Introducing our Co-Chairs

Meredith Allan   

Meredith Allan is currently President-Elect of ISAAC and National Treasurer of ISAAC-Australia. Meredith worked for the Australian Public Service for almost 30 years and now has blissfully retired from the full-time workforce. She is currently studying for a Master’s Degree, by research, with the Faculty of Health and Social Development at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. Meredith works on a casual basis as a Communication Assessor and Disability Educator with Scope in Victoria, which is part of the process to be awarded the Communication Access symbol.

Meredith is a person who uses Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) to communicate and takes great joy in watching other people who use AAC become more confident and take leadership roles.

Aside from sleeping, Meredith enjoys reading, going to the football, church, and being with family and friends.

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Kate Anderson is a lecturer and researcher at Deakin University, Melbourne. She is also a curriculum developer at James Cook University, QLD. Kate grew up in a family of special educators, and initially trained and worked as a speech pathologist in the area of Cerebral Palsy. Her research interests focus around information access and capacity building: for instance, how people who use AAC and their families access information about assistive communication technology, and how they learn to use this technology in their home environments. She consults with the National Disability Insurance Scheme on assistive technology outcome measurement and information access, and is currently developing a Research to Action guide around communication best practice for NDIS service providers. Kate also recently co-chaired a symposium on the NDIS at Deakin. As a lecturer she teaches health science students about disability, diversity, and accessible design.

Kate has worked with ISAAC since 2013, initially as the Australian representative to the International Council, and currently as the Australian Chapter president. Kate will be working with Sally as the Scientific Co-chair for the conference, and will also be focusing on international delegate boosting, particularly within the Asia-Pacific region. ISAAC 2018 will be Kate’s sixth ISAAC conference.

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Sally Clendon   

Sally Clendon is a speech-language therapist who is passionate about communication and literacy for individuals who use AAC. Sally completed her PhD in 2006 at the Centre for Literacy and Disability Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since that time she has held academic positions at the University of Sydney, Australia and Massey University, New Zealand. Sally currently works partly for Massey University where she teaches AAC and coordinates the postgraduate program, and partly as a consultant where she partners with schools and teachers across New Zealand to implement comprehensive literacy programs for their students.

Sally is an Associate Editor for the AAC journal. She is also a trustee of the Assistive Technology Alliance of New Zealand (ATANZ) and is very active in bringing professional development in AT and AAC to New Zealand. Sally is excited to collaborate with her Australian colleagues on the ISAAC conference in the Gold Coast, Australia.

Sally lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her husband James and their two children, Jack and Lily.

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Jane Farrall is a speech pathologist and special educator passionate about literacy, AAC and assistive technology. With over 25 years of experience in the disability and assistive technology field, she has lots of practical experience working with people with a range of abilities. Jane has worked as a school and adult service based therapist and literacy teacher. She has also worked as an assistive technology specialist at both ComTEC and at Spectronics and is currently working as an independent consultant in literacy, AAC and Assistive Technology.

Jane has extensive experience organizing camps, workshops, and conferences on AAC. She was the founder and coordinator of the Big Mouth Camp, a residential camp for children who use speech generating devices, their families and carers. She also runs regular multi-day professional development workshops around Australia and internationally. Jane is a former chairperson of AGOSCI (an Australian organisation for AAC). She has been involved in organising many of the national AGOSCI and Spectronics conferences, including convening the 2007 AGOSCI conference in Melbourne.

Jane is a long-term member of ISAAC Australia, and is thrilled to see the 2018 conference come Down Under for the first time. She will be overseeing our AAC camp, main conference program, and volunteer committee.

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Gayle Porter is a speech pathologist with 35 years’ experience working with people who have complex communication needs in a range of community and specialist environments. Gayle is one of the founders of the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre in Melbourne, Australia and continues to work there as a mentor and senior speech pathologist. She also has a private practice working with children and teenagers with complex communication needs in their local schools.

Gayle has developed and published resources on the Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display (PODD) communication books and page sets for speech-generating devices. In addition, she has authored articles, publications and chapters on Augmentative and Alternative Communication and cerebral palsy.

Gayle has attended every ISAAC conference since 1996 and was President of ISAAC-Australia from 2013-2016. Gayle is extremely excited that Australia has the opportunity to host the conference in 2018.  She will be overseeing the social program and accessibility, and will also be working with Sally on Pre-conference Workshops.


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