The purpose of the Autism Advisory Panel is to provide inputs to the development of a long term inclusive Autism strategy that meets the needs of Tasmanian's across their lifespan.

Role and Function

  1. Examining and recommending best practice early intervention models that support children with autism, their families and carers, including the practicalities of access to the new web-based rethink autism program to ensure maximum use by parents, guardians, teachers, teacher assistants, child care organisations and others who support the child.
  2. Assessing the viability and benefits of clinics that assess, and treat, autism and the many co-morbidities of autism and working closely with established services such as epilepsy support services.
  3. Considering the professional development of health personnel, emergency services, education workers and other professionals in relation to how to best interaction with people living with autism and how to provide for inclusive support services for this population, including the introduction of a protocol, such as Autism Speaks.
  4. The best means of delivering awareness, education and practical help for families and carers.
  5. Seeking input from relevant organisations, professionals, families and carers caring for people with autism (and individuals with autism themselves) in addressing the terms of reference.
  6. To develop a whole of government autism strategy for Tasmanian’s living with Autism Spectrum Disorder from birth and throughout adulthood. This strategy will identify gaps, service system issues and recommendations to the Minister for future service delivery models whilst describing the interface with the National Disability Insurance Scheme in the transition to full scheme in Tasmania.
  7. To provide a final report to the Minister for Human Services outlining the above.
  8. Any other matters hereto seen as relevant.

Current Membership


Ms Cassie Xintavelonis (Le Fevre) (Psychologist)

Deputy Chair:Mr Terry Burke (Autism Tasmania)


Ms Lisa Risby (Parent with ABA experience)

Ms Bec Wiaczek  (Parent)

Mr Ian Wright (St Giles)

Ms Coral Cole (National Disability Insurance Agency)

Mr Tim Chugg (Giant Steps)

Ms Rosalie Martin (Speech Pathology Tasmania)

Ms Lyndsay Quarmby (Rural Clinical School - UTAS)

Kathryn Fordyce (Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre, NW Tas)

Rowena Wilkinson (Early Childhood Intervention Service)

Lynne McDougall (Department of Education)

Geraldine Robertson (Autistic Advocate)

Paul Potter (Consumer Representative)

Ms Ingrid Ganley (Director Disability and Community Services)

Paediatrician representative - to be confirmed

Parent representative with current involvement with early childhood intervention services - to be confirmed

In addition, the current panel may also consider the following organisational representation:

  • Child Health and Parenting Service
  • Paediatrician
  • Medicare Local
  • Autism CRC
  • Occupational Therapist (St Giles)
  • National Disability Insurance Agency National Expert

Representation from the above may be considered by the panel as a "critical friend" to the panel on specific matters of importance.

In exceptional circumstances, a proxy may be nominated to represent an entity or an individual on an ad hoc basis.  If this situation arises, the person requesting the proxy needs to provide a written request to the Chair at least 48 hours prior to the following Panel meeting for their endorsement, outlining the reason for nominating the proxy, and their perspective on what skills and experience the proxy could bring to the meeting on a one off basis.

Member Roles

The Autism Advisory Panel will consist of a Chairperson (appointed by the Minister for Human Services) and other permanent members. Expertise may be called upon to join the panel on a permanent or irregular basis as need arises and with agreement from the current membership. The Department will provide a member to participate as an ex officio member of the Panel.

Secretariat support provided by the Department. Contact – Dianna King Telephone: 6166 3663 - email - dianna.king@communities.tas.gov.au

Meeting venue provided by the Department.

Project/research support up to two days per week as required.

The Autism Advisory Panel will:

  • Maintain a record of discussions at any meetings held.
  • Develop a communique outlining broad key messages at the end of each meeting and load onto the public website.
  • Report to the Minister on new information and issues discovered relevant to the development of the long term Autism strategy for Tasmania.
  • Provide a short report at the conclusion of the final meeting for the Minister's information that addresses the key issues in the Terms of Reference suitable for public release.
  • Communication to the Minister for Human Services in regard to the outcomes and outputs of the Autism Advisory Panel work will be conducted via the Secretariat.
  • Public communication in regard to the outcomes and outputs of the Autism Advisory Panel work should be communicated via the Chair, with the express consent of the Minister for Human Services.
  • Member may appoint a proxy to attend Autism Advisory Panel meetings with the consent of the chair.

Meeting Times

In recognition of the volunteer nature of the Autism Advisory Panel it is anticipated that the Panel will need to meet as required to sufficiently address the Terms of Reference.

The Panel should operate for as long as required to address the work before it. It is expected that this would be for at least one year. At that point, it would be expected that the Panel would hand down a report with a series of recommendations that may or may not recommend a continued role for such a leadership group into the future.

The Panel will continue to meet on a bi-monthly basis.