"Autism … offers a chance for us to glimpse an awe-filled vision of the world that might otherwise pass us by"
Dr Colin Zimbleman
HELEN WHELAN BA (Drama) RN
Helen has a diverse background that includes being a Registered Nurse for 12 years and a Marketing and Business Development Manager in healthcare for over 20 years. She has an undergraduate degree in Drama and is the mother of a 24 year old son on the autism spectrum and is currently engaged in post-graduate studies at the Autism Centre of Excellence, Griffith University, Queensland. As an autism advocate, Helen is the founder of Code Blue for Autism and responsible for the design and development of the Chill and Chill Out programs. She is passionate about helping Chill participants to learn about themselves, their abilities and how to be the best they can be.
MICHAEL WHELAN PhD
Michael is an academic, writer, musician and autism advocate. In addition to his memoir, The Other Country: A Father’s Journey with Autism which was published by Pan Macmillan in 2008, Michael also wrote the documentary film What are you doing? This educational film for school audiences on the topic of social inclusion and autism was screened at the United Nations in New York as part of World Autism Day activities in April, 2013. In 2014 Michael joined Autism Queensland where he developed Studio G, a post-school transition program for young people with autism. Michael is now Associate Professor in Music and Sound in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology where he continues his work supporting young people on the autism spectrum. Michael is currently lead investigator on the Autism CRC’s Utilisation Project.
NICK CILENTO BA, BSc(Hons)
Nick is an expert in physical theatre, circus and drama workshop facilitation. He specialises in drama facilitation and has extensive experience in supporting young people on the spectrum. Nick loves dumplings and paw paw milk! His favourite TV show is Taboo and he is really good at making things with wood. He loves to make art with his 3D pen and is a keen gardener. The most important thing in his life is his family and being healthy.
Lucy is 24 years old and lives with two of her best friends and her puppy Lamar. She enjoys reading and spending time with her friends and family. She loves getting outdoors and trying new things. She loves to chill and of course loves Chill!
MELANIE SANCHEZ BA Psych(Hons)
Melanie is an honours graduate in psychology who is passionate about mental well-being and helping others. In her spare time, she enjoys painting, hiking, reading, listening to music, and watching Seinfeld. She also loves to play basketball with her friends. Melanie believes in maintaining a positive and enthusiastic outlook on life.
Tom is a film student crossed with a musician, studying at QUT. He spends most of his time climbing and jamming out with his band, and loves getting out and about with his friends. Almost as much as he loves staying indoors, eating pizza, and playing video games!
He hopes to be either a filmmaker for National Geographic, or a semi-successful musician.
Ilda is 21 years old and is a business student at QUT. She comes from a big Bosnian family, so food and football is always on her mind. Ilda loves to have a good laugh, and be surrounded by positive, coffee-drinking people. If she isn’t talking about cats she’ll happily tell you how much she loves Chill!
EVE CARROL BFA (Dance)
Eve graduated from QUT with a Bachelor Fine Arts in Dance and Drama. She brings experience from her work in a broad range of community arts development projects; including within developing countries and local community ventures. Eve is passionate about creatively engaging and bringing people from a variety of backgrounds and experience to the arts. Another of Eve’s passions is to explore new places, particularly sampling their food and meet new people.
Harrison is a musical larrikin. Born & raised in Toowoomba, he’s a big fan of rainbow lorikeets, Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki, and telling stories through song. Although he works as an acoustic musician, Harry has many strings to his bow, including theatre-making, writing poetry, stage management, magic, juggling, clowning, and about a dozen other things. He loves cups of tea, good conversations, and is thrilled to be a part
of the Code Blue team.
BELLA ABRAHAM Dip (Theatre/VisArts)
Bella is an artist and slam poet with a background and diploma in theatre and Visual art. She has a roaring passion for helping people through art therapy and spoken word poetry. Bella enjoys road trips in her hippy van ( miss honey bea), eating cheeky vegan takeout food, daydreaming about travelling, salt lamps and watching comedy shows.
Lachie is 22 years old and is currently studying Film and TV at QUT. He is an avid martial artist and trains Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai! Lachie loves Chill! He enjoys writing and playing music in his band as well as making music film clips. Lachie has an older brother on the spectrum which gives him a unique understanding of autism.
CIARA PEIG CONDREN BA (Creative Arts) Distinction
Ciara is a recent graduate with a background in theatre studies. She has worked in a variety of roles from Youth Arts Facilitator, Producer, Actor, Stage Manager, and Writer. Her main interest is in Community Arts and developing projects which engage communities and facilitate usually quiet voices being heard. She has a younger, but much taller, brother on the spectrum. Ciara is keen to utilise her insight and skills to make Chill an experience to be remembered.
SARAH STANKE BFA (Dance)
Sarah is a dancer and actor recently graduated from QUT with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and Drama and is soon to commence her Master’s of Teaching degree at QUT. Sarah has a wealth of experience in creative workshop delivery working with young people from developing countries and refugee communities. She is also a horse lover and competes in rodeo camp draft events!!!
Jerry is the 3rd biggest Judy Garland fan (South of the Brisbane River), who's always keen for Nando's. In his spare time he enjoys watching sad movies, reading, drawing, and listening to Oasis. In the future he hopes to achieve ultimate enlightenment or learn how to juggle. Jerry loves to chill and loves being apart of the chill team.
SAM HARRISON BFA (Vis Arts)
Sam is a local Westender. He has recently moved back to Brisbane after studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Melbourne. As well as mentoring at Code Blue,
Sam also works with indigenous youth interested in the arts.
DANIEL SIMPSON BA (Creative Arts)
Daniel graduated from USQ with a Bachelor of Creative Arts majoring in Theatre and Acting. Born and raised in Brisbane, Daniel has a passion for art that is based and created in this amazing city. He also loves to play soccer, also known as football, as well as many other sports that keep him active and healthy. Daniel is so excited to be a part of the amazing Chill Team.