Intensive Interaction Australia

My work is closely affiliated with the work being done in UK by Dr Dave Hewett, whose website you should definitely look at and I enjoy the support of the Intensive Interaction Institute in the UK.

I set up Intensive Interaction Australia in 2005 to provide support, training and critical friendship to the ever growing groups of Australian and New Zealand schools and agencies using Intensive Interaction. Intensive Interaction Australia distributes the Australian Intensive Interaction newsletter, research articles and resources as well as the UK Intensive Interaction Newsletter to all those interested in communicating with learners who experience social isolation because of their intellectual disabilities.

Intensive Interaction has been loyally supported by Bayside Special Developmental School in Melbourne which hosts frequent visitors interested to see the approach in its most established Australian setting. Since the Inaugural Australasian Conference on Intensive Interaction which was co-hosted by Bayside SDS and Red Hill Special School in Brisbane, practitioner networks have evolved in Victoria, South Australia and Queensland.

The Inaugural Intensive Interaction conference came about through a continuation of the collaboration between Janee Williamson and I that began at Red Hill Special School in 2005 to 2006. We continue to work together, collaborating, developing our understanding of Intensive Interaction, addressing conferences and presenting professional development, as well as developing and delivering training. Janee has huge experience in special education and delivers presentations and training predominantly in her native state of Queensland, although we have worked together in other states as well as in New Zealand. I acknowledge her tremendous skills and knowledge in Intensive Interaction, as Dr Dave Hewett did when he visited Australia for the Inaugural Conference

Intensive Interaction Australia provides a focal point for


Resources, including references and recently published articles in PDF about the use and constantly growing insights into the approach.

Contact details of the schools and agencies using Intensive Interaction can be given, as well as details of the practitioner networks which meet to cross pollinate ideas, support and discuss issues of practice, as well as develop local initiatives. [Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia and New Zealand].

Australian Intensive Interaction Newsletter THE Newsletter.

My long standing and close colleague, Karryn Bowen produces a regular e.newsletter featuring contributions from around Australia.

If you would like to read past newsletters, go to

If you would like to contribute to the next Australian I.I. newsletter, please contact

NB the newsletter is not a vehicle for my voice but a meeting point for practitioners. It is only collated when there has been enough content submitted … please submit something …….it depends on you


Intensive Interaction Australia currently provides several levels of training. Those interested in attending single day training can attend the regular weekend training events at Bayside Special Developmental School in Melbourne.

Those interested in finding details about the 8 day course Intensive Interaction Theory to Practice available through Deakin University in Victoria and SECC in Queensland should use this link for information.

However training days can be arranged anywhere in Australia by contacting me directly at

Quality Control

The training that Janee Williamson and myself provide is the only training in Intensive Interaction in Australia or New Zealand that has been personally endorsed by Dr Dave Hewett. There are several perspectives of Intensive Interaction which result in differing practices and frequently opposing insights. Intensive Interaction Australia is closely aligned to the UK Intensive Interaction Institute and our training is entirely supportive of and indeed in collaboration with Dr Dave Hewett’s writing and approach.

Participants who attend any or all of the levels of training delivered by Janee Williamson or myself should not assume they are qualified or authorised to then provide training themselves.

NB We support the exchange of learning and insights among practitioners, parents and communities of practice and we encourage professional discussion among agencies. However, endorsement to deliver training in this approach and entitlement to use our presentations, training formats, handouts, materials and/or logos can only be achieved following a formal period of supervision by Janee Williamson and myself, and endorsement from the Intensive Interaction Institute, UK.

The Intensive Interaction DownUnder Conferences

Every three years, I organise a conference in one of Australia’s major cities for practitioners of Intensive Interaction in Australia and New Zealand to meet, network, learn and cross-pollinate ideas. The first Brisbane conference in 2008, welcomed Graham Firth and invited Dr Dave Hewett as its keynote speaker, and listened to over 20 accounts of how Intensive Interaction had been successfully implemented in Australia and New Zealand since 2003. This conference welcomed many Music Therapists , and allied health professionals as well as teachers and special educators. Three years later in Adelaide 2011, the year that Australian Psychological Society recognised Intensive Interaction as an evidence based approach, we invited Graham Firth back as our keynote speaker . This conference had the theme of ‘Exploring the Plateau’ addressing an issue that is hard to find in published texts – sustaining interactive partnerships in the long term.

In March 2014 we welcomed Professor Juliet Goldbart to our Melbourne conference. The conference explored ways to highlight the approach as a central practice, as well as how to establish Intensive Interaction in the minds of those who influence policy and National Curriculum Documents.


DVD training resources about Intensive Interaction are available through me:

Exploring the Envelope of Intensive Interaction’ DVD produced by my close colleague Karryn Bowen and myself. It is primarily directed at practitioners who have some knowledge and understanding of Intensive Interaction, although we feel it will be useful to all practitioners. The DVD elaborates on some of the principles of using the approach and explores how communication can be supported in more established interactive partnerships. The starting point of the DVD is that although Intensive Interaction might involve imitation, there is much more to it than that. The resource links with the Intensive Interaction Reflection Tool which I developed with Janee Williamson 2007.

Dr. Dave Hewett’s DVD ‘Intensive Interaction’, introduces and discusses the fundamental principles and considerations of using the approach. The commentary by Dr Hewett identifies good practice and the importance of communicative play as a context for learning at all ages. The DVD contains video of practitioners and learners in adult as well as school settings.

Home page