(n.) existing as the only one or as the sole example; having no like or equal; unparalleled; incomparable: distinctly characteristic; not typical; singular
(n.) For nearly 50 years, Aspect has made a unique and lasting impression on the community services sector in Australia. We have a passionate and highly skilled workforce that has a singular focus in creating the best opportunities for individuals and families across Australia. We are passionate about people, about being positive and about what's possible. In 2014, we had a great deal to celebrate and be positive about.
Positive Partnerships is a national program aimed at supporting school-aged students on the autism spectrum. This Australian Government Department of Education and Training funded project is run by a consortium of partners: Aspect (the lead agency), Autism SA, Autism Queensland and Flinders University. The consortium is called Partnerships between Education and the Autism Community (PEAC).
In 2014, 1,161 professionals attended workshops and 57 parent/carer programs were delivered nationally with 1,719 parents and carers in attendance. The team continues to work with the First People's Disabilities Network, has held 16 get togethers across NSW, SA, Vic and WA and developing a number of valuable resources. Click here to watch Understanding Kevin, an animated story developed with the help of Aboriginal people and organisations across Australia.
Aspect is proud to be involved with the work of the Australian Advisory Board on Autism Spectrum Disorders, the national peak body representing people who have autism, their families, carers and helpers. Through its member organisations, including Aspect, the Advisory Board represents more than 25,000 people who live with autism and who are themselves members of, or who obtain services from, the Advisory Board’s member organisations.
There are many more people who have autism (often accompanying other conditions) but whose needs are met either privately or through other disability programs. The focus of the Advisory Board is on working with Australian Government to develop appropriate policies for the people we represent, providing information about the autism spectrum and working with the Australian autism community to build skills. We are represented on the Australian Advisory Board on Autism Spectrum Disorders by our CEO, Adrian Ford.
(adj.) strikingly bright or intense; full of life; lively; animated; producing a strong and clear vision; strong, distinct and clearly perceptible; forming distinct and striking images
(adj.) 2014 was an incredible year for Aspect. There were many firsts, such as the inaugural National Autism in Education Conference and the expansion of Aspect Choose & Connect into Victoria with the integration of Alpha Autism. Many existing services also shone brightly in 2014, and we enjoyed many highlights that made a distinct and perceptible difference in many people's lives.
The inaugural national Aspect Autism in Education Conference was held in August 2014 in Sydney. This first-ever autism specific education conference attracted 80 speakers, 2 international keynote presenters and 18 poster presentations. Click here to view the conference video.
The number of individual support packages has grown from 757 in 2013 and includes people utilising individualised government packages and people purchasing services through their own funds. This figure will continue to grow with the roll-out of NDIS and our learning will assist us to meet market expectations into the future.
Our support base grew from a base of 16,502 in 2013. We continue to increase and improve our activities through community fundraising, mail appeals and work with trusts and foundations. We value our supporters and donors whose generosity helps change the lives of people with autism and their families.
Aspect was selected as one of six organisations to provide centre-based early intervention services as part of the ACT Government’s transition to the NDIS. These services were previously offered by the ACT Government and providers, including Aspect, will work closely with families and other organisations to ensure a smooth transition.
In November 2014 we launched our brand essence a different brilliant reaching over 190,000 peopleand generating media coverage both domestically and internationally. Click here to view Callum's story one of the characters featured in the campaign.
Aspect staff are highly engaged and remain committed to Aspect’s progress and growth. Our staff increased by more than 100 people during 2014 resulting in more than 900 staff by year end. Even for all this growth and change Aspect’s staff turnover was at the low rate of 9.29 %. The stability of our staff was also reflected in the 38 staff who were recognised for the long service ranging between 10 years and 30 years. The depth of experience in the Aspect’s staff means that they form one of the key components of Aspect’s social capital which enables it work to its vision of providing the best opportunities for people with autism or other disabilities.
Aspect exceeded its turnover target of $68M, achieving $70.33M for the year. This was up from $61M in 2013 and represented a 14.95% growth. The Total Comprehensive Income for the year was $2.59 million with an underlying operating surplus of $1,59M. This was an excellent result and reflects the operating efficiency of our services and the continued prudent management of our resources.
In December 2014, Alpha Autism was integrated into Aspect. This integration cemented our role as a Victorian provider and strengthened our national status. The move coincided with the re-launch of our adult services, now known as Choose and Connect, in readiness for the NDIS. Click here to read the Aspect CEOs blog post about this exciting integration.
(v.) to perform brilliantly; to emit sparks; to become animated; to shine or glisten with gleams of light, as a brilliant gem; to effervesce; to reflect light; to be brilliant, lively, or vivacious
(v.) Aspect provides a broad range of tailored, evidence informed services and supports to over 11,000 people annually. In 2014, our services shone bright and were brilliant in many, many ways. Whether it was a student transitioning into a mainstream school, a child speaking their first words or an adult securing their first job, Aspect has enabled and encouraged people to shine brightly.
Aspect Practice continues to work nationally, sharing our evidence-informed practice with providers, governments and communities. We had five papers published in international journals, employed seven adults on the spectrum to form an advisory group and led a consortium with three universities to complete the first Cooperative Research Centre research project. Click here to listen to Aspect Practice Conversations podcasts.
The Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) program is designed to develop symbolic communication for individuals with autism through the use of a high-tech alternative and augmentative communication device. Aside from the unique use of the high-tech device, the LAMP program incorporates many elements that are proven methods for increasing the communication of children with autism. Click here to see the ABC’s coverage about how Taylor and other children at Aspect South Coast School are using LAMP devices to communicate.
Aspect is the largest independent, autism specific school provider in the world. In 2014, we opened 4 new satellite classes and assisted 405 students through our outreach program. 96% of students who transitioned from an Aspect school maintained their placement a year on. Click here to read our school prospectus.
Game On is a short film with a big idea, bringing people on the spectrum together with professional film-makers to create an award-winning film. Game On is one of many new projects launched as part of Aspect Choose & Connect, our new service model for adults. Over 70 people were involved in making Game On: writing scripts, making props, putting together musical scores and, of course, acting. Click here to watch Game On and click here to see a video about Aspect Capable, Aspects specialist employment service finding jobs for people on the spectrum.
Aspect understands how important family is for a young person with autism and the impact living with autism can have on the entire family. With the support of the Office of Sport and Recreation NSW, Aspect family camps provide an autism friendly camp environment where the whole family can enjoy the scenery, activities and programs on offer. Click here to see a slideshow showcasing our 2014 camps and click here to see the 2015 camp calendar.
Aspect’s Diagnostic Assessment Service conducts comprehensive evidence-based assessments for autism in children, adolescents and adults. In 2014, as well our Sydney metropolitan service, we also provided assessment services in the Hunter, Central West and Far North Coast regions of NSW. We provide review assessments for adolescents and adults who may not have been seen for some time. Assessments are provided by clinical psychologists and psychologists with experience and post-graduate training in the diagnosis of autism.
Aspect Positive Behaviour Support encourages children, young people and adults to develop skills that will help them improve their quality of life, develop positive relationships, have choices and participate in their community. The team includes psychologists, speech therapists, educators and case managers and our approach meets the Association for Positive Behaviour Supports Standards. Click here to listen to Dr Tom Tutton and Virginia Welhem share stories about how this approach benefits people on the autism spectrum and how it helps families and communities find effective ways of communicating with loved ones.
(adj.) to be different, without equal; a flourish or showy stroke; a peculiarity of behaviour, action or personality; a sudden twist or turn; individual
(adj.) In 2014, we enjoyed unparalleled success with our engagement and interaction with the autism community and the broader community at large. There was an increased media focus on Aspect that highlighted the unique, highly valued and quirky nature of many people in our community. From short films to personal challenges, photo competitions and songs, 2014 certainly gave us cause to celebrate.
(adj.) distinguishable to the eye or mind; presenting a clear unmistakeable impression; notable; strong and definite; clear to the senses or intellect; unquestionably exceptional
(adj.) Aspects governance provides a strong and robust platform on which we can achieve and advance our vision. The organisation is in a stronger position than at any time in its history. This is as a result of a highly skilled, knowledgeable and experienced board of directors. Aspect is a well renowned organisation with an enviable reputation and a clear sense of purpose and direction.
B.Bus., GAICD, is a Partner at Ernst and Young’s Advisory practice and is the Oceania Customer leader. Jenny has held senior marketing positions for Unilever, Lion Nathan, Pepsi and Telstra, and has worked in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Australia. Jenny has a son on the autism spectrum. She joined the Board in March 2010 and is a member of the Strategy Group, Nominations and Remuneration Committee and the Finance and Audit Committee. Jenny is a Member-elected Director.
B.A., LL.B (Hons) LL.M has more than 30 years experience as a lawyer, specialising in the health and disability sectors. Her professional expertise includes clinical risk, health professional disciplinary work, regulatory issues in health, medical ethics, public health and privacy. After 21 years as a health law partner with HWL Ebsworth, she now consults to a range of organisations in the areas of health, disability and pro bono legal services. She has served on numerous government and non-government advisory bodies including international work with the UN on HIV policy. Julie is also a director of Plan International Australia. She joined the Board in April 2010 and is a member of the Finance and Audit Committee, the Nominations & Remunerations Committee and the Strategy Group. Julie, who is a Member-elected Director, was until March 2015 the Board’s representative on the Corporate Risk Management Committee.
B.Ec., ACA, is Head of Custody & Fund Services, Australia & New Zealand at J. P. Morgan. He has held senior positions at Blackrock, AMP Capital, Colonial First State Investments, BNP Paribas Asset Management and Barclays Global Investors after commencing his career with chartered accountants KPMG. Henry joined the Board in December 2010 and is the Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee. Henry is a Member-elected Director.
B.Sc., M.A., Grad, Dip. Applied Finance, and is the founder of Alford Brown and Associates. Rob has previously held senior executive roles with HSBC, Westpac, the Commonwealth Bank and State Street Bank and Trust. He is experienced in the governance of not-for-profit organisations, and has a personal interest in special education and the needs of children with learning difficulties. Rob joined the Board in June 2008, formerly held the position of Honorary Treasurer, and remains a member of the Finance and Audit Committee. Rob is a Member-elected Director.
PSM, B. Soc. Stud., M. Comm, has more than 20 years’ experience as a senior executive in the NSW Public Service in both the Housing and Community Services Portfolios. She retired from the position of Chief Executive of the NSW Department of Community Services in 2011 and has since focused on assisting the not-for-profit sector as a Board Member. She was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2012 for services to disadvantaged communities particularly Aboriginal people. Annette joined the board in March 2014 and is a member of the Strategy Group. Annette is a Member-elected Director.
B.Bus., FCA, F Fin, is an executive director of Carlisle Partners, a corporate advisory firm specialising in mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity funding for mid-market companies. He has in excess of 25 years’ experience in professional accounting, corporate and investment management, and investment banking. Laurie has worked extensively in Australia, USA and South East Asia. He is also a board member of a number of client companies. Laurie joined the Board in September 2012, co-chairs the Strategy Group and became a member of the Finance and Audit Committee in February, 2015.. Laurie is a Member-elected Director.
B.Bus., Grad Dip Ed, FAMI, AFAIM, is a private banking and finance industry consultant and Chair of the Agribusiness Council of Australia. He was formerly Head of Strategy – Service and Sales with Regional and Agribusiness Banking at the Commonwealth Bank. Ian and his family care for his sister who has autism. Ian joined the Board in March 2011 and is a member of the Strategy Group. Ian is a Member-elected Director.
B.Bus., CPA, is a consultant. Keith has an extensive commercial background primarily in the fields of management and marketing, having held senior positions at BP, Dymocks and Retravision as well as having held senior positions in the not-for-profit sector at Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia and the Starlight Foundation. He joined the Board in 2004 and is a member of the Finance and Audit Committee. Keith is a Life Member of Aspect, a former Chair and Deputy Chair of the Board and a Member-elected Director.
M.B.B.S., M.R.C.P.(UK), F.R.A.C.P., is the Service Director of the Royal North Shore Hospital’s Child Development Service, and a Clinical Associate Lecturer in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, School of Medicine, University of Sydney. David joined the Board in 2004. David was a Member-elected Director who resigned from the Board in May 2014.
B.Comm., is a Director of PW Executive. He has previously worked in the banking industry with BT Australia and Citibank. Peter is the father of a young man on the autism spectrum. He joined the Board in 2001 and chairs the Nominations and Remuneration Committee. Peter is a Life Governor of Aspect, a former Chair of the Board and is a Member-elected Director.