CLO, JP - Founder & Chief executive Officer
Certificate IV Frontline Management, Adjunct Fellow Faculty of Health Sciences at University of Western Sydney, Board Member with Catholic Cemeteries Trust. Grace has worked in many diverse fields including Pharmacy, Office Administration and Accounts receivable for various organisations. Her passion for Autism was ignited when searching for services for her two boys who both regressed with Autism and Global Developmental Delay.
Grace is responsible for the day to day running of AASS and overseeing all aspects of the organisation.
Chief Financial Officer
Stephanie has worked as a Chartered Accountant in public practice for 16 years. She believes that good accounting practices producing reliable and timely financial reports is integral to a successful business. She thrives on working with people in an organisation to help them achieve this in the most efficient and effective way possible. Stephanie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and has completed a Bachelor of Business majoring in Accounting. She has worked in public practice, specialising in business services, taxation, consulting and audit of small to medium businesses. She has also worked in various commercial accounting roles which has served to round out her experience in a very practical way. Stephanie has worked with a wide variety of businesses including manufacturing, wholesale, retail services and for the past four years has worked in the not-for-profit sector. She specialises in problem solving and assisting in the development of systems that will ensure the integrity of financial information. Stephanie pursues all her interests with energy, passion and a positive attitude. She is particularly passionate about the not-for-profit sector and how she can utilise her skills to assist organisations to be successful, well managed and self- sustaining.
Shannon is responsible for the implementation, organisation and management of the programs at AASS.
Shannon’s previous experience working in Early Intervention and the Not for Profit sectors has given her the valuable tools to effectively connect with children, families and staff.
Through her leadership skills she is able to manage a large team of professionals to provide quality service delivery.
Her passion for helping children and families with Autism is evident when you meet her. She also has a son with a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome. Her focus on making a difference on a daily basis is a driving force. Shannon has the ability to add humour with her bubbly personality, compassion and understating. These are the great qualities she brings to her role within AASS.
John works with our clients in Liverpool and the Northern Beaches to improve their speech, language and social skills. He is a graduate of the University of Sydney's Masters Program in Speech Language Pathology and is certified to teach the Hanen More Than Words program. John has experience working with clients of a wide range of ages and recognises that every person requires a unique approach. He uses evidence based techniques to identify and work on skills that help them reach their speech and language goals. Additionally, he is able to help people to become comfortable using augmentative and alternative communication technologies in therapy and - more importantly - their everyday life. Furthermore, John has helped clients in overcoming voice and motor speech disorders.
John is passionate about advocating for his clients across settings and working with their families, caregivers and workmates. In particular he has found value in working in the environments where his clients live, work and play in order to promote the generalisation of skills learned in therapy. Most importantly, John recognises that we all come to the table with different sets of skills and experiences. He seeks to work with the strengths of his clients and their support team in order to maximise the quality of their lives.
Pamela Fisher is a Registered Music Therapist and has worked in the disability sector in various capacities for over 15 years. Pamela began her career as a singer, performing throughout Sydney, Australia and Asia. Combining her passion for singing and working with people with a disability, Music Therapy seemed to be the most logical step for furthering her studies.
During Pamela’s 12 years as a music therapist, she has worked with a range of populations from diverse backgrounds both here in Australia and in Singapore. Working with individuals with autism has always been a highlight within Pamela’s work due to the heightened interest and sense of musicality that individuals with autism often demonstrate.
Pamela is currently studying a Masters degree in Autism Studies through Griffith University in order to better understand her clients’ needs and deliver the best evidence-based practice in her day-to-day work.
Thanh is a Speech Pathologist who has a passion for working with children with additional needs and their families. Acknowledging every client as an individual, she seeks to build upon their strengths to increase therapy outcomes. She strongly believes in a collaborative person-centered approach to therapy.
Thanh holds Certified Practising Speech Pathologist status and comes from a background working for non-government organisations in the disability sector. She has experience in providing services for diverse caseloads in various settings. These include: community based projects e.g. Babytime, group based therapy, individual therapy and school outreach programs. Thanh is a passionate and lively therapist who thrives on supporting others and hopes to continue to make a difference in the lives of her clients and in the community.
Support Group Worker
Lina coordinates the support groups for AASS consisting of the Arabic Support Group and the Carers Support Groups. Lina also provides ongoing support group coordination and facilitation to schools within the area. Through her role, Lina is able to provide families with the vital support and education they require.
Lina also provides support in our Early Years Therapy Playgroup offering families with a CALD background, whose access to services may be limited, the opportunity to be included and supported. Lina's ability to interpret Arabic and French provides another dimension.
Her compassion and empathy in dealing with families and children with Autism is apparent when you meet her. Her own personal experiences having a child with a diagnosis of Autism plays a big role in her being able to assist, advise and support families
Erica graduated from the University of Western Sydney in 2007 with a Bachelor of Applied Science Occupational Therapy. Erica has worked with children with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disorders, disabilities and delays for a period of 9 years in a range of settings including individual, group, school and preschool based interventions.
Erica has presented on the topics of ‘Sensory processing vs. behaviour’, ‘The complexities of handwriting and the skills involved’, ‘Toilet training a child with Autism Spectrum disorder’, and ‘School readiness’ at Disability Expos, School open days and information nights, health professional networking days and teacher professional development days. Erica has experience using a range of intervention programs including The Alert Program for Self-Regulation and DIR Floor time.
Erica is also an accredited acrobatic gymnastics coach and is passionate about a sport that allows children to develop motor skills at the same time as providing an outlet for sensory exploration and development. Erica has commenced a Masters of Inclusive Education in order to further her skills and she continues to take part in professional development activities.
Sara holds a bachelor degree in Psychology (Honours) and a Masters of Clinical Psychology degree from Western Sydney University.
Prior to joining Autism Advisory and Support Services, Sara gained experience in the field of clinical psychology, conducting psychological and psychometric assessments as well as providing psychological intervention to individuals with social, emotional, and behavioural difficulties in both group and individual formats.
Sara has also trained and worked as an ABA therapist and has over four years’ experience working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families.
Family Support Coordinator
Myrna has worked with children and families for over 20 years in various early childhood settings including preschool, long day care, and out of school hours care as a teacher, Authorised Supervisor and Team Leader. She briefly worked for an Inclusion Support Agency as an ISF and provided support to children's services staff within Inner West Sydney. Myrna's interest in autism began when she taught a young child with autism in the mid 90's. She managed a multidisciplinary early intervention service in Inner West Sydney and was a Team Leader for a Transdisciplinary behaviour specialist non government organisation. She worked closely with families, established school support programs and facilitated workshops including behaviour support, social skills and parent training. Myrna has a degree in Early Childhood Education, a Masters degree in Special Education, an Associate Diploma in Social Science and is an Enrolled Nurse. Myrna has also completed training in Secret Agent Society (SAS) Social Skills Program and is a facilitator, Positive Behaviour Support (PBS), Social Communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional Support (SCERTS Model), Introductory Training to DIR®/Floortime™ Model, Developmental Assessment and Introduction to The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), Evidence-based Practice in Early Childhood, Results Based Accountability (RBA), Prolquo2go and Proloqu4Text and other autism related training. Myrna is also an active advocate in the area of autism.
Lisa is the smiley face who greets you when you visit AASS House and the voice on the other end of phone when you call. She is able to help you with your enquiries and point you in the right direction. She is also here to help with all your AASS Sensory Toy Store needs.
Lisa has worked in Child and Family Services with Mission Australia for over 12 years and has found her new home with AASS. She is passionate about supporting families and their children and is always available to lend a listening ear.
Steve Kenny graduated from Sydney University in 1992 as a Physiotherapist and has many years experience as a private practitioner. In 2005 Steve completed a Masters Degree in Behavioural Science at Sydney University and since then has expanded his work to include consulting with families and schools who are looking for assistance with behaviour change. Steve prefers a holistic approach to behaviour change and considers family systems and other environmental factors when developing plans for change.
Steve’s area of special interest is Autism, especially to up-skill children who are struggling with relationships. He uses cognitive therapy to teach the myriad of social thinking skills that underpin relationships and behaviour therapy for practical development of social skills. Improving gross motor skills and coordination can improve children access to social situations and Steve is able to assess and treat children who have difficulty in this area.
Steve is available for appointments in the following areas, Social skill coaching including Cognitive and Behavioural Therapy, Behaviour modification, Home and school consultations, Gross motor skill physiotherapy and Musculoskeletal physiotherapy.
Matthew is a Registered Music Therapist with the Australian Music Therapy Association. He is also a qualified music teacher, performing pianist, organist, and music examiner. As a Music Therapist, he has been working with people with autism over the past 5 years and has a special interest in this population.
Matthew is currently conducting research at Western Sydney University, developing interventions using the Figurenotes music notation system to enable children with autism to develop their musical skills and learn to play an instrument. Figurenotes is a concrete, matching notation system which uses colours and shapes to enable children to “play what they see”, making it easier than standard musical notation. The colours and shapes of Figurenotes also allow creation of enjoyable musical games to assist engagement.
He is excited to have the opportunity to offer Music Therapy with Figurenotes to clients through AASS.
Young Adult Social Group Coordinator
Racha is a registered Occupational Therapist and a member of Occupational Therapy Australia. She holds a Bachelors Degree of Applied Science ( Occupational Therapy) and a Masters degree in Public Health.
Racha has over five years of experience working with children with Autism, developmental delay and disability. Her experience has centred around working with families to support children up to school age with their learning, social skills, gross and fine motor skills as well as sensory processing. Racha focuses on providing a fun, friendly and supportive play environment that children can enjoy and flourish in.
Racha has worked in both the private and public sector and has a passion for community based work. She is fluent in both English and Arabic . Racha is committed to ongoing skills and knowledge development in order to provide a valuable and professional service to children and their families.
The Autism Advisory and Support Service (AASS) provides a range of services to support, advocate, help educate and guide families who have a family member with Autism as well as the greater community. Currently operating on donations and CDSE grants, AASS have proudly accomplished the opening of an Autism Community House in Liverpool, a 24 Hour Autism Hotline, Support Groups, Social Groups, Parent Workshops and lots more ...