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Nominations open for Aspect's 2022 National Recognition Awards

24 January 2022

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Do you know someone in the autism community who deserves recognition and acknowledgement for the amazing work they are doing to lift the lives, reputation or expectations of people on the autism spectrum?

The Annual Aspect Recognition Awards celebrate the strengths and aspirations of the exceptional people in our autism community by showcasing their incredible achievements to a wide audience.

Orion Kelly, Autistic advocate and 2021 Recognition Award recipient, said that being a recipient of the Different Brilliant® Award felt like an acknowledgement of the work he had been doing to advocate for the Autistic community.

“The most important part of the awards for me, was attending the awards ceremony and meeting with other likeminded Autistic individuals who are doing such amazing work!”

Other previous award receipts include, Elise Muller, a proud First Nations Australian, Autistic woman and part of the LGBQTIA+ community, Muller overcame significant difficulties, adversities, bullying and hardship during her school age years to become a dual-elite athlete, qualified teacher’s aide and founder of Active Support – a social enterprise organisation for people with a disability who are at risk.

Clay Lewis who shot to national fame at just 16 years of age when he founded his own successful business cleaning wheelie bins, after not being able to find a part-time job for 2 years.

Emily Ma, who recognised that many families in the Chinese community with a child a child on the autism spectrum were often isolated due to cultural social stigma and language barriers and developed the Chinese Parent’s Special Needs Support Network, which has been running now for 20 years.

Aspect CEO, Jacqui Borland said that nominations for the awards come from across Australia and aim to celebrate the our diverse, creative and resilient autism community.

“What we are looking for are Autistic people who are making a difference in their own communities, emerging Autistic leaders, businesses who are finding new ways to be more inclusive, researchers who are translating their work into autism practices that support Autistic people, and parents/partners/carers/supports of the Autistic community."

Anyone in the community is invited to submit a nomination for one of seven categories:

  • a different brilliant® Award Adult (21+)
    This award recognises an Autistic individual over the age of 21 who has made a significant achievement in their own personal context and is an inspiration to other people with autism in any area of endeavour (arts, business, community service, sport etc).
  • a different brilliant® Award Youth (up to 21)
    This award recognises an Autistic individual under the age of 21 who has made a significant achievement in their own personal context and is an inspiration to other people with autism in any area of endeavour (arts, business, community service, sport etc).
  • Autism Community Award
    This award recognises a significant contribution by an individual or organisation to the promotion of the strengths, interests and aspirations of Autistic people in their community.
  • Autism Friendly Achievement Award
    This award recognises significant achievements by an individual or organisation towards making the world more autism friendly.
  • ARCAP Research Award
    The ARCAP Research Award is a new award category that aims to recognise research that has been translated into respectful, effective autism practices that support Autistic people and their families and carers to realise their strengths, goals and aspirations.
  • Working in Partnership Award
    This award recognises an individual or organisation who is working in partnership with the autism community to create a better understanding of autism and/or Autistic people within their community.
  • Parent/Carer of the Year Award
    This award recognises a contribution to family, or the autism community, or is an inspiring role model for other parents and carers.

All entries will be assessed by a panel of judges with expertise and lived experience in the autism community. Finalists will be announced in late March, with the recipients announced at an Awards ceremony on 7 April, in Sydney.

The Aspect Recognition Awards celebrate World Autism Understanding Month by recognising and showcasing the achievements of the autism and Autistic communities in Australia.

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