Spectrum Adventures was created when a few neurodivergent families went camping together. Our children played together, delighting in each other’s company, stimming away at times, vocalising and info dumping whilst enjoying shared interests. We adults were able to relax and just talk, without fear of judgement or the uncertainty that our children wouldn’t be accepted. When meltdowns occurred, we supported each other and when our children experienced something new for the first time, we all cheered. We watched our children’s social skills develop and loved witnessing how they learnt from each other and gained valuable skills in making friends. We formed lasting friendships. This is our wish for you all.
Julia is a Social Worker with a passion for working with families. After graduating from Monash University with a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Social work, Julia began her career in Child Protection, supporting families in crisis. Julia’s calm and considered approach led to her receiving an Excellence in Protecting Children award and she most recently worked as a Senior Child Protection Practitioner before going on maternity leave.
After moving with her young family to Brisbane in 2017, Julia founded the Brisbane’s West Autism/ADHD network, noticing how little community support there was for autistic families in the area. Julia now shares the running of the group with her amazing team (Dee and Jess), organising events, providing resources, support and advice for over 1700 members.
Julia has a neurodiversity affirming approach and brings lived experience to her professional understanding of autism and ADHD. Julia has a lifelong love of learning and has continued her professional development by taking courses on Dr Ross Greene’s Collaborative & Proactive Solutions and Stuart Shanker’s Self Reg in Early Childhood Development. Julia is currently enrolled in a Graduate Diploma of Psychology, through Swinburne University.
Dee is a Learning & Development professional with a background in the world of corporate finance, and community organisations. Dee holds a Bachelor of Business from QUT and a wealth of other qualifications including Diplomas in Accounting, Project Management, Training and Assessment and is presently enrolled in the Graduate Certificate of Autism Studies at University of Wollongong. Dee has worked within Business roles including Small Business Lending and now works within the disability sector, which is close to her heart.
Dee is passionate about helping improve the lives of neurodiverse families, through facilitating social connections at family events, to creating communication tools helpful in navigating the NDIS and school.
Dee has been one of the original admins of the Brisbane West Autism ADHD Network alongside Julia, and now also admins and moderates in other Autistic Qld based networks, delivering peer support and helping other neurodiverse families with information and connection. Dee brings lived experience to Spectrum Adventures as a carer of two neurodiverse children, and identifies as neurodivergent personally.
Together, Dee & Julia were also invited in 2021 to join the Autism Centre of Excellence’s Advisory Group as community representatives, providing the community voice in influencing the direction around research into autism and autism intervention.
Spectrum Adventure’s team of support staff are all dedicated and caring disability support carers, with either a lived experience of autism or a career working with autistic families. Our team were specially chosen for their warm and nurturing approach and their understanding of neurodiversity. All of our carers have a background either in disability support or disability education and have had the necessary checks and training. All of our staff have been fully COVID vaccinated, as in line with current Queensland Health regulations.