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actually autistic

Chloe Hayden, Grace Tame & Jac den Houting
Curated and moderated by Amy Thunig

Nearly 80% of autistic women are mis- or un-diagnosed - but every day we're learning more about this disability. Join our panellists to hear what it's actually like to be autistic.

 Sydney Opera House will be offering three talks from this years All about Women Festival free and on-demand into schools across Australia.

Watch on demand anytime between 13 - 31 March 2023

This workshop is available to watch On Demand in your classroom via YouTube at any time that suits you between Monday 13 - Friday 31 March 2023.

Book now to watch on demand in your classroom.

The duration of this event is 1 hour

Event duration is a guide only and may be subject to change

This event is free for all Australian high schools

This program is available free of charge to all Australian high schools. Schools can watch via YouTube.

Suitable for Years 9 - 12. 

This program is recommended for Stages 5 & 6

In English | Auslan interpreted and live captioning available

Auslan interpretation service is provided for audiences who are deaf and use Australian Sign Language (Auslan). Experienced Auslan interpreters will be displayed in the corner of the screen to translate what the speakers are saying into Auslan. The talk will also be live captioned. 

“Although I present a tough exterior, my brain is always working overtime.”

Grace Tame

Navigating the world of neurodivergence

We live in a society that is only just beginning to recognise neurodivergence in women and non-binary people. So how does it feel to be misdiagnosed for years? Does greater public awareness lead to acceptance and inclusion when it comes to socialising? What are some strategies to cope with ableist systems? And what stereotypes do we really need to put in the bin?

In a world where we often hear about autistic people, this panel of actually autistic high achievers tells us about their own lives, on their own terms.  They'll be sharing about navigating social scenes and professional settings, and what masking and mimicry mean. This will be an essential session exploring how everyone can be part of a world that is inclusive, accessible and full of support.

Presented by Sydney Opera House

More about...

Chloé Hayden (she/her) is an award-winning actor and disability advocate, motivational speaker and social media influencer whose story of being 'different, not less' has attracted a worldwide following. She stars as Quinni in Heartbreak High, the Netflix remake of the iconic Australian series. Her first book is Different, Not Less: A neurodivergent's guide to embracing your true self and finding your happily ever after.

Chloe Hayden

More about...

Grace Tame (she/her) is a leader of positive change. She is a survivor-advocate for victims of sexual assault, particularly those who were abused as children.

In 2019 Grace was assisted via the #LetHerSpeak campaign who obtained a court order on her behalf, so she could speak out publicly, under her real name as an abuse survivor. 

Now 27 and based in Hobart, Grace is a regular guest speaker for high-profile events and television programs. She uses her media profile to advocate for other vulnerable groups in the community. She is also a passionate yoga teacher and visual artist, having toured the United States with John Cleese in 2018 (Monty Python) as his personal illustrator. 

Grace is also a champion long-distance runner, winning the 2020 Ross Marathon in a female course record time of 2:59:31.

On the 30th of October, 2020, Grace was named Tasmanian Australian of the Year for 2021. 

On the 25th of January, 2021, Grace was named Australian of the Year. This award has supported Grace in advocating for, and bring awareness to, survivors of child sexual assault, empowering individuals to come forward with their stories after years of silence and pain.

Grace has since started The Grace Tame Foundation, which is a not-for-profit philanthropic organisation that campaigns for and helps to fund initiatives that work to prevent and respond to sexual abuse of children and others.

In 2022 Grace wrote and published her memoir, The Ninth Life of a Diamond Miner.


Grace Tame

More about...

Dr Jac den Houting (they/them) is a research psychologist and autistic activist working in pursuit of social justice. An emerging autism research leader, Jac is committed to creating real-world change that benefits autistic people, in the areas that matter most to the autistic community. Jac believes that autism research can be most meaningful and impactful when it is conducted by and with those it is intended to serve – autistic people.  

Jac trained and worked as a psychologist in Brisbane, Australia, before completing their PhD and venturing into an academic career. Currently, Jac is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Macquarie University in Sydney. In late 2019, Jac made their TEDx debut with a viral talk that has attracted more than 1.2 million views to date. Jac is proudly neurodivergent and queer, and shares their life with their equally-neurodivergent partner; an enthusiastic Labrador; a Deaf rescue cat; and a disgruntled bearded dragon.


Dr Jac den Houting

More about...

Dr Amy Thunig (B.Arts, M.Teach, PhD) (she/they) is a Gomeroi/Gamilaroi/Kamilaroi yinarr (woman) and mother who resides on Awabakal Country. A full-time academic in the field of education, Amy is also an author, with her first book Tell Me Again released in November 2022 via UQP. Amy is a Director at Story Factory in Redfern, on various committees and councils including the AECG, and a media commentator and panellist, regularly appearing on television programs such as ABC’s The Drum.

Dr Jac den Houting

Frequently Asked Questions - On Demand Programs

What equipment do I need?

All you need is an internet connection! Schools can connect through Youtube in an internet browser however works best for your students (as a classroom or on individual computers.)

If you require technical assistance with your video conferencing facilities, contact your schools’ tech support or alternatively contact our Creative Learning team on 02 9250 7770. 

How do I book?

Click on the link for your preferred session time. If it is the first time you have used DART Connections you will be required to set up a username and password. 

Please note that DART connections is the booking platform for all of our sessions and you will need to book here even if you are not a NSW or DET school.

Once your booking has been confirmed, our team will be in touch with relevant dial in details and to address any technical questions you may have.

What if I can’t book in for the session I want?

Our interactive workshops have limited spaces and do often book out. However it is always a good idea to contact if you can’t book in for your preferred session as sometimes we are able to make rearrangements to fit you in. 

Many of our Author Talks and pre-recorded workshops are also available on demand after their original live-streaming to provide more flexibility in your school day! 

What if I need to change or cancel my booking?

Should you discover that the time or date you have previously booked is not suitable, please contact Sydney Opera House Creative Learning on 02 9250 7770 or and we will try our best to accommodate you.

How can I prepare my class for their session?

Once your booking is confirmed, our Creative Learning team will send you an email with all the details to prepare for your session. To ensure your students get the most out of the experience, a Teachers’ Resource Pack is available for most programs (see the top of the page). We recommend using these resources in advance of your digital excursion.

How many students can I have participate in the one group? 

As the program is non-interactive, you can book for as many students as you like - a whole school booking of 500 or a single home learner - all are welcome and can be accommodated! 

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