Neurodiversity Symposium Speakers

22nd November 2019, Fishburners, Level 2/11 York St, Sydney NSW 2000

Judy Singer 1000

Judy Singer


Judy Singer identifies as being “in the middle of 3 generations of women somewhere on the autistic spectrum”. Her 1998 Honours Thesis from the University of Technology Sydney was the pioneering sociological study of this, at that time, new kind of disability. In her thesis, Judy argued that autism was not a new medical condition, but a “socially constructed” disability which emerged due to social changes in the post-modern era. She was credited with coining the term “neurodiversity” to call for a new liberation movement for people who were neurologically atypical. Judy was the founder, via the Internet, of the world’s first support group for people raised by autistic parents. She was Secretary of Sydney’s Inner West Autism and Asperger’s Support Group for several years, and co-founded ASteen, a Sydney-wide social club for teenagers with autism, which is now affiliated with Aspect.

Yenn Purkis 1000

Yenn Purkis


Yenn Purkis is an author, presenter, autism advocate and community leader. Yenn is the author of six published books on elements of autism and has contributed to a large number of journals, books and websites. Yenn is a presenter and facilitator and regularly gives keynote presentations including at the 2013 TEDx Canberra conference. Yenn is a member of a number of committees and reference groups and is has a number of awards for leadership in the community, including the 2016 ACT Volunteer of the Year.

Jay Hobbs 1000A

Jay Hobbs

Director of Thriving Now

Psychologist Jay (Jamon) Hobbs is the Director and the driving force behind Thriving Now. Jay’s extensive experience in consulting and working with corporate clients and government departments, assisted in his development of unique neurodiversity employment programs in a variety of industries. He consults with executives regarding effective management of neurodiverse staff and delivers training and consultancy within the workplace. Jay has a Master of Professional Psychology and worked with neurodiverse adults and adolescents in Australia and the UK for the last 17 years. Jay’s work is informed by evidence-based practice with the advantage of being neurodiverse himself.

Will Wheeler

The Dyslexic Evolution

Will is the Managing Director of based in Australia.

He is passionate about helping dyslexic people find their full potential in their careers/businesses, while helping them grow into outstanding leaders who will inspire and help others on to greatness.

Will is proud to say that he is dyslexic and knows what true potential people with dyslexia bring to the world. That’s why he works closely with people with different learning styles and helps them to learn the leadership skills to achieve great things in life and their careers.

Rachel Worsley

Writer/Inclusion Advocate 

Rachel Worsley is a creative entrepreneur, inclusion advocate and freelance writer.  Her current business ventures include content marketing agency Neurodiversity Media and typewriter poetry business typepolar. She also assists the Thriving Now team as a Business Development Manager. She is passionate about business and self-employment opportunities for those who identify as neurodivergent, such as ADHD, dyslexia and autism. Rachel was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 25 and has a strong personal interest in researching the underdiagnosis of ADHD among girls and women.

Rachel previously worked as a medical journalist and was shortlisted for a major publishing award for her reporting on legal and health issues facing the medical profession. She has also spent time in law firms as a marketer. She graduated with a law degree with first class honours from the University of Technology, Sydney. With her business ventures, Rachel hopes to create a world that respects the value of neurodiversity.

Barb Cook

Spectrum Women 

Formally identified on the autism spectrum along with ADHD and phonological dyslexia at age 40, Barb is editor and co-author of the internationally acclaimed book Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism, and editor in chief of Spectrum Women Magazine.

Barb holds a Master of Autism (Education) and is a research assistant and tutor at the University of Wollongong. She is an internationally recognised speaker and writer and was awarded a Special Commendation in the 2017 Autism Queensland Creative Futures Awards by the Queensland Governor.

Barb recently keynoted for the special event “A Woman’s Voice: Understanding Autistic Needs” for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIHM) in Washington DC, USA.