About Us

Our Purpose

To provide social platforms that connect autistic youth and autistic adults and their families in inclusive safe and supportive environments. This enables us to provide individualised wraparound supports to decrease the prevalence of mental illness and social isolation in the autism community and enhance their employment and education opportunities. It also creates a place for the broader community to embrace, learn from and empower the autism community.

Our Mission

To create ways for the autistic community to connect, empower and support each other and exchange isolation, prejudice and ignorance with connections, hope and community. We support Celebrations. We provide Connections. We create Communities.

Our Vision

A future where autistic people fully participate in public life facilitated by community awareness and understanding.

A Brief History

Different Journeys started when two Melbourne mums, Mel Spencer and Merrin Ayton, came together to do something about the loneliness and isolation they and their autistic children were experiencing. In February 2016 the first autistic Teen Peer Support Social Group event was held at Club Kilsyth in outer east Melbourne. It was an overwhelming and immediate success. Different Journeys has continued to grow and evolve to meet the needs of our autistic community from that day on. Our talented pool of peer mentors, event managers, volunteers, Board members, partners and professional supporters has also grown. We are proud of our collective achievements and of the many lives which have been positively changed forever because of Different Journeys.

Why not join us? Everyone’s welcome.

“The journey for families for teens and adults is made that little bit easier by connecting with the world and not feeling so alone.”

Mel Spencer OAM – Executive Officer and Co-Founder

“There is nothing better than seeing that smile on their face as they leave our event and tell me they had a great night, they have made a friend and shared phone numbers.”

Merrin Ayton – Co-Founder and Senior Peer Support Officer