Child connecting autism awareness puzzle by pressing icons on digital virtual screen.

The development of a National Autism Strategy is now open for public consultation. A discussion paper, along with a guided questionnaire are now online, and calling for public submissions, with forums, focus groups and workshops to be held across the country in the coming weeks.

The National Autism Strategy will be a whole-of-life plan for all Australians with autism, spanning a number of key areas including healthcare, education and employment.

The discussion paper highlights that greater awareness and acceptance of autism is needed in the community, across different settings and among key professionals.

There will be a range of options to participate that includes in writing, by phone or video, together with online workshops and in-person forums to be held in all states and territories, Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said.  

“I strongly encourage everyone in the autistic community across the nation to have their say on the National Autism Strategy,” she said.

There are more than 205,000 Australians with autism who experience lower life expectancy than non-autistic people, particularly those with a co-occurring medical condition.

The National Autism Strategy Oversight Council, comprising representatives of the autistic community, the sector, researchers and government officials, was announced in May 2023 to guide the development of the Strategy.

Consultations are open until late October 2023.

For more information go to the Department of Social Services website.