Current Events and Campaigns

Autism Info Day Tamworth

Autism Info Day Tamworth 2015We were delighted to be in Tamworth on the 24th of October providing free training and support to parents, carers, educators and professionals living and working with children / adolescents on the autism spectrum. 

Our panel of industry experts, experienced parents and published authors presented a one day seminar covering topics such 

  • Understanding autism
  • Diagnosis and Early Intervention options
  • Practical behaviour management strategies
  • Improving your home life
  • Funding entitlements and preparing for the NDIS
  • Supporting adolescents on the spectrum

Our free Autism Info Days aim to provide support to families and professionals in rural and regional parts of Australia, and we hope to be able to deliver more of these events across all states in the future. 


What are you doing? a film about autism

'What are you doing?' is a short film created by Autism Awareness Australia which aims to teach school-aged children about acceptance and understanding of their peers with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

What are you doing? filmNarrated by television personality Tom Gleisner and written by 
‘The Other Country’ author Michael Whelan, the film includes enlightening interviews with the brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends of children on the spectrum. Through beautiful imagery, engaging narrative and quirky animation, ‘What are you doing?’ sends the all important message of inclusion and understanding of all those with ASD by their peers and within their communities. It has received glowing reviews at its three premieres in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and has enormous support from parents and educators across the country.

'What are you doing?', along with accompanying teaching materials, has been distributed to every school in Australia, totaling over 10,000 copies nationwide. To find out more about the national school disctribution of the filmp please click here


City2Surf 2015

City2surfFor the 5th consecutive year the AAA Runners took part in the City2Surf and what fun we had! 

We’re thrilled to have raised over $30,000 to help develop our new online resource centre, which will include tools for navigating the path post diagnosis, making the most out of the NDIS, supporting adolescents through school and into adulthood and so much more….

A huge thank you to all our fundraisers and donors for your generous support! 

Check out our City2Surf 2015 photo album!


The Lion King - autism friendly performance

We were delighted to partner with Disney to bring you Australia's first ever autism friendly performances of THE LION KING!

We held 3 highly successful performances in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne in 2014 and 2015, entertaining 5,000 people on the autism spectrum and their families. 

The Lion king - autism friendly

This specially adapted performance was suitable for people on the autism spectrum and their families, to see the award-winning production in a friendly and supportive environment. Trained staff were on hand, and dedicated quiet and activity areas set up, to help families enjoy their theatre experience. 

Slight adjustments to the production included removal of strobe lighting, reduction of any jarring sounds and lights focused into the audience, house lights being dimmed and flexibility to bring your own snacks.

We hope this is the begininng of many more special performances to come!


Training workshop - Teachers and Professionals

BPO 2015 Our first targetted teacher and professional training workshop -  'Building Positive Outcomes for Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum" on the 20th of april 2015 in Sydney was a huge success! 

Our one-day workshop was presented Dr Peter Gerhardt, one of the world's leading behaviour analysts specialising in teens and adolescents on the spectrum.  The workshop was designed for teachers, teachers aides, educational and service professionals working with individuals on the autism spectrum. The programcovered topics such as Addressing and managing challenging behaviours in adolescents, adaptive behaviour, transition planning and case studies. 

We aime to provide more teacher and professional training workshops in the future. 


Autism: Building Positive Outcomes

BPO 2015


Our free one-day educational seminar held on the 19th of April in Sydney, was designed for parents and caregivers of adolescents on the autism spectrum.  The program procided essential and practical information on topics such as: addressing autism in adolescents, behaviour management strategies, transition to work, life skills and sexual education. 

Speakers included:

  • Dr Peter Gerhardt, leading international behaviour analyst specialising in teens and adolescents on the spectrum
  • Martin Wren, CEO of Nova Employment
  • Michael Whelan, author of 'The Other Country' and autism dad
  • Nicole Rogerson, CEO of Autism Awareness Australia  

Slides from the presentaitons will be made available in early May 2016. 


Surfers Healing Australia - March 2015

surfers Healing Australia

Words can’t describe how incredible our inaugural Surfers Healing Australia events in March 2015 were!  Our Surfers Healing crew were simply amazing....The smiles they put on kids faces, the tears of joy they gave parents, the inspiration they gave our local volunteers, their energy, their phenomenal talent and their huge hearts… It was such a privilege having them here with us and we can’t thank them enough for sharing this experience with Australian families!

Check out some of the photos from our surf days!

What is Surfers Healing?
Surfers Healing, a non-profit that introduces surfing to children with autism, taps into the unmatched tranquility of the ocean and helps nearly 5,000 children a year who struggle with the sensory overload that often accompanies autism.

Professional surfer Izzy Paskowitz and his wife, Danielle, founded Surfers Healing in 1998 after they found it was therapeutic for their son, Isaiah, who was diagnosed with autism. Once they realised how well surfing worked to engage their son, they knew they had to share their success with other families.

Surfers Healing now brings together professional surfers and families at more than a dozen beaches across the USA, Hawaii and Mexico. While the events are mainly fun for the children, they also serve as a great opportunity for parents to network and see a support system exists for their family.

Surfers Healing Australia
Autism Awareness and Surfers Healing USA are thrilled to be partnering together to bring this amazing experience to Australian families.

Our goal - To enhance the lives of children on the spectrum, to give them and their families a memorable day together at the beach, teach them a new skill and all while being supported by our passionate and expert team of surfers and volunteers.  #OnePerfectDay

We hope to make this an annual event that is hosted in every state across the country over the years to come. 


#autism2014 - a national survey of autism parents and carers

autism2014 survey

In August 2014 we launched a national survey targeting parents and carers of children and young adults on the autism spectrum. With the national rollout of NDIS fast approaching, we wanted to get a clearer picture of what autism support services look like in Australia so that we can continue to effectively advocate for the needs of autism families.

While many issues and ideas were raised through the survey responses, three core themes rose to the forefront:

  1. People on the autism spectrum, and those who provide their care, have a life cycle of needs and deserve meaningful support in order to achieve best possible outcomes.
  2. Parents and carers are frustrated by the level of support available and difficulty accessing much-needed services. They fear that disability services will continue to be underfunded or further cut back under austerity budget measures.
  3. There is confusion and scepticism about how NDIS will play out in real life and how it will impact autism families.

Please take the time to read through the SURVEY SUMMARY REPORT which outlines the key points and findings from our survey.

One important final note: Given Autism Awareness Australia’s experience base and credibility in supporting families with young and school-aged children, we are well-positioned to capture their impressions. However, there are other critical voices from the autism community – especially those of autistic adults – that need to be heard as the NDIS is shaped and implemented. We urge the government to listen to all of our voices as this historic program takes form.

Thank you to all respondents for taking the time to complete our survey. Your experiences and input have been pivotal in helping us better understand the needs of autism families across Australia and how we can best support you.

We hope you will find the summary results as valuable as we have, and we encourage you to share the report with all your networks.


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