Grace Tame, Tim and Judy Sharp to headline neurodivergence conference

Grace Tame, Tim and Judy Sharp to headline neurodivergence conference

Several high-profile autistic and neurodivergent speakers will come together at inaugural event hosted by UOW

Grace Tame, Tim and Judy Sharp, and a list of other high-profile speakers will come together at the University of Wollongong (UOW) in early November for an inaugural conference to raise awareness of neurodivergence, identity and self-determination.

The conference, Neurodivergence, Identity and Self-determination: Enhancing understanding and connections, will take place over the weekend of Saturday 4 November and Sunday 5 November 2023. It is being organised by My Life My Decisions in conjunction with the UOW Autism and Neurodivergent Alliance.

Conference organiser, Associate Professor Amanda Webster from the School of Education, said the event is an opportunity for people to come together to develop shared understandings and build connections with autistic and neurodivergent community members.

“We’ll bring together autistic and neurodivergent individuals, parents, professionals, educators, students and researchers,” Associate Professor Webster said.

“It’s going to be a fantastic opportunity to explore perspectives on the environments, opportunities, actions and connections that foster a lifelong sense of identity, self-determination and belonging.

“We’d love to see as many people as we can register for the conference and we’re seeking like-minded organisations to sponsor the event.

“Sponsorship provides an opportunity for organisations to connect with our unique keynote speakers, neurodivergent and autistic individuals, families, educators and service providers.”

Conference attendees will hear from a range of autistic and neurodivergent individuals, family members and researchers including former Australian of the Year Grace Tame, Yenn Perkins, Dr. Melanie Heyworth, Randa and Richard Habelrih, Tim and Judy Sharp, Associate Professor David Trembath, Dr James Best and Benison O’Reilly.

“We really want to provide a space and opportunity for respectful dialogue in order to develop shared understandings and collaborations to address current issues, barriers and priorities identified by the autistic and neurodivergent community,” Associate Professor Webster said.

“Drawing on lived experience of autistic and neurodivergent individuals and their families will form a centrepoint for presentations and discussions across the two days.

“By also bringing in presenters with experience as professionals and researchers, we aim to map a shared vision that connects rather than divides us.”

Associate Professor Webster is the Academic Program Director for the Autism postgraduate programs. Her research and teaching are focused on creating inclusive learning communities to support the achievement and self-determination of autistic and neurodivergent individuals.

UOW is committed to addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which provide a shared blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for everyone. This conference addresses Sustainable Development Goal 10 to reduce inequality within and among countries.

More information

To register for the conference and purchase tickets visit:

To enquire about sponsorship opportunities please email:

About My Life My Decisions

My Life My Decisions is an association dedicated to supporting autistic and neurodivergent individuals to exercise self-determination throughout their lives.

The association initially formed a community of practice of like-minded individuals including autistic and neurodivergent individuals, parents and service providers who recognised a need to develop environments and supportive structures that would enable autistic and neurodivergent adults and their families to utilise their strengths and passions to self-advocate in order to achieve their goals.

About the UOW Autism and Neurodivergent Alliance

The UOW Autism and Neurodivergent Alliance aims to empower autistic and neurodivergent individuals to achieve their educational and social potential via the integration of contemporary research and teaching about neurodiversity and the co-location of community school services for autistic children. The Alliance enables researchers, practitioners, and autistic and neurodivergent community members and their families to work together to eliminate barriers to learning and flourishing for neurodivergent children and adults.