About Our Board

The Learning for Life Autism Centre (L4Life) Board comprises of co-founders, staff and members of our community who bring a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience in the areas of autism, disability, health, governance and finance, government, business, research, human resources and more.

Each member volunteers their time to provide governance, management and strategic direction of the organisaton, as well as guide, support and inspire our team to make positive change in the lives of the children and families we support.

 

Mary Muirhead Chair

Mary Muirhead OAM

BVSc, OAM.
Board Chair
Chair, Fundraising, Communications and Relationships Subcommittee

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Mary is the Chair and Co-founder, with over 20 years experience in Melbourne’s Autism community. Mary's service to the community is evidenced in recognition and awards received from Boroondara Volunteer of the Year Award (2012) to her Medal of the Order of Australia (general division) (2014).

Mary was the previous Fundraising Coordinator of L4Life and continues to chair the Fundraising, Communications and Relationships sub-committee.

With lived family experience of autism, a natural curiosity and love of learning, Mary has developed an extensive knowledge and networks in the ABA autism field and wider community, fuelled by her constant quest to do better and strive for continual advancement and sustainability.

Mary values connection, inclusion, social justice and learning and is always looking at ways to build bridges of understanding, awareness and acceptance about the neurodivergent community. 

"I'm proud of the work we have done over the last 20 years to build the L4Life Village to support our vision."

Dr Amanda Sampson Co founder

Dr Amanda Sampson

MBBS (Monash), FRANZCOG, DDU, COGU. Learning for Life Patron and Co-founder
Research Subcommittee
Best Practice Subcommittee

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As a co-founder and founding parent of Learning for Life, and medical practitioner, Amanda has brought a wealth of knowledge and lived experience to the Board, including clinical expertise and an understanding of the medical model of data informed care; the experience of supporting an autistic person from childhood to adulthood; and navigating the NDIS.

She established the L4Life Endowment Fund and has encouraged research and the establishment of ongoing education for senior staff with subsidies. Amanda was also the Inaugural President of Autism Pathways (formerly Autism Behavioural Intervention Association).


"As a parent of an autistic person, I have been able to combine my lived experience with my clinical experience to help inform and direct the path of Learning for Life.  I am proud of the work we have done so far, with have high expectations for the future of L4Life, and for the children and families we support."

Melanie Cooke

Melanie Cook

BEng (ChemEng)
Sustainability Working Group

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Melanie joined the L4Life Board in 2022 with the aim of using her skills to benefit the life of others.

"After spending almost 10 years living and working overseas, I had a strong desire to use my skills to help others. I was really taken by what L4Life do to change lives and so it was clear that I had found my purpose"

As an Engineering and Senior Multinational Executive, Melanie brings her knowledge and experience with governance, strategy and risk management to the table, but also recognises that her experience on the board so far has been a learning experience in itself.

"I've learnt so much about the life-changing impact that L4Life has on children and their families.  And I've witnessed the quality and commitment of both the staff and board to continue to deliver even better outcomes to children and their families."

Christine Das

Dr Christine Das

BCom, MCom, PhD
Research Subcommittee

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Chris is a former academic in the tertiary education sector, with a focus on research and management consulting in workplace diversity, as well as teaching organisational pyschology. 

As a L4Life family member, Chris has experienced first hand the positive impact L4Life has on the children and families they support. 

"I valued their frank discussions, positivity and their can-do attitude.  In particular, their not-for-profit focus underpinning their business model encouraged my family and I to participate in the numerous fundraising events over the years. Joining the L4Life Board presented an opportunity to contribute more to L4Life and the autistic community."

Chris hopes to bring her knowledge of the education sector and lived experience as a parent of an autistic child to the table either through ensuring sound governance and engaging with strategic issues, or by taking a hands-on approaching assisting with fundraising and meeting with families and their children.

Natasha Gupta

Natasha Gupta

Ethics and Culture Subcommittee

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"My association with the team at L4Life started in 2013 when my son was diagnosed with Autism. My son's learning needs were supported through many hours of intensive therapy sessions, a group of lovely therapist and a very knowledge ABA supervisor. I know what it takes to raise a child with special needs - a village maybe."

Natasha continues to advocate for her son, and other families and children impacted by autism, as a L4Life Board Member. She is a parent voice, providing lived experience and insights in the carer's life journey.

"While I continue to advocate for my son in various social contexts, I am grateful that I can contribute and be a part of this village. Looking forward to serve and learn."

Dr Matt Harvey

Dr Matt Harvey

MBBS, BMedSc(Hons) Monash,
Risk, Finance and Governance Subcommittee

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Matt joined the L4Life Board as part of the Observership Program and continued as a member in February 2023. 

Matt is a medical doctor and management consultant and brings with him a thorough understanding of the health system, as well as extended experience and knowledge in strategy, finance, governance and risk, medical and research.

"It is great to see the commitment and optimism across the board and management for the future of L4L as we come out of an emotionally and financial difficult time due to the impacts of COVID."

Natalie Gibbs

Natalie Gibbs

Fundraising Communications and Relationships Sub-Committee

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Natalie joined the Board through The Observership Program and transitioned to a voting member at the 2023 AGM.

She is the Head of Individual and Community Giving at Cancer Council Victoria and is an experienced management professional who has worked across marketing communications and fundraising throughout the not-for-profit and educational sectors.

"I'm hoping I can offer some unique fundraising insights to help the organisation continue to grow whilst being mindful of ever changing fundraising governance."

In addition:

Tom Gleisner AO

Patron and Co-founder

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Tom is a co-founder of Learning for Life and sat on our board for 18 years.  During this time Tom helped to establish the organisation as a registered charity.  Since 2022, Tom has been a L4Life Patron, and has supported the organisation in fundraising events, and raising its profile through his role in film and television and with various philanthropic organisations.

Tom has been our esteemed Kwiz for the Kidz Quizmaster and has hosted our In Conversation event.  He was also a constant Run Melbourne competitor, running the 10km course from 2007 - 2018!

Stay Updated

For more information on L4Life, please contact us at (03) 9853 4607 or email enquiries@learningforlife.com.au
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