The Board

The Aspergers Victoria Board (formerly Committee of Management) is made up of parents, carers, partners and adults with Aspergers.  We meet monthly to discuss the day-to-day running of our organisation.  Each of us gives voluntarily of our time, energy and skills across a variety of roles and tasks. We are supported by a large number of special volunteers who run support group meetings, write for our newsletter, answer phone and email enquiries, help run events, etc.

Our organisation is only as good as the people involved, and as such, we are always looking for more people to be involved.  We don’t expect you to be an expert in anything to join our Board or be a special volunteer, but if you are willing to commit some of your time on an ongoing basis, there is plenty of variety on offer.

The types of activities/roles carried out by special volunteers include:-

  • Running a support group, or assisting the group leader
  • Writing, editing and proof-reading content for our quarterly newsletter
  • Providing information and peer support via our Information Line
  • Library support - purchasing new resources and keeping an eye on borrowings
  • Research Officer - reviewing requests for participation etc
  • Administration tasks – for example to help post some newsletters.  

We would love to hear from you!  Please contact us to find out more, or to see if you want to be more involved.  Our AGM is held in October each year, on the 2nd Wednesday of the month.

We meet from 7:30-10pm on the second Wednesday of the month, at The Nerve Centre, 54 Railway Rd, Blackburn. Parking is available off Solwood Lane.

Please note special volunteers are not required to attend monthly board meetings. 


2015-16 Board

President - Tamsin Jowett

Tamsin Jowett is a communications professional who has worked internationally with BP in Corporate Affairs (including CSR) and with London brand agency LSW. Tamsin holds a Masters in Marketing from London and is also a qualified lawyer who practiced in Melbourne.


Vice President - Susan Smith

Susan Smith BSc (Neuroanatomy), MBA, GAICD, has significant experience in the aviation industry, most recently with Airservices Australia. This has included the role of Australia’s Chief Air Traffic Controller, responsible for the safety and risk assurance of the national airways. She has experience as a Company Director, Governance Committee Member, Board and Executive advisor, and Federal Government appointed member of international and domestic aviation strategy committees and planning panels. Susan is currently a consultant with the International Institute of Complex Project Management. Susan joined the AV Board in April 2015 to help with policy development.


Secretary - Liz Kirkovski

Liz Kirkovski, BArts, MInfoMgt, currently works in Academic Services at RMIT University and is a mother of a child on the autism spectrum. Liz's experience includes government, governance, policy, project management and information management in the tertiary education sector. Liz's interest lays in vocational education and keeping updated with the latest research in autism. Liz joined the board in 2015 as Secretary.


Treasurer - Emma Howden

Emma Howden has been involved with Aspergers Victoria since 2008. She has been working at National Australia Bank Ltd since 1990, currently in a Senior Business Analyst role on various projects.  Prior roles in NAB included commercial lending (asset finance) for 12 years. She has two children on the Autism Spectrum.


Memberships Officer - Joanne Jennings


Communications Coordinator – Penny Drago

Penny Drago, BSc (Env) (Hons), PhD (Chemistry), Grad Dip Publishing and Editing, joined the board as Communications Coordinator. She has previously worked as a freelance copyeditor for the European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry. Penny has also helped as a volunteer on kindergarten and school committees.


Support Groups Coordinator - Robyn Gild 

Robyn Gild joined the Board in 2012 as the Support Groups Coordinator. Robyn is a mother of four and has a daughter with Aspergers. She currently works part-time as a director in a media production company. Robyn formerly held senior teaching and library management positions in Victorian Catholic schools, and was an advisory teacher in curriculum development for the South Australian Education Department. She has represented parents on school Boards, and served on a number of education committees both as an educator and a parent. Robyn is a current member of the Victorian Institute of Teaching. She has also completed Advanced Intensive Training in Reality Therapy Counselling, with the William Glasser Institute Australia in 2010. 


Help Coordinator - Lisa Macdermott

Lisa Macdermott joined the Board as Help Coordinator in September 2015.  She has been a member of Aspergers Victoria since arriving in Victoria in 2014 from Tasmania. Lisa is a mother of two and has experience with Aspergers both as a parent and as a sibling.

Lisa has significant experience in Information Management and worked in the Tasmanian State Service for many years in a number of roles. She was responsible for compliance regarding the Right to Information Act.  Additionally, she provided information and advice to agency staff and Ministers on Public Interest Disclosure and Personal Information Protection Acts and processes.

Lisa managed the implementation of a State-wide ICT Service Centre servicing over 10,000 clients across the state for TAS DHHS. Lisa has a Bachelor of Applied Computing and ITIL V3 certification. She was a founding member of the Tasmanian branch of the itSMF the premier representative body for IT Service Management in Australia.


Events Coordinator - Deborah Ingles

Deborah Ingles is a single parent of four now adult children, her eldest daughter with Aspergers.  Deborah is a ‘Jill of All Trades’ drawing many years of experience from working in fields such as PA in the Legal, Accounting, & Entertainment Industries, Stage & Events as a performer & costume coordinator, RTO Instructor plus working in the area of adults & children with special needs in the education & employment sectors.  Deborah has her own business as a Costume Designer working in public/private schools & independent productions and is also a qualified Chef (specialising in Patisserie) working in restaurants, bistros & events.  Her spare time in the past has been volunteering with school committees, dancing schools, scouting, special needs acting groups & performances as support person (performing herself).   Deborah is also the group leader for the Parents & Carers for Young Adults Support Group and a Helpline Volunteer.


Fundraising Coordinator - Lisa Petersen

Lisa Petersen, (B.A. Grad Cert Applied Finance and Investment) is the mother of two boys with Aspergers Syndrome and coordinates the Aspergers Victoria Northern Parent Support Group and also the Hearts In Mind Project (programs to enhance the well being of parents and carers) which operate from the Reservoir Neighbourhood House.  Lisa formerly worked in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at both Tepco, Japan and Mitsui & Co. Australia and graduated from the Committee for Melbourne Future Focus Group Business Leadership Program prior to having children.  


Policy Development Officer - Bar Gal-On


Technology Coordinator - Kevin Kennedy

Kevin Kennedy (B.Eng Communications & Computing, Grad Dip. Technology Management) is the father of three children including one boy with Aspergers Syndrome. He has held senior executive roles in various networking and communications organisations including, AAPT, Motorola and Telstra. He is responsible for the technology and communications platforms that support Aspergers Victoria.




DISCLAIMER: The information presented on this website is for information only. The content of the site is not intended to substitute for informed professional advice and services. You should consult a qualified medical or educational professional for assistance with Aspergers Syndrome or Autism related issues.