An Autistic peer support group where we support celebrations, provide
connections and create communities.

Who we are and
what we are about

Different Journeys - A brief history

Different Journeys started when two mums (Mel and Merrin) 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. 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 volunteers, peer mentors, Board members, partners and professional supporters has also grown. We are proud of our collective achievements and of the many lives that 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 – Executive Officer and co-founder

Our peer support social events are for both Autistic teens, Autistic adults, the carer(s) and their families. It allows individuals to build transferrable skill sets such as communication skills, social skills, ability to maintain more meaningful relationships and skills to access the community. There are lots of ‘hidden rules’ when going out socially in public and Different Journeys aims to empower our Autistic community with the skills and knowledge by creating real events in a safe and supported environment to learn. Our holistic wraparound approach enables carers to also build their networks, learn different approaches and learning to navigate the maze. 

Different Journeys specialises in helping teens and adults living with Autism, and their families, to come together and socialise. It is an opportunity in a safe, friendly and supportive environment. 

Meet the Team

Our Board

Mel Spencer

Executive Officer

Merrin Ayton


Jodie Runje


Kean Spencer

Deputy Chairperson

Fred Brumhead

Special Consultant

Daniel Munter

Assistant Treasurer

Jesse Baker


Ru Ying Cai

Non-Executive Position

Judi Venton

Wellbeing and Volunteer Co-Ord

Tina Valentine

Risk and Policy Advisor

Nick Pritchard

Board Member

Our Staff

Helen Gordon



Autism Family Swim Night Event Manager

Megan Spencer

Peer Event Support

Sue Mezzalira

Peer Event Support

Bailey White

Peer Event Support

Annette White

Executive Assistant



Christina Penna

Project Co-ordinator

Tracey Watts

Admin Assistant

Our Supporters




Graphic Design

Angus & Rhys

Multi Marketing Solutions

Different Journeys recognises and embraces the richness, strengths and opportunities that diversity brings and encourages and respects a diverse range of individuals and views.

Copyright © 2020 Different Journey All Rights Reserved.