Autism Advisory Panel Terms of Reference


The purpose of the Autism Advisory Panel is to provide inputs to the development of a long term Autism strategy that meets the needs of Tasmanians 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. Form a prevalence study to inform future planning for whole of life and development of a research industry.
  3. 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.
  4. Considering the professional development of health personnel, emergency services, education workers and other professionals in relation to autism, including the introduction of a protocol, such as Autism Speaks.
  5. The best means of delivering awareness, education and practical help for families and carers.
  6. 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; and
  7. Any other matters hereto seen as relevant.

Current Membership


Ms Cassie Xintavelonis (Le Fevre) (Psychologist)

Deputy Chair:Mr Terry Burke (Autism Tasmania)


Dr Larry Cashion (Psychologist)

Ms Lisa Risby (Parent with ABA experience)

Ms Bec Wiaczek  (Parent)

Ms Kristen Desmond (Tasmanian Disability Education Reform Lobby)

Mr Terry Burke (Autism Tasmania)

Mr Ian Wright (St Giles)

Ms Sue Ham (National Disability Insurance Agency)

Mr Tim Chugg (Giant Steps)

Ms Rosalie Martin (Speech Pathology Tasmania)

Dr Nadia Ollington (UTAS)

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

Rowena Wilkinson (Early Childhood Intervention Service)

Lynne McDougall (Department of Education)

Claire Bugg, Consumer representative

DHHS Representative (Director Disability and Community Services)

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

Child Health and Parenting Service


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 of Health and Human Services will provide a member to participate as an ex officio member of the Panel.

  1. Secretariat support provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Contact –             Angela Proposch

Telephone: 03 6233 3574


  1. Meeting venue provided by DHHS.
  2. Project/research support (limited) to be confirmed in due course.

The Autism Advisory Panel will:

  • Maintain a record of discussions at any meetings held.
  • 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.