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ACS Panel Session: Neurodiversity to enhance IT Innovation

Register for this exclusive panel discussion about diversity and inclusion and how neurodiversity in the ICT industry will enhance innovation and help close the skill gap in the STEM sector.

Registration End Date:

Mon, 29 Mar, 10:00 AM

  • when

  • Event Start:
    Tue, 30 Mar, 06:00 PM

    Event Finish:
    Tue, 30 Mar, 07:00 PM
  • event price

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As published in the Diversity and Inclusion <a href="" target="_blank">Reference Guide</a> by ACS in October 2020, diversity and inclusion in the workplace help to grow a happier, healthier and more productive labour force; increase business performance outcomes; develop a stronger ICT sector; and contribute to a better Australia.<br><br>One of the types of diversity that’s rarely talked about is neurodiversity, and how people on the spectrum can help shape a more efficient and innovative ICT industry.<br><br>To discuss this topic, our panel of highly qualified international and domestic experts will provide insights from their own experience working with or as autistic IT workers.<br><br>Amongst the topics addressed: <ul><li>How neurodiverse workers are essential to foster innovation and invention.</li><li>Hear from people on the spectrum, the challenges they faced interacting in the workplace and understand what employers need to know about building cohesive neurodiverse teams.</li><li> <p>Understand the opportunity to bridge the STEM skills gap with people on the spectrum</p> </li></ul> <img alt="User-added image" src=";oid=00D90000000o5NE&amp;lastMod=1613979786000"></img><br><br><u><b>Notice for ACS Professional Year Students</b></u><br><br><i>When attending virtual events, in order to claim and qualify for the required CPD hours, Professional Year students need to attend the online event in its entirety which will be tracked by the ACS events team.<br><br>If a cloaking software program is used when connecting to an online event, your attendance cannot be recorded and CPD hours cannot be allocated. This does not include the use of VPN.</i><br><br><u><b>Please allow up to 1 week for CPD hours to be allocated to your membership profile.</b></u> <p><i>For the sole purpose of registering you for this event, your registration details have been shared with Redback conferencing. Please refer to the Redback Data Policy at for confirmation that the data will not be used for any other purpose outside of this webinar.</i></p>

Contact Details

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Resourcing (RESC) -> Level 5


Bodo Mann

Bodo Mann

Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Auticon Australia

Over the last 20 years Bodo has held senior leadership roles, has built businesses and worked extensively with Boards, CEOs and Senior Executives from ASX 100 and global blue-chip organisations across Australasia and Europe on a variety of client engagements ranging from of Strategy Development, Technology, Digital Transformation, Board Advisory, Leadership Consulting and Search.

He is passionate about building innovative social impact businesses, which are purpose driven and shine through neurodiversity. Bodo is excited and proud to be part of the global auticon family, whose primary purpose is to employ talented consultants on the autism spectrum, while providing value adding technology consulting services and cognitive strengths to blue chip clients.

By combining a highly relevant skill set across strategy, technology consulting and board advisory with deep P&L, business insights and leadership experience, Bodo is uniquely positioned to provide a pragmatic approach to developing a sustainable business as well as positioning technology solutions to our valued clients.

Bodo is a Non-Executive Director of the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GACIC). He is also on the Advisory Boards of the FinTech start-ups ‘Nudge Saver’ and ‘Bondle’, a global collaboration and governance application business.

Access Bodo’s LinkedIn profile here.

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Simon Baron-Cohan

Simon Baron-Cohan

A Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry University of Cambridge and Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. He is Director of the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge. He is author of Mindblindness,

The Essential Difference, Prenatal Testosterone in Mind, and Zero Degrees of Empathy. He has edited scholarly anthologies including Understanding Other Minds. He has written books for parents and teachers including Autism and Asperger Syndrome:

The Facts. He is author of Mind Reading and The Transporters, digital educational resources to help children with autism learn emotion recognition, and both nominated for BAFTA awards.

He has published over 600 peer reviewed scientific articles, which have made contributions to many aspects of autism research, to typical cognitive sex differences, and synaesthesia research. Three influential theories he formulated were the ‘mindblindness’ theory of autism (1985), the ‘prenatal sex steroid’ theory of autism (1997), and the ‘empathizing-systemizing’ theory of typical sex differences (2002).

He created the first UK clinic for adults with suspected Asperger Syndrome (1999) that has helped over 1,000 patients to have their disability recognized. He gave a keynote address to the United Nations in New York on Autism Awareness Day 2017 on the topic of Autism and Human Rights. See click here.

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Jen Coles

Jen Coles

Lead Job Coach, Auticon Australia

Jen has worked in autism support roles for over 15 years and has a depth of experience. She is truly passionate about empowering and educating parents, colleagues and people in the workplace about autism. She holds a Bachelor of Science majoring in Psychology from the University of Plymouth, a Special Education Teaching Degree and a Masters in Autism (from the University of Birmingham). 

She is part of the leadership team at auticon Australia, and her primary role is to enable autistic consultants to seamlessly integrate into client IT teams.

Jen leads client education on employing autistic consultants; providing on-going support and mediation to ensure the partnership thrives, with the work environment allowing colleagues to reach their full professional potential. Regular coaching support to provide a safe environment to develop workplace skills and remove the barriers that have often stood in the way to successful employment. 

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Ashlea Mckay

Ashlea Mckay

ACS Diversity and Inclusion Council Member

Ashlea McKay is a senior User Experience (UX) researcher, keynote speaker, writer and Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) leader with more than a decade of experience. She brings an industrial design background to UX and her career has spanned both the public and private sectors in Australia as well as the international SaaS start-up space.

A proud late-diagnosed autistic woman, Ashlea is a passionate self-advocate for unconditional acceptance-based autism and neurodiversity inclusion in the workplace and beyond. She regularly shares open and frank accounts of lived experience examples of her life through LinkedIn to help bridge education and understanding gaps around autism.

Ashlea is an engaging keynote presenter with significant public speaking experience in both the UX and D&I spaces ranging from local professional gatherings to panel appearances at industry events to full length conference talks delivered to large audiences both locally and overseas. She was both the National and Canberra local network lead for [email protected] and is an active Diversity & Inclusivity Committee member at her current workplace, Synergy.

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ACS Panel Session: Neurodiversity to enhance IT Innovation

Event Terms and Conditions


  • ACS reserves the right to change the program at any time. Every effort will be made to ensure a program of equivalent standard and members are updated with changes.
  • All dietary requirements are considered, however we cannot guarantee a 100% allergen free environment.
  • ACS reserves the right to prohibit entry or eject any person from an ACS event based on behaviour deemed inappropriate by ACS staff, its agents and/or others working under its authority.
  • Filming or streaming by attendees is not permitted. If an attendee is found to be doing so they will be asked to leave the event immediately and further action may be taken.
  • Photography and/or filming may take place during this event, by accepting these terms you consent to this. Please let a member of ACS know if you do not want your picture taken.

COVID-19 Event Attendance Compliance

By registering to attend an ACS in person event you are agreeing to the below terms and conditions

  • If an attendee is displaying flu or cold like symptoms in the days leading up to the event and therefore is not able to attend, ACS will refund the registration fee.
  • If an attendee comes to an event and is displaying flu or cold like symptoms they will be asked to leave
  • We ask all ACS members to respect the social distancing guidelines, if an attendee repeatedly disregards these guidelines, they may be asked to leave
  • ACS reserves the right to cancel the event within 24 hours' notice if either the speaker or the event host has advised us that they are exhibiting flu or cold like symptoms
  • All attendees must provide a valid phone number and email address to be contacted on if there is reason to notify about a possible COVID-19 exposure

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