Meg and Tara sitting on a tree

About
Meg & Tara

We came together as new school mums, over playdates in nature and shared ideas about children and the way they live, play, and communicate.

Our ability to create meaningful group learning spaces for parents was quickly established when running our first online parent groups together. Meg & Tara, as a business, was conceived as our shared passion for inclusion and equity became clear. We are passionate about empowering you to create positive change within yourself, and the systems you move through, that will promote equity for all the diverse children, families (and adults) in our communities.

Meg Bio Image

Meg McIntosh

Holistic Occupational Therapist, Parent Coach and Educator

Hi, I’m Meg (she/her), I live in Naarm, Melbourne Australia on the land of the Wurundjeri WoiWurrung people with my husband, two quirky kids, one anxious dog, and another not so anxious, and 7 chickens.

I have a special passion for neuroscience, and I am fascinated by the various ways children develop.  It’s amazing how our neurobiological differences mean that our individual subjective experiences of the world are so incredibly rich and varied.

I have been working with neurodivergent, and wonderfully complex families across a variety of settings (both public and private) for over 12 years.  This work is my true passion in this world, and I aim to support families to honour their strengths and collaboratively develop and implement strategies to improve their family life and function.

I regretfully admit that it was only after the birth of my own two children, that it truly hit home the importance of finding ways to empower families to feel confident providing for their own children’s developmental needs, without becoming dependent on regular therapy appointments for years on end. 

So, a few years ago I began changing my practice to embody this new understanding, by embedding the following core values when working with parents of neurodivergent children. 

  1. They are the most important agents for implementing change in their children’s lives to positively affect development.
  2.  They are the experts on their own and their children’s needs.
  3.  They know what their priorities are and what will be most supportive within their family and cultural context.
  4. That learning for children occurs most effectively in their own environment, in relationship with people they trust, across every moment of everyday life (not in fortnightly individual appointments alone with a well-meaning therapist).
  5.  Every child has their own unique developmental pathway to follow, and our job as parents is to provide a safe container, where the child can feel connected, loved, and truly accepted as they are, to enable them to access their unique gifts to fulfil their true potential as they grow.

As the path to achieving these goals for the people seeking OT support became clearer, I happened to meet the wonderful Tara Broughan thanks to our two oldest children becoming besties in their first term of school in 2020. We quickly established our shared passions for inclusivity, child rights, and parent support, and I could not help but notice her deep empathy, intelligence, and excellent communication skills. So, I invited her to run a Tuning into Kids parenting group with me online to support floundering folks during lockdown.

That first group dynamic was magic! Since then, we continue to refine and develop our parenting course offerings based on feedback from the diverse families participating in our groups. We are constantly dreaming up ways we could support the teachers and school systems to become truly inclusive and empowered to better meet the needs of our neurodivergent kids.

So, we approach our coaching from a holistic systems perspective, and always aim to work collaboratively with families, schools, and community organisations to enable them to learn how to consider the many factors, within an individual and without (Environment, Occupation, Culture), that may be contributing to the challenges they are experiencing that affect the development, learning, participation, and wellbeing of the many diverse people in their community.  

We aim to support both individuals, and organisations to build self-awareness, feel empowered to proactively experiment with, and implement positive changes that enable meaningful participation and improved connection for all. We know in our hearts that truly inclusive and equitable systemic changes (across both small systems and large), not only support those that are most in need, but also positively impacts the mental and physical health of the entire community for generations to come.

Together, using our decades of experience working with and for children and families, we aim to create meaningful changes, in families, workplaces, and communities that build connection, respect, resilience, diversity, and inclusion.

Tara bio image

Tara Broughan 

Parent Mentor, Child Rights & Equity Consultant (BA Public Policy/BA Psych)

Welcome, I am Tara Broughan (she/her/they) a bisexual/queer, feminist, Autistic, ADHDer married to a wonderful man with two young children living in Naarm, Melbourne Australia on the land of the Wurundjeri WoiWurung people.

For as long as I can remember I have been asking questions about fairness, justice and why it is that ‘it is just the way it is’.

After 10 years working with human rights organisations and international aid organisations, I remain focused on equity, inclusion and liberation. Now, in all my work I include my full self, all my social identities, consideration for my physical body and my family.

When I was a kid, I would say I wasn’t listened to, my family would say I never stopped demanding to be heard! Now I support educators and parents/ carers to understand and respond to children's perspectives in their family, identify family of origin impacts, and how to build connected and respectful relationships with children using emotion coaching and inclusive decision making.

I love tackling the ‘difficult’ conversations with adults and children alike. In my equity and justice work with entrepreneurs, business and schools together, we examine our social identities, socialised beliefs, norms and systems that result in discrimination. Together we identify prejudice and discrimination to develop practical knowledge, skills and systems of accountability to ensure our words and actions reflect our commitments to equity and justice.

 In my career I consulted with some of the most marginalised and incredible children, provided policy advice to government regarding children in immigration detention, discrimination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children with neurodiversity and disability, LGBTQ+ kids and families, and those living in poverty. Grounded in the perspective of children, now supports organisations, state and local governments, to develop systems of participation and child led decision making that consider the barriers marginalised children experience to participation.

I hold both deep compassion and high accountability with the deepest regard and as my lifelong practices. The questions I love to ask are:- Why do you believe that? Who said we had to and what is their agenda? And, how can we consider justice for all children/ people in this?

Partnering with Meg to work with families considering the personal and cultural impacts of neurodiversity, identity, diagnosis, family and the systems they move within to build more connected, respectful relationships, increase family regulation and create more enjoyment in family relationships is a deep passion, an intimate privilege, a fierce resistance of the systems that do not serve us and a true joy. 

We believe strongly that

Children are whole people to be respected. Regardless of experience, diagnosis or behaviour, they can be supported to live rich and meaningful lives. 

Schools and other places children spend a lot of time need more support to address challenging behaviour, while simultaneously strengthening their relationships with children.

Families need more support and skills to understand child development, why particular behaviours are so challenging, and how they can be transformed.
 

The systems we live and learn in are not universally designed. They work okay for many but terribly for others. There needs to be more focus on supporting the organisational structures and adults working with diverse children to adapt and respond to children inclusively.

Meg and Tara sitting nature image
Meg and Tara both live on the land of the Wurundjeri WoiWurrung people. We offer our respect, support, and rent to the custodians of this land, and all Aboiringal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We acknowledge sovereignty was never ceded.