Sarah Stanton is the Founder and Centre Director at SKILLZ4ME which was started in 2016 to fill a much needed gap for children with a disability to enter mainstream sports.
She received her BA in Social Work from ACU in 2011 after beginning her studies in USA (2000) where she received a basketball scholarship. She continued her sporting career overseas in Sweden and Italy before returning home and continuing her passion to work with children.
Before starting full time at Skillz4me in January 2020, she has worked in early diagnosis and post diagnosis support, supported children in childcare with ASD and developmental delays, NDIS coordination and volunteered at Ronald McDonald House & an Adult disability Day centre.
Sarah is passionate about inclusion and supporting parents and families in the early days of diagnosis. She wants to share all her knowledge and experience to reduce the isolation and mental health challenges that come with a being a parent of a child with a disability. She resides in the Sutherland shire with her husband and 2 beautiful children who have Autism.
Jason Stanton is the Chairperson and co-founder of SKILLZ4ME and is a fierce advocate for children with a disability. He has over 25 years experience in sports coaching over multiple sports and across all levels of ability including professional teams, academies, special needs and school programs.
He coached the Australian Womens Rugby team to victory in the 2009 World Cup and was an assistant to the South African Springboks 7’s team from 2008-11. He also has had roles with the New Zealand KiwiFerns (rugby league), Queenland Reds (rugby union) and Cronulla Sharks (rugby league). Jason established the Cronulla Sharks Skills Academy and their first Womens NRL team.
Jason has a degree in Electrical Engineering from Western Sydney University and is currently performing postgraduate research in the “Response to Auditory & Visual Stimulation to Absconding Children with Autism”. He hopes to utilise his mix of lived experience across disability, sports and engineering to create programs and devices that can assist children with special needs globally.
Jason brings a unique energy and enthusiasm to the Skillz4me team which makes the sports program so successful. He resides in the Sutherland shire with his wife Sarah and their two beautiful children who have Autism.
Sarah Diener is a Social Worker who has a passion for working with children with disabilities and has gained experience through working as a disability support worker in various settings since 2014.
She has worked in residential care with children who have experienced trauma and for the past 2 years has worked at St George School as a School Learning Support Officer (SLSO) working with children who have complex intellectual and physical disabilities. Sarah is excited to get to build a rapport with the families that attend Skillz4me and grow her overall experience and knowledge.
While working part-time and completing her studies, Sarah has continued to enjoy her sport. She has played softball for Sutherland Shire Softball Association since 2007 and has been a part of U17, U19 and currently the U23 NSW Women’s Softball team. Sarah also has been volunteering as a coach since 2012, coaching kids ranging from age 7 to age 17 at club softball, representative level and at the Australian Regional Championships.
Victoria Read has 6 years experience as a Paediatric Occupational Therapist. She specialises in working with children with disabilities and their families in community settings and has been involved with Skillz4Me since 2018.
After completing her occupational therapy degree, she also completed a Master's degree in Developmental Disability where she conducted research on using proprioceptive sensory input to minimise undesirable behaviours for children with Autism. Victoria opened her own business ‘OT for me’ in 2018 where she provides therapy to children in their natural settings.
Victoria is an asset to our organisation, she brings great knowledge, compassion and willingness to see our children succeed. She facilitates our Social Skills Training program and is currently on maternity leave and will be back Term 1 2021.
Luisa Helwani is a qualified Early Childhood Teacher. She has extensive knowledge in child development and disabilities and is a great asset to the program.
Liam Bubb is a volunteer at SKILLZ4ME. Having been diagnosed with autism at age 2, he knows how important it is for all kids to have the chance to play and loves helping the kids at Skillz do this. He loves writing stories & music and is the go-to expert on a certain blue hedgehog. He is now doing his HSC at Caringbah Selective High School.
If you have a passion for working with children of all abilities please contact us for more information on how to join our team!