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A New Season for Specialisterne Australia

Updated: May 6

We are delighted to announce that Specialisterne Australia has formally joined the Specialisterne Global Network.

Over the coming months, while continuing our important work in supporting Australian organisations to become more inclusive, Specialisterne Australia will become the Asia Pacific Hub for Specialisterne Global.

This exciting milestone will benefit employers and see an increase in opportunities for autistic and neurodiverse individuals, with a further strengthening of our reach and impact through international collaboration with Specialisterne partners around the world.

As part of this change, Julie Robertson has finished up in her role as our inaugural CEO (Australia), having led the organisation over the past 5 years. Julie’s achievements during this time include the development of the organisational structure and all aspects of the establishment of a successful for purpose organisation. Julie played a pivotal role in forming key partnerships and in more recent times helped Specialisterne navigate the challenges presented by the global pandemic. Under Julie’s leadership the Specialisterne Australia Team has created over 500 jobs for neurodivergent people and trained over 15,000 employees to raise awareness of neurodiversity in workplaces. In addition, they have inspired many new businesses to be established servicing the critical function of neurodiverse inclusion

The Directors and Staff of Specialisterne Australia extend their thanks to Julie for the valuable contribution she has made and wish her every success in her future endeavours.

As we transition to a new way of operating as a Hub for the Asia Pacific region, Specialisterne Australia and Specialisterne Global have asked Board Member Michelle Crawford to take on the role of Executive Director. Michelle’s responsibilities will include:

  • oversight of the transition, reporting to the CEO of Specialisterne Global for operational matters and to the Board on the strategic repositioning of the Specialisterne Australia operations, and

  • provision of day-to-day support and guidance for Specialisterne Australia, working closely with the leadership team to ensure that our current work is further strengthened during this period.

Michelle has operated as a not-for-profit CEO for the past 8 years and has more than 30 years’ experience working in the areas of - employment, education, and training; microfinance; youth justice and child protection; and governance.

With more than 500 staff globally, we are excited to join forces with an integrated delivery network servicing Europe, Latin America, United States of America, Canada and India. As a result, our capacity for increased scale and social impact is tremendous.

This collaboration furthers our resolve to realise the shared vision for increased growth and impact across the Asia Pacific region. We know there is still much to do to realise our goal of an inclusive society for all neurodiverse people. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimating that 30% to 40% of the Australian population are neurodivergent, and that at least 34% of them are unemployed. [1]

We are grateful for the role that our clients and partners play in the success of Specialisterne and look forward to further strengthening our collaboration and impact in the future.

John Craven


Specialisterne Australia

For more information contact

Michelle Crawford (She/Her) | Executive Director | | 0419 531 486 [1] - Neurodivergence and the workplace: Reducing unconscious bias in the recruitment process, 16 October 2023



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