So why now?
There has been a steady increase in the number of children being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental delays each year. Research shows that intensive, early behavioural intervention is one of the best treatments for children with autism and other developmental delays. The recommended amount of therapy is a minimum of 20 hours per week, but the majority of children receive much less than this. Access to therapists and clinicians can be extremely costly and is often limited by location. Waitlists can be months or years long.
The disability industry has long under-utilised advances in technology:
Technology advances have had little impact on early intervention services.
Access to effective early intervention resources is severely limited.
Parents have limited access to quality programs, content and support.
Current programs are not individualised and don't offer real-time feedback on a child's progress.
Rockmelon aims to ensure all children are able to reach their fullest potential, regardless of their location or socioeconomic status. Our mission is to change the lives of millions of children around the world and reimagine the way early intervention products and services are delivered. ROCKMELON isn’t just a learning platform. It is a global community of parents, therapists and educators all working towards the same goal: access to quality early intervention that will allow our children to reach their best outcomes.
Created by parents for parents, Rockmelon has been designed to offer real-time insights into a child’s progress and support their ongoing development. Curated content provides families with all the information and tools they need to help their child reach their best outcome.
Profit for Purpose
Rockmelon is a Profit for Purpose business. We are a business whose aim is to achieve social and community benefit by channeling our resources toward helping the global autism community.
Learn more about our first product, the Parent Edition.
A Global Community of Parent, Therapists and Educators all working towards the same goals.
Meet our Founders
Chief Executive Officer
Nicole is one of the nation’s leading spokespersons for the awareness and understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder. For more than 15 years she has been working on public policy, advocacy and early intervention service delivery.
In 2007, Nicole founded Autism Awareness Australia, now Australia’s leading national autism not-for-profit organisation. The organisation combines her passion for developing national education programs that promote understanding of ASD, and supporting and advocating for the needs of individuals on the spectrum and their families.
In 2003 she established the Lizard Children’s Centre, which went on to become Australia’s largest and most respected private provider of early intervention programs for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Nicole was the National Director of Lizard for 13 years and oversaw it's expansion to Melbourne and Adelaide. The company was sold in 2014.
A passionate disability advocate and social policy campaigner, she is a regular public speaker on autism and appears frequently in the media advocating for families with children on the spectrum. She has been featured in Australian Story (ABC TV) and the Australian Women’s Weekly. In 2011 and 2013 Nicole was asked to present on her work at the United Nations in New York, where Autism Awareness Australia was inducted as a member NGO. Nicole sat on the Federal Government’s Autism Advisory Board prior to the NDIS roll out and is a determined advocate for evidence-based interventions and funding support for individuals with disabilities.
Nicole has two sons, the eldest of which is on the autism spectrum.
Chief Operating Officer
Stuart is a startup founder, investor, mentor and Internet of Things expert. Now on his fourth startup, and with 25 years working in digital media, he has developed a finely tuned sense of how best to build teams, products and assist businesses that are struggling to adapt to the digital disruption around them.
In 2000 he founded his first startup in the UK, successfully exiting 7 years later. He moved back to Australia in 2010. He's also an active angel investor, startup advisor and spent two years on the board of the IoT Alliance Australia.
Stuart has three times built and managed cross-functional teams in excess of 100 people and helped lead the transformation of the operating structure of News Corp Australia’s digital team, introducing scaled agile and lean design thinking methodologies.
He's at the forefront of digital innovation and product design whose strategies and concepts are delivering the next generation of user experiences, engagement and business models.
A strong advocate for lean user-centric design, preferring simple interactions to technically over-engineered solutions. He bridges the gap between startups, enterprises and the complex technology behind high-availability connected systems.
Alex André de la Porte
A multi national, bi-lingual business graduate, early stage investor and positive impact entrepreneur, Alex has built up extensive knowledge in the finance and property industry over the last 14 years across not only multiple product verticals, but cross border continents.
Culturally aware with a broad outlook strengthened by extensive global exposure and a variety of influences, Alex is a strong supporter of positive impact change. He has a particular focus on healthcare, education and children with developmental delays, with a personal attachment to autism due to his son Beau, who is on the spectrum.
Alex is also an avid early stage investor, social impact advocate and philanthropic supporter, collaborating and fostering strong relationships across global likeminded communities with a firm belief to drive positive systemic level change.
The autism community has been neglected for too long and the pressures on families is enormous. Alex is a firm believer that with Rockmelon, we can change that.