What is your dream?
I have two dreams. The first is to contribute to the development of a treatment for autism spectrum
disorder. The second is to see high school students develop an interest in and a respect for the
brain, hopefully resulting in more talented women pursuing a career in neuroscience and people
making lifestyle changes that foster brain health.
How did you find your passion?
My interest in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the brain began when I was young as I spent
time with people who had ASD. I dreamed of a world where ASD could be cured and also began to
marvel at the complexity of the brain. My interest in the brain and research grew during
opportunities I had to explore these fields in school and at university. I also paid my way through
university through numerous teaching-related jobs, where I discovered how fun I found teaching.
Tell us about your dreams / goals for the next 12 months?
One of my goals for the next 12 months is to progress investigations into new drugs for austism
spectrum disorder. Another is to spend more time in schools exploring the brain with students.
How will the scholarship support your endeavors?
The Foundation's scholarship will assist me to purchase consumables for research and teaching
equipment for activities with students.
Career highlight or biggest achievement?
Being part of the first group of researchers to discover a new way to activate an important protein
How important is inspiration in your life?
I value inspiration - it refreshes motivation to pursue a purpose and I find I'm drawn to things that
Who’s your hero (and why)?
There are so many but 2 that come to mind are Bianca Buitendag and Bethany Hamilton because
they provide a great model for me of how to live out a life of faith and love
How will you support your community in the future?
I would be keen to communicate about my research, and about progress in general ASD research at
local ASD support groups. I am also involved in mentoring younger research students and will
continue this and look for more opportunities to expand this mentoring role. I plan to expand the
high school outreach activities I am currently involved in.
What’s the motto that you live by?
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the
first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’"
Folk/roots eg Ani DiFranco, the Waifs, John Butler Trio
A big breakfast!
To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee, Travels with Charley - John Steinbeck, The Great Gatsby - F.
Scott Fitzgerald, The Terrible Underpants - Kaz Cooke
Favourite TV Show?
Third Watch, Parenthood, Gilmore Girls
If you had one message to share with other women chasing their dreams what would you say?
Know why you are doing what you are doing, and remind yourself of this if you ever feel