In this week’s episode, Josh chats with Bianca-Jaye Mazzuchelli, finalist of the Spirit Super Create Change Award at the 2023 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards Victoria.
Bianca is a proud Gunditjmara woman who is currently studying her undergraduate degree in Psychological Science. She talks about the development of Auditory Sensory Prevention Technology (ASPT), which is an earpiece that emits white noise and is designed to help children and adults who are neurodiverse, to combat challenges they may face in social settings due to sound sensitivity. In 2022 her ASPT start-up won the Swinburn Venture Cup.
“I believe that it’s a human right for every child to have a friend”
If you enjoy the Inspirational Australian’s Podcast, we’d love it if you could subscribe, rate and review. Find out how here.
To find out more connect with ASPT on Instagram
Welcome to inspirational Australians, where we share stories of Australians making
a difference in their communities and in the lives of others. We at Inspirational Australians Acknowledge the
Wurundjeri and Bunurong people of the Kulin Nation as their traditional owners and
custodians of the lands and waterways on which this podcast is produced. We pay our
respect to elders, past and present, and those who are emerging and extend our respect to all Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander peoples. At Inspirational Australians, we are inspired by the world’s oldest living culture
and pay homage to their rich storytelling history, when we share stories on our podcast.
Thank you. Chrissy. Still getting used to saying that one. I said thank you Annette for a long,
long time. But of course we are in season two of the inspirational strains podcast.
So things are sounding a little bit different,
hopefully love to hear people’s feedback. You can always follow us at inspirational
Australians on Instagram and message just there. Let us know if you’re enjoying the
new season or you can reach out via LinkedIn awards, Australia, or Facebook awards,
Australia are our main channels. And of course, inspiration,
Australian podcast is brought to you by awards Australia. And what we do is we
bring community achievement awards and young chief awards programs to life with the
sole purpose of sharing stories about inspirational Australians,
which is why this podcast makes so much sense for us and why we love doing it. So
the last thing before we get cracking into the episode is just
a reminder to write and review the podcast, especially in Apple,
Apple podcasts because it helps people find us and give us
a good rating. So please, if you’ve listened and enjoyed, give us
a quick rating five stars of course. But yes, let’s get into today’s episode,
I’m really excited to be speaking to Bianca. And this episode is actually brought to you by Spirit Super,
the Super fund for hard working Australians. Let’s be honest. First jobs are rarely glamorous,
but whether you’re stacking shelves flipping burgers or starting an apprenticeship,
we all want to start strong. Especially when it comes to our Super,
thankfully Spirit Super understanding and looking after you Super, Super easy, with
a focus on strong returns award winning service. And Super experts offering practical
and helpful advice spirit strip is here for you and your Super right from day one.
For more info, go to
SpiritSuper.com.au. Do you consider the pads and TMD experience to become that I use
those PDFs before making a decision. isra is motor trade association of Australia,
Superannuation fund. Pty. Ltd advice is provided by quadrant first. Podiatry and past performance isn’t
a reliable indicator of future performance. So now to our guest Bianca-Jaye Mazzuchelli.
Who’s spreading awareness on autism spectrum disorder, and neurodiversity, Bianca Jaye is
a proud Gunditjmara woman. She’s developed the auditory sensory prevention technology,
or as Patty, as our show, referred to it early moving forward, designed to help children and adults with autism,
or who are neurodiverse to combat the challenges they face in social settings,
and live an inclusive social life. In twenty twenty two,
she won the Swinburne Venture Cup for her aspt, and of course we know Bianca. As
a finalist in the most recent 7News,
Young Achiever Awards Victoria in the Spirit Super Create Change Award. So welcome to the podcast, Bianca-Jaye.
Thank you very much for having me.
What’s the day been like for you so far?
I started the day with my first first day back at University, so a full on day.
Yeah, I can imagine so first day back from just term break or we had a bit of
a break in your studies.
Yes, I just a mid-semester break. So now coming into my third year of my undergraduate, so
awesome. And so what is it that you’re studying?
So I’m doing my bachelor of psychological sciences with a double minor in criminology and applied psychology. And
criminology is one of those ones to me that’s like sad is so interesting. Is it?
Is it like as interesting as it seems like, you know,
I think it is so like I added on my mind or criminology just purely out of interest
because you know, it was true crime documentaries and your law and order feels like, Oh,
you know what? I want to learn more about this,
so that’s how I got into the criminology side as well as obviously the psychology side.
Glad it’s not just me. I thought that kind of stuff. That’s awesome. So yeah.
Back into Uni. Thanks for making time to be on the podcast today. So much to talk
about and you know, start in the obvious place a SBT,
auditory sensory prevention technology. It sounds pretty complicated, can you, you know,
give us the layman’s terms or help us kind of understand what that means.
You know what, it sounds very complicated, but the basis of it,
it is something actually really simple. So the auditory sensory prevention
technology is an ear piece that disperses white noise. So it’s not
a noise cancelling headphone, it’s not a hearing aid, it’s
a one function ear piece that will disperse white noise to the person wearing it.
That will counteract the over stimuli that people with autism and other diagnoses
face in a social setting. So imagine a school excursion or a birthday party, places that are quite loud and
a quite overwhelming.
So my understanding of kind of sensory overload and you know,
stimuli and things like that is coming from having two small children,
myself and my wife, you know, is kind of sharing that, Oh geez,
at certain times just the noise level is too much. And so yeah,
we’ve talked about it heaps and yeah, I hate saying this,
but I did my own research. You know what I mean?
Just looking up and kind of yeah, uh, just understanding a bit more about it and why that is Such
a trigger for people. So from that point of view, it does make sense what you’re talking about and having
a family member who is on the autism spectrum. Yeah,
I can see how that would would be helpful. What is it that led you down the path of
working on these kind of things?
So it’s with this, I want to say I came about it by accident,
but it was done through a assignment in my human factors in psychology,
which is how we as people work with technology on a psychological basis,
I think like aviation or driving a car or you know,
why do we want to push the red button that says do not press. And I had these list
of assignment topics and I had a look and I was like, you know what?
None of them are jumping out to me. None of them have,
like sparked my interest. So I asked them like,
can I do mine on autism studies or neurodiversity because it’s something very close
to my heart. And something I’ve grown up with, you know, from,
from birth having parents and family members. You know,
who are on the Spectrum and then from that I had a think and I through my research,
I went, well, why don’t we combine the use of headphones and noise canceling things with the use
of white noise.
So I sat down with a pencil and
a bit of paper and the next thing you know, I’ve had,
I came up with this design and my lecture went young,
do you understand that this is something that can be made?
And I was like, no, it’s not. And
now here we are from that. So it’s been a really big journey.
That’s pretty cool. Most people have ideas that sound good on
paper and then you kind of explore and you’re like, Oh,
that’s not going to work. That’s not feasible or it’s already been done. It’s
released in, you know, fifteen hundred different models. So this is
a rare occasion where you’ve kind of come up with this bit of an idea.
a, as you lecture said, you can make it and be, you know, utomi is,
it’s something that’s readily kind of available already. Is this, I think that’s, that’s really common out there.
It’s not common at all. So the example that I use is just say a parent, a teacher, or
a child in primary school who’s neurodiverse. And this is the closest thing that we
have to the device currently, that you’re at a school excursion,
and you’re at the zoo and it’s loud and it’s overwhelming. And you know that you’re
going to hit that peak of a meltdown.
And other people can say you’re going to hit that peak of
a meltdown. By the time you get out an iPad or an iPhone or headphones,
and making sure that the five year old has the capacity to hold it or remove them
from the situation. They’re already at
a full blown meltdown level. So what we’ve done is made sure that this is very
easily accessible and that it’s quick so,
and it’s controlled by the person wearing it so that child can feel their emotions
starting to rise. They can feel that it’s starting to get too much,
and they’ve just got to press the button and the distraction chemistry as being the
white noise. So the closest thing at the moment is that whole headphones and,
and phone. And even if that is accessible at that time,
so this will be worn by the person already to go.
Yeah, that’s cool. Very, very cool. And I know you mean I’ve got a four year old and
a six year old. So if they, if something is needed now,
it’s literally now one minute delay and it’s too late. So exactly as you said,
Yeah, that’s it. And so my focus is predominantly on youth. But it’s also for adults as
well. And we’re looking at different diagnoses on the neurodivergent scale like ADHD, where you might be sitting in
a meeting. And it’s that fidgety and it’s all getting too much. And you don’t want
to concentrate any more. Instead of having those urges, you know, to pattern or to leave or to stop wriggling,
we can use things like green noise to come in in an ear pace. So yeah,
wide range of uses. But it’s very exciting to see all these different things that potentially could be useful
for sure. So you have to educate me what’s grey noise. I’m not aware of that one.
So we’ve got a couple of noises. I refer to them as noises. So about white noise, grey noise,
blue noise, pink noise brown noise, and the definition is pretty much the frequency of the noises is different. So
where is the white noise? You have a quite high pitch that static think of an old TV noise,
whereas green noise is quite low. I reflect, I think of
a washing machine or an ocean sound. So it’s the same basis,
but the frequency of the sound varies in level.
Yeah. And so a grey noise is that meant to, you know,
assist with people’s brain activity or something. You’re saying that in a meeting that, that could be useful.
Yes. So things that we’re not noise cancelling. You can still actually hear everything that’s going on.
it’s just diverting the mind to something else rather than everything else. Yeah, that makes
sense. Hmm, that’s interesting way to think about it completely different to you know, how
a lot of people would be like myself, obviously speaking for you know,
view how we should be hearing things. You want to hear everything.
Yeah. That. And it’s, you know, there’s
a safety reasons why we like you still want to be included and inclusive in these
conversations. But those with diagnoses that are in, you’re neurodivergent, it’s not that easy just sitting there and concentrating like
a divorce. I will say your typical person instead of your typical kid. So it’s in
getting that inclusivity as well where people don’t have to remove themselves or
feel like maybe being looked at or not behaving in a way that’s expected in these social situations.
Yeah, for sure. So it’s part of the, you know,
the bio I read mentioned that you won the burn Venture Cup. So you know,
I think first you let us know what the Venture Cup is and, and how you went about winning it.
So the swim and adventure Cup is through the innovation precinct at Swinburne,
which is all about invention and business and getting things out from the ground
from an idea concept you know, to a full blown product or company. And I did
a couple of like science competitions beforehand and then the same lecture that
said that the device could be made sent me the information for the bench Cup. I was like, you know,
this is something I’m interested in. I enjoy public speaking. I enjoy competing and
I get my idea out there like in front of a room of professionals. So I got together
a pitch and I had training that was provided.
So six weeks beforehand and very
honoured to be up there with students doing their days or professors or alumni from
Swinburne when I was still an undergrad undergraduate myself and went up there,
spoke about my passion and, and which is, you know,
helping people with autism and neurodiversity and actually I knew I’d want it,
that’s pretty cool, especially as you said, against people doing PhDs and alumni and things like that.
Yeah. It’s, you know, it still seems very surreal to be put in this category with people. I’m still
currently in my undergraduate, so I just started the idea today. So you know,
the future of where all this lies is very exciting and also having the help of
these people alongside me through the journey has been Incredible.
Was it a case of when you were announced as the winner? Like what was your feeling at that time?
So I actually sat there and I was clapping in my seat because I hadn’t realized and
then I actually had my mom with me who flew down from Brisbane. And she’s like,
yeah, this is you and I was like, what’s your name? You know, this is me,
I just want it. So it was absolutely surreal. Incredible.
You know, there was
a pickup given and a man like, you know,
my name is going to be in that swimsuit and for the entirety of swim that. You know,
it’s something that I can go back and show my kids and my grandkids that you know,
my name is on this Cup with some amazing companies and technologies that have
changed the world. So that’s, that concept is so hard to grasp. Still, you know, that’s my name there.
We give out a lot of trophies with the young achiever awards and the community achievement
awards. But I got to say there is something pretty cool about a Cup
there is and it’s, you know,
I was carrying around the Cup all night. So there was actually two winners. There was an alumni winner and
a current student winner. But that Cup was mine for the night. That was I was very,
very excited to have the big Cup and carry it around.
Yeah, that is awesome.
So, sounds like a really good program where you had, as you said,
six weeks of kind of support leading up and you know, what,
what kind of areas did you feel you needed the most support with and kind of where
were you feeling already, you know, strong in
so public speaking, I feel quite strong and I’m very,
I’m quite comfortable. I grew up in the performing arts debate in front of
a crowd. You know, it’s like a second home. But whereas, you know,
coming to it towards a business perspective, I’m a, I’m
a psych student like I know the brain and I know about behaviours. But in terms of the business,
I really had no concept of idea. I what it took and then the
engineering of the product as well, because again, I’m not an engineer. So you know,
working with all these people and going from business everywhere from your ABN to,
you know, your full blown patent and patents and everything like that. So, and it’s still
a journey that I am on. So now working with Swinburne and medtech in conjunction
and meeting people that work for the likes of Johnson and Johnson. And now going
into the medical side of it,
which is something that I never thought would be in my wheelhouse of things of
working with people. Yeah. In a medical field. So
yeah, well, you know, you kind of led me to one of the questions I want to ask you,
which is perfect. Where is it up to? Now, you know, because as you said,
there’s patents involved as medical side. I imagine there’d be quite
a long process of getting something like this, you know, from concept stage to kind of rapidly, not rapidly,
readily being produced
yet. So this at the moment we’re working with different
sound boards to get the sound correct. And then we’re going into,
we get to go in to the research side,
which is where I’m most excited for this to go. I’m planning on doing my master’s
in research in this particular field because of the device and because of the spike
So at the moment, yeah, we’re playing around with different sound boards and making sure that that
frequency is correct, That the sound is safe. The volume is safe,
everything works. And then we start with the functionality of it and you know,
we get to test and on people that are, that are willing to come and be
a Guinea pig for me. While we get all these up and running to see how grateful the
impact we can have and how quickly we can measure brainwaves and everything from an
overstimulation, you know, to a calm, a calmness within the brain using using white noise.
So a device like this can usually or could take years really to, to be as you said,
workshopped researched and then kind of all those things that need to happen.
Yeah, it can take years and I’m very fortunate that I’ve started this in my second unit
and it’s been less than twelve months since I’ve won the Venture Cup. So it’s going very, very quickly for
a new technology and in the medical field. Everything like that. However, for me, I want everything you know,
ready to go and then learning that that doesn’t work in these kind of processes,
that it does take time and a lot of patience. So it’s just taking it every step as it comes,
working through it, and I don’t want to put out something that’s got any flaws. So getting it to that
perfect status to be readily available on the market.
And I’ve always said that I
want it available at chemist warehouse, you know,
for your everyday family affordable. Because I know the costs of what it can be
with a child that’s got autism spectrum disorder or an other diagnosis of you know,
occupational therapy, doctor’s appointment, speech therapist,
and it all adds up. So chemist warehouse is my goal always has been so that’s
hopefully where we’ll end up.
Yeah, that’s awesome. Would you say that? You know, I guess maybe it’s just terminology but, but Bianca,
would you say that you know, you’ve got to start up? Or is it something
else that’s exactly what it is. It’s a start up companies. So,
you know, there’s other things within this company which, you know, I’ve created,
I guess now of things that I want to look into. One of them is, you know,
writing children’s books about inclusivity and diversity and how we,
as non neurodiverse people interact with those who are neurodiverse and it’s all
for me, it’s all about inclusion and that sociability and I believe that it’s
a human right for every child to have a friend or have the ability to make
a friend, which we see a lot happening with young children with autism spectrum disorder where that
sociability is not there due to being overwhelmed. And the startup company is on
the way and hopefully I can dip my toe into a few different things,
but still to do with the neurodiversity, Oh,
so you did,
you did touch on it earlier on, but you said
it was a very personal to you. So, you know, happy to speak
a bit more about that and kind of where that was founded and,
and kind of why it’s so important to you.
Yeah, absolutely. So my best friend’s brother, Matthew, who is now twenty five years old,
very high on the Spectrum. Verbal but very limited in communication and I’ve
watched Matthew grow up and I’ve seen the struggles of what happens when he’s in
a social setting and it does get too much and the way that people can look at him
sometimes, and it breaks my heart that you know,
he hasn’t had the same opportunity that I have had or my best friend has had, you know,
he locked himself in his room some days and it’s I’ve seen how detrimental it can
be to his mental health. Now, you know,
this is something he’s lived with for twenty five years and you know,
that friendships aren’t there. You know, and it’s,
I call him one of my best friends because I love him to pieces. He’s like,
he’s like my brother.
So, you know, helping children like him from
a young age being able to have that sociability can make
a great impact even coming into adolescent and then going into adulthood. So he’s
been a massive inspiration to me and everything I’m doing,
I’m doing to help people like Matthew to be more included to be more included in everyday life.
Yeah, for sure. I think that’s a really interesting point. You mentioned, you know,
with that context in mind about, you know,
books and things like that and kind of just making it normal and normalizing people
because I feel sometimes, you know, and you can extend this to disability of any type that people almost sort
themselves out of like,
I don’t want to say the wrong thing or upset anyone and so they just think, well,
it’s easy if I just don’t talk to them.
Yeah. And that’s exactly right. And I was quite and with this once we had
a family friend when autism was kind of first coming into focus
with high levels of being diagnosed and Children being diagnosed with autism
spectrum disorder. And I saw with him, you know, at five and six years old when he’d be at
a birthday party and his behavior would be seen as out of control and the hitting
and the biting would stop. And the parents of the other kids went, well,
we don’t want him at our kid’s birthday parties because of the behavior. And the
next thing you know this, you know, five,
six year old boy is invited to birthday parties anymore. Out of Salt Lake that’s
very much out of his control. And it’s heartbreaking to parents as well. You know,
and it’s not just the socialization of the kid that suffers. It’s the socialization
of the parent. Because then you only are ostracized because of your child’s behavior, which, you know,
you don’t know how to control and the child doesn’t know how to control either. So
it’s making sure that everyone is being included in a, in a social setting. And,
you know, being able to enjoy these birthday parties without, you know, having that stigma attached of,
but behavioral issues or all your diagnoses. So yeah, very big on inclusivity.
Do you think? You said like I have now a diagnosis and I guess awareness is coming
a bit more into focus. And, you know, you’ve said the word neurodiverse and your diversity, that’s obviously becoming
a much more used term. People are more aware now of what that is. Do you think even
things like that is helping the situation?
Oh, absolutely, and I think it’s helping those who are diagnosed as neurodiverse as well. And it’s
not that it gives an explanation to behaviours, but it’s giving that, you know, almost like
a community of people who are neurodiverse that have found each other.
like, you know, people can go, well, you know, I’m neurodiverse, you know,
I’ve got autism spectrum disorder and then you’ll find someone else go, Oh,
I’m neurodiverse, I’ve got extreme anxiety being around people,
social anxiety. And then you know, you have people diagnosed with ADHD going on,
I’m also neurodiverse and so and then through the likes of Social media as well.
You see all these people connect and in university settings as well. We see now the
increase of quiet spaces and safe spaces where we’re catering for people who are
neurodiverse, which is really awesome to see and even tactile playgrounds,
coming into play for kids. You know, where I know that there’s trampoline parks,
especially catered for children with autism. Which is absolutely Incredible to see all these starting to come in.
Yeah, for sure. There is lots of change happening. You know,
even I’ve seen like the tic talks and rio’s normalising talking about being on the
Spectrum and things like that, which is awesome.
You know, for you being a researcher, obviously and still in university,
what do you think are some of the future or Where’s that the field headed in terms of your diversity?
All the field in your diversity. It’s something that’s definitely being explored a lot more. And you know,
we still don’t have an explanation as to why people are diagnosed with autism. We
don’t know the underlying causes of what actually happens in the brain. So this is
something that’s got a lot of research ahead of it.
my research will be with you and your device in the use of sound. You know,
how far can we take something as simple as sound into the field of neurodiversity
and then going on to other mental illnesses as well. Like an example I’ve been
asked was, well, what about the likes of a diagnoses like schizophrenia?
Can we use something as simple as sound to counteract voices in the head, from
a change of concentration of going from one thing to the sound. So it’s
a very exciting well that’s one side of the field. But in terms of neurodiversity,
we’re learning A lot more. And now we have the likes of, you know,
people doing their masters in autism studies. So all these things are coming about
and I think it’s just going to make the world a lot more inclusive and people
a lot more understanding of neurodiversity
now I’m throwing a bit of a curveball question here at you. So hopefully it’s not too too curvy,
but you know, I’m just thinking out loud. Like, obviously
a lot of us would know someone who is neurodiverse and there’s probably
a lot of employers or people, you know,
working in teams that might have someone who’s neurodiverse in them. You know,
with your kind of expert background. Do you think,
did you have any tips for people on how to best connect with or you know,
engage an employee, for example, for example, who has that? Yeah,
absolutely. And look, the number one thing to do is if a person’s come to you said I am neurodiverse,
ask what their triggers are. Number one and then ask them what they can put in
place for when they may get triggered or overwhelmed. You know,
making sure that that person doesn’t feel like they’re going to get in trouble if
they need to escalate themselves. So they come back to be still involved. Yeah, that’s
a problem. And everyone’s individual as well. So you might have something in place for, you know,
we’ve got employees who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Not all their
triggers are going to be the same and not all the treatments are going to be the
same. So really customizing to the individual of what triggers them, what helps them for some people it might be,
it might be the use of sound. For some people it might be having a bouncy ball or
a clicky pen or something to fidget with while being in meetings and you know,
not discriminating against those people for what they need to be included.
Yep. That’s a good one. You know, on a personal note,
I know someone who he’s neurodiverse, but he just loves researching
a topic like he focusing in on a topic. And then he’ll, you know,
research and research and research.
He’s part of that team at awards,
Australia and we use his skill because we have
a lot of people who are nominated in the awards and they kind of, you know,
and it’s, it’s really sweet because they’re so humble. They’re like, Oh, I haven’t really done anything. And
a quick Google will show you that they’ve volunteered for twenty years that they’ve
got a doctorate in this. And they’ve been helping the community in
a myriad of different ways. And so he actually uses his skill on that and kind of says,
I’ll look at them with this kind of fans information on you. Absolutely Incredible.
You should definitely nominate and, and they kind of go, wow,
like I didn’t even know that information was out there. About me. That’s unbelievable. And so, you know,
I feel like you can just use people’s skills and their interests and,
and trait trader as an asset rather than a negative
or exactly, utilize, utilize these skills. And you don’t utilize the wealth of knowledge that comes with
people who are hyper focused on a certain topic because you’re never going to find someone that’s better in the
field or more knowledgeable in the field for someone who has Such an interesting
appetite, almost live and breathe it, you know,
and it’s sometimes it’s Incredible to sit down with people who’ve been diagnosed
with autism and speak to them about what they love. And you can see the brain fire
because they’ve got so much to tell you that sometimes you just have to be like,
thank you enough information, but seeing that excitement,
I have that with Matthew as well, like Harry Potter legacy is a massive one,
which I’m a Lego fan myself,
so I ask him about it and then the next thing I’ve been sitting there for three
hours, and it’s like, Oh,
I know everything there is to know now that every single Harry Potter Lego set that
has come on the market. Yeah,
it can be very heartwarming to watch when people have Such an interest and Such
a love for a set and
topic. Yeah, for sure. You know, another thing I want to ask you about in terms of, you know,
the field of neurodiversity getting back to that I guess is, you know,
you mentioned something to me off air about the amount of different diagnoses there are. You know, for me,
I guess not being an expert in the area. My kind of understanding is very limited.
So yeah. Can you help us understand what types of diagnoses there are and the background on that?
Yeah, absolutely. So the diagnosis is all of autism spectrum disorder has changed over
the course of ten years. But ten to fifteen years where we’ve gone away from things
like asperger’s which used to be a diagnosis in conjunction with autism,
which now doesn’t exist. And now it’s on a Spectrum scale,
so you’ve got your high functioning autism and your low functioning autism. So
that’s one band of it. And then you, again you’ve got ADHD which can be categorised.
Some people with ADHD
may be quite hyperactive, which is what our stereotypical it looks like is that hyperactive can’t sit still,
but there’s so much more on that scale there’s you know, the sometimes there is the hyperfocus where you know,
I must get this done. I must finish it and
I’m not going to sleep until I do. And there’s the big mood swings as well in between of,
on one side being so happy and overwhelmed that all these energy builds up to then
going down. And it’s like all that crash, almost like crash and burn of energy. And you’ve got anxiety,
which of course has many different umbrellas with anxiety. Social anxiety is probably
a big one for people. I feel like at the moment coming out of the covid pandemic,
especially for somebody being locked inside for three years. It’s social anxiety of coming out,
the other side can be quite overwhelming. Yes. And the social anxiety of that
feeling, you know, is, are people watching me? Am I doing the right thing?
This is just getting too much for me. So yeah, there’s a whole range,
but they’re my three focus points. Majorly.
Yeah. Well, very interesting because when I was a kid exactly what age,
but I was diagnosed with ADHD and then I’ll probably get this wrong. But I think as
that went on they’re like, Oh no, it’s ADHD
or something. I don’t know what it was,
but eventually kind of like the medication wasn’t really doing that much for me
personally because I don’t feel like I had the hyperactive thing where I was like,
you know, I was almost the what you you’re saying about the,
the crash of energy and then all of a sudden I was like,
Oh well just don’t go limit the medication and as I became
a teenager for whatever reason that seemed to you know,
not really be as much of an issue. So I think people go through that
a lot where they’re like, thinking back to the old days of like, Oh yeah,
he’s got ADHD or asperger’s. But yeah, as you were saying, that’s not even a diagnosis anymore.
And it’s, you know,
also we learn within ourselves sometimes what our triggers are or can be. And as we age we go, well,
I’m probably not going to do that because I know the effects that it can have on me
mentally or have an effect on my behavior. And sometimes we can’t help it. You know,
we live in a world where it’s constantly on the go, where you can’t just be like, you know what,
I’m having an off day today. Hmm. I think
now it’s starting to change as well. But,
you know, I think I just need to stay at home in my own little bubble today,
rather than go out and put myself in a social setting,
which I know is going to cause me some anxiety or overwhelm witness to that change
of diagnoses and all that and then learning how triggers as well, which I think everyone would know, you know,
what triggers them when that makes them feel uncomfortable. So yeah, learning ourselves as we age in neurodiversity,
which yeah, this is a bit anecdotal, but you know,
I have heard from some people as well that it’s speaking of anxiety that actually
the parents of a child being diagnosed can then get
a lot of anxiety around it because it seems like, you know, Such
a big deal and they kind of don’t want their kid to have that diagnosis. Have you
encountered that at all?
I haven’t as yet,
but I do know I like so I’ve got friends in my age group where the kids are
starting to turn that three or four where the energy is next level because there
are three or four year old child and they, you know,
they’ve asked I’m so scared that they’ve got ADHD or I’m so scared that they’re autistic because they you know,
like having their alone time and it’s kind of having to say, well,
you got to remember the kids are still kids as well. And there’s one thing having
a diagnosis and there’s one thing of just doing normal child behaviour. Yeah. So
that’s why we’ve got it separate them as well. And I think what’s happening is
parents are so scared that there’s
a diagnosis in their child that they’re trying to find it. Mhm rather than just
kind of letting it watching and letting it play out and then going in and stepping
in when needed. So I definitely think the anxiety is around there,
but I also think the anxiety is not helping the cause of these children. So it’s a really, you know,
kind of double edged sword that you’ve got going on at the moment. And of course,
like again I go back to social media because it’s something that is so prevalent
now in society where people will get on Tok,
or they’ll get on Instagram and post their story and they’ll go, you know,
this is my diagnosis and all the people go well I like two out of five of those
things I’ve posted. So I must have
a diagnosis as well. And then that passes on and then the next person watches it
guys, you know, I like my, my socks coded a certain way. Oh,
sounds like I’ve got OCD so it’s yeah, definitely trying to differentiate between
a diagnosis which is very complex and there’s multiple different categories that you take off to be diagnosed with
a neurological disorder rather than your social media diagnosis.
Yep, that’s so true and yeah, kind of chuckling along that the know exactly what you’re talking about. It’s funny.
So, you know, speaking of anxiety, this is a,
this is probably my worst Segway of all time, but I’m going to give it
a go. Speaking of anxiety, you said that you know, you love performing, you had
a background of that that the public speaking element of your Venture Cup win
wasn’t an issue. So I guess speaking of not having anxiety about those things,
how did you find being at the, you know, the young, achieve rewards and even you know,
comparing that to the Venture Cup not comparing but like in a similar way,
being in an awards program and going up on stage in front of people. That was fine
for you as well.
Oh, that was the only thing I had was I was the first person called for the whole night.
So start of the night everyone. There was Bianca. Your first up first category, first person on
stage alphabetical order, the
alphabetical order, and obviously this spirit, Super creating change award was the first word being presented. I was like,
this is it, I’m up. I’m your best as on the stage,
but I was very lucky to have an amazing support network come and support me that
night. You know, I had my family there, my partner there, my best friends there,
and people from Swinburne as well. You know,
that were all there to support me. So having that there as well. Definitely gave me
that extra boost of confidence,
but I’m still not too sure what’s worse.
A room of five hundred strangers or your
five closest friends is a
that’s a good point. That’s tough, actually,
prefer doing a public speaking gig to five hundred strangers. I reckon.
I agree. You know, the strangers don’t know you from a bar. So, but yet, you know,
you interact with your family and everything every day and you know,
they know what you’re capable of. So it’s that little bit of,
and I do get more nervous than my family come on watch as well. Naturally. You know,
I want to make sure that doing them proud which, you know, I don’t think everyone has that feeling.
Yeah, that’s awesome. So obviously you were a finalist in that category, which was pretty cool. It was
a very diverse range of people in that category. Doing different things, you know,
would you looking back and I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this,
someone can edit it out if I’m not.
But I think your mom nominated you in the awards. Right?
Yeah, she did.
Yeah. Which is awesome. I love that. I’ve had some people say they don’t
want to let their son or daughter know that nominated them because it’s
embarrassing and I say no it’s. It’s amazing. It’s Such a compliment. What did what, how did that work?
Did she tell you one day that nominating you or or how when she nominated you in
the awards? What happened?
I’m so it was more like we both saw it advertised on TV through channel seven and
mum sent me the brief as well. Chloe is,
is something and I spoke to Swinburne about it as well and everything like that. So all speaking together,
mum was the one that put through the the nomination. Yeah. And,
and then obviously got contacted to expand on what mum’s knowledge was of what I do
to then expand to go more in depth and then Yes
. And then is over there. So like, you know, we were putting through a nomination so it was. Yeah,
absolutely amazing. And then you’re filling in the gaps because, you know,
mum gave it a bit of pressure to fill in everything. You know,
she had to work with me on that as well. Because, you know,
I can’t remember everything you’ve done over the past twelve months because it’s been, you know, a massive journey.
Yeah, it’s a good team effort. And you know, from our perspective running the awards,
we have nothing to do with judging other than bringing the experts together and
putting them in the right place and giving them access to the all the documents
they need. But you know, we do try and help our nominees in putting forward
a really good application.
Because I always say that awards programs are like the
perfect vehicle for storytelling. Because people nominate in and that’s, you know,
our way of collecting some stories. It goes through to
a judging process. That’s our way of filtering through which of the best stories
and then awards night podcasts. These kind of things is how we share the stories.
But obviously your mum’s nominated you Super lovely and she’s not an expert in your diversity in your studies,
in your research. So that’s where our team go. Oh, look,
we’ve got this great story in, but we can tell that there’s
a bit of detail that might need to be filled in
here. So that was kind of a bit of
a precursor or a bit of context as to why that happens.
Yeah, and as well, you know, my mum’s been diagnosed with ADHD and so for
a long time my mum did her psych degree so I don’t want to say how many years
ago now you know
that same safe option
had mum is a psychologist. You know, who is also neurodiverse, so a lot of the behaviours I know, and
a lot of my expertise comes from, you know, watching her and especially the behavioural side. So, you know,
when I do all of this as well,
my focus is on autism spectrum disorder. But I do have that, you know,
at least it’s come from come from mum so
well there you go. I misspoke, she’s an expert.
She is an expert. She is an expert on neurodiversity,
but she’s an expert in terms I guess of living it and not researching it.
So your mum sounds like a very interesting character. Obviously at the start we said that you’re proud
a Gunditjmara woman and but you’ve, you know,
kind of lived in Melbourne your whole life and can you just tell us
a bit about where Gunditjmara country is and, and your mum and that kind of stuff.
Yeah. No problems like in dejima, our country is pretty much between Portland and Warrnambool. So my
biological grandfather was born on country and grew up in one of the missions down
there. And due to the time and,
and everything else that was going on. So my mum was put up for adoption in nineteen seventy one,
which then led to us having this massive gap in family history,
which is all too common with Aboriginal families and trying to find those
connections. And again, it wasn’t till mom was really,
I guess at University where we got to get these connections and then people knowing
family that traces back to country. And you know,
we’re still trying to fill in some gaps with all of this. But you know,
we’re very proud of our culture and our heritage and yeah,
that’s pretty much yes. So trying to find the gaps. But yeah, in terms of my mum’s psychology degree,
she now works for the Australian Bureau of statistics for the status as
a statistician. Yeah, and all well doing it with a diagnosis of ADHD.
Hmm. So you, that must be, you know, hard for her and you of course,
the family with trying to fill in gaps and you know,
you can’t just ring up someone and say, hey, what happened to uncle so-and-so? You know,
you don’t have that access. Is it been hard for the two of you and you know,
anyone else for that matter to kind of connect with the culture or is that not been the hard part
and all this is going well into it?
So for me growing up, it was something that I was very much ashamed of. You know,
I was in primary school in the late nineties, early two-thousands where, you know,
there wasn’t this, there’s this stigma, we’re still Majorly attached to Aboriginal Australians and especially myself being
a white Aboriginal Australian. All of that. Well, you don’t look Aboriginal. How do you know?
So I often hid it and we tried to involve culture as much as we could,
but it took me to coming to my own journey. And for me to be willing to accept my
culture and then find my own path and own journey which her I fit as an Aboriginal
Australian. And so again, my story is very similar to mums going into university. And through the MTC sent to
there, which is the indigenous centre finding people that were like me in this setting.
And I was like, you know,
I’m not alone. So those feelings I had of is lost connection and we might not know blood family
a lot. But what we do is we creating our own family and our own mob for the people
we surround ourselves with. And through that I am finding more people, you know,
that are Gunditjmara. And it’s just, you know, expanding and really,
really nice to have that part of my culture now. And, you know,
I now I get involved with, you know,
Indigenous Uni Games and I play school and do all these on country development
programs and leadership programs as being Aboriginal Australian. And it’s really
awesome to come into my own culture. I just wish that I could have told myself back
then that you know, that was absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, but look at where we are now. So
yeah, yeah, that’s awesome. To hear that you’ve been able to find those connections and
overcome that because that is Such
a hard thing. Once you’ve got something that’s been ingrained in you and that shame,
as you said, it can be really hard to kind of fight against that. So that’s,
that’s really amazing to hear.
Awesome, thank you.
I just want to before we wrap up,
I do have two last quick questions for you if that’s okay. Yep. So the first one is
from spirit soup out there. And have given me a question to ask you directly. And so you know,
I feel like you’ve been well supported in your journey in terms of,
with the Venture carpet and that kind of stuff. But you can answer this in, in
a different way if you prefer.
So the question is,
do you feel that being young helps or hinders creating change?
Oh, good question. I say, I don’t consider myself as young,
even though I’ve just ten said yeah, it was like I’ve got, you know,
I think it does. Although I was the way I was raised. I was always told that there
is no age limit to education. Sorry,
and I’ve always kept that in mind and doing everything like this that you know,
being young young is great because I have time to work on it. But also I feel like
if I was younger, then I wouldn’t have the life experience life skills that I’ve had. So it’s
a really tough question where I sit on that, but I do think, you know,
being young and coming through with the likes of new technologies being developed
and everything like that obviously has a benefit.
Yeah, good one. Well, onto my last question now. And you know,
this is the inspirational australian’s podcast. And so we have inspirational,
people that come on. And I’ve been inspired by your journey and your story,
you know, the way that you’ve taken a personal experience and a person, you know the person,
your friend’s brother that you know and your own family and using that experience
of neurodiverse people to like propel you into this Incredible research and really
this is why you were a finalist in a career change award because you’re making,
you know, and I know it’s ongoing,
but you’re making huge change. Such positive change for people. So I’m been really inspired by you, but Bianca,
I want to know what or who is it that inspires you
or I’m definitely going to have
to say, my mom is definitely a big inspiration to me and watching you know,
everything that she’s done and being there beside her, you know, awesome education starting Uni. I like my mom,
my mom used to take me to university with her
a my first psychology class. I was ten years old, you know,
sitting taking notes because she couldn’t find anyone to look after me. And then as well, Yeah, going with Matthew,
Matthew is an absolute inspiration to me cause the struggles that he faces every
day is something that I could never,
never imagine. And he’s someone that’s so happy pretty much all the time. Unless he
gets overwhelmed, it becomes too much, but he just, he’s one of the most honest,
happy, most loving people I’ve ever met. So he truly inspires me, you know,
to keep going and to keep pushing in this field because there’s so much that we
still need to know and understand. So he’s going to,
as long as he’s there to help me along the way,
which I’m sure he’ll whinge and complain that you know, you know, is that,
you know, is it, you know, I do this and he does have that comprehension that,
you know, I’ve done this because of you. So yeah, I mean with me the whole way.
That’s brilliant. Well, Bianca, thanks so much for taking the time to join us today. On the inspirational strains
podcast and I can’t wait to follow your journey and see what’s happening with you
know, your developments. And hopefully, you know, in
a few short years we’ll be able to come back and check in with you and,
and talk about how your product is available at chemist warehouse.
That sounds absolutely amazing. Josh.
Thank you, Bianca.
The inspirational australian’s podcast is brought to you by awards, Australia we recognise,
celebrate and share the stories of Inspirational Australians through our awards programs across the country. To find out more,
to nominate an inspirational Australian in your life, or to partner with our awards, visit
awards.australia.com. If you enjoyed today’s story,
we’d love it if you could subscribe rate and review to make sure you don’t miss an
episode. And to help our guests reach more people with their inspirational stories
. episode. And to help our guests reach more people with their inspirational