About StS

What we do

Surfing the Spectrum is a not-for-profit Surf Therapy initiative working to positively impact the lives of families, and their children with Autism.

In partnership with local surf schools, Surfing the Spectrum conducts Surfing Events which connect children with autism to local surfers in order to provide free surf lessons.

Water experiences are understood to have a therapeutic effect for many autistic children, in part because it seems to provide a source of sensory and emotional regulation. Furthermore the participation of children with disabilities in recreational activities promotes inclusion, minimises de-conditioning, optimises physical functioning, and enhances well-being.

Surfing the Spectrum has grown as a response to the need and demand for an inclusive ocean focused activity which targets ocean awareness, social inclusion and water safety.

Purpose

Positively build and sustain purposeful, autism and disability aware communities.

Vision

Be a leader in surf therapy in Australia and overseas.

Mission

The ocean is for everyone.

Meet the Team

Aimee Blacker 

Co-Founder/Director

Growing up in Port Macquarie, Aimee spent many of her formative years in, on or around the ocean, appreciating the joy, ease and meditative state surfing provided her throughout that time.

Once she began work as a paediatric Occupational therapist 4 years ago, she saw surfing as the simplest and most natural way to help develop sensory integration skill, motor and postural skills, and emotional regulation in her clients.

Aimee has a passion for utilising nature as a therapeutic tool, and as such, was driven to share this vision to ensure more children have access to alternative therapy opportunities.

This was the formation of Surfing the Spectrum, alongside fellow ocean lover and disability support worker Tahlia Anderson.

Tahlia Anderson

Co-Founder/Director

Born in Newcastle, Australia, Tahlia grew up surfing all along the east coast as well as overseas. Surfing was her personal form of respite from the day to day grind.

Tahlia became a certified surf coach and shared her love for the ocean and surfing throughout surf schools in Australia and overseas before settling back in Australia.

Tahlia has been working in the disability sector for the past 8 years

and has used surfing as a form of release and rehabilitation with clients for the past 3 years.

Knowing exactly how healing and comforting the ocean can be for surfers, Tahlia joined forces with Aimee and combined this concept with her experience and career-based knowledge in disability and autism to start Surfing the Spectrum.

Michael Smith

Chairperson

Mike is the Director of Motorsport & Commercial Operations with Motorsport Australia. As a senior Sports Management Executive, Mike has over 20 years of experience in sports governance and major event delivery.

He sits on the Organising Committee for the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, was Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Formula 1 Vietnam Grand Prix and has provided extensive project management and consultancy for the Formula 1 Grands Prix of Russia, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Korea.

He is a Global Training Program Expert for the Federation  Internationale de lÁutomobile (FIA) and a member of the FIA Volunteer Camp; Officials Commission. He holds a Bachelor of Arts, Sports Administration and has completed the Executive Program at Harvard Business School.

In his spare time, Mike can be found trying to surf at a beach on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria.

Peter Clark

Director

Pete grew up on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and learnt to surf with his Dad when he was five. He has always found the ocean and surfing is a deeply spiritual experience that recharges his soul. He was the only kid at his local break who rode only a longboard growing up.

Inspired to ‘take every wave’ in life, Pete reached out to Surfing the Spectrum after completing his Australian Institute of Company Directors course to offer his help. His passion for surfing and helping others combined with a love for business

and entrepreneurship helped guide the team on how to ensure the long term economic sustainability of Surfing the Spectrum.

Pete has kids of his own and the compassion, empathy and patience learnt from this experience has been valuable to the kids he has surfed with at our events as well as the organisation as a whole. He is a qualified accountant, teaches accounting at university and works at an engineering business.

Jordan Freeman

Business Development & Digital Strategy

Jordan is a Newcastle, NSW, local and grew up around the ocean. She is passionate about disability advocacy and recognises the benefits of Surf Therapy. 

After working with StS since 2019 she has since grown into an ongoing role within the StS team to provide support for business development and digital strategy. 

She brings to the team over 6 years IT and Business experience with roles as the IT Program Coordinator for the University of Newcastle, and as a Senior IT Project Manager and Senior Accounts Services Manager for Mudbath Digital.

She  is also the Co-Founder of her own IT Tech Startup which develops technology solutions for people with disabilities.

Having experience as Disability Support Worker she understands the need for organisations such as StS to assist people with disabilities gain autonomy over their lives. 

She is excited to support StS further their amazing cause and continue to provide opportunities for social inclusion and community participation for people with disabilities. 

Want to Join StS?

Send us a message, we’d love to hear from you!