Congratulations to Professor Margot Prior AO

We are delighted to announce that long-time member of the School, Professor Margot Prior, has just won the Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR).

This prestigious annual award acknowledges an individual in any discipline who has made significant fundamental contributions with lasting impact to research on autism spectrum disorders. The award recognises Margot's prolific and highly influential contributions to the study of autism, which address its linguistic, neuropsychological, cognitive and motor dimensions, as well as the development of effective interventions. We congratulate Margot on this outstanding achievement.

Citation: Margot Prior, PhD, AO 

Professor Margot Prior has made fundamental and lasting contributions to the study of autism in addition to her highly distinguished contributions to the field of child psychology more broadly, and the application of developmental science to clinical practice and social policy. Her first degree (Bachelor of Music, 1958; University of Melbourne) led to her career as a concert musician of over 20 years. She returned to study Psychology, completing her PhD (1975) at Monash University where she focused her research on autism.

Her body of work includes major studies and influential reviews on the symptomatic, neuropsychological, and epidemiological dimensions of autism spectrum disorders. It is unusually wide-ranging, addressing the roles of language, memory, social cognition, intellectual abilities, motor functions and sleep, as well as effective interventions. Margot has remained heavily involved in the autism field, serving as Patron of Autism Victoria (now Amaze) and inaugural Chair of the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre at La Trobe University.

Margot was Australia’s first female Professor of Clinical Psychology, and developed an international reputation as a leading researcher in child development at La Trobe University. She left to serve as Inaugural Director of Psychology at the Royal Children’s Hospital, where she led numerous significant clinical, research and policy initiatives. Generating well over 200 scientific publications, Margot has also been a prominent public voice for child welfare, peace and social justice. She has been recognized with an Order of Australia (2004) and awarded a Doctor of Science honoris causa (University of Melbourne, 2016).