Who Are We?
Members of My Life My Decisions Inc. comprise of people from all over Australia who share a genuine interest in enabling autistic and neurodivergent individuals to exercise agency in their lives. With this aim, our executive committee comprises of autistic and neurodivergent individuals. parents & professionals who share a passion for enacting inclusive environments where all have a voice and valued contributions.
President - Dr Amanda Webster
Amanda Webster is an educator and researcher who is the current director of the Master of Autism program at the University of Wollongong. She has worked for over 30 years with autistic and neurodivergent individuals and their families in school, community, home and workplace settings and is committed to the creation of supportive environments and cultures that empower and provide the opportunities they need to achieve their goals.
Amanda is a researcher with the Australian Autism CRC and is leading an initiative at UOW to engage with autistic community & members to co-produce research that is meaningful and makes a lasting positive impact for autistic and neurodivergent individuals and their families.
Vice President - Barb Cook
Barb is Developmental Educator, Deputy Chair of the Developmental Educators Australia Incorporated and an Autism and Neurodiversity Employment Consultant and Life Coach for neurodivergent adults (ADHD, autism and dyslexia).
Barb holds a Master of Autism (education) degree with focus on employment from the University of Wollongong, where she is also a researcher and co-project lead in the area of self-determination and self-advocacy for adults on the autism spectrum. Barb has extensive experience in working with people on the autism spectrum, ADHD and dyslexia, especially with adults in creating pathways in attaining life goals in the areas of self-determination and self-advocacy, education, employment, health and interpersonal relationships.
Barb identifies as neurodivergent, being diagnosed mid-life with autism, ADHD and dyslexia in 2009, and promotes a strength-based and person-centred approach in her life and work.
Barb is Director and Founder of a company providing a variety of neurodiversity specific educational and training programs for neurodivergent individuals, workplace staff, management and businesses. Barb is founder of Spectrum Women Magazine and editor and co-author of the internationally acclaimed book, Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism. Barb is a prolific writer on neurodivergence and employment and is published in academic research.
Barb is a passionate motorcyclist, and enjoys riding the love of her life, Ron Strom Burgundy, a Suzuki VStrom DL1000, who assists her with good self-care and an effective anxiety reducing and depression busting practice.
Secretary - Carina Beattie
Carina has worked in Early Childhood and education sector for 15 years, working with children ages 0-12yrs. Throughout that time she has developed a passion for working with children and their families, who have a diagnosis of autism.
She also has personal experience, being a mum of children who are autistic and neurodivergent. Carina holds a Master of autism from University of Wollongong.
Carina believes that it is important to adopt a holistic and person-centered approach in the work that she does, focusing on the individuals strengths, while also developing strategies that can assist them in their daily life.
Carina works in collaboration with other allied health professionals as well as in partnership with the client, their families and their support network.
Treasurer - TBC
Resource Development Officer - Tyler Price
Tyler works as a disability support worker by day nd Autistic gamer by night and in his free time he work on community projects in his local area including hosting a social group for kids with disabilities using their favourite card games as a base to develop social skills.
Tyler identifies as having severe anxiety, depression, IBS, autism/Asperger's and what ever the next doctor decides.
Despite having a fear of failure, it hasn't stopped him from attempting to do what ever is needed to succeed. Sometimes when things get tough, He does as much as he can and hope its enough. He live by 2 motto's, hope for the best and prepare for the worst and "at least I tried".
He loves working with children and hopes to get his dream job of being teacher's aide one day. P.S. the most stressful and challenging thing to do this week was write this blurb and have his photo taken.
Publicity Officer - Nichole Conolly
Nichole is a Queensland based Teacher Aide, Carer, Tutor, Circus Performer & Instructor and Writer. She brings a vast amount of lived experience to the team as an autistic woman, Master of Autism student at the University of Wollongong and public speaker.
Nichole's experience in publicity includes running the social media platforms for various organisation and establishing a media presence in the community. She is passionate about assisting autistic individuals to transition through the various aspects of their lives.
Copyright 2021 My Life My Decisions Inc. ABN 19 397 693