Expressions of Interest are now open for interested members of Australia and New Zealand’s autistic and broader autism communities to nominate themselves to join the Australasian Autism Research Council (AARC) from January 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.

Membership of the AARC is on an individual basis in line with its Terms of Reference. No specific organisation or representative body is automatically entitled to a position on the AARC. However, the Terms of Reference do require at least one representative each from an autism advocacy organisation, a service provider, the autism research community and a relevant Australian Commonwealth Government Department. There is no formal requirement for a New Zealand Government representative, but Expressions of Interest from that sector would still be welcomed.

The AARC does not except nominations from organisations directly. However, an organisation may submit a letter in support of an individual’s nomination.

Letters of support should be restricted to one page (size 11 Arial font) and may be emailed to aarc@autismcrc.com.au separately from the individual’s EOI. Letters must be received by the 11:59pm on Monday September 20th (AEST) to be considered. A letter of support will not be counted as application in and of itself, each nominating individual will still need to complete the EOI form.

Find out more about the EOI

Nominees do not need to have a letter of support to be considered for the AARC. However, letters of support are strongly encouraged where a nominee is indicating that they would represent the views of an advocacy organisation, a service provider or a Government department or agency. Having an organisation supporting an individual’s Expression of Interest does not guarantee that their nomination will be successful.

Only one letter will be considered for each individual interested in joining the AARC, but organisations may support up to three different nominees. Organisations who are providing letters of support must have a clear connection to the autism community (e.g. a service provider, a grass roots community group which is registered as an organisation or entity, a school with a specific program for children with disabilities, or an employer with an autism specific employment program).

An individual does not necessarily need to be an employee of the organisation supporting their application. For instance, a service provider or advocacy organisation may wish to provide a letter of support for someone who regularly volunteers with them or is part of an advisory group. However, the letter should make it clear whether or not an individual would be representing the supporting organisation’s general views and interests whilst contributing to the AARC.

Letters of support from an individuals who are not endorsing an application on behalf of an organisation, are unable to be considered (e.g. a letter from a friend, a relative or a colleague). If you are unsure whether someone would be considered a personal or organisational reference please contact aarc@autismcrc.com.au to seek clarification.