Jeanette Purkis is an author, public servant and passionate advocate for Autistic people and their families. She is the author of 'Finding a Different Kind of Normal: Misadventures with Asperger Syndrome' – an autobiography, and 'The Wonderful World of Work: A Workbook for Asperteens'- an activity book about employment for teens on the Autism spectrum. Jeanette has also contributed to other books, journals, blogs and websites. Jeanette has a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome and atypical schizophrenia.
Jeanette has been working full-time for the Australian Public Service since 2007. In between writing and paid work, Jeanette frequently gives talks about living well with Autism and mental illness. She gave a presentation on Autism and resilience at the TEDx Canberra conference in 2013. Jeanette facilitates a support group for women on the Autism spectrum and has her own internet radio show entitled Jeanette's Autism Show. Jeanette lives in Canberra with her little black kitty.
Jeanette was recently announced as the ACT volunteer of the year for 2016.
And so there is friendship In my own mind on the bus The sunset explodes in yellow and pink across the arch of the sky blinding, amazing.
The sky darkens And I am filled with disappointment at the loss of the sunset. I look up and see a friend She sees me and greets me with apparent joy. We walk together her relating bad news from home Maybe I can help. I invite her in How can I not?
We sit Exchange thoughts and Facebook posts Laugh and drink hot chocolate We watch a film Of me - yes, I am a host who shows films of herself to guests! ('It was a new DVD. I needed to test it. I'm not such an egotist. Truly, I'm not!' No, I don't believe myself either) I've things to do My spreadsheets await My Wednesday talk sits unpracticed But I don't mind For I know the value of a friend And people are measured more precious than spreadsheets and talks. My workaholic self is banished My human returns - A gift from friend to me.
A while later we part 'Come over any time' I chime as she leaves And so there is friendship.
Jeanette Purkis, 2015