PROF Keith McVilly

PROF Keith McVilly


  • Disability (inclusion, forensic, behaviour, relationships, employment, housing, NDIS)
  • Education (adult, professional development, ethics)
  • Psychology (clinical, forensic, organisational)
  • Sociology (community services, community development, policy, NDIS)



  • Professor Keith R. McVilly PhD is a Registered Clinical Psychologist and the Foundation Professorial Fellow for Disability & Inclusion, in the School of Social & Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. His work addresses the translation of research into policy and practice, with a focus on promoting the well-being and community inclusion of people with multiple and complex disabling experiences. His work reflects the centrality of relationships to well-being. Much of Keith’s research is conducted in applied settings, working directly with adults with disability, families and services providers. He has a particular interest in the issues effecting people with cognitive impairment who present with severe challenging behaviours, and those involved in the criminal justice system. He also has a strong interest in the professional development of the direct support workforce, including their formation in ethical practice. Informing his research, Keith has worked as a direct support worker, a clinician and service manager, in public health services and in private practice. He has worked as a researcher at the University of Sydney’s Centre for Disability Studies, RMIT University's Discipline of Disability Studies, in the UK at the University of Wales’ Welsh Centre for Learning Disabilities, in the USA at the University of Minnesota’s Research Centre on Community Living, and in the School of Psychology at Deakin University, Melbourne. He was the founding Convenor of the Australian Psychological Society’s Special Interest Group for Psychologists working with People with Intellectual & Developmental Disability, and the academic lead for the University of Melbourne’s university-wide Hall Mark Disability Research Initiative. Keith is on the Executive of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD). In his spare time, Keith is a Registered Apiarist, with four bee hives in the back yard.    


Selected publications


Investigator on


Education and training

  • PhD, University of Sydney 2005
  • M.Psych.(Clinical), University of Tasmania 1998
  • Grad.Dip.Psych, University of Tasmania 1992
  • B.A., University of Tasmania 1991

Awards and honors

  • Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability Distinguished Service Award, 2017
  • Best PhD thesis addressing the psychology of human relationships, Australian Psychological Society, 2005
  • Most innovative contribution by an Australian author to JIDD, promoting positive life changes for people with ID, Australian Society for the Study of Intellectual Disability, 2000


Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • Professor McVilly is interested in working with Research Higher Degree candidates who are seeking to undertake research that will benefit people with disabilities, and which will inform and enhance policy and services for people with disabilities. Keith has a particular interest in working with Research Higher Degree candidates who themselves have the lived experience of disability. Keith's research is generally undertaken in applied settings, working alongside people with disability, their families and service providers. Keith's projects typically involve issues relevant to adults with disability. He uses both quantitative and qualitative methods, and is interested in projects that employ mixed methods.