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Our team is passionate about working with families to provide them with the best evidence-based approaches in a highly supportive environment, to ensure children reach their full potential. Our team has a wealth of experience in working with children in the early years – particularly children with autism. 

The CliniKids therapy team is made up of qualified health professionals including Speech Pathologists, Psychologists and Occupational Therapists. Our therapy team is supported by a Clinical Services Manager and Family Coordinator. Our Family Coordinator works closely with families to help them navigate funding pathways and provides information to assist them while using our service. 

The CliniKids team works very closely with the internationally-renowned Autism Research Team at Telethon Kids Institute to collaborate on clinical research projects and translate interventions into clinical practice.

Professor Andrew Whitehouse:


Andrew Whitehouse is the Angela Wright Bennett Professor of Autism Research at the Telethon Kids Institute and Professor of Autism Research at The University of Western Australia. He is Chief Research Officer of the Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC) and Adjunct Professor at Curtin University and Edith Cowan University. He has also been awarded Australia’s most prestigious scientific award, the Eureka Prize.

At the Telethon Kids Institute he leads a large team that use a wide range of methodologies to investigate the early identification and intervention of children with Autism Spectrum Conditions, including molecular genetics, neuroscience, endocrinology, behavioural experiments and clinical trials. Andrew has published over 150 peer-reviewed journal articles and attracted over $35 million in competitive research grants. He currently presents an internationally syndicated video series called ’60 Second Science”, which has been viewed by over 1 million people. He is an advisor to State and Commonwealth Governments on policies relating to children with Autism Spectrum Conditions, and he chaired the committee that generated Australia’s first national guideline for autism diagnosis.

Gemma Upson:

General Manager

Gemma is the General Manager of CliniKids, responsible for the strategic creation and development of CliniKids, along with the operational management. Gemma has extensive experience in running clinical services for all ages in private, public and research settings.

Through her previous role as Head of Clinical Services at Ear Science Institute, which she held for 12 years, she specialised in the niche audiology areas of hearing implants (including cochlear implants), vestibular, and paediatric diagnostic services.  Over her tenure this unit was established, developed and expanded to be the third largest hearing implant program in Australia and recognised world-wide for its’ clinical expertise and research into clinical outcomes.

Gemma holds a Bachelor of Science and a Masters in Audiology, both from University of Western Australia. Gemma holds an Adjunct Research Fellow position in the School of Surgery, University of Western Australia and is a member of the National Disability Services’ Clinical and Allied Health Subcommittee. She is passionate about leading and developing high performing teams and systems to deliver exceptional care to children and families in the health and disability industry.

Katia Haines:

Clinical Services Manager 

Katia is the Clinical Services Manager and is responsible for shaping the direction of the clinical services and supporting the highly qualified and experienced team of CliniKids clinicians. Katia combines her almost 20 years’ experience working with children with autism and their families with the most up to date clinical practices to provide high quality interventions that improve quality of life for the whole family system. After identifying a need for a more holistic early intervention process that involves families in planning, implementation and review, Katia completed her Masters/PhD in Clinical Psychology and uses her therapeutic and research skills in her daily practice when working with children and families and when supporting her team.

Katia’s passion for empowering caregivers to support their child’s social, emotional and psychological development ensures that provision of family-focused support remains the focus of the CliniKids mission, and she is proud to be working with a team that share the same vision. 

Erica Fay:

Research Services Manager

Erica is the Research Services Manager of CliniKids, responsible for the operations of the research programs at CliniKids, along with oversight of occupational health and safety and governance processes within the team. Erica has extensive experience in research and higher education management at West Australian and international universities.

Erica holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Western Australia and her career to date had largely been focused within leadership and management in higher education. Erica's keen interest in psychology and research that makes a meaningful impact, led her to join the Autism Research team in 2017. CliniKids is in a particularly exciting phase with the merging of clinical practice and research. As Research Services Manager, Erica particularly enjoys facilitating the development of the resources and people that enable knowledge translation into action.

Kiah Evans:

Post Doctoral Fellow

Kiah is a Post Doctoral Fellow on our research team and also coordinates the Autism CRC project to develop Australia’s first national guideline for autism diagnosis

Prior to this, Kiah was a researcher within the Curtin Autism Research Group, where she was involved in evaluating the Specialist Peer Mentoring Program. Kiah holds an honours degree in occupational therapy (Curtin University), and completed her doctoral research on how working mothers and carers balance their multiple roles (Edith Cowan University). She has over ten years experiencing working as a lecturer, researcher and project manager within an academic setting, along with over five years clinical and managerial experience within the public and private work rehabilitation sector.