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About us

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Advisory Committee

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 people on the autism spectrum and their families in Queensland.

This committee provides independent, impartial advice to our Board of Directors, Executive Leadership Team, Senior Management and Professional Practice Team about our organisational strategies and services.

Damien Cassin

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 Currie

Julie is the parent of a teenage boy on the autism spectrum who was non-verbal until he was 8 years old and has now achieved his 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.

Daniel Ferreira-Loureiro

Daniel is an Autistic young man who strongly believes in systemic advocacy for Autism and research that focuses on unique intersectional autistic perspectives, to ensure systems and services harness the potential and quality of life of Autistic people across the spectrum. He is politically active and passionate about politics as he sees it as an embodiment of empowerment, identity, and representation in society. He contributed to the Federal Senate Select Committee on Autism and is studying a Bachelor of Government and International Relations Majoring in Public Policy at Griffith University. Daniel is eager to use his knowledge and skills to play an effective role in advocacy and change.

Laura Lewis

Laura received late diagnoses of autism and ADHD and she is also the parent of an autistic young man. She is an experienced advocate and was pivotal in seeing the formation of the Parliamentary Friends of Autism Group. She has experience with peer to peer mentoring and is particularly interested in coexisting mental illness and employment of autistic people, as well as empowering youth to speak up and be heard. Laura is passionate and enthusiastic about equity, diversity and inclusion in workplaces and communities.

Gilly-Elle McKeown

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.

Alexis Wallace Advisory Committee
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.

Rachelle Wicks

Rachelle is a PhD Candidate from the School of Allied Health Sciences at Griffith University. She has a Bachelor of Psychological Science with Honours and a background in early childhood education. Her research focuses on emergent literacy for children diagnosed with autism. Rachelle received her autism diagnosis at age 40 and brings her lived experience as a late diagnosed woman to the advisory committee, as well as knowledge and understanding of the diversity within the autism community. This includes the varied perspectives and needs of individuals within the autism community gained through her work with children on the spectrum, parents, early intervention centre staff, teachers, and other researchers in the autism field during her PhD.