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Aspect recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Custodians of the land where we live and work, respecting their history, connection to land and sea, and stewardship of these shared gifts.

Like the vibrant tapestry of our land, people on the autism spectrum are from all walks of life and backgrounds, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed. However, we are aware that autism remains underdiagnosed among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities due to barriers like limited access to services and diagnostic tools, lack of trusted relationships, and fear of shame and blame.

Our vision at Aspect is to offer the best opportunities for people on the autism spectrum. We strive to understand, engage, and celebrate their strengths, interests, and aspirations through our purpose of “a different brilliant®”.

We believe that meaningful outcomes arise when the voices of those directly affected are heard, and we strive to continuously improve our partnerships with Autistic and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to co-design services and supports.

In the spirit of unity and progress, Aspect accepts the invitation from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the Uluru Convention to walk together towards a better future. We support a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament as a crucial step towards ongoing reconciliation.

Respecting individuals’ rights to form their views, we encourage community members to be well-informed as we approach the referendum in the coming months. Together, we can continue on the path of understanding, respect, and inclusion for all Australians.

Aspect’s response to the referendum result – 15 November 2023

Following the outcome of the unsuccessful Voice referendum (14 October, 2023), Aspect expresses our ongoing solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, families and communities. We encourage supportive and respectful behaviour from Aspect staff at all times, and an awareness of the cultural load and identity strain that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across our workplace, schools, services and the community may be carrying.

Aspect Aboriginal Advisor Uncle Michael quoted, “As with any journey, we will always encounter things along the way but it is important to keep going. We can now commit to having honest conversations, truth telling and understanding facts. Anything worthwhile is not easily achieved and I encourage you to keep walking on the journey with us as allies.”

Aspect remains committed to our Reconciliation Action Plan, the Uluru Statement from the Heart and continuing to consult with our Aboriginal Advisory Committee in providing a safe and culturally respectful workplace and service. Aspect originally committed to these actions because we wanted to address the limited access to diagnosis and services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the autism spectrum, and will strive to continue to drive substantive change through our partnerships. We will continue to reflect on what we can do differently and better through this sphere of influence.

For additional support services see below:

  • 13YARN Call on 13 92 76 (open 24 hours a day/7 days a week), to talk with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Crisis Support Worker.
  • AIMhi-Y is a mobile app to support the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, aged 12-25.
  • If you or someone you know is struggling, call LIFELINE 13 11 14
  • Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet - Social and Emotional Wellbeing Resources
  • The Healing Foundation has trauma informed self-care resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.
  • Wellmob provide online social, emotional and cultural resources, developed by and for Aboriginal people. This includes websites, apps, podcasts, videos, social media, and online counselling with a focus on social and emotional wellbeing.

If you have any feedback or questions please reach out to us at RAP@autismspectrum.org.au

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