Representing Members

Representing Members

Autism Tasmania works to ensure that the voice of the Tasmanian Autistic community is heard – loud and clear!

We work to shape the programs and policies at local, state, and national levels. This includes submissions to influence the range of reforms to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Your views are valued.  To share them please contact our CEO:

State of the State report

Click here to view the report:

State of the State report


The details of our current advocacy activities are set out under the below sections.

  1. National Autism Strategy
  2. State Elections and Budgets
  3. Senate Select Committee on Autism
  4. Tasmanian Autism Alliance
  5. Tasmanian Disability Inclusion Bill 2023
  6. Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability
  7. NDIS submissions
  8. National Disability Strategy
  9. Tasmanian – Accessible Island
  10. Local Councils Accessibility action plans
  11. Federal Election

1. National Autism Strategy

The draft National Autism Strategy has now closed for feedback.

Read the draft Strategy here (easy read version available)

Engagement was undertaken from September to November 2023, to speak with Autistic people and the autism community across Australia. Autism Tasmania was proud to take a key role in Tasmania’s engagement, assisting with the national team’s events and consulting in our work with over 150 individuals in the autism community.

The draft Strategy includes a vision, goal, guiding principles, outcome areas and commitments. The draft Strategy is a high level, guiding document. Underneath the Strategy there will be action plans, an evaluation framework and a plan for how the autistic community is engaged as the Strategy is put into action. More work on the First Action Plan will be done in the coming months with the oversight council and its supporting working groups.

Autism Tasmania’s Submission of Feedback to the Draft National Autism Strategy

Read our Submission

Autism Tasmania’s Submission to the National Autism Strategy

Read Our Submission

Autism Tasmania’s Autistic Community Advisory Subcommittee (ACAS) is actively engaged with the National Strategy and:
1. Convened a panel discussion titled “The National Autism Strategy should…” at the AGM on Wednesday 25 October 2023
2. Created an innovative format to support the Autistic community to share their ideas on the “One thing the National Autism Strategy should do and why”


A National Autism Strategy was identified to be needed to improve the life outcomes of Autistic Australians.
Autism Tasmania is a founding member of the Australian Autism Alliance.
Together we asked for this pre-election and the Australian government responded with a commitment to the co-design and development of a National Autism Strategy (Strategy) that is informed by the experiences of autistic people, their families and carers, and those who work to support them.

This will involve a comprehensive co-design and national consultation process that will draw in views from the full diversity and representative range of the autistic community and the autism and disability sectors.

The national consultation process and co-design of the Strategy are to be guided by an Oversight Council and assisted by four Working Groups considering:

  1. Social inclusion.
  2. Economic inclusion.
  3. Diagnosis, supports and services.
  4. National Roadmap to Improve the Health and Mental Health of Autistic People.

2. State Election and Budgets

Find out Which Candidates are Making Autism a Priority this Election

Contact Your Candidates

Find Your State Electorate 

Autism Tasmania is calling on the Candidates for the Tasmanian State Election to urgently commit to funding Autism Tasmania and pledge their commitment to ensuring that the many reforms to national programs and local services work for autistic Tasmanians, their families and carers by signing our Candidates Pledge.

Autism Tasmania is the State’s peak body organisation for autism but doesn’t receive ANY funding from the Tasmanian Government unlike other State peak organisations.

Each day the Tasmanian autism community relies on Autism Tasmania – but National Funding ends 30 June 2024! 

We must ensure that the voices of all Autistic Tasmanians, their families and carers are heard and informs the development of new services and supports in Tasmania.

We are calling on Candidates to say:

“I commit to fund Autism Tasmania for $300,000 per year for 3 years and ensure that autistic Tasmanians, their families, and carers have uninterrupted access to vital services, support and resources and a grassroots voice advocating for them.”

Candidates Pledge – Fund Autism Tasmania & Make Autism a Priority

Media Release: Candidates – Autism Tasmania at Risk Due to Dangerous Lag in Funding
Tasmania – If We Don’t Lead Now – We Will Miss Out by Donna Blanchard (CEO)

3. Senate Select Committee on Autism

“Life outcomes for autistic Australians are unacceptably poor. This comes at an enormous personal, social and economic cost. Meaningful systemic changes would have an enormous impact… Generic disability strategies have proven ineffective at improving life outcomes for autistic people. A National Autism Strategy should form the centrepiece of efforts to improve outcomes for autistic Australians.”

– Executive Summary from the Senate Inquiry into Autism

Senate Inquiry Report Background:
In November 2019, the Australian Government announced a Senate Inquiry into the services, supports and life outcomes for autistic people. The objective was to identify ‘productive and meaningful ways to improve services and support for autistic people in the areas of education, healthcare, employment, housing, justice and rights’.

In October 2021, the Senate Select Committee reported on the services, support, and life outcomes for autistic people. The Committee is currently conducting public hearings across Australia.

Autism Tasmania is an active member of the Australian Autism Alliance and are calling for a National Autism Strategy to be established.

Our submission titled the Autism Dividend provides deep insights into the lived-experience of autistic people and offers considered and strategic options to reforms.

See full copy of the report here: Download Senate Report

4. Tasmanian Autism Alliance

5. Tasmanian Disability Inclusion Bill 2023

DSA Review


We are pleased that consultation on the Disability Services Act (DSA) 2011 has resulted in the decision to start a new Act named the Tasmanian Disability Inclusion Bill 2023.

See our submission here.


Disability Inclusion Bill Submission Cover

We are calling for Explicit recognition of autism and neurodiversity as separate and distinct priority area.

6. Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

The Royal Commission has made 222 recommendations on how to improve laws, policies, structures and practices to ensure a more inclusive and just society that supports the independence of people with disability and their right to live free from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

The final report was first published on 29 September 2023. Subsequently, minor corrections were made and an updated report was published on 2 November 2023.

The Australian Government has opened a process for the Australian disability community to consult regarding the response to the Disability Royal Commission Final Report and recommendations. This consultation is available via an online questionnaire

You can read the Final Report here. 

Access counselling and support here

7. NDIS Reform Review

The NDIS Review Final Report was released 7th December 2023. This eagerly awaited report is understandably generating a lot of conversation in the Tasmanian autism community.

If you are feeling overwhelmed or in need of support, please reach out to crisis services like Lifeline (13 11 14) or 13Yarn (13 92 76).

If you have questions about the NDIS Review – our Advisor team can help!

OR Let us know your thought’s and feeling about the NDIS proposed reform.

The report has 26 Recommendations and 139 actions to improve outcomes for all people with disability. These recommendations are not yet law and are proposed only, they will not be effective immediately. The Review anticipates a 5-year phase of transition to ensure that no one is left behind and adequate supports are in place.

The four key parts of the Review are:
1. Unified system of support for people with disability
2. Markets (service providers)
3. Stewardship of the unified ecosystem.
4. FIVE- year transition.

Newly introduced are Foundational Supports. This new concept defines what is provided INSIDE and OUTSIDE of the NDIS. “Outside” means delivered by States and Territories. This is a lot about autism and early childhood interventions.

Review chair, Bruce Bonyhady said that foundational supports include: peer support, information and…”Early Intervention support for children with developmental delay”. The intent is that they will be delivered through existing government services (State and National).

Autism Tasmania is working with our national partners to assess the impact on Autistic Tasmanians and is communicating with our members to get the latest information into your hands as soon as possible. Please keep an eye on our social media and e-news, further briefings are intending to be held for members to attend throughout the period of transition.

View the Review recommendations here.

View Minister Shorten’s National Press Club Address here.

See answers to Frequently Asked Questions here.

See our submission here:
Submission Cover Page
See our submission summary here:
Submission Cover Page

8. National Disability Strategy

Accessible Island links to the National Disability Strategy 2010 – 2020 which outlines a 10-year national policy framework for improving the lives of Australians with disability, their families and carers.

The framework has expired and a new 10- year framework will be released in 2021.

Autism Tasmania is an active member of the Australian Autism Alliance  and called for this framework to include strategies the improve the  following for the autism community:

  • inclusive and accessible communities.
  • rights, protection, justice, and legislation.
  • economic security.
  • personal and community support.
  • learning and skills; and
  • health and wellbeing.

9. Tasmanian – Accessible Island

Accessible Island links to the National Disability Strategy and is the third state of a whole-of-government approach to ensure that all government departments implement socially just policies and practices. View the 2018-2021 DFA here.

The above site also includes includes the Action Plans for all Tasmanian Government Departments.  Each department provides and annual progress report to the Premiers Disability Advisory Council.

Autism Tasmania will help shape the new Accessible Island plan.

10. Local Councils Accessibility action plans

Local Councils play a critical role in access and participation for the autistic community.

Autism Tasmania is active in helping local councils craft autistic friendly services and events.

A report on progress is here.





11. Federal Election



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