About

Neurodiversity is the diversity of human brains and embodied minds – the infinite variation in neurocognitive functioning within our species.

Te Hapori Whai Takiwātanga o Aotearoa offers education about Autistic culture from a first hand perspective and it provides a safe environment where parents, educators, and employers can connect with Autistic parents and the wider Autistic community. This Autistic Community website is an initiative of the Autistic Collaboration Trust, a global hub for mutual Autistic support.

Members of the neurodiversity movement adopt a position of diversity that encompasses a kaleidoscope of identities that intersects with the LGBTQIA+ kaleidoscope by recognising neurodivergent traits – including but not limited to ADHD, Autism, Dyscalculia, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Synesthesia, Tourette’s Syndrome – as natural variations of cognition, motivations, and patterns of behaviour within the human species.

Team Takiwātanga

The Autists who are curating and jointly developing the educational material and services featured on Te Hapori Whai Takiwātanga are involved in the neurodiversity movement. Most of us are parents – campaigning for a ban of all forms of “conversion therapies”.

Alice Richardson is mama to one pre-schooler. While looking for answers to her mental health struggles, Alice happened upon the autistic community. She went on to pursue her autism diagnosis, which she got at the age of 35. She is passionate about protecting future generations of autistic children from the trauma of being made to hide their autism. Alice qualified as a microbiologist at uni but retrained in digital marketing a number of years ago. She now runs Love My Brain, makes video games, creates art and watches a tonne of cooking shows.

Jolene Stockman, (Te Ātiawa) is an award-winning Taranaki author, speaker, and instructional designer. She is also tangata whaitakiwātanga, Autistic. Since her TEDx Talk in 2018 going public with her adult diagnosis, Jolene has signed with the International Indigenous Speakers Bureau and worked with global giant IBM. 
As Creative Director of Braincandy Media, Jolene creates effective e-learning, corporate training, and distance education across a range of subjects, formats, and qualifications. She also educates and inspires with powerful presentations and resources on autism, diversity, and inclusion. Our existence rewrites normal!

Jorn Bettin is a partner and founder at S23M, an employee owned software and consulting company operating in Oceania and Europe, who enjoys catalysing further NeurodiVentures. Jorn’s current work focuses on the co-design of new community-oriented and patient centric models of care, and on improving workplace cultures in Aotearoa.

Julia Campbell (Pākekā/ Cook Islands Māori) is a theatre maker, writer and educator based in Wellington, NZ. She is also a parent to preschool aged twins. Once her Autistic niblings received their diagnosis she recognised similar traits in herself and was diagnosed Autistic and ADHD as an adult. She has a special interest in the way neurodivergent children are treated in the education system and how these children and their whanau can be supported on their journey.

Sarah Bettin is my name. Some call me Hera. Before I die, my aim is to read all 800 manuscripts written by Te Rangikāheke, of which only some have been translated. I am interested in the early writings by Māori from the mid 1800s to early 1900s. I listen to the recordings of kaumātua recorded in the Waka Huia archives. My lucky spot is when I am kayaking with Jorn in the sea surrounding Waiheke Island. And I also take care of the book-keeping and administration needs of S23M and the Autistic Collaboration Trust. Here is a link to my lens in the mosaic of Autistic lenses.