Joint Media Release

New support for kids with autism

MC 56/18

Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance and the Public Service
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia

The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health

1 September 2018

Children with autism will be given new hope and support with the establishment of a new clinical research centre for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The Government is providing $600,000 to the Telethon Kids Institute in WA to help set up CliniKids – a state-of-the-art facility that will enable critical research and also improve the patient experience for children with autism, and their families.

One in 150 people has autism, according to Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimates. The condition affects four times as many boys as girls.

There is currently a major ‘translation gap’ between research knowledge of Autism Spectrum Disorder and the implementation of evidence-based clinical practice. CliniKids will help to bridge this gap.

CliniKids will be located at the Telethon Kids Institute’s old premises in the Perth suburb of Subiaco, following the Institute’s relocation to Perth Children’s Hospital. The Government funding will go towards a fitout of the premises to create a suitable environment to undertake research on conditions affecting children.

In the first instance, research will focus on supporting Autism Spectrum Disorder, with the fitout providing a soothing environment for children and their families. Facilities will include an audio-visual system, audiology room, and a creche to provide respite to parents and allow them to focus on their autistic child.

CliniKids will improve children’s lives. Not only will it work to reduce lifelong disability in Autism Spectrum Disorder. It will also develop new research knowledge to improve clinical practice, and train the next generation of clinicians and researchers in new and improved intervention methods for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

This $600,000 investment is further demonstration of the Government’s profound commitment to health and medical research – a key pillar of our long-term national health plan. Health and medical research is today’s investment in the world-class health care of tomorrow – and the Government is providing unprecedented funding in this space. The $20 billion endowment Medical Research Future Fund is funding our new $1.3 billion National Health and Medical Research Industry Growth Plan, which will drive a new era of better health care, foster research translation and entrepreneurship, and fuel jobs and growth in new firms and industries through research.

It is anticipated that CliniKids will be in operation early next year.

[ENDS]

Media Contact(s): 

For Minister Cormann - Karen Wu - 0428 350 139
For Minister Hunt – Ben Wicks - 0422 692 989

Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance and the Public Service, Perth