Trevor Parmenter

Trevor Parmenter

From 1997 until his retirement on 4 December, 2009, Professor Emeritus Trevor R. Parmenter held the Foundation Chair of Developmental Disability in the Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney. He is Honorary Professor in the Faculties of Education and Social Work and Health Sciences at the University of Sydney; and Adjunct Professor in the School of Rural Medicine, University of New England. He held the conjoint position of the Director of the Centre for Disability Studies at the Royal Rehabilitation Centre Sydney.  Former positions include Professorial Fellow and Director of the Unit for Community Integration Studies at Macquarie University; prior to which he held teaching and administrative positions in the New South Wales Department of Education and Training.

He is a Past President of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD) and former ex-officio member of the Board of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disability (AAIDD). He has worked closely with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

In 2005 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his contributions to research, teaching and services to people with developmental disabilities. In 2010 The Senate of the University of Sydney conferred on him the title of Professor Emeritus in recognition of his distinguished research and teaching career.

He has published widely on disability issues including employment, supported living, classification of support needs, behaviour support, mental and physical health, quality of life, autism, family studies, ageing, policy development and program evaluation.



Research (Last 5 years)
  1. A Longitudinal Study of Psychopathology in People with Intellectual Disability, NHMRC Project Grant, (with B. Tonge, Einfeld), 2006-10. $940,500


  1. Development of Models of Succession Planning for Parents of Persons with a Disability, ARC Linkage Grant, (with M. Donelly, M. Knox, R. Stancliffe), 2007-10. $440,000


  1. Grant to Support NSW Developmental Disability Health Unit, NSW Department of Health, 2008-11. $570,000


  1. Development of Support Needs Instrument, Victorian Department of Human Services, 2009-10. $630,000


  1. Development and Delivery of Disability Staff Training Programs, Australia-Malaysia Institute, 2009-10. $10,000


  1. Supporting Ageing-in-Place for people with and into disability: An exploration of rural and metropolitan perspectives (with M.Knox, M. Janicki and R. Hussain) Illawarra Retirement Trust Research Foundation. 2013-14. $50,000.


  1. “It’s Different in the Country” Supporting Ageing-in-Place for people with developmental disability: An exploration of rural and metropolitan perspectives (with R. Hussain, S. Wark, M. Janicki, P.O’Brien. M. Knox, C. Leggat-Cook) National Disability Research and Program Development Grant. $46,000.


  1. Keeping my place in the community: achieving successful ageing-in-place for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.(with R.Hussain,M. Janicki, M. Knox, N. Hayhoe, P. Armour, C. Leggat-Cook, M.Kingstone) ARC Linkage grant LP 130100168. $ 344,500.

Book Chapters (Last 5 years)

  1. Wiese, M.Y. & Parmenter, T.R. (2009). The evolution of person-centred planning in supporting people with a developmental disability. In Moore (Ed.), Case management for community practice.  Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 203-225.
  2. Parmenter, T. R. (2011). Promoting training and employment for people with intellectual disabilities: International experiences. Working Paper #103. Geneva: International Labour Organisation.
  3. Parmenter, T.R. (2011).The study of intellectual disability. In H.S. Reinders (Ed.) Authenticity and community. Antwerp-Apeldoorn: Garant. 11-31.
  4. Parmenter, T.R (2014). Inclusion and quality of life: Are we there yet?  In R.I Brown & R. M. Faragher (Eds.) Quality of life and intellectual disability. Knowledge application to other social and educational challenges. pp 299-318. New York: Nova Science

Journal Articles (Last 5 years)

  1. Carter, M., Evans, D. Parmenter,T.R., Williams, K., Silove, N., Roberts, J., & Clark, T. (2011).Interventions used with an Australian Sample of Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5, 1033-1041.
  2. Gray, K.M., Einfeld, S.L., Tonge, B.J., Parmenter, T., & Taffe, J. (2010). Young people with intellectual disability and mental health needs: Longitudinal change in symptoms. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 23(5), 421. (abstract)
  3. Gray, K.M., Piccinin, A.M., Hofer, S.M., Mackinnon, A., Bontempo, D.E., Einfeld, S.L., Parmenter, T., & Tonge, B.J (2011).  The longitudinal relationship between behavior and emotional disturbance in young people with intellectual disability and maternal mental health.  Research in Developmental Disabilities, 32, 1194-1204
  4. Parmenter, T. R. (2011). What is Intellectual Disability: How is it Assessed and Classified? International Journal of Disability Development and Education. 58, 303-319.
  5. Roberts, J., Williams, K., Carter, M., Evans, D., Parmenter, T., Silov, N., Clark, T., & Warren, A. (2011). A randomised controlled trial of two early intervention programs for young children with autism: Centre-based with parent program and home based. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders , 5 , 1553–1566.
  6. Parmenter, T. R. (2011). The essential Sternberg. Essays on intelligence, psychology and education. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 8, 218-219
  7. Wilson, N. J., Parmenter, T. R., Stancliffe, R. J., & Shuttleworth, R. P. (2011). Conditionally Sexual: men and teenage boys with moderate to profound intellectual disability. Sexuality and Disability. 29(3), 275-289.
  8. Wilson, N. J., Shuttleworth, R. P., Stancliffe, R. J., & Parmenter, T. R. (2012). Masculinity theory in applied research with men and boys with intellectual disabilities. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. 50, (3) 261-272. doi:10.1352/1934-9556-50.3.261
  9. Parmenter, T. R. (2012). A Westerner’s impression of the place of people with disability in Asian society. International Journal of Inclusive Education. 1-8 doi: 10.1080/13603116.2012.693394
  10. Chan, J., Arnold, S., Webber, L., Riches, V., Parmenter, T., & Stancliffe, R. (2012). Is it time to drop the term “challenging behaviour”? Learning Disability Practice, 15 (5), 36-38.
  11. Chan, J., Merriman, B., Parmenter, T., & Stancliffe, R. (2012). Rethinking respite policy for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities. 9 (2), 120-126.
  12. Parmenter, T. R. (2012). Review of: Cognitive disability and its challenge to moral philosophy. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability. 37 (3) 274- 276. doi: 10.3109/13668250.2012.707383
  13. Hillman, A. Donelly, M., Whitaker, L., Dew, A., Stancliffe, R.J., Knox, M., Shelley, K., &. Parmenter, T.R. (2012). Experiencing rights within positive, person-centred support networks of people with intellectual disability in Australia. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 56(11), 1065-1075. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2788.2012.01647.x
  14. Arciuli, J., Villar, G., Colmar, S., Evans, D., Einfeld, S., & Parmenter, T. (2013). Home-based reading between mothers and their children with autism spectrum disorders. Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties, 1-17 | DOI: 10.1080/19404158.2012.747186
  15. Wilson, N. J., Parmenter, T. R., Stancliffe, R. J., & Shuttleworth, R. P. (2013). From diminished men to conditionally masculine: toward a salutogenic construct of masculinity for men and boys with an intellectual disability. Culture Health and Sexuality. (2011 I/F: 1.553). DOI:10.1080/13691058.2013.780262
  16. Foley KR, Jacoby P, Girdler S, Bourke J, Pikora T, Lennox N, Einfeld S, Llewellyn G, Parmenter T, Leonard H. (2013). Functioning and post-school transition outcomes for young people with Down syndrome. Child Care Health and Development 01/2013;
  17. Hillman, A. Donelly, M., Dew, A., Stancliffe, R.J., Whitaker, L., Knox, M., Shelley, K., &. Parmenter, T.R. (2013). The dynamics of support over time in the intentional support networks of nine people with intellectual disability. Disability and Society, 28(7), 922-936. DOI:10.1080/09687599.2012.741515
  18. Gray, K., Piccinin, A., Keating, C., Taffe, J., Parmenter, T.,Hofer, S., Einfeld, S. (2013). Outcomes in young adulthood: Are we achieving community participation and inclusion? Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, DOI: 10.111/jir.12069
  19. Gilroy, J., Donelly, M., Colmar, S., & Parmenter, T. (2013). Conceptual framework for policy and research with Indigenous people with disabilities. Australian Aboriginal Studies, 2, 42-58.
  20. Foley, K. R., Girdler, S.,  Downs, S.,  Jacoby, P., Bourke, J.,  Lennox, N., Einfeld, S.,  Llewellyn, G.,  Parmenter, T. R., &   Leonard, H. (2014).Relationship between family quality of life and day occupations of young people with Down syndrome.Social Psychiatry (Soc Psychiatr Psychiatr Epidemiol)Publisher: Springer Verlag ISSN: 1433-9285 Social Psychiatry 01/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00127-013-0812-x
  21. Strnadova, I., Cumming T. M., Knox, M., Parmenter, T., and Welcome to Our Class Research Group (2014). Building an inclusive research team: The importance of team building and skills training. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 27, 13–22
  22. Wark, S., Hussain, R., & Parmenter, T. (2014). Down syndrome and dementia: Is depression a confounder for accurate diagnosis and treatment? Journal of Intellectual Disability, 1-10. DOI:10.1177/1744629514552152.
  23. Parmenter, T.R. (2014). Inclusion and quality of life: Are we there yet? International Journal of Public Health, 6, (4), 413-428. Durvasula, S., Mason, R.S., Kok, C., Macara, M., Parmenter, T. R., & Cameron, I.D. (2015).  Outdoor areas of Australian residential aged care facilities do not facilitate appropriate sun exposure. Australian Health Review,

Conference Papers (Last 5  years)

  1. Williams, K., Carter, M., Clark, T., Evans, D., Parmenter, T., Silove, N., & Roberts, J. (2012). Predictors of outcomes of preschool aged children enrolled in an early intervention trial. Paper presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, 17-19th May, Toronto, Canada.
  2. Hussain,R., Parmenter, T.R., Janicki, M., P. O’Brien, Knox, M., Wark, S., Cannon, M., Leggatt-Cook, C., Parmenter, M., & Edwards, M. (2013). “It’s different in the country”. Supporting ageing-in place for people with intellectual disability. Presentation to IASSIDD Asia-Pacific Regional Conference, 22-24 August, Tokyo, Japan.
  3. Parmenter, T. R., Hussain, R., Janicki, M., Knox, M., Wark, S., Cannon, M., Edwards, M., & Parmenter, M. (2013). Theories of ageing: Do people with life-long cognitive impairments fit in? Presentation to Australian Social Policy Conference, 16-18 September, University of NSW, Sydney.
  4. Cannon, M., Hussain, R., Parmenter, T. R., Janicki, M., Knox, M., Wark, S., Leggatt-Cook, C., Edwards, M., & Parmenter, M. (2013). Enablers and impediments to successful ageing in-place. Presentation to 48th Annual ASID Conference, 6-8 November, Sydney.
  5. Parmenter, T. R. (2013). Beyond introspection and navel gazing: Challenges for the study of intellectual disability. Keynote paper presented to 48th Annual ASID Conference, 6-8 November, Sydney.
  6. Parmenter, T. (2015). The good life: ageing and people with intellectual disabilities. Keynote paper presented to 10th European Conference of Mental Health in Intellectual Disability, 9-11 September, Florence.
  7. Parmenter, T. R. (2015). Quality of life and support services: are they compatible? Keynote paper presented to 10th National Conference On the Quality of Life For People with Disabilities, Università Cattolica di Milano, 7-8 September, Milan.


  1. University of Sydney Medical Program (1997-2009)
  • Participation in lectures on developmental disability in Stage 1
  • Tutoring in PBLs at Northern Clinical School, Stage 2
  • Leading Task Force on the Development of Curriculum Objectives relevant to developmental disability following the Curriculum Review.


  1. Social Services Training Institute, Singapore (2003-2016)
  • Diploma in Disability Studies
  • Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
  • Positive Behaviour Support for People with Severe Behavioural and Emotional Disorders


  1. Postgraduate (1997-2016)
  • Supervision of PhD and Masters by research students in the Sydney School of Medicine,

Faculties of Health Sciences and Education and Social Work, Macquarie University School of Education and University of New England



  1. Postgraduate Studies in Developmental Disability (2003-2009)
  • A Master of Health Science (Developmental Disability) and Graduate Certificate in Health Science (Developmental Disability) were launched in 2003 as a joint initiative between the Centre for Developmental Disability Studies and the Faculty of Health Sciences. This program has met the long term need for postgraduate training for key support workers in the field of developmental disabilities.  I have taught the compulsory introductory unit since the program’s inception.


  1. PhD Theses Examinations (1997-2016)
  • Theses of students from the following Universities have been examined:

University Of Queensland, Monash University, Latrobe University, RMIT University, Deakin University, University of Western Australia, Flinders University, University of Newcastle, Griffith University, Queensland University of Technology, University of Western Sydney, Lancaster University, University of Tasmania, Australian Catholic University, University of Melbourne.