Autism Spectrum Australia

An Eventful Life!

  • Posted: 24/04/2015
  • Author: Thomas Kuzma
  • Comments: Loading.. .

Hey folks. I hope you all are enjoying the month of April. It has been a big month for me, but it always is. My birthday is on this month and just like everyone else, I commemorate ANZAC day. What makes this month great, however, is that it starts with World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) and includes Aspect’s National Recognition Awards.

Let's get started!


World Autism Awareness Day


It was a bright sunny morning in Sydney as I got off the train at museum. After a quick frappuccino, I walked over to Hyde Park where I helped set up everything. We brought up the banners and moved the media walls into place. Once everything was set up, we were ready to welcome in the people from everywhere!

Boy, did they pour into the venue! We had drummers playing some epic music; there was a fantastic lolly bar and I had the very special task of handing out temporary tattoos to everyone.

As the day went on, we had more and more people drop by for some fun shenanigans and colourful selfies! We had our friends from Filtered Media help bring in some quality gear. They stayed helping us with our massive selfie wall and to make sure the drummers were doing okay with the day's events. We also had some manicurists help us with our mani bar.  I have to say, I haven't seen so many people with coloured fingernails!

We had people coming in to the CBD from all the expansive corners of the greater Sydney area: people from Castle Hill, Wollongong and even past Penrith made it to the event. With plenty of families there to enjoy the day's events, we had at least 200 people dropping by to partake in the exciting festivities.

Jessica Turner dropped by with a Channel 10 camera crew to cover the event and had a talk to some one the people on the spectrum, plus some of our Executive Team. It was great to see her again after last year’s WAAD when she interviewed me.

As the day drew to a close, I was very pleased with how it turned out. I made plenty of new friends, talked to a few kids on the spectrum about Minecraft and superheroes. Overall, it was a great success!

With Raina, Mel, Dehanne and everyone else from Aspect, we helped clean up and leave Hyde Park just as we found it. Travelling home I might have shocked a few people with my temporarily tattooed arms…


The Recognition Awards


It was a cloudy Thursday afternoon as I came to the Radisson Blu, ready to help set up the event. The chairs were set up.  Bianca, Brandon and I moved the tables into position and the name tags were strictly sorted in the most pragmatic and calculated ways possible.

When six o'clock arrived we had the members of “Everyone can dance” arrive. Cool, calm and collected, they prepared for their performance in the function hall. I can't reveal too much, otherwise that would ruin everything, and we wouldn't want that.

The first guests arrived, Brandon and I were there to greet them with style and vigorous vocabulary filled sentences. First arrivals were my parents, eager to enjoy the night’s proceedings. Next was our host, John Doyle, who went to school with my father. They had an excellent time talking about Lithgow, joking about the local shop keepers and other things.

As the guests poured in, I saw familiar faces and plenty of people who recognised me but I hadn't a clue who they were. Waiters walked by with fantastic champagne supplied by De Bortoli and delectable chicken from the ever-so-lovely people at Steggles. As the night rolled on, we were merry and full of enjoyable finger foods, when we were asked to head into the room where we would be greeted by John Doyle, Adrian Ford and Adam Toms who was playing one of his grand songs.

Adrian began the night’s proceedings with an honourable mention to original custodians of the land. Aunty Fay, Community Elder, got up on stage and after her rousing speech, we got into the evening’s awards.

Our first two winners were from Elise Muller and Chris Varney from the “I CAN Network”. They both won the Inspiration Award for Individual Achievement. Chris won in the adult category and Elise in the youth. To round off the first of the night’s awards, Rebecca Kelly won the Parent/Carer award for all the effort she has put into her community and her lovely children.

Half-way through the ceremony, we were treated to a rousing performance by ‘Everyone Can Dance’, whose performance wasn't just filled with excitement and bravado, but was also talented and rhythmical too.

The night’s awards continued and up next came the David Foster award, which was awarded to Jill Thomson.

Next was the ‘Above and Beyond Award’, an award handed out to a company and an individual for their roles in volunteering and charity. Chris Flannery accepted the award in the organisation part and Bernadette won the individual achievement award.

Lastly was the advancement award. This being our last award you better believe it was going to be a biggie! This award went to Understanding Our Peers Program, with the winners including Natalia Ranson, Jessica Staniland and Dr Mitchell Byrne.  To find out more about the awards you can check it out here.

With the festivities over, Adam Toms played us his new song ‘Different Kind of Brilliant’, available on iTunes, and we headed out for dinner and snacks. Everyone was having such a fantastic time we had no clue 10 o'clock had arrived, so as the night drew to a close; everyone went home, happy as can be.

Overall, I would say that every year the month of April gets better and better!  The team here at Aspect really know how to put on a grand show and I cannot wait for the rest of this year’s festivities! Until next time folks, see you when I see you.

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An Eventful Life!