Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Supporting children with autism

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Julia Gillard MP, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Education, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Minister for Social Inclusion

The Minister for Education, Julia Gillard and the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services, Bill Shorten are pleased to announce that the Australian Autism Education and Training Consortium (AAETC) has been awarded the $11.3 million contract to deliver the education component of the $190 million Helping Children with Autism package.

The Rudd Government is committed to improving the educational opportunities for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

In recognition of the increasing difficulties being faced by school students with autism spectrum disorder, their families, carers and teachers, the Rudd Government is providing targeted support to this group through the Helping children with autism package. The package will provide much needed support for children with autism and their families, especially in the area of early intervention.

The measures being implemented by the Department of Education, Employment & Workplace Relations under this initiative are a national professional development program for teachers and other school staff who work with children with ASD and workshops and information sessions for parents of school aged children with ASD.

As previously announced, the Rudd Government is also committed to delivering six autism-specific childcare centres to support young children with ASD.

The Australian Autism Education and Training Consortium were selected following a highly competitive open-tender process.

The AAETC has an excellent balance of relevant expertise, wide-ranging experience in autism-specific training for professionals, parents and carers, as well as experience in working with children and young people with an ASD and their families.

Members of the AAETC are:

  • Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect), lead consortium partner and the largest autism-specific service provider in Australia;
  • University of Canberra (UCAN), including Dr Jacqueline Roberts, a nationally and internationally recognised expert in the field;
  • Autism Association of South Australia (Autism SA);
  • Department of Education and Training, Western Australia (DETWA)

The departments of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Health and Ageing and Education, Employment and Workplace Relations are jointly delivering the Helping children with autism package in response to the growing prevalence of children with ASD.

Further information is available at: Helping Children with Autism