Future Leaders Program Overview


Future Leaders is Australia’s first holistic leadership capacity building program for adults on the autism spectrum. The program builds on the concept of the 2013 Future Leaders program which was evaluated by the Autism CRC in 2016. The newly revised and expanded program has been co-designed, developed and evaluated by autistic adults.

Future Leaders candidates will have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills through a series of training and development initiatives including online training modules, a three day leadership workshop and mentoring from established autistic leaders. The program incorporates training and support—for both Future Leaders and sponsoring organisations—and practical experience through volunteer placements.


  • To empower young adults on the autism spectrum with leadership potential to build and develop their skills.
  • To support organisations to discover and leverage the strengths of neurodiversity and foster inclusive environments.

Get involved

Are you interested in empowering young adults on the autism spectrum with leadership potential to build and develop skills to improve their communities? Our call for sponsorship is now open. Find out more.

Are you or someone you know interested in being a Future Leader? Applications will open on February 22 and close on March 9, 2018. Find out more.

Timeline and key dates

Future Leaders Program 2018 Timeline

*Announcement will be made by 5pm AEST. We will advise applicants via email if there will be a delay to the announcement.

Building on previous success

The first Future Leaders Program was a small pilot program that allowed 23 young adults on the autism spectrum aged 18 to 30 years to better engage with and participate in the 2013 Asia Pacific Autism Conference in Adelaide. It also included eight mentors who were adults over 30 years on the spectrum.

Click here to read the evaluation of the 2013 Future Leaders Program including graduate profiles like the ones below.

Future Leaders Program Case Study 1

“I think the program really shifted the way I thought about the presentations I give and I moved to a more strengths-based approach”.

Future Leaders Program Case Study 2

“Future Leaders was my introduction to the world of advocacy and the opportunities that exist for autistic adults to be leaders and have an influence.”

Future Leaders Program Case Study 3

“I really owe it to what I did with Future Leaders and how it nurtured me to become the outstanding, articulate, dedicated and determined advocate as you see me today.”