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A chance to reflect

Autism West Symposium 2018 – Join the Conversation

It is similar to having a family wedding annually with all of us here at Autism West echoing how the mother of the bride feels with a week of organised chaos guaranteed despite the months of preparation beforehand. This year however, the sense of community was strong and the representation by the community itself was there and there was keen interest and enthusiasm.

Employer Forum at Symposium 2018

This year Autism West held an employer forum at breakfast to inform our businesses in the potential of diversity in the workforce. Within our main symposium we heard from three incredible autistics on their own experiences in the world of work.

It was a packed session and one panelist relayed how his love of problem solving, a trait he attributes to his autism increased his productivity and contributed to his business development.

It is this value in solving and completing a task that is one element of how the employment of people on the spectrum in workforce can be of benefit. Sean Langton of Bankwest spoke of how he felt he was “the cat who got the cream” reflecting on Bankwest’s involvement with autistic employees, and they should be commended for how they have been pioneers in this field in WA.

Michael John Carley our opening keynote was sassy, funny and challenging and charmed the audience. He gave an intelligent brief history of autism to where we are today. This set the tone for the event and we had opportunities to hear from researchers, professionals and of course those with lived in experience.

Silvana, Lyn and Minister at Symposium 2018

This year we also got to mark Autism West’s 10th Anniversary and to also acknowledge our founder and Chairperson Silvana Gaglia’s contribution to the community here in West Australia. She has worked tirelessly and passionately for us and we simply would not be in the position we are today without her.

The continuing support of Lotterywest ensures that this event was accessible to our most important delegates, individuals and families who live with autism every day and for that Autism West is extremely grateful.

With an event like this, it is impossible to cover every aspect of the challenges and opportunities our community faces. However, it is a unique calendar event in Western Australia which gives the community an opportunity to come together, talk listen and learn and join the conversation. We invite you to join us in continuing the work.

Louise Sheehy
Autism West Chief Executive Officer
Contact: lsheehy@autismwest.org.au
Tel: 08 9431 2111