Progressing a National Autism Strategy and Research Centre

The Albanese Labor Government will continue its commitment to leaving no one behind and holding no one back by progressing a National Autism Strategy and committing further funds to the Autism Cooperative Research Centre (CRC). 

Minister for Social Services will today announce that a further $2 million in Commonwealth funds have been allocated to the Autism CRC to continue their important research and provide advice to support development of a National Autism Strategy. 

An Oversight Council will be established for the Strategy, with its first meeting expected in March. 

For the growing number of Australians on the autism spectrum and with other neurodevelopmental conditions, life outcomes in education, vocation, health and family functioning continue to be far from optimal.

The funding for the Autism CRC, an election commitment, will support research that will help change systems and practices to better support people with autism; and they enable people with autism to better navigate opportunities and get the sort of life they want and deserve.

The National Autism Strategy will form a whole-of-life plan for all autistic Australians, spanning a number of key reform areas including healthcare, education and employment. 

Minister Rishworth said the Government is partnering with the Autism CRC to ensure the Strategy is closely informed by families with lived experience of autism. 

“A considered, evidence-based approach to consultation is not only vital in developing meaningful policy, but also in ensuring the voices of autistic Australians and the broader community are heard,” Minister Rishworth said. 

“Our work with Autism CRC will ensure that co-design remains at the heart of this Government’s commitment to improving the lives of people with disability.” 

Autism CRC chief executive Andrew Davis said the collaboration with the Federal Government would help change the lives of people living with Autism. 

“Autism CRC is very pleased to be working with the government and the sector in the development of the National Autism Strategy, founded in evidence and formulated through co-design,” Mr Davis said.

“For the first time, Australia will have a coordinated national approach to better services, supports and life outcomes for autistic Australians and their families.”

Minister Rishworth said the funding will ensure resources can expand and continue to improve the lives of autistic people and the community as a whole.  

“The funding will also ensure the resources remain robust and accessible,” Minister Rishworth said. 

“Autism CRC’s expertise in autism research and legacy of establishing diverse, collaborative stakeholder networks will help shape best-practice in the development of the Strategy.

“We look forward to working with Autism CRC to develop a Strategy which engages with all levels of government and ensures that no Australian is held back or left behind.” 

The grant will support the work of Autism CRC over a period of 12 months.