A unique autism research centre based at Griffith University’s Mt Gravatt campus aims to provide world-class research into a disorder that affects thousands of Australians.

The first of its kind in Australia, the Autism Centre of Excellence (ACE) is a partnership between Griffith University and industry partners including AEIOU Foundation and the State and Federal Governments.

Griffith Chair in Autism, Professor Jacqueline Roberts said more than 350 Queensland children were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) each year.

“ASDs are lifelong conditions that affect every part of a person’s life from how they play and work to how they learn and interact with people,” Professor Roberts said.

“ACE brings together researchers, educators and professionals to help address key issues facing those with ASDs and families.

“The main focus of the centre will be the transition of learners with ASDs across the lifespan, from home into schooling through to further education and employment.”

The centre will prepare the next generation of educators and enhance the skills of current educators and professionals.

Key research includes transitions for learners with ASDs, social learning and relationships, and cross-cultural and Indigenous perceptions and experiences.

As well as research, the centre includes the development of undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

“Our vision is to bridge gaps in the knowledge bases of ASDs and raise greater awareness of the importance of an education-centric focus for ASDs research and practice,” Professor Roberts said.

The Autism Centre of Excellence will be launched at the Stamford Plaza on Wednesday, May 9 at 6.30pm.