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Providing Needed Resources for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities

27 April 2022

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According to the Macquarie University We Look After Our Own Mob research, very little is known about how autism is understood and supported in culturally and linguistically diverse communities, including First Nations People. As a result, there are very few culturally-sensitive resources and teaching materials available.

Positive Partnerships is a national project funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment through the Helping Children with Autism package. To address this gap, the organisation has created a vast array of dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resources to create opportunities for a more inclusive culture where Autistic students belong and thrive.

The resources, which include books, videos, podcasts, storyboards and talking points, have been developed with the support, guidance and input of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, schools and communities across the country, and can help guide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family’s conversations about how children and students learn and behave.

Here are a few examples:

  • Djarmbi, The Different Kookaburra Story Book
    This storybook is a resource for both parents and teachers. It introduces the sensitive topic of ‘difference’ through the use of a bush animal that is indeed different to the rest of his community. Parents and teachers can share this story with children as a starting point to understand difference.
  • Autism, Our Kids, Our Stories: Voices of Aboriginal Parents Across Australia
    This illustrated book features 10 individual stories of Aboriginal families with a child on the autism spectrum. It reveals valuable insights into the journey experienced by Aboriginal families, including women and girls, when parenting a child on the autism spectrum.
  • A Mother's Story
    This book tells the real-life journey of Jaki French, an Aboriginal mother from Moree who details her story about her son Murri and their journey about autism.

These books and other resources and Positive Partnerships’ information on workshops and webinars are available on the Positive Partnerships website.

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