Sylvia Rodger Academy

Sylvia Rodger Academy


An initiative of the Autism CRC, the Sylvia Rodger Academy delivers nationwide programs aimed at empowering autistic adults to contribute to policy and practice impacting upon their lives. The Academy also works to build the inclusive capacity of the broader community to recognise and engage the strengths of those on the autism spectrum.

Sylvia Rodger Academy

You can read the Evaluation Reports from the 2017 Research Academy and the Researching Autism Together Workshop.

Our Programs

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Future Leaders

The Future Leaders Program is Australia’s first holistic leadership capacity building program for autistic adults. It empowers people on the spectrum with leadership potential to build and develop their skills.

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The Research Program upskills autistic adults and autism researchers to work together as peers in research. This ensures that what is being researched, and the way it is being researched is relevant to, and appropriate for, the autistic community.

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The Governance Program is the first national training program in corporate governance for autistic adults, enabling leadership in decision-making and capturing the strength of diverse thinking to make a broader contribution to the corporate and government sectors..

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Upcoming Programs


To date we have had more than 60 autistic graduates from across Australia and overseas.

Our upcoming course dates are:

Future Leaders Program
Governance Program

Future Leaders Program
Research Program

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Emeritus Professor Sylvia Rodger AM

Emeritus Professor Sylvia Rodger AM

Sylvia’s contribution, both nationally and internationally, to the field of Occupational Therapy – specifically, to autism practice and research – was outstanding.

She was the founding CEO of Autism CRC and often reflected that Autism CRC was her dream come true with its high-quality, end-user focused, collaborative research program disseminated and implemented by service providers and policy makers.

Sylvia changed culture, creating an inclusive research environment that enabled people on the spectrum to influence research and encourage researchers to work together.

She co-founded the Autism CRC Research Academy and in 2015 the autistic participants unanimously agreed to give Sylvia the title “Honorary Research Academy Member” in recognition of her work, openness and willingness to dive into autistic culture, thinking and humour.

Julianne Higgins, a Research Academy member, shared her last message to Sylvia with us; “Dear Sylvia, just like to let you know that working with you has dramatically changed my life in the best of ways. Love Julianne”. Another Academy member declared “She was our tribe”.




Olivia Gatfield
Senior Research Officer
Autism CRC

07 3377 0613
0411 094 346