Andrew Whitecross commenced as acting Director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies on 19 October 2020. Andrew is passionate about bringing insights from research and policy analysis together in well-designed social policy and programs for Australian families.
Andrew has more than three decades of social policy experience gained from various roles within the Department of Social Services (and its predecessors). For four years he oversaw family payments and child support policy, and for five years he led the Department’s research program. He has managed the Social Policy Research Services program collaborating with university research centres and had oversight of two of Australia’s leading longitudinal studies: the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey and Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children.
Andrew has a wealth of knowledge about the impact of the social security system on social and economic outcomes. He has provided strategic advice on key elements of the payments system, relating to payment adequacy and targeting, promoting participation and the interactions with other government policies and programs. He led policy development for the 2008–09 Pension Review and advised the 2015 Reference Group on Welfare Reform.
Andrew was previously responsible for policy issues in relation to the implementation of the NDIS. This included the development of the NDIS provider market, the transition of Commonwealth programs to the NDIS, participant outcomes in relation to early childhood early intervention, psychosocial disability and specialist disability accommodation, and the implementation of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Framework. Andrew led the project to establish the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, and the public consultation process on the establishment of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with a Disability.