The Lab has announced Melissa Webster as new Chair
Melissa Webster has over 20 years’ experience in the community sector working alongside children, young people, and adults with a disability and in particular individuals with a diagnosis of autism, and has been a board member of The Lab Network since 2017, in the new appointment, Mel brings a wealth of experience along with a goal to drive more female participants to The Lab.
“I’m honored to be elected as the chairwoman of The Lab Network. I’m fully committed to working alongside the autism community to bring about positive change whereby everyone is able to learn and connect with like minded people through their strengths, interests and passions”.
In her early career, Mel worked as a direct support worker in front line service delivery and as a teaching assistant supporting the educational needs of autistic individuals, which started her passion in autism. Years later, Mel has held a number of board and senior management positions at autism-specific services across the UK and Australia, including The Lab Network, Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect), Autism Victoria (Amaze) and The National Autistic Society (NAS).
Mel is a strong advocate in promoting the human rights of people, she enjoys learning from autistic individuals and their families to break down the barriers that our society brings to ensure everyone is given the same rights and opportunities. The Lab Network works in partnership with local labs nationally to create a safe space where people can be themselves and come together to make meaningful friendships and to have fun.
The Lab Network is a not-for-profit that provides mentoring by technology professionals in areas such as gaming, programming, IT, 3D and digital design for social and technical skill development in young people with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. Launched in Melbourne’s western suburbs in 2010, the network has grown nationally to around 30 physical venues and an online service. The Lab Network supports community organisers – such as parents, carers, community members and disability service providers – with tools, resources and support to establish and operate new community-based Labs.