World Autism Awareness Day

Written on the 2 April 2017 by Lloyd Oppelaar

Today is World Autism Awareness Day, a United Nations sanctioned day that raises awareness and understanding of people living with autism in our local communities. Research shows that about 1 in 100 children, almost 230,000 Australians, have autism, highlighting the need to further understand and celebrate the lives and achievements of people with autism in our community. For more information about autism and World Autism Awareness Day, visit: www.autismawareness.com.au

"World Autism Awareness Day is a time for us to think about what we can do to make our communities more engaging and accessible for people with autism, who often have unique sensory and social needs," said Mark Kulinski, Chief Executive of Community Living Australia. "At Community Living Australia, we are passionate about providing everyone, including people living with disability, with equal opportunities to thrive in their communities. We are thrilled to see a number of our clients who are living with autism participating actively and bringing a variety of focussed skills to their communities and achieving their goals," added Mr Kulinski.

George Rowe, is living life to the fullest by actively participating in his community. George is a member of numerous community groups, including the Rotary Club, where he attends and fully contributes to weekly meetings, and a local theatre group who put on various drama performances throughout the year. George first discovered an interest in the performing arts while participating in Community Living Australia's drama program, and has now taken on multiple roles in his first production, on and off stage. George is playing the parts of a villain and a paper boy in the upcoming play "The 39 Steps", in addition to working as the Assistant Director! 

Not only does George get involved with recreational programs in his community, he also plays an active role in a number of workplaces. George currently works at his local IGA and Bunnings. In these roles George has a number of responsibilities, including welcoming customers, stocking up shelves, checking expiry dates on fresh produce, and tidying showrooms. George's warm and welcoming presence make him an excellent member of the teams in both these jobs. When asked what his favourite aspect of work is, George said: "I love it all," and that the most rewarding thing for him is getting involved with his community and helping people.

"George's involvement and enthusiasm, both recreationally and in the workplace, has made him an integral part of our local community," said Sue Stuart, Regional Manager for Adelaide Hills, Strathalbyn and Riverland. "George has a number of goals set for the future and we can't wait to see him take on new challenges with the same passion he has always shown," added Sue.

"World Autism Awareness Day not only raises awareness and understanding of autism, but also celebrates an important group of people in society. Today we commend people such as George, who are demonstrating that people with disability have valued roles in our communities," added Mr Kulinski.


Author: Lloyd Oppelaar

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