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Autism New Zealand Conference 2016

Autism New Zealand Conference 2016

The Autism New Zealand Conference 2016 provides a unique opportunity for delegates to network with the New Zealand autism community, experts and international speakers –and share our celebrations at the inaugural Autism New Zealand awards dinner.

Two world-renown autism researchers from the University of California are headlining Autism New Zealand’s national conference in Wellington on August 19-20. The conference is proudly sponsored by Pak’ n Save Petone and Hutt City.

The theme for the conference, to be held at Shed 6 on Wellington’s waterfront, is Empowering people living with Autism, which is the vision of Autism New Zealand.

The MC will be entertainer and speaker Nick Tansley.

Early bird registrations for the conference are open now.

Keynote speakers, Dr. Karen Pierce and Eric Courchesne, are directors at the University of California’s Autism Centre of Excellence. The aim of this world-leading centre is for its research to identify and treat those at risk of autism as early as 12 months.

Other speakers include Josephine Barbaro, Research Fellow at the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre, La Trobe University, and co-founder of Australia’s first ‘Early Assessment Clinic’ for Autism and last year’s speaker Craig Smith, Deputy Principal of the Aspect Hunter School for Children with Autism in Newcastle, New South Wales.

While most of the 300 delegates will be health and disability sector professionals, people with autism and their families and friends are equally welcome to participate in workshops and engage with other delegates.

Workshops will cover core areas of empowerment: Empowering People with Autism, Empowering Parents and Family/Whanau, and Empowering Professionals.

Autism New Zealand chief executive Dane Dougan says the two keynote speakers make this year’s conference the strongest yet, as delegates will gain valuable insights from two key influencers within autism research.

Dr Pierce is a leading expert on autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a developmental disability affecting social and communication skills. Her research spans a range of topics from early screening and detection to eye tracking. Her early detection approach, called the 1-Year Well-Baby Check-Up Approach, has resulted in rapid treatment access of toddlers.

Eric Courchesne is internationally recognised for his research on the developmental neurobiology of AutismSpectrum Disorder. His ground breaking studies provide evidence that ASD is a prenatal neural disorder.

The Autism New Zealand website provides a full overview of the conference, programme, ticketing as well as full synopsis of the keynote speakers.

Registrations are now open, for more information and to register visit;


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  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland