The board of directors guides Amaze’s strategic direction, offering their valuable professional and personal experience to support and drive our work in shaping a better future for autistic people and their supporters.
A higher education consultant and experienced university leader, Professor Warren Bebbington AM is a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne and Professor Emeritus at the University of Adelaide, where he was Vice Chancellor for 5 years. He was Patron of Autism SA until 2017, and an experienced Chair and Director of Boards in professional education and the not-for-profit sector.
Deputy Chair and member of the Finance Audit and Risk Committee, Michel brings 18 years’ experience as an investment banker in Australia and the US. He is currently Managing Director of Flagstaff Partners, practising in the area of mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance. Michel has extensive experience in other not-for-profit, currently serving as Chair of University of Queensland Alumni Council in Victoria. Michel has a son on the autism spectrum.
Robert is a CPA Accountant with experience working in large ASX listed organisations as well as in senior leadership roles for Charities such as Royal Flying Doctor Service, Wallara and Guide Dogs Victoria. Robert is a graduate of the AICD Company Directors course and has many years of experience as a Company Secretary. Robert has a close connection with autism including a number of family members who are on the autism spectrum.
Jason’s a neuroscientist, innovation manager, business leader and company director. He is experienced in corporate governance, mental health, digital health, strategy, government relations, scientific research, innovation, finance and risk management. Jason has autistic children and is passionate about combining his experience as a company director with his personal experiences with ASD in order to catalyse better outcomes for all those in the autism community.
Peter Heard’s qualifications are in Arts and he has had a career in senior leadership roles in corporate governance and risk management within the Victorian public service, including the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (Amaze’s insurance is provided by this organisation), Department of Premier and Cabinet and the Victorian Electoral Commission. These roles have included responsibility for project management and governance and reporting and has significant experience in, and understanding of, the machinery of government.
Peter held a non-executive Director, Secretary and Committee member roles at Autism Victoria in 2008-2010 and was Secretary on the Autistic Family Support Association (AFSA) from 2004-2007.
Peter has extensive lived experience of autism as the father of three autistic children (now adults), one with very high needs. In addition, he has first-hand experience of other disabilities including acquired brain injury and downs syndrome.
Rachel is an autistic woman and has two autistic sons. Rachel has a Bachelor of Science, and has worked as an Accredited Practising Dietitian and in administration roles. She has been a member of the Amaze Board since 2016.
Rachel has blogged extensively about autism and social justice at www.endautismstigma.wordpress.com. She has also undertaken reviews of contemporary studies and literature on the lived experiences of autistic people to further her understanding of both the scientific and personal perspectives of autism.
Rachel is currently on the Governance Project Team at Autism CRC. This world-first training program aims to increase the engagement of autistic adults in corporate governance.
Nicole is a Professor of Clinical Psychology at Deakin University, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Melbourne Children’s Clinic, Honorary Research Fellow at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, and Adjunct Professor of Clinical Psychology at Monash University. Her work has been published over 120 papers and book chapters on the topic of developmental disorders, and Nicole has received more than $6 million in research funding over the last 10 years.
Nicole recently established a national partnership with the AFL to conduct the ‘biggest game changer for children with disability’ in Australia in sports to date: the establishment of the ALLPLAY.org.au website. Together with her team, she will make a contribution to the AFL Disability Action plan to ensure that all children with disability are ‘playing on an even’ ground.
Check Tan’s qualifications include Engineering, Quality Management and an MBA. His career has been in quality management and has worked in this field as Operations Manager in large and small organisations including start-ups. He has no board experience, but has served on school council as Treasurer.
Check and his son Jonathon (a young autistic adult with an intellectual disability) are well known to Amaze, having participated in several Spectrospective films and Jonathon undertaking media interviews for Amaze. Check and Jonathon also fundraise for Amaze, most recently raising $2,000 for Amaze through the Melbourne Marathon.
Check has also mentored some young autistic people as a basketball coach in Doncaster All Abilities Basketball and is active on social media in advocating for autistic people.