Mel Spencer OAM

Chief Executive Officer

Mel Spencer OAM is a fierce Autistic advocate. As a parent to 3 Autistic teenagers and identifying as Autistic herself (Mel realised as a result of her own children being diagnosed  ), she is committed to ensuring that the world is more accommodating and accepting of the Autism community, which includes supporting both the Autistic individual and their family, including parents and carers. She is very passionate about making a difference and finding creative ways to overcome the challenges and obstacles that present along the way.

Her background is 18 years with the Victoria Police Force, predominantly in the area of investigations and support of victims of sexual, physical and domestic violence. She has completed a Certificate IV in Disability and Small Business Management. She has, for the past two years been the proud recipient of the State Government Women In Boards Leadership program, which connected her with the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In 2020 she was inducted into Victorian Women’sHonour roll that supports outstanding achievements by women.  And more recently in 2023 Kings Birthday honours was awarded an Order of Australia (OAM) medal recognising her work in this space.

Mel is the co-founder and current Chief Executive Officer of Different Journeys which she started with Merrin Ayton to ensure that her children had the opportunity to connect with a wider world than their bedrooms. Her vision for Different Journeys is to provide opportunities for our Autistic community to find meaningful ways to connect and empower both themselves and their families, ensuring they have every opportunity that is afforded to them so they can lead a fulfilling life.  There is much work to be done but if we all do it one little bit at a time then its amazing how much we can effect change.