Our Story - the history of SWAN

16 May 2014

SWAN was founded in 2009, when Deborah Cant and Tish Merifield met with the support of their Local Area Coordinators from Disability Services Commission, shortly after Deborah's daughter was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and the family moved to Dunsborough from Perth.

First Gathering

The first meeting of the fledgling support group was held at Occy's Brewery in Busselton later the same year. Five rather nervous parents came together for a drink and to introduce themselves, building a connection through common circumstance and desire to improve services and supports for their children.


In June 2012, SWAN gained the support of RSM Bird Cameron in Busselton, who provided office space free of charge to enable the SWAN Coordinator to meet with families in need of support and information, to house our resource library, and to provide an operational home for our online support via Facebook, and development of our programs, events and newsletter. We are extremely grateful to Mr Angus Smith and all staff at RSM Bird Cameron for their invaluable support.

First AGM

Our first official Annual General Meeting was held on Monday 13th May 2013 at RSM Bird Cameron, with our Board of Management being elected.

The current SWAN Board of Management members are:

  • Mark McAuliffe (President)
  • Ron Ng (Vice President)
  • Grant Avery (Treasurer)
  • Dr Stephen Cohen
  • Giselle Elson
  • Janine Slaven

If you would like something brought to the attention of the SWAN Board of Management, please contact us.

Services we provide: