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Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability

Distinguished Service Citations

2017:  Professor Keith McVilly

C:\fakepath\keith mcvilly headshot

Keith has been a member of ASID for many, many years and was a long-serving member of the ASID Board. He held a number of positions but especially the role of secretary and was the ‘go to’ person for all things relating to the history of ASID and ASID’s constitution and by-laws - as they were then.  In 2003 Keith produced the book “Positive Behaviour Support for People with Intellectual Disability: Evidence-based practice promoting quality of life” and ASID has sold it on its website as one of its publications ever since. In 2005-6 he embarked on an exhaustive exercise and after canvassing people with intellectual disabilities throughout Australia and New Zealand, produced the 2007 Australasian Code of Ethics for Direct Support Professionals. This is now available free of charge on the ASID website.  The Code of Ethics was a forerunner of ASID’s position papers.

Keith has published widely in the intellectual disability field and has addressed issues such as social inclusion, least restrictive practices, community living, challenging behaviour and quality of life.

Professionally, Keith is a Registered Clinical Psychologist and the Foundation Professorial Fellow for Disability & Social Inclusion, in the School of Social & Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. His work addresses the translation of research into policy and practice, with a focus on promoting the well-being and community inclusion of people with multiple and complex disabling experiences.

His work reflects the centrality of relationships to wellbeing. Much of Keith’s research is conducted in applied settings, working directly with people with disability, families and services providers. He has a particular interest in the issues affecting people with cognitive impairment who present with severe challenging behaviours, and those involved in the criminal justice system. He also has a strong interest in the professional development of the direct support workforce, including their formation in ethical practice. Informing his research, Keith has worked as a direct support worker, a clinician and service manager, in public health services and in private practice.

He was the founding Convenor of the Australian Psychological Society’s Special Interest Group for Psychologists working with People with Intellectual & Developmental Disability.

Keith is on the Executive of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD). In his current university role, Keith is the academic lead for the University of Melbourne’s university-wide Hall Mark Disability Research Initiative. (Ref: University of Melbourne website)

ASID is grateful to Keith for his contribution to the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and to ASID.


  • 2008: Roger Stancliffe 
  • 2003: Karen Nankervis (Vic) & Bill Taylor (Vic) 
  • 2002: Tim Griffin
  • 2001: Eddie Bartnik & Stephen Trumble (Vic)
  • 1996/97: Greg Lewis
  • 1996: Helen Beange (NSW)
  • 1994: Meryl Caldwell-Smith (NSW) Adrian Ashman (QLD) Judith Dey, Verne Caradus and Audrey Greenberg
  • 1993: Moira Petersie, John LeBreton, Lorna Sherlock, Cliff Judge (Vic)
  • 1992: Inaugural award -Trevor Parmenter (NSW)