Our Story

WHO ARE WE?

Autism Community Network is a grassroots organisation committed to supporting people impacted by autism.  Our mission is to help people on the spectrum and their families lead full, rich and rewarding lives.  

WHAT WE DO

We connect: We have a growing network of dedicated volunteers who run programmes and events designed to connect our community to each other and the wider world.  From walking groups for carers to Laser Tag clubs for kids and dinners for autistic adults, our core mission is to bring people together and end the isolation that many families with autism experience.  We are one of the few organisations that run face-to-face peer support groups as well as online meetings, helping people to connect with others on the same journey.  

We inform: We use our community network to share knowledge and awareness of autism.  Through our face-to-face groups and online platforms, we exchange resources and promote activities that will help our community lead their best possible lives.  We encourage our members to share their stories, both of challenge and triumph, and seek advice.  This collective wisdom is not only invaluable to our members, it’s a key part of our mission to make the wider world more inclusive of people on the spectrum and their families. 

We advocate: People with autism typically have greater difficulty accessing basic systems and services.  Success at school often remains a challenge, as the education system struggles to accommodate children on the spectrum.  Our members also report difficulties accessing the NDIS, healthcare (especially mental health services), employment and community events.  We are increasingly reaching out to mainstream organisations to advocate for our members.  This ranges from speaking at teachers’ conferences, to sitting on health advisory panels, to writing social stories for public venues.  Our goal is to make it easier for mainstream organisations to understand and include the autism community.

WE SUPPORT

All of our programmes – from connecting people, to informing and advocating for our community – are designed with one central goal – to support people with autism and their families. Whether directly, through social clubs or information sessions, or indirectly, through our work with educators, first responders, legislators and corporate partners, our goal is to help our members lead their best possible lives. 

WHY ARE WE UNIQUE?

ACN is quite different from most other autism-related organisations.  Why?

We support the whole family!

What People Say

“I’ve been lucky to have met so many great people through the ACN that have helped me and my family.

Belinda

Meeting up with other members in the autism community network made me realise I could do it and I wasn’t on my own.”

Annette

“It’s opened up so many opportunities for [my son] – like self-defence classes, driving lessons, and the chance to give back as a volunteer himself.

Kylie

#RealFamiliesRealSupport