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This year's Aspect National Recognition Awards ceremony was held on Thursday, 7 April on a very rainy evening in Sydney. Over 100 people attended in person or online to celebrate the incredible achievements of our amazing and passionate Autistic and autism communities.

You can watch the replay of the evening, or read below to find out more about the many nominees and award recipients.

Drum Roll Please!

a different brilliant® Award - Adult (21+)

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2022 Recipient:

Ella Azura Pardy

Ella has been participating in Para Athletics since she was just 15, making her international debut for Australia at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland, specialising in long jumps and the 100 and 200m sprints. She has used her athletic success to become an ambassador, mentor and public speaker for people on the autism spectrum to help spread understanding, inclusivity and encouragement for people to live their best lives.

Our Nominees:

  • Thomas Broadley
  • Michael Chan
  • Dr Damian Santomauro
  • Jordan Phair

a different brilliant® Award - Youth (up to 21)

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2022 Recipient:

Summer Farrelly

An Autistic advocate, public speaker, Inclusion & Education Consultant, artist, Animal Assisted Learning Program Creator & Facilitator, and Animal Therapies Ambassador, Summer has achieved a lot by the age of 15! Summer also has a registered business 'Autistic Perspectives', offering workshops that educate from an Autistic student’s perspective.

Our Nominees:

  • Evelyn Atkins
  • Owen Roehrs
  • Lachlan Beveridge
  • Max Webster
  • Aspen Tatton
  • Marianne Handoko
  • Beau Nelson

Autism Community Award

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2022 Recipient:

Annie Lane – Whole Self Independent Life Learning

The Whole Self Independent Life Learning program was developed by Annie after she realised that there was a need for a support service to help Autistic teens in crisis who were struggling to fit in and cope in mainstream schooling. She is helping increase community awareness of autism, and how Autistic individuals can be better supported and engaged within the community.

Our Nominees:

  • Sarah Stanton
  • Surfing the Spectrum
  • Rebecca McCash
  • Emma Gallagher
  • abrdn
  • Apex Foundation

Autism Friendly Achievement Award

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2022 Recipient:

West Tigers Rugby League Football Club

The Wests Tigers Rugby League Football Club has been a pioneer in the National Rugby League of providing inclusive access to their sporting matches to Autistic individuals and their families – establishing their first Quiet Room in 2018.

The feedback from individuals and families who have attended an autism friendly football game has been incredibly positive, with many people commenting that they would never have gone to see a live football game if they hadn’t been able to access an autism friendly space.

Our Nominees:

  • Sandee Facy
  • Matthew Oastler
  • Farzana Choudhury

ARCAP Research Award

Dr Josephine Barbaro

2022 Recipient:

Professor Josephine Barbaro, La Trobe University

Over the past 17 years Professor Josephine Barbaro has been developing and refining a Social Attention and Communication Surveillance method to detect autism in infants and toddlers. This work has led to real positive change for Autistic people and their families, who have been able to access early supports and services to improve children’s development outcomes and increase school participation.

Our Nominees:

  • Autism CRC
  • Dr Kim Bulkeley
  • Sandra Jones
  • Dr Simon Bury
  • KONTAKT Research Team
  • Adam Guastella

Working in Partnership Award

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2022 Recipients:

The Experience Collectors

Led by two Autistic women – Sarah Nelson and Kylie Cox, The Experience Collectors is providing safe and inclusive outdoor adventures for youth on the autism spectrum and their families.

Our Nominees:

  • Richard Holt
  • Kate Edgar

Parent / Carer of the Year Award

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2022 Recipient:

Ellise Blondin-Andreacchio

Ellise was nominated by her daughter who is on the autism spectrum. Ellise is being recognised for the support she has provided for her child and the way she worked to recognise her son's unique strengths and interests through the years.

Our Nominees:

  • Sarah Nelson
  • Kylie Cox
  • Danielle Wyatt
  • Nyx Harris

Congratulations to all our Nominees and Recipients!