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2017 Autism West Symposium

November 3 @ 8:00 am - November 4 @ 1:00 pm

2017 Autism West Symposium The Big Picture

2017 Autism West Annual Symposium

3 & 4 November 2017
The Big Picture

The must-see event in 2017 for individuals on the autism spectrum and their family members, educators, service providers and researchers.



Early bird discount available until 31 August 2017

Email marketing@autismwest.org.au

Click here to download the event flyer.

Click here to download the draft program.


The Big Picture
Looking at the ‘The Big Picture’, this year’s event looks beyond childhood as those on the autism spectrum move into adulthood, with a focus on individual strengths and challenges, transitioning to independence, meaningful employment and what that can look like.


Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine.”- Alan Turing


Who Is It For?
The Autism West Symposium aims to empower people on the spectrum through showcasing inspirational speakers (some with lived experience), featuring people, organisations and thought leaders doing amazing work in the community.


The Format
Taking place across one and a half days in November 2017, the Autism West Symposium: ‘The Big Picture’, will feature a variety of autism experts from across Australia and internationally, including those with lived experience, employers, clinical practitioners, educators and inspirational speakers. This year we will also feature various employers championing the employment of those with ASD.

The Symposium will include presentations, break-out sessions, a fireside chat, and more, and is aimed at people on the autism spectrum, their families and carers, as well as educators and health professionals.


The Speakers

Graeme Simsion

Graeme Simsion is the author of international bestsellers The Rosie Project, The Rosie Effect and The Best of Adam Sharp. A fourth novel, Two Steps Forward, written with his wife Anne Buist, will be published in October. The Rosie Project introduced the socially-awkward Don Tillman and his adventures in love, marriage and fatherhood. It was ABIA Book of the Year in 2014 and Graeme’s screenplay is in development with Sony Pictures. The book and its sequel have been well received by the autism / Asperger’s community and Graeme has spoken at numerous conferences and support groups.



Kerry Magro

Kerry Magro

Award-winning and breakthrough advocate Kerry Magro knew early on that he wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. Kerry was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) a form of autism, at age 4. Growing up Kerry’s future was very uncertain. Today however, after countless hours of therapy and the support of a loving family, Kerry has conquered many of his challenges. Now as a young adult, Kerry is a international motivational speaker, best-selling author, movie consultant and non-profit founder.



Jeanette Purkis

Jeanette Purkis is an author, public speaker, and autism advocate who has a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome and atypical schizophrenia. She has worked full-time in the Australian Public Service since 2007 and has a master’s degree in fine arts. She is the author of three books on elements of autism and hosts an Internet radio show. She has been facilitating a support group for women on the autism spectrum since 2011. She was named the 2016 ACT Volunteer of the Year and was a finalist in the 2017 ACT Woman of the Year awards.



Carla Burn

Carla Burn is a Network leader and Mentor at the I CAN Network, and is passionate about social activism, wanting society to work harder to be a better place for different individuals to live in. Autism is obviously a personal thing for Carla, and it means that sometimes life can be challenging. But the way she sees it, there are obstacles in everyone’s lives. No challenge automatically equals failure. If you can try, then you can strive to lead a full and effective life. Carla never gives up, and never stops believing that she has the potential to succeed.


Jacquiline den Houting

Jacky is a registered psychologist and determined Autistic advocate with unique experience in her field; she spent 5 years working as a prison psychologist with Queensland Corrective Services, and now holds a position with the Queensland Police Service. After being identified as Autistic at the age of 25, Jacky was introduced to the Autistic community through her participation in the inaugural Future Leaders program at the Asia Pacific Autism Conference in 2013. Jacky is a current member of the executive committee of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network of Australia and New Zealand, an all-Autistic advocacy organisation committed to bringing about systemic change in order to improve the lives of Autistic people.


Barb Cook

Barb Cook

Barb was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome in 2009 and is Founder and Editor in Chief of Spectrum Women Magazine. She is a highly committed Autism/Aspergers advocate, keen motorcyclist and web/graphics guru. Barb has made numerous appearances on Australian television and radio, in national newspapers and magazines, was part of a documentary The Chameleons: Women with Autism, Founder/Director of Bikers for Autism Australia and Co-Founder/Director of the Australian Autism Aspergers Network Inc.
Spectrum Women Magazine


Holly Bridges

Holly Bridges is author of Reframe your thinking around autism and an advocate for a progressive approach to Autism and Asperger Syndrome. She is a keynote speaker, workshop leader and 1:1 therapist. Her mission is to facilitate progress with those on the spectrum to greater and greater levels of resilience and self-mastery. Rather than working from a ‘brain deficit’ model of autism Holly starts from the premise that every student can upgrade their mind / body connection, if they are given the right tools and are treated respectfully, positively, and creatively.


Naomi Ward

Naomi Ward
Naomi is a psychologist at  the Child Wellbeing Centre in Midland. She is also the mother of a child on the autism spectrum. Naomi  has a strong interest in early diagnosis and in working with adolescents on the spectrum. She is also passionate about parent and carer wellbeing.


Jay Hobbs is the Assessment & Support Manager at Specialisterne Australia

Jay Hobbs

Jay Hobbs is the Assessment & Support Manager at Specialisterne Australia which is part of a global movement to enable 1 million careers for people with autism by 2025. He has worked with people with autism and their families for over fifteen years in both Australia and the UK. Jay lead the robotics social clubs research with the Autism CRC, has a Master of Professional Psychology and currently works under the supervision of Dr. Michelle Garnett and Prof. Tony Attwood. Jay has worked on large employment programs with corporate clients such as HP, SAP and SunPork Farms. Jay is passionate about working with people with autism particularly in the areas of psychology, education and employment.


John Schad


Christina Holly
Currently working as a Lecturer at Edith Cowan University across Primary and Secondary Education, Christina has a special interest in diversity in education, assessment and effectively teaching children so they can all access their academic and personal education to achieve to their highest potential.

Having her first daughter diagnosed with ASD has fostered her special interest in supporting educators to successfully cater to the range of complexities of students with ASD, and also to be aware that each child is individual and will need specific interventions to support their individual needs.

Louise Sheehy
Louise Sheehy is a registered high school teacher and has been working with teenagers and adults on the Autism Spectrum since 2011. Louise has worked as an educational disadvantage policy officer in Ireland for a national network and was a founding member and co-ordinator of Galway Autism Partnership, an autism organisation which focuses on person centred social groups for individuals with autism. Louise’s role as Operations Manager at Autism West involves managing service development using a person centred approach for our members focusing on their interests and talents. She is passionate about ensuring that individuals on the autism spectrum are actively involved in planning delivery and development of services.


Matt Schneider

Matthew is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of Optika Solutions since its inception. His energy, vision and capabilities have placed Optika Solutions in the vanguard of organisations that offer strategic consulting, simulation modelling and innovative solutions to companies. Matthew is recognised in Australia as being one of the leading data scientists and strategic thinkers in how organization can gain value from data. Matthew is on the advisory board for Curtin Data Science program, UWA Engineering and Science and Curtin Institute for Computation, and is passionate about how we develop the future generation of data scientists and engineers.


Event Sponsors


Exhibit Sponsors


Sponsorship Opportunities
There are a number of sponsorship opportunities available for the 2017 Autism West Symposium. Please contact Janine Ripper on 0417 91 66 55 or marketing@autismwest.org.au to discuss further.

Click here to download a copy of our 2017 Autism West Symposium Sponsorship Prospectus.

Click here to download a copy of our 2017 Autism West Symposium Exhibitor Package.

The Venue

The 2017 Autism West Symposium will be held at the beautiful Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle, Western Australia.

We have secured limited discounted accommodation at the Esplanade for those wanting to make the most of the event. To book and claim your discounted accommodation please click here.


When: Friday 3 to Saturday 4 November 2017

Where: Esplanade Hotel Marine Terrace & Essex Street Fremantle, Western Australia, 6160


Discounted Accommodation: To book and claim your discounted accommodation please click here.


Want to know more?
Visit Us: 8/62 McCabe St, Mosman Park, WA

Call Us 08 9383 6123

Email us: marketing@autismwest.org.au


Esplanade Hotel
46-54 Marine Terrace
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