Provide a placement

Join us in 2019

Help change the way people think about autism


Can your organisation or business (small or large) provide an opportunity for a Future Leader to complete a 50-hour volunteer placement to further explore and develop their leadership skills and potential as they meet, share with and learn from others?

Register your interest

View the 2019 Prospectus

Benefits to inclusive workplaces

Neurodiversity is increasingly being recognised as a competitive advantage and innovative organisations are discovering and tapping into its strengths and benefits for their workplaces. The term neurodiversity refers to the range of differences in individual brain function and behavioural traits, regarded as part of normal variation in the human population (used especially in the context of people of the autism spectrum). 

For participating organisations it opens up a new way of thinking about their business and helps to broaden accessibility and better engage with customers and employees. There are multiple benefits to your organisation, employees and the community when you embrace a neurodiverse workplace. 

Would you like to:

  • Lead by example in showcasing neurodiversity and creating environments in which all employees can thrive?
  • Gain insights from neurodiverse thinkers to broaden accessibility and better engage with potential customers and employees?
  • Foster the development of Australia’s next generation of autistic leaders?
  • Help level the playing field for the autistic community by assisting them to develop value-adding skills?
  • Make a long-term impact in the life of an autistic adult? 

In 2019 the program will be delivered by Autism CRC's Sylvia Rodger Academy and Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect).

Be part of a success story

The Future Leaders Program is designed by, and for autistic people, to learn from, empower and encourage one another to pursue their goals and positively impact their communities. As part of the Future Leaders Program run through the Sylvia Rodger Academy, we are seeking organisations and businesses (small or large) to be part of a success story by providing an opportunity for a Future Leader to complete a 50-hour volunteer placement.

This is not an employment program, instead we are hoping you will be able to provide the Future Leader with a practical opportunity to further explore and develop their leadership skills and potential as they meet, share with and learn from others.

The activities the Future Leader would undertake are flexible. We will provide you with more information about your Future Leader, or connect them with you to work through what will be most beneficial to your organisation and them.

Features and benefits include:

  • Information and support to accommodate your Future Leader’s volunteer placement
  • Acknowledgement on the Future Leaders webpage and on Autism CRC’s social media platforms
  • Opportunity to share program participation on your company website and other communication tools
  • Certificate recognising your organisation’s contribution.

Proven success

The first Future Leaders program in 2013 was a single event which enabled a group of 23 autistic adults to participate and engage in an autism conference. The Autism CRC board commissioned an evaluation of the program in 2016 which found that participants felt the program boosted their confidence, fostered new friendships and taught them more about autism advocacy.

In 2018 a newly revised and expanded Future Leaders program was developed and run by Autism CRC. The 2018 program included 14 autistic adults aged 25-40 from across Australia. The program was co-designed and developed by autistic adults, for autistic adults. Five of the eight project team members were established autistic leaders.

A residential workshop was held in Brisbane and created an environment for people to share and learn from each other’s experiences. More formal sessions covered leadership-related topics such as community mindedness, identity, goal setting and media training. 

Future Leaders also undertook volunteer placements to further develop and apply their leadership skills. One of the key benefits of this program is that it can work for many different kinds of organisations and industries at various stages of exploring the benefits of neurodiversity. Future Leaders have a range of existing skills and experience. Our 2018 graduates undertook volunteer placements in fields such as communications, human resources, administration, training and resource development - lending their diverse skills and insights to a range of organisations including art galleries, a construction company, government departments and disability service providers.

Is 2019 the year for your industry to be represented?

To discuss potential opportunities or request more information, please contact:

Ainslie Robinson
Future Leaders Project Officer
Autism Spectrum Australia

02 8868 8515
(Please note that Ainslie is part-time, but will respond to your query as soon as she can)

Autism Spectrum Australia is the major sponsor of Future Leaders. The Sylvia Rodger Academy was established by Autism CRC, an initiative of the Australian Government.