Professor Nankervis combines her health clinician background with her work as an academic, researcher, and policy leader. She has a clinical background and training in disability and mental health.
From 2009 to 2019 Professor Nankervis held a joint Professorial Chair between the University of Queensland and the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services, as the Executive Director of the Centre of Excellence for Clinical Innovation and Behaviour Support (formerly the Centre of Excellence for Behaviour Support). In this role Professor Nankervis led research, teaching and policy responses to people with complex disability support needs.
The Centre of Excellence was established as a joint initiative between the Queensland Government and the University of Queensland to improve the lives of Queenslanders with severely challenging behaviour. It was founded in direct response to recommendations contained in the Hon WJ Carter’s 2006 report, Challenging Behaviours and Disability: A Targeted Response, which called for cross sectoral practice improvements in positive behaviour supports.
As the Executive Director of the Centre of Excellence, Professor Nankervis has led research and practice improvement in positive behaviour supports, reductions in the use of restrictive practices, clinical innovation and governance, forensic disability, and supports for people with high and complex disability support needs, staff and families.
Professor Nankervis was also responsible for overseeing and implementing the legislative provisions for the authorisation and monitoring of the use of restrictive practices under the provisions of the Disability Services Act (Qld), 2006). She also has extensive experience in policy development in this area as well as cross-sector collaborations to support the implementation of positive behaviour supports and reductions in the use of restrictive practices outside of the disability sector.
Professor Nankervis has also been the President of the Australasian Society for the Study of Intellectual Disability, and Executive member of the Mental Health and Challenging Behaviour Special Interest Research Group of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability (IASSIDD).