Kathryn Fordyce

Autism and disability advocate

2024 TAS Australian of the Year Nominee

Kathryn Fordyce’s leadership has been life-changing for neurodivergent children and their families.  

Originally training as a speech pathologist, Kathryn worked for Autism Queensland, Autism Spectrum Australia and in the UK, before moving to Burnie in 2011 to lead the North West Tasmania Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre. There she championed crucial early intervention, research, and capacity building initiatives for families and the community.  

Kathryn has expanded inclusive programs for children living with disabilities across the nation, from playgroups to schools. She’s also campaigned for high-quality rural services, including early autism surveillance, and speech pathologist training in Tasmania.  

In 2021, Kathryn became CEO of Laurel House, a sexual violence service in northern Tasmania. In this role, she has elevated the voices of victim-survivors living with disability. 

Numerous boards and committees have benefited from Kathryn’s expertise, including Autism Tasmania, Playgroup Tasmania, the National Child Sexual Abuse Strategy Advisory Group, and various Tasmanian Government committees.