Consultation continues to shape a brighter future for the Autistic community

The Albanese Labor Government is today releasing a draft of the landmark National Autism Strategy for public feedback – marking the final stage of extensive community consultation and delivering on our election commitment.

We want Autistic Australians to have the best life outcomes and the National Autism Strategy will help to build a more inclusive society.

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

It sets out to help guide the Government’s efforts to enhance the quality of life for the more than 205,000 Autistic people in Australia, with Autistic people often experiencing lower life expectancy, particularly for those with a co-occurring medical condition. Many Australians who are on the Autism spectrum do not have a formal diagnosis.

The release comes alongside the United Nations World Autism Awareness Day, with the 2024 theme being ‘Awareness – Acceptance – Appreciation: Moving from surviving to thriving’.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the release of the draft Strategy for public consultation underscores the Government’s commitment to deliver a Strategy that truly reflects the diverse experiences of the Autistic community.

“The National Autism Strategy fosters inclusion and acceptance throughout Australian communities, recognising Autistic strengths and the power of individual diversity and capacity,” Minister Rishworth said.

“The draft Strategy draws on key goals identified during consultation with the Autistic community and sector, including boosting social and economic inclusion, and strengthening supports and services, including for diagnosis.

“The perspectives of Autistic people have been included at every step of this Strategy’s development, and a range of accessible formats will ensure that all people have a platform to share their view on the draft.”

The Government developed the draft Strategy in partnership with the National Autism Strategy Oversight Council, with the majority of members belonging to the Autistic community and bringing their diverse lived experiences to the table.

The Co-chair of the Oversight Council Clare Gibellini said Autistic people must be at the centre of policy decisions that shape their life outcomes.

“This is the first step in a longer journey towards better lives for Autistic people. There should be no policy developed that impacts our lives, without us having a seat and an equal voice at the table,” Ms Gibellini said.  

“This is a hugely significant day, and I want to thank all the Autistic people who contributed to the Strategy’s development. From the Oversight Council and the working groups to those who participated in the consultation process, your efforts and inputs have been incredibly valuable.

“As a community, we can now share our thoughts on what has been developed so far, and I encourage everyone to do so, so we can make this historic first Strategy as impactful as possible.”  

The Government will continue to work with the Oversight Council, Working Groups and the broader Autistic community and sector to develop the first Action Plan under the Strategy.

The Action Plan will be built on the ideas shared with us through the national consultation process.

The final Strategy, and the first Action Plan, is expected to be released by the end of 2024. 

Public consultation is now open via the DSS Engage website and closes at 3:00pm AEST Friday 31 May 2024.

The consultation report, including a summary report on key themes heard through community consultation on the Strategy, is also available on the website.

The Strategy complements actions to improve the health and mental health for Autistic people being developed through the National Roadmap to Improve the Health and Mental Health of Autistic people in Australia.

The draft Strategy is accessible to a broad range of audiences with Easy Read, and Auslan versions available, and all members of the public are invited to share their views through a survey.

Visit to find out more.