Media Release by The Hon John Cobb MP

Government Recognises 40 Years of Community Service

The Minister for Community Services, John Cobb, paid tribute to a wide range of dedicated volunteers, in particular, the outgoing patrons Tim Fischer and Judy Brewer Fischer, whose achievements were recognised at the dinner.

Mr Cobb speaking at the Autism Spectrum Australia 40th anniversary dinner, said Tim Fischer and Judy Brewer Fischer have been instrumental in helping to generate wider community understanding of the challenges faced by people with autism and their families and carers,’ Mr Cobb said.

‘The Australian Government supports Autism Spectrum Australia’s vision of respecting, accepting and valuing people with autism in the community and we will continue to build on our strong record of support,’ Mr Cobb said.

‘Tonight is about celebrating Autism Spectrum Australia’s invaluable contribution to the community over the past 40 years and recognising its achievements in providing much needed support and assistance to people with autism and their families.

‘The Government has allocated more than $1 million over four years to Autism Spectrum Australia’s Building Blocks Early Intervention program, which assists up to 120 children with autism and their families on the far north coast of NSW. The funding also enabled the establishment of the Far North Coast Centre for Autism.

‘This Building Blocks Early Intervention program, funded under the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy, provides young children with autism social, emotional and physical skills, while offering education and support to parents, carers and the community.

‘While community awareness about autism, as well as the achievements and abilities of people with autism, is on the increase, we must continue to highlight the effectiveness of early intervention in autism disorders.

‘To assist with this, the Government has provided $50,000 to investigate the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder in Australia.

‘Organisations such as Autism Spectrum Australia cannot survive solely on financial assistance. They also need the generosity and compassion of a wide range of dedicated volunteers and I would urge all Australians to get involved in supporting organisations such as Autism Spectrum Australia,’ Mr Cobb said.