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Who are we?

Positive Partnerships is a national project funded by the Australian Government Department of Education through the Helping Children with Autism program. We’re delivered by Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect).

What we do

We work in partnership with families, educators and communities to strengthen positive outcomes for young people on the autism spectrum. We create connections and opportunities for an inclusive culture where autistic students belong and thrive.

We deliver high quality professional learning and resources through workshops, webinars and online modules for parents, carers and school staff. This strengthens their capacity to support and advocate for autistic young people.

We value partnerships

We know the best outcomes for young people occur when parents, schools and community work together.

We value learning

We embrace innovation and change that advances our growth as a project.

We value diversity

Deeply listening to culture, autistic voice and lived experience.

Positive Partnerships commenced in 2008 as part of the Australian Government Helping Children with Autism initiative.

In the beginning (2008 – 2011) Positive Partnerships was originally delivered by the Australian Autism Education & Training Consortium (AAETC), a partnership between Aspect (lead agency), the University of Canberra, Autism SA, and the Department of Education & Training, WA.

A key platform of the AAETC approach was to develop, strengthen and sustain partnerships at many levels – with government, consortium partners, state and territory autism organisations, education sectors and other non-government organisations.

Workshops for parents and carers of school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder, and professional development for teachers, school leaders and other school staff working with students on the autism spectrum were rolled out across Australia. A website and learning platform with evidence-informed material and practical resources was created to support face-to-face workshops.

Phase II (2012 – 2015) In this period Positive Partnerships was delivered by Partnerships between Education and the Autism Community (PEAC), a consortium made up of Aspect (lead agency), Autism SA, Autism Queensland and Flinders University. Workshops for parents and carers, and school staff continued to be delivered nationally, and an expansion of the program saw a focus on supporting families from diverse communities.

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities, ‘Get-togethers’ and whole school and community programs were delivered, supported by a range of specific resources and materials developed in collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities.

For families from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) backgrounds, resources were developed to support specific workshops for Turkish, Arabic and Vietnamese communities. Materials (information sheets, film clips and resources for support professionals) were developed and translated in six languages.

National achievements (2008 – 2015)

  • more than 7000 teachers, principals and other school staff participated in face-to-face training
  • nearly 13,000 parents and carers attended workshops, and
  • the Positive Partnerships website attracted over 60,000 registered users of training material and online material to support school-aged students on the autism spectrum.

Phase III (2015 - March 2021) Positive Partnerships continued its highly regarded work with education sectors across Australia, community organisations and, most importantly, with the autism community. 

National achievements (2015 - 2021)

  • 30,000 educators accessed face-to-face or online learning across 1,862 schools
  • 8,661 parents and carers accessed face-to-face or online learning
  • 705,000 new users accessed our website
  • 64,000 users registered for our Online Learning Hub

Phase IV (April 2021 - December 2024)

Positive Partnerships is currently in Phase IV activities with the current operational contract ending in December 2024. 

Funding for this program is provided by the Australian Government Department of Education. (https://www.education.gov.au/s... )

Whether you are a parent, carer, teacher, support teacher, family member, or autistic individual, you’ll find relevant, evidence-informed information to learn more about supporting autistic children.