Promoting acceptance and understanding of Autism

Our mission is to instill a positive mindset in students, Autistic individuals, parents, and staff members about Autism through accepting and embracing the difference and empowering Autistic individuals to follow their passions and recognise their full potential.


Our vision is to increase understanding, awareness, and acceptance about Autism in the community. We hope that through our services, we can help support the needs of Autistic individuals and help them harness their unique strengths. Through working with teachers, staff members, parents, students, and Autistic individuals themselves, we aim to equip them with knowledge and appreciation of this Neurodivergence.


Shadia Hancock


Owner and Founder

Shadia is the proud owner, and founder of Autism Actually, and enjoys presenting and mentoring. Shadia is committed to empowering fellow Autistic and Neurodivergent individuals and helping them reach their true potential.

Shadia is currently studying Bachelor of Speech Pathology with the hope of providing animal assisted therapy for Neurodivergent individuals.

Shadia was diagnosed with Autism at the age of three, and Generalised Anxiety Disorder at the age of 14. Shadia came out as non-binary in early 2018 and loves talking about Autism and gender issues.

Shadia benefitted from numerous early supports such as speech therapy and occupational therapy. Shadia is very passionate about sharing information about what it is like to be on the Autism Spectrum.

Jane Hancock



Jane is one of our experienced presenters and mentors at Autism Actually. In addition to being a trained Secondary Mathematics/Science teacher, Jane also has a Master’s degree of Inclusive Education for students on the Autism Spectrum.

From 2008 to 2012, Jane was a member of the Victorian team for the Positive Partnerships project; a Federal-government initiative aimed at supporting school aged students on the Autism Spectrum.
Jane works in the Learning Support Department at Whitefriars College teaching mathematics.

Jane is the parent of Shadia, and is passionate about sharing her professional and personal understanding of Autism in order to inform other teachers.

Brittany Anderson


Speaker, support worker

Brittany is currently studying a Certificate IV in Youth Social Work and is one of our presenters and mentors. Brittany has a passion for helping children and engaging on all levels with them. She is a strong believer in leading a child the right way to ensure that all their needs are met physically and emotionally.

Brittany was diagnosed with Anxiety and Depression at the age of 8, and later on Autism at the age of 14. She greatly benefitted from Occupational Therapy from a young age. Brittany’s Autism diagnosis gave her a sense of belonging, and allowed her to get the support she needed to be able to function effectively day to day.

Based on her personal experiences and unique insights being on the spectrum, Brittany feels dedicated in raising awareness and helping children develop strategies to be able to cope with day to day life.

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