Autism Queensland values the contributions made by all people and believes this diversity strengthens its mission and governance.
The Autism Queensland Advisory Committee has been established to ensure we are aware of the issues that are important to autistic Queenslanders and their families.
This committee provides independent, impartial advice to our Board of Directors, Executive Leadership Team, Senior Management and Professional Excellent Panel Team about our organisational strategies and services.
Damien is a parent who can speak to the day-to-day joys, wonders and challenges of raising a child on the spectrum. In addition to bringing empathy and life experience to the table, Damien’s business acumen allows him to understand the realities of service provision, as well as policy and guidelines. Damien is an advocate for being inclusive of diversity.
Julie is the parent of a teenage, autistic, transgender daughter who was non-verbal until he was 8 years old and has now achieved her goals in high school. She would like to support other families in receiving the supports they need. Julie and her family live in rural Queensland. She is passionate about contributing to improving access to supports and services for people on the autism spectrum and their families in rural communities.
Ashley has a diagnosis of autism and ADHD. Originally from the UK, Ashley migrated to Australia 13 years ago, and here has worked in Aged Care, as a NDIS support worker and is currently in the final year of a Bachelor of Nursing degree at UniSQ, Toowoomba. He is the eldest of six siblings, three of whom are autistic, and father to three girls, one also with a diagnosis of autism and ADHD. Ashley is an advocate for anyone with a disability and believes inclusion can be gained with better knowledge and understanding of each other’s needs.
Emma is a dedicated PhD candidate and research assistant at Griffith University. She holds a Bachelor of Psychology with Honours and brings a unique perspective to her research. As the parent of an autistic son with complex communication needs, Emma has firsthand experience in navigating the challenges and understanding the needs of autistic individuals. Her research focuses on the identification and diagnosis of depression in autistic adults, driven by her personal journey and the desire to improve mental health outcomes within the autistic community.
Gilly is a late diagnosed autistic woman and parent of an autistic child. She is currently completing a PhD through the University of Tasmania researching the organised physical activity experiences of autistic youth and their families. Prior to undertaking her PhD, Gilly also completed a Bachelor degree in Speech and Language Therapy and Master degrees in Disability Studies and Family Studies.
Amanda is a late diagnosed, proud AuDHD woman. She is a wife, mum of two girls, and passionate about helping other mums navigate and embrace the ups and downs of motherhood on the spectrum. An early childhood educator, she also runs a neurodivergent mother’s social group in Mackay and runs @audhd.mum on Instagram where she posts about life as a neurodivergent mum. Amanda embraces what she calls her “sparkly brain”, and loves to help other mums seek diagnosis, absolutely win at parenting and fully embrace their sparkly brain too!
Dr Alexis Wallace
Alexis is a lawyer, mental health advocate, university teacher and writer. She is also a carer with lived experience. Alexis grew up in regional Queensland and now lives on the Gold Coast. She believes in representing and assisting all Queenslanders regardless of their geographical location.
Dr Rachelle Wicks
Rachelle is an early career autistic autism researcher. She is a research fellow at Griffith University’s Autism Centre of Excellence and Menzies Health Institute and has contributed to projects commissioned by the Autism CRC, including current work updating the National Guidelines for the Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism in Australia and the National Guideline for Supporting Autistic Children and their Families. Rachelle received her autism diagnosis at 40 and brings her lived experience as a late diagnosed woman to the advisory committee, as well as knowledge and understanding of diversity within the autism community. This includes the varied perspectives and needs of individuals within the autistic and autism communities gained through her research and work with autistic children, their parents/caregivers, early intervention centre staff, teachers, other researchers in the autism field during her PhD, and subsequent work in her research fellow roles.