The concept of a school for kids with autism was born from the schooling experiences of Brisbane parents and their children with autism. A group of these parents formed a not-for-profit organisation, and worked for two years to bring The Sycamore School to fruition.
Having experienced first-hand the difficulties in finding appropriate educational settings for their autistic children, they set out to provide educational options for children with autism in Queensland that were tailored to the needs of the students.
It’s not just about meeting curriculum outcomes; it’s about giving each student a voice, giving them the tools to advocate for themselves, and to be involved in the decision making processes of their lives. It’s about giving them confidence, self-determination, and a valued place in our community.
With over 10,000 school aged students diagnosed with ASD in Queensland, there is a growing community not only of students, but also the increased numbers of families and educators who require support. The Sycamore School hopes to not only support those touched by Autism in their lives, but we also hope to promote acceptance and diversity in mainstream schools and various workplaces through mentoring programs and partnerships, to ensure that as a community we can continue to support people with Autism through their whole life.
Our first campus is located on the site of TAFE at Alexandra Hills.
We can only achieve great things, such as establishing this important place of learning, with the help of our community.
Board of Directors
Robert Hannaford - Chairperson of the Board
Cameron Corrie – Vice Chairperson
Cameron is the Father of a child with Autism and is Co-founder of ASD Learning. Cameron has nearly 20 years experience working in Information Technology, and has a keen interest in the use of technology to assist learning for students with Autism.
Paul Habib – Treasurer
Paul is the Grandfather of a child with Autism, and has over 40 years experience in finance, lending and property development. Paul’s experience has been instrumental in investigating and securing potential sites, and seeking the relevant approvals. Paul’s experience has also been valuable in establishing relationships with key individuals.
Mark Pearce – Governance & Compliance
Mark is a senior financial markets executive with nearly three decades of institutional investment, leadership, strategy and communication experience. He holds a number of corporate and not-for-profit board positions and has expertise in board structuring and governance. Mark is actively involved in state and federal politics and sits on committees developing policy in areas ranging from disabilities and child safety to manufacturing.
Dr. Douglas Hunt – Secretary
Dr. Hunt is a father to two children with Autism, and a member of the Regional Development Australia Committee. He holds a PhD in Economics, and has expertise in mine closure, cost-benefit analysis, desk top research, field research, stakeholder engagement, policy development, strategic development and strategic planning, project management and developing positive business relationships. Dr Hunt is also a registered Teacher.
Panel of Advisors
Prof. Jacqui Roberts – Chair of the Griffith University Autism Centre of Excellence
Lynette McKenzie – Retired Deputy Director General of Queensland Department of Education, Training
Daryl Hanly – Retired Principal of St Joseph’s College, Nudgee and recent appointment to Mercy Partners Council