You can't compete with me. I want you to win too.
I am the President of the GVDP LLC, Founder & CEO of Spectrum Support Ltd and the Founder of the Global Voluntary Disclosure Project (GVDP). These are organisations that are both established and emerging and will be a part of my legacy in supporting vulnerable communities.
Born and raised in Australia, I am the daughter of immigrant parents who made it their life’s mission to provide a fantastic life for myself and my younger sisters. Living in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, we were privileged to attend catholic and private schools, dancing lessons, gymnastics and were supported by a very large extended Maltese family.
My love of the arts has seen me perform across the stage as a singer and dancer. It was my first true love and, every now and then I still like to sing – although it’s now been the Wiggles catalogue for the past 9 years.
At the age of 18 I started my own business with the support of my parents. I ran this successfully for two years before joining a large global company in 1998. For 18 years, I worked in business acquisition across different organisations - securing large clients and winning multi-million dollar deals. I worked hard. I surpassed my goals. I strove for excellence.
In 2012 I met my husband and a year later I became a mother. It was the most powerful and humbling moment of my life. 11 months later we had another arrival and a year after that our third child completed our family.
It was 18 months into the parental journey that we discovered regression in developmental progress for our eldest son. As we sought answers through specialist doctors and hospitals the wait lists were unimaginable. The fear we faced as new parents not understanding our son led to heavy and detailed research.
By the time our son was seen by the hospital for an official diagnosis he was three years old. We already knew what the outcome would be. Once the words were spoken out loud with an official diagnosis, the guilt and confusion was overwhelming. We mourned the loss of the life that we thought our child would have and embraced this little sweetheart with a new undetermined path ahead.
In the time lapse waiting for the hospital’s diagnosis, we knew that both of our other children shared similar behaviours and mannerisms. Life is complex for them and us. We are bound by our unconditional love for each other and we make the most of every single day.
Autism Spectrum Disorder – Level three, Intellectual Disability, Global Developmental Delay and additional co-morbidities.
The world of disability was opening up to us and the learning curve was steep. Therapy, education, communication, nutritional requirements, medical conditions, the list goes on and to this day is ever-changing and evolving.
Our boys are our entire world and everything we do is with the betterment of their lives in the forefront of our minds.
This is what led to the creation of Spectrum Support in 2017, a NFP that trains law enforcement on interactions with autistic members of the community. My charity’s work is an Australian first and something I am extremely proud of. The organisation has been recognised locally and internationally and will be a fixture in the disability landscape within Australia for many years to come.
Working with law enforcement has been incredibly rewarding and opened many more questions than I had answers for. When the global pandemic impacted in-person training, I had a moment to take a step back and regain altitude. One of my favourite expressions is “Let me sit at 50,000 feet”. That’s where I feel the lens zooms out and I gain perspective.
It was in this period that I created the Global Voluntary Disclosure Project (GVDP). This innovative technology is going to change the landscape for every citizen who needs a voice in times of emergency or duress.
When I looked at my own family and the situations they were each facing it became apparent that the GVDP was not only crucial for them but could support so many others too.
People in my circle shared their lived experiences which included: Alzheimer’s, cancer, hearing impaired, downs syndrome, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, acquired brain inquiry, allergy aversions, diabetes, PTSD, liver failure, heart conditions the list goes on.
The plight became so much greater than just my own little family of five. I am here today because, while I can, I want to affect change, no matter how big or small.
If any of this resonates with you then please reach out or learn more about how the work I do can support you and your loved ones in everyday life.
This is my story, but as you can probably guess, it truly is just beginning….