Autism Spectrum Australia

What's a Different Brilliant?

  • Posted: 13/11/2014
  • Author: Thomas Kuzma
  • Comments: Loading.. .

Hello, it’s good to see you back on Aspire. How am I? Exhausted. When you have to write three speeches in a week, you realise the real pain of public speaking isn’t speaking in front of a crowd, it’s trying to come up with something original. But that’s what makes it so much fun too! Coming up with new jokes and ways to reach different kinds of audiences, it’s great and so differently brilliant!

Chances are, if you are on the internet today, you would have seen we have just launched a new positive awareness campaign called “a different brilliant”. So what is a different brilliant?

Before you read on, check out this video .

Exploring the recesses of the mind I found Melissa Wilton Aspect’s Chief in Comms somewhere between the Parietal lobe and the medulla oblongata.

A different brilliant is a celebration of the quirky, genius, unusual or fascinating traits we see in people on the autism spectrum, and in the people who care for and support them.

It is a positive awareness campaign designed to help people not to judge others, and to see beyond the disability. We’re hoping it will reach the wider community and it may just make some people stop and think that perhaps that child in the supermarket is not just being naughty, but might have sensory issues. Or that the work colleague who doesn’t seem to engage with you might just need a helping hand.

It really began in 2012, with extensive consultation with staff, the people we support, their families, and the wider autism community, which led to us introducing our new Vision, Mission and Values. From there we developed our brand guidelines, attributes, personality and tone of voice. The final piece was still missing – our brand essence. This is the emotional heart of our brand,  summed up in a few words. We were very lucky to come across Michael Mrakovcic from DNA Counsel who agreed to work with us pro bono and he came up with ‘a different brilliant’. We just knew, as soon as we heard it, that this was it; and we’re really excited to be sharing it today!

There are several difficulties with a campaign like this. We wanted to make sure we celebrated the ‘brilliance’ of people with autism, without underestimating how difficult it can be to be on the spectrum and/or to live with and care for someone who is. We also had budget issues – we wanted to make a great campaign but we obviously didn’t want to spend a lot of money doing so. We’ve just been overwhelmed with the support we’ve had – from Michael’s first idea to the very generous Director of Production, Nikki Cavenagh, who pulled in all sorts of favours to get the video made, including the post-production team at Fanatic Films, the celebrated cinematographer (and Baz Luhrmann favourite) Damian Wyvill, the team at DNA Counsel, photographer Richard Mortimer, and many more people involved who all gave their time and resources for free or at significantly reduced rates. And of course we are incredibly grateful to the individuals and families who are featured in the video, who willingly gave up their time and put themselves out there to help us to spread the word.  

It has been really rewarding to see the responses we’ve had from the people in the video and everyone who has been involved with making it. Everyone has been so positive. I’m really excited about how it is going to be received today and how many shares we can get across social media – so if you’re reading this, please share!!

What do I find to be a different brilliant? When it comes to me I find a different brilliant in the way I write, the fact that I can create entire universes within minutes, that people can ask me to give talks and in half an hour I’m already half way through preparing what I’m going to talk about. I realise I may be boasting here but my mind does not stop, it keeps running, like a car on airplane fuel. Yes it does crash at times, but I always have people there to help me up.

Where do I see a different brilliant in the world? I see it in the silent heroes, those who achieve exceptional things from the background. It’s those who are very passionate about certain topics, whether it is music, cooking or finding out how things work. I am sure you know I am talking about those on the spectrum, those that see the world differently; if only the world could see what they could.

I had a ball working on the set of the campaign’s Centrepiece video. I came onto the set greeting everyone with a big smile on my face; I had no idea I had just ruined a shot. Zipping up my mouth I went back into the house where I was greeted by  the creative team; the people behind the slogan “a different brilliant”. As the day rolled on, I made sure everyone was settled, the pregnant women had their bottles of water, and I set up the chill out room for all the kids who were on set for the school scene.

Lunch came and I helped make sure the crew had a good break. During the break I found my new title - professional shusher. With great power came great responsibility, so I made sure not to use it for my own personal gain. When the camera started rolling I made sure everyone was quiet by the time they called “Action!”  The day was a complete success, but some of the kids were starting to become restless. Using my talented skills I grabbed a fifty cent coin and showed the kids that coins can magically appear behind your ears. Nathan was getting tired, so I spent 15 minutes with him talking about the awesome things you can build in Minecraft.

The day ended and everyone was happy with the result. Not a single person or minute was wasted; I would like to thank Nikki Cavenagh for Directing the Production.  Melissa and John Kelly for being a big part in all this and to those on the spectrum; you guys show us every day how brilliant you really are, even if it is a little different.

Sometimes we forget that everyone in the world is unique, everybody is different, some more different than others. I am thankful that we live in today’s world where discrimination is largely a thing of the past, where people are more accepting. Some of us see the world differently, others solve problems differently. The world must realise we are more than just different, we are a different brilliant.  

comments powered by Disqus
Please leave a comment
What's a Different Brilliant?