T    07 3181 5667                    E   admin@codeblueforautism.com.au                     West End Q Australia                  © 2019

"Autism … offers a chance for us to glimpse an awe-filled vision of the world that might otherwise pass us by"

Dr Colin Zimbleman

OUR TEAM

HELEN WHELAN BA (Drama) RN

 

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

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 22 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

 

Program Advisor

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)

 

Lead Facilitator

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.

TAYA MEEIKEAW

 

Chill on the Grill Chef / Instructor

Refining her cookery skills closely with her much loved mother, Busara, Chef and Restaurateur of My Thai Restaurant Auchenflower since 1992, as well as completing studies at a prominent Thai culinary college in Bangkok, Taya proudly qualified as a commercial Chef both in Thailand and in Australia at a young age. She married her natural cooking instincts, technical skill and unrivaled passion to become a skilled and experienced Chef, a culinary arts trainer and an ambassador for those who love to cook and those who love to learn.

Taya enthusiastically shares her passion for food and learning in her weekly cooking classes at Taya Kitchen and cooks up a feast nightly at her family’s My Thai Restaurant.

TAYA MEEIKEAW

 

Chill on the Grill Chef / Instructor

Refining her cookery skills closely with her much loved mother, Busara, Chef and Restaurateur of My Thai Restaurant Auchenflower since 1992, as well as completing studies at a prominent Thai culinary college in Bangkok, Taya proudly qualified as a commercial Chef both in Thailand and in Australia at a young age. She married her natural cooking instincts, technical skill and unrivaled passion to become a skilled and experienced Chef, a culinary arts trainer and an ambassador for those who love to cook and those who love to learn.

Taya enthusiastically shares her passion for food and learning in her weekly cooking classes at Taya Kitchen and cooks up a feast nightly at her family’s My Thai Restaurant.

OUR PEER MENTORS

LUCY MCDOUGALL-SAGNER

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. 

THOMAS FORD

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.

ZAC BOLTON BA (App Theatre), Assoc Dip (Acting)

Zachary is a Brisbanebased Actor, Director, Playwright and Teacher. Zachary’s most recent and significant credits include: Clyde in Feature Film Brisbane by Stewart Tyrrell (2018), Mark in 13 by Mike Bartlett, Dweeziland Phil in cartoon Space Chickens in Space (2018), Velesin Xbox game Hand of Fate 2 (2018), Earl in Agnusand Earl – Commonwealth Games (2018).

ALANA NOWAKOWSKI

Alana is currently studying a degree in Occupational Therapy at the University
of Queensland. She loves hanging around people and getting to know others from all walks of life. She loves to keep healthy and active and is a keen foodie!
Alana is always up for a spontaneous adventure and enjoys trying new things!

HARRISON PAROZ 

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.

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!!!

MERLYNN TONG

Merlynn is a Playwright, Actor, Director and Teacher—she loves the whole process of creating stories for the stage and screen. She currently writes and performs with theatres including Queensland Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company. She has a few published plays and has also performed in TV shows like Top of the Lake: China Girl and Reef Break. Merlynn grew up in Singapore and adores living in Brisbane now. She enjoys reading, eating delicious food and spending quality time with her loved ones!

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.

LACHLAN WHELAN

Lachie is 21 years old and is currently studying Film and TV at QUT.  He is an avid rock climber and goes climbing at least 5 times per week! 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.