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Engaging with the Draft National Autism Strategy: Your Voice Matters

Yesterday the Department of Social Services unveiled the first draft of the National Autism Strategy, marking a significant step towards achieving inclusivity for autistic individuals across Australia. 

Meaningfully released to coincide with World Autism Day, the strategy highlights the importance of addressing the needs and aspirations of the autistic community.

Social Inclusion

The strategy prioritizes enhancing understanding and changing societal attitudes towards autism. 

Through initiatives such as public education and awareness campaigns, increased representation in media and the arts, and the creation of accessible spaces, it aims to create a more inclusive and welcoming society for autistic Australians. 

Additionally, it commits to supporting efforts to promote social connections, recognising the value and importance of peer support and community to autistic people’s wellbeing.

Economic Inclusion

The strategy emphasizes the importance of increasing meaningful employment opportunities for autistic people, including support for entrepreneurship and self-employment. 

By assisting employers in developing accessible recruitment practices and inclusive and welcoming workplaces, the goal is to empower autistic people to have greater choice and control over their education and careers. 

Diagnosis, Services, and Supports

Efforts to improve diagnosis, services, and support are central to the strategy. 

Standardized training for professionals, development of best practice resources for families, and improvements in access to healthcare services aim to streamline the often traumatic, almost always extremely expensive, assessment process. 

Further, it commits to supporting initiatives to enhance service integration and increase representation of autistic people in services delivering support to autistic people. 


A key aspect of the strategy is the development of a governance framework to support accountability, collaboration, and active involvement of autistic people, parents, and professionals. 

The Strategy calls for a whole-of-government approach and promoting cross-sectoral coordination, the aim is to ensure effective implementation and meaningful progress towards the strategy's objectives.

Public Consultation and Action Plan

It's important to note that the Draft National Autism Strategy is currently open for public consultation until 31 May 2024. 

This draft represents high-level commitments, and an action plan is underway for further development by the Oversight Council and Working Groups. 

Your input and feedback during this consultation period will help shape the final strategy and action plan, ensuring they accurately reflect the needs and priorities of our community.



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