scholars Award for his work on the biology of developmental disorders, and the American Psychological Association's Boyd McCandless Award for theoretical contributions to developmental psychology. He is also father of two young children with autism.

Details for the CCD Public Workshop and Public Lecture


Theatre 1, Building Y3A, Macquarie University.


Registrationshave now closed.


Although we would recommend taking public transport to the conference, limited parking is available in car parks X3 and W4. If you require parking, please note this when completing your registration, and you will be sent a "Special Event Parking Permit" which you will need to display on your dashboard.

Public Transport Links


Robin Blumfield
Tel: +61 2 9850 4127

Local Organising Committee

  • Robin Blumfield
  • Jon Brock
  • Alexandra Woolgar
  • Nathan Caruana
  • Shu Yau
  • Neha Khetrapal
  • Rachel Grove

ASfAR (The Australasian Society for Autism Research) Conference


The Inaugural ASfAR Conference will be held at Macquarie University, Sydney, 6th - 7th December 2012. The conference will be free to all ASfAR members (see Membership page for details of joining ASfAR).


Jon Brock
Tel: +61 2 9850 6869


Further Information

Contact Details

Telephone: +61 2 9850 4127
Email :
Web :

Sign up to receive CCD event and research announcements

Macquarie Univeristy Logo University of Western Australia Logo The University of Sydney Logo

University of New South Wales Logo University of New England logo