Loren Swancutt – Keynote Speaker

Loren is Head of Special Education Services at a state high school in Queensland. Her role involves the leadership and management of inclusive education experiences for all students and the facilitation of inclusive interactions with families and the broader community. Loren has a Bachelor of Education (Primary and Special Education) and a Masters in Inclusive Education and is the appointed National Convenor of the school inclusion network for educators which operates under All Means All – the Australian Alliance for Inclusive Education.

Presentation topics:

Session 1: Planning for whole school Systemic change: Inclusive Education – From theory to practice Session 2: How to develop a meaningful ILP and differentiate in the classroom

John Armstrong

John Armstrong has been involved with people and families of people with a disability for over 40 years. He has worked as a trainer and consultant across many settings with individuals, families and agencies throughout Australia and New Zealand affording him a large scope of experience and learning. John has also been a Senior Social Role Valorisation Trainer and has been extensively involved with Citizen Advocacy as an advocate and board member.

Presentation Topic: How to craft a Valued Role

Lisa Bridle

Lisa Bridle is a social worker with a background in community development. Since 2011, she has worked at Community Resource Unit in family leadership development. Her work focuses on helping families to have a positive vision of an inclusive life and developing the skills they need to pursue that vision both as an individual family and as part of collective efforts for change.

Lisa is mother of 3. Since Sean was born, she has been developing her own skills as an advocate through supporting Sean͛s school inclusion and as an active member of family advocacy organisations.

Lisa is passionate about working with others towards communities which routinely include and value the contributions of people with disability. She also has a long-term interest in the bioethical issues impacting on people with disability and her PhD research examined the ethical issues raised by prenatal diagnosis of disability.

Presentation Topic: The importance of Roles and relationships

Sean Fisher

Sean Fisher attended his neighbourhood primary school in the inner southside of Brisbane and graduated 4 years ago from St Laurence͛s College, a large Catholic boys͛ school. Since then, he has been a valued member of the Operations Team at Multicultural Development Australia (MDA) and 12 months ago acquired a second part-time job at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Since leaving school, Sean has studied at TAFE and the University of QLD, and become a Leader within his Church Youth Group. Sean enjoys an enviable social life, with a wide circle of friends from school, work and his many community involvements and always has his eye on the next social engagement! Outside work, he enjoys swimming, boxing, gym, Frisbee and camping. He is a keen traveller and is looking forward to visiting his sister in the UK later this year before moving into his own unit.

Presentation Topic: The importance of roles and relationships

John Nash

John is Department Chair and Associate Professor of Educational Leadership Studies at the University of Kentucky, as well as Director of the Laboratory on Design Thinking in Education, and Founder of the OpenEye Group, a design thinking firm supporting schools and communities.

John is a specialist in the application of human centred design in education. He teaches a range of courses on design thinking, school technology leadership, and school reform. His current research agenda focuses on the methods to design and prototype innovations in education. He has held faculty positions at Iowa State University and the University of Texas at El Paso.

As a social research scientist at Stanford University, Nash held associate directorship positions in two laboratories: the Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning (SCIL), and the Stanford Learning Laboratory, where he managed interdisciplinary and international teams of research scientists examining the effects of innovative technologies on learning.

Presentation Topic: Design Thinking, parent engagement and positive student profiles

Jodie Reid

Jodie is a passionate and enthusiastic parent who loves talking about inclusive education with anyone who wants to listen (and occasionally with some who don͛t!). She and her husband have two children, 11 and 18. Their daughter attended her local preschool, primary and high schools and is now in Year 12 at college.

Jodie loves living in an area with a real sense of community and where the neighbours all know each other. She believes that everybody has their thing a talent, a passion, a skill –of value to contribute to those around them. In her professional life Jodie has worked in a range of government policy and program areas. She enjoys working collaboratively, and looking for simple, creative solutions to complex problems – just because no one has done it that way before doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

Presentation Topic: Tips and strategies for inclusive education from preschool to college

Justine Hall

Justine Hall will share a family perspective on taking the steps needed to get off the fence. As the parent of 3 children with a disability, Justine found that attending workshops on Social Role Valorisation had a huge impact on her thinking and she now uses these principles to guide her children’s lives and activities. It has changed the direction of her eldest son’s life, with him moving out of a day program to having a valued role as an employee for several companies and studying music at TAFE. As a result he now has a flourishing network of friends and supports.

Justine and her family also self-direct her son’s NDIS package which enables them to influence and shape richer and inclusive outcomes for the future.

Presentation Topic: Getting off the fence and getting a real life

Marc & Anthea Lema

Marc and Anthea Lema are the parents of seven children, including Cameron, who has an intellectual disability. Both have a wealth of experience in assisting people with disabilities, their families and supporters in planning, implementing and maintaining community based supports and services. They are sought after advocates and regularly speak on issues related to self employment and people with disabilities.

Marc and Anthea will share their story about the reasons a small business enterprise was created for Cameron. The presentation will include information on creating a circle of support, why self directed supports are important, how to achieve supports with limited resources and how they created a community living arrangement for their son. Cameron͛s business, aptly named CAM CAN Services, is a small business enterprise that provides a personal waiting service for busy people who can͛t afford the time to wait for deliveries, installations and tradesmen.

The business also offers a suite of small jobs that can be done while waiting, all for a reasonable cost. CAM CAN Services is a viable business that provides Cameron with a meaningful occupation and numerous other benefits.

Presentation Topic: The skill of waiting turned into a successful business idea

Ayesha Inoon

Ayesha is a Writer and Editor, passionate about Inclusive Education for all children. Her own journey began when her daughter was diagnosed with ASD at the age of 3. Having started out in a segregated setting, moving on to a mainstream classroom that did not practise inclusion, and now to a school where she is fully included, Ayesha has seen the effect of the different settings on her daughter, and how inclusion can make all the difference. She will share her journey as a parent advocate achieving inclusive education for her daughter.

Presentation Topic: Surviving the tough times and staying true to the vision of inclusion

Claudine Jamieson

Claudine is the mother of Eva, who is in her late 30s.

Eva has very high support needs, does not speak to communicate and needs support to use her wheelchair to get around. She loves the outdoors, friends, plenty of banter and is a volunteer reading mentor at the local school.

Apart from helping Eva find her place in the community, Claudine coordinates her exercise program to improve stamina, mobility and communication.

Eva is becoming independent of Claudine while still living in the family home. This turns out to be a practical, safe, effective and non-disruptive (or less traumatic?) way to approach autonomous supported living.

Greg Mahony

Greg is the father of Sam and Ingrid and husband of Anne. Before becoming an academic economist Greg worked in steel mills, as a driver, furniture removalist, harvesting grapes and in a restaurant. His son, Sam, a keen gardener, church member and theatre-goer, who happens to have autism, started working in a valued role when he was in Year 11. Now 18, Sam has just recently graduated from College and started a second job. Sam’s family and friends are now focused on job discovery and mainstream employment for Sam as part of his independent living; for the `good life’.

Ingrid Mahony

Ingrid is Sam’s sister. She is a university student, a volunteer, and has worked in a variety of retail and hospitality positions. Ingrid has always wanted these same opportunities and experiences to be available to, and offered to, her brother. She is involved in Sam’s discovery for employment process because she can’t beat the feeling of hearing him talk about a good day at work.

Jackie and Hannah Hayes

Jackie and her daughter Hannah will share their story about how they have built an inclusive life for Hannah including in school and out of school activities and relationships. Jackie will look at ways that Hannah has become the author of her own life, the importance of valued roles and the Circle of Support initiative, and how that all translates into ‘teenager’ speak. Jackie is the Team Leader at JFA Purple Orange, a social profit enterprise in Adelaide, and has a background in human rights law and journalism. Jackie and her family also self-manage Hannah’s NDIS package and will talk about how they use this and other supports to achieve Hannah’s goals

Rebecca Murphy

Rebecca worked in the area of community care and aged care services as a coordinator and educator before having two beautiful children.  Her background and skills in advocacy and training in social role valorisation helped to foster a firm belief in an inclusive and fulfilling life for Rohan, who has 18Q deletion syndrome. Rebecca faced many hurdles trying to gain a mainstream education for her son but, due to her clarity about the benefits of inclusion, she did not give up the dream.  Rebecca is an active member of the QLD Collective for Inclusive Education and has been a part of CRU’s family leadership network, parent advocacy organisations and a contributor to education sessions for parents and conference sessions.

Rohan Murphy

Rohan is a grade 5 student whose education has run the full gamut of early intervention, special education school, extreme segregation within a mainstream school and an inclusive classroom. Rohan now enjoys learning in a regular inclusive school and has challenged all critics by achieving high academic results and making strong enduring friendships. He loves going to school and excels at spelling, writing and maths. He has a large group of friends and is seen as an extremely capable student by his school community even though he does not communicate verbally. Rohan has contributed his words, prose and insights to the presentation.