Nov 27, 2017

I’m thrilled to share the news that I took out the gold Stevie Award for Women Helping Women at the International Women in Business Awards in New York last week.
I also won silver for Best New Product or Service of the Year – Consumer Products & Services for MATES. Click here for Video Highlights of Stevie Adventure!

The School MATES program and Model MATES are inclusion programs and I am on a mission to encourage genuine inclusion for families and people with autism.

It is no longer enough to be aware of autism. It time to be more proactive and work towards empowering people with autism as valued members of our community.

The time for awareness is over, it’s time for real inclusion.

My journey began when my son Richard was bullied at school. I took matters into my own hands and was determined to ensure other people’s children with autism have a better experience at school.

Current anti bullying programmes are reactive. MATES is a proactive solution to social isolation and bullying. It aims to prevent the problem instead of trying to fix it once it has already manifested. It is incredible to be recognised for my work in this space on an international stage.

Inclusion is my mantra. We all crave a sense of belonging and want to feel connected socially.

It is time to bring autism and social exclusion from a niche stage and onto a world stage, and the Stevies have helped to do this. I share this award with anyone who has experienced or witnessed injustice and decided to do something about it.

It’s up to each one of us to take personal responsibility and to create a ripple of change one person at a time.

To find out more about School MATES and how your school can implement the program, contact

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business are the world’s top honours for female entrepreneurs, executives, employees and the organisations they run. All individuals and organisations worldwide are eligible to submit nominations – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small. The 2017 awards received entries from 25 nations and territories.

More than 1,500 nominations from organisations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in more than 90 categories, including Entrepreneur of the Year, Executive of the Year, Company of the Year, Start-up of the Year, Women Helping Women, and Women Run Workplace of the Year, among others.

Stevie Award winners were selected by more than 170 executives worldwide who participated in the judging process.

“The judges were so impressed with the accomplishments of all of the Stevie Award-winning women and organisations. The 2017 Stevie Awards for Women in Business received a record number of nominations and had a record number of ceremony attendees,” said Michael Gallagher, founder and president of the Stevie Awards. “We congratulate all of this year’s Grand, Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners for their achievements.”

Details about the Stevie Awards for Women in Business and the list of Stevie Award winners are available at