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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 young people on the autism spectrum.

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.

Since our launch in 2008, we’ve delivered workshops around the country to more than 7,000 teachers and school staff, and more than 13,000 parents and carers. We also facilitate a range of webinars and provide quality online learning modules via our Online Learning Hub. Our website contains extensive information sheets and resources on a range of topics to support all families in our community.

View the video to hear from teachers and parents about the impact a Positive Partnerships workshop can have.

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 -2019) Positive Partnerships is currently in Phase 3 and this will run until December 31 2019. During this time, Positive Partnerships will continue its highly regarded work with education sectors across Australia, community organisations and, most importantly, with the autism community where it will continue to make a difference to literally thousands of students on the autism spectrum and their families. The Positive Partnerships team within Autism Spectrum Australia will build on the strong foundations of its work over the past eight years supported by its many partners in this vital program.

Funding for this program is provided by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training. ( )

Whether you are a parent, guardian, teacher, support teacher, family member, care provider or individual on the autism spectrum, you’ll find relevant, evidence-informed information to learn more about supporting children on the spectrum.