About our Education Advisory Group

FASD-CAN’s Education Advisory Group (EAG) is a voluntary group of FASD-informed parents and caregivers who work in the education sector, as well as professional educators experienced in supporting FASD learners.

The purpose of the EAG is to provide advice, input and support to the work of FASD-CAN on issues relating to the education of FASD ākonga in Aotearoa.

In particular, the EAG helps FASD-CAN in the following ways:

  • Horizon scanning – providing advice and input on changes in the educational environment that FASD-CAN may need to consider and address with appropriate agencies.
  • Identifying systemic issues in the education sector that need to be addressed and/or opportunities that could be progressed.
  • Advising on education-related policy and programme development.
  • Providing information about what is happening at the ‘grass roots’ level in schools so as to provide better input to government policy.
  • Assisting in the development of appropriate FASD educational resources.

FASD-CAN appoints members to the EAG as and when required and membership is capped at a maximum of 8 members. Each EAG member is initially appointed for a term of 24 months, which may be renewed for a further 24 months if the member and FASD-CAN agree. FASD-CAN’s Principal Advisor, chairs and supports meetings of this group.

If you’d like to know more you can contact Kim Milne, Principal Advisor at  [email protected]

FASD-CAN EAG members 2023

Leigh Henderson

In addition to being FASD-CAN’s board Chairperson, Leigh has experienced the same issues so many FASD parents and caregivers have experienced in the education of our neurodiverse tamariki and rangitahi.

For the past six years Leigh has also as represented FASD-CAN in many fora related to education, including the inclusive education advocacy group (Education for All) and Ministry of Education meetings on the future of education and learning support.

Tina Lomax

Tina has been the Principal of Kingslea School since 1998, where she delivers education to tamariki and rangatahi throughout New Zealand. These students are in Oranga Tamariki youth justice and care and protection residential care, or edge-of-care non-residential placements, throughout New Zealand. 

FASD was the focus of Tina’s sabbatical in 2019, where she attended the 8th International Research Conference on FASD in Canada and visited SEMH (Social, Emotional and Mental Health) schools in the United Kingdom.

Trish Porter

Trish is mother of four adult children and grandma to seven. Her youngest daughter, who joined their family as a 14-month-old and is now 24 years old, lives with FASD. 

Four years ago Trish moved to the RTLB (Resource Teacher of Learning and Behaviour) service. Previously she had worked as an SLT (Speech Language Therapist) then as a teacher in a Special School, for ORS (Ongoing Resourcing Scheme) funded students. 

Tracey Johnston

Tracey is a full-time advocate for her young adult son. She was a qualified primary school teacher for 10 years, and has also taught at secondary school level. She has volunteered as a learning support assistant at secondary school level for students who did not qualify for funding in the classroom. She supported the ESOL teacher at the secondary school to prepare and deliver lessons at the students’ educational levels.

Currently Tracey helps run an FASD support group, and she attends community network meetings to help raise awareness about FASD and FASD-CAN.

Fiona Harkness

Fiona is a Practice Leader in the Tai Tokerau South RTLB Cluster – she has been an RTLB since 2005. Fiona developed an interest in FASD when when struggling to support a student in secondary school; this experience was the basis of her desire to become an RTLB. A focus of her work is to support RTLB and teaching staff to take a strengths-based approach, understanding that some students have difficulty not being difficult and to have practical ways of working which promote genuinely inclusive classrooms.