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May 2011

Issue 55

In this edition

State Budget Summary

World Autism Awarenes Day

DEECD Survey

VAC Planning 2012

Fundraising News
- Cycle for Autism
Run Melbourne

Learning and Development

Amaze Knowledge Training

Call for Research Participants

Upcoming Events

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State Budget Summary

The following initiatives to support people with disability have been funded in the 2011-12 Victorian Budget:

  • A total of $156 million in new funding over the next four years to support students with disabilities. This includes $20 million in 2011/12 and $44 million in 2012/13 and a total of $60 million of new funding to complete major and minor capital works at 11 different special and autism schools across Melbourne and regional Victoria. As part of the budget, more than 700 additional students with disabilities will receive funding support to assist with teaching, equipment and specialist services
  • 50 new supported accommodation places from the State Government to be provided to community service organisations in addition to 35 new places from the Commonwealth Government.
  • 391 additional  individual support packages
  • $26.2 million of renewed funding to continue funding for aids and equipment program subsidies
  • New funding for a $4 million top-up fund for families with children with disabilities who require aids and equipment
  • $17.9 million in renewed funding for the Acquired Brain Injury Slow to Recover program
  • $3.4 million in funding for the Video Relay Interpreting services which provides interpreter and language services for Victoria's deaf and hearing-impaired communities in rural and regional Victoria
  • $800,000 to implement the Active Sports Partnership Program, to encourage participation in sporting activities by people with a disability and senior Victorians

Clearly the most positive aspect from the budget has been the significant investment in Capital funding.  Details of which schools and how much funding are yet to be finalised but it is anticipated at the development of the Wantirna Heights School is included in this funding allocation. Equally there is an assumption that some of the funding allocated will be committed to Teacher Training and this can only lead to better outcomes for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Likewise the 50 new supported accommodation places coupled with the 35 funded by the Commonwealth may also mean some individuals with an ASD can now access residential support.  There may also be some beneficiaries of the additional 391 individual support packages. The challenge now is to ensure that individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder are able to benefit from these announcements.

Autism Victoria will be analysing last night's federal budget announcement and will report back to our subscribers and members if there are any major announcements that affect the ASD community.

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World Autism Awareness Day Highlights Video

Thanks to all those who participated in our World Autism Awareness Day celebrations on Saturday 2nd April. A special thanks goes out to Neil from the Beachcomber Café, and to all our volunteers who helped on the day to ensure the event ran smoothly. An estimated 1500 people joined us for our balloon march along the St Kilda foreshore to release 2000 multicoloured balloons representing the individuality of people on the spectrum. To view some footage of the event, click here and press Watch Now.

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DEECD Survey

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) is committed to ensuring, that within its resources, students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) will be able to access the educational option that best meets their needs.   As part of the Western Metropolitan Region (WMR) regional strategic ASD plan, a scoping study is being conducted to inform Prep – Year 12 ASD educational provision in WMR. 
As a key component of this scoping study, parents are invited to take part in a consultation process to provide feedback.  An independent provider, Grant Thornton, has been contracted to coordinate the scoping study including the consultation process.   Feedback can be provided personally (both verbally and in written form) through a community forum and /or through completion of an on line survey.
Click here for dates and locations for the forums or to complete the online survey 

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VAC 2012 Update

Planning is currently underway for the Victorian Autism Conference for 2012, to be held on the 9th and 10th August 2012. We are delighted to announce our exciting line-up of keynote speakers which includes Professor Tony Attwood, Carol Gray, and educator Sue Larkey.
We are interested in your thoughts about the topics that you would like to see covered in our 2012 conference. We would welcome your feedback by the 30th May 2011.
Please complete our Conference Topic Survey here 
We value your input and look forward to bringing you an even bigger and better Victorian Autism Conference in 2012!

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Fundraising News

Alphabet Fleet Services Cycle for Autism Awareness
The team from Alphabet Fleet Services completed a 100km cycle on Sunday 1 May to raise funds and awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders. The team set up a fundraising page on Everyday Hero, aiming to raise $1000. In the end, they raised nearly $4000!
Riding on the day were Luca Santucci, Chris Garmey, Melissa McKenzie, Mark Jones, Michael Wonder, John Braden, Martin Longden, Simon Young and Milana Perlovac. Congratulations to the whole team of cyclists and support staff for a tremendous event, and grateful thanks to all the generous donors. Your support is really appreciated.

Run Melbourne
Have you registered for Run Melbourne yet? Select Autism Victoria as your chosen charity to help us towards our goal of adding 1000 new books to our ASD-specific library. This year’s event promises to be bigger than ever with the introduction of a 3km Kids Run (to be held the day before the official event), as well as the 5km walk or run, 10km run and half-marathon events. Run Melbourne will be held on Sunday 17th July. To register, visit Autism Victoria’s Everyday Hero account and start raising awareness and funds today!

Sharpen your pencils – Drawtism is back! Register your game of Pictionary this May to help raise awareness and funds for Autism. An initiative of Alpha Autism, an adult service for individuals with ASDs, you can register your game of Drawtism here

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Learning and Development Team Updates

The Learning and Development team at Autism Victoria are offering a number of events in the coming months. Click on the links below for more information.
Communities of Practice Invitation (East, North and West)
Free ASD Training (Traralgon)
Free Information Session (Traralgon)

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Amaze Knowledge Training

amazeKnowledge, a division of Autism Victoria, have a few places left for their certified training course (CHCCS413A Support Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder) on the following dates:

  • 25-26 May
  • 9-10 June
  • 21-22 June

This course describes the knowledge and skills required to work with individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with regard for their needs and within the context of support work.
There are 4 essential outcomes from this unit of competency. They are:

  • Apply basic knowledge of autism spectrum disorders to support work
  • Apply a knowledge of the impact of autism spectrum disorders
  • Respond effectively to the needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorders
  • Operate within the policies, procedures and professional standards of the sector

Please see attached flyer for course details.  Contact amazeKnowledge on Tel: 1300 amaze k (1300 26293 5) or Email: for more information or to register.

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Call for Research Participants

The following research projects are currently calling for research participants. Visit our   Research Page or click on the links below for more information.


Coping skills for teenagers using a mobile phone program

Electrophysiological, eye–tracking, and behavioural markers of Autism Spectrum Disorder in young infants

Conversations on Autism: Stories on Independent Living and Parental Experiences

Improving social skills for young people with autism spectrum disorders

Social Anxiety in Asperger Syndrome

Living with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder: The experience of teenagers with High Functioning ASD

A new natural treatment for Autism

Fluoxetine for the treatment of restricted, repetitive and stereotyped behaviours in children and adolescents with autism

Autism and medication use

The role of parental appraisals, coping styles and family functioning in the wellbeing of parents of children with autism

Stress and coping in parents of autistic children

An education and skills training programme for parents of young adults with autism

Children's sleep patterns and psychological wellbeing

Growth in boys with autism

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Upcoming Events

Ongoing Events
Various Dates: Autism Specific Playgroups: PlayConnect

Various Dates: Early Days Workshops - Introductory Workshops

Various Dates: Early Days Workshops - Skills Workshops

Various Dates: Early Days Workshops - Telephone Workshops

Various Dates: Early Days Workshops - Online Workshops

Various Dates: Become an ABA Therapist

Various Dates: ABIA Seminars for Parents and Professionals

Various Dates: Certified Training Course: Support Individuals with ASD

School Terms: Social Skills Training Groups for children with ASDs

School Terms: Creative Moves

First Sunday of the Month: Autie Friendly Walking Club

Fourth Thursday of the Month: Autie Friendly Dinner Club

Fourth Sunday of the Month: SunTen Tennis Coaching Program

Every Second Friday (School Terms): Connecting Teens Social Group


April 2011
30th April - 4th June: Social Skills Group for Children with ASD

May 2011
3rd - 17th May: Become an ABA Therapist

7th May: ABA Information Session

5th May: Developing and Improving the Handwriting Skills of a Child with an ASD

6th May: Brenda Smith Myles - 2 Half Day Seminars

12th May: Task Analysis: Breaking Down Skills to Set your Child up for Success

14th May: Task Analysis: Breaking Down Skills to Set your Child up for Success

16th May: Autism & Challenging Behaviour with Prof. Rita Jordan

17th - 18th May: Free ASD Training for DHS and Community Service Staff

17th May: Free Community Autism Awareness Event (Traralgon)

19th May: ABA Therapy Workshop - Become an ABA Therapist

19th May: Communities of Practice - East, North and West

24th May: ASDs and Core Management Strategies

25th - 26th May: Certified Training - Support Individuals with ASD

26th & 27th May: Secret Agent Society Practitioner Training Course

26th May: Eating Issues and Solutions

28th May: Eating Issues and Solutions

27th May: Walking in Autistic Shoes: Donna Williams presentation and Q&A


June 2011
2nd June: Teaching Play

4th June: Teaching Play

8th June: Top Ten Ways to Manage a Child's Behaviour

9th June: Programs for High Functioning Children with Autism

9th - 10th June: Certified Training - Support Individuals with ASD

10th - 12th June: Weekend Getaway for adults with ASD

11th June: Programs for High Functioning Children with Autism

14th - 15th June: Autism Spectrum Disorders: Diagnosis & Treatment Workshop

15th - 29th June: Become an ABA Therapist

16th - 17th June: Autism Spectrum Disorders: Diagnosis & Treatment Adv. Workshop

17th June: Professor Tony Attwood: ASD Workshop

18th June: Girls and Women with Asperger's Syndrome

18th June: ABA Information Session

20th June: Finding Order in Chaos

21st - 22nd June: Certified Training - Support Individuals with ASD

25th June: Finding Order in Chaos

28th June: ASDs and Anxiety

29th June: Theory of Mind Workshop

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