Please note that Expressions of Interest to join the AARC in 2022 have now closed. The following is provided for general information purposes only – and is subject to change for the next EOI round which will take place in late 2022.
The AARC was established to review and define national priorities for autism research and identify areas of research needed for the autistic and autism communities. The AARC operates under the auspices of Autism CRC.
The AARC’s major output is a report or update in November each year on autism research priorities relevant to the Australian context (from next year it will be the Australia and New Zealand context).
Who is part of the AARC and what does the role involve?
The AARC includes both autistic and non-autistic members working together to consult the broader community about research priorities.
The AARC must have at least eight (8) and no more than fifteen (15) members. AARC members must be aged 18 or over and live in either Australia or New Zealand. We also have a rule that there must be at least two (2) AARC members from each of those two countries.
There are 3 to 5 meetings each year which take place through online means (email, online forums and/or virtual meetings using video conferencing software). Participation will be flexible, which means you can choose to participate in different ways. There also won’t be any face-to-face meetings, so no travel is required. Membership of the AARC is on a voluntary basis.
Council discussions and documents are considered confidential in nature. This means that they cannot be shared or discussed with others within a council member’s organisation or networks. Council meetings are primarily focused on examining autism research priorities (including through community consultation) and developing the Council’s report which is shared and promoted publicly once completed.
More detail about what the role involves can be found in our Terms of Reference. The AARC Terms of Reference has some specific requirements for one of more representatives from certain key stakeholder groups (such as autistic people, family members, and service providers), but Expressions of Interest are welcomed from across the autistic and broader autism communities.
We also have a plain language summary of the AARC’s most recent report which explains what the AARC does. There is also a plain language version of this information including the Expression of Interest form.
Expression of Interest process
Expressions of Interest to join the AARC in 2022 have now closed.
Expressions of Interest must be submitted via an online form which will ask you for your contact details as well as the community groups you represent and why you are interested in being part of the AARC. There is also a plain language version of the form. Both versions ask you for the same information and you may complete whichever version you prefer.
In 2021 we also accepted letters of support, which are explained in a later section of this webpage.
You must read the Terms of Reference prior to completing the form.
The decision about who will become members of the AARC will be considered by the current AARC membership and ratified by the Board of the Autism CRC. We will let you know if you can be part of the AARC via email by 5pm AEST on Friday 12th November 2021.
If completing an online form isn’t accessible for you, or you have particular access needs for participating in AARC meetings that you would like to discuss in advance please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Disclosing any access needs in advance is not required.
Please be aware that whilst we try and make the AARC as inclusive we can and allow people to contribute in multiple ways, participating does require you to be able to read and comment on written documents such as research reports (or use a screen reader to read them to you). We have previously had an AARC member participate with the assistance of a support person, similar accommodations would be considered on a case by case basis.
Please see How do members participate in AARC meetings? for more information about how the meetings work. We also have a plain language webpage about the Expression of Interest process.
Nominations from organisations / Letters of support
The AARC does not except nominations from organisations directly. Read the nominations from organisations and letters of Support page for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
The AARC holds its meetings online through a combination of a discussion board and a meeting held via video conference. The discussion board is open for at least 7 days and the video conference is usually for an hour to 90 minutes depending on how many matters are on the agenda. Some members have also chosen to contribute via email or by recording a video of themselves to be shared with the rest of the group.
It is up to each member how they would like to participate. The agenda and papers are sent out a week before the meeting.
Full meetings of the AARC will take place at least 3 times each year, up to a maximum of 5 times.
In addition to full meetings of the AARC, members may also be invited to additional meetings relevant to any project work being undertaken on behalf of the Council. Matters may also be considered out of session via electronic means (e.g. email or an online poll).
The AARC can have between eight (8) and fifteen (15) members. There are two (2) current members who will automatically continue on the AARC as their current terms last until December 2022. This means that this time there are a maximum of thirteen (13) positions available (if the AARC decides to have a full complement of 15 members).
Not all of the available positions will necessarily be filled by new candidates. AARC members whose terms are due to expire may nominate themselves to be considered for a further term. Renominating candidates can be appointed to up to half of the vacant positions. The Terms of Reference do not allow us to accurately predict how many new members will be appointed, but last time there were five (5) new members.
Under the AARC Terms of Reference positions on the AARC belong to individuals rather than any organisation they might represent. No specific organisation or representative body is automatically entitled to a position on the AARC. However, we do accept letters of support if you would like to endorse a particular applicant who would represent your views. The Terms of Reference do require at least one representative each from an autism advocacy organisation, a service provider and a relevant Australian Commonwealth Government Department.
Autistic people play a significant role in the AARC both as members of the Council and as community members who choose to engage with our consultations.
Due to factors outside of the AARC’s control it was not possible for the current version of the AARC’s report to completed until early 2021. A decision was made for the 2020 AARC membership to continue until the report could be published.
The term of members who are appointed through this nominations process will be until at least December 2022 as the AARC seeks to return to the schedule outlined in its Terms of Reference.