Empowering autistic adults who want to make a positive difference in their communities to build and develop leadership skills

Applicant Information



Applications for our 2020 intake closed on Friday 24 April.

COVID-19 and the Future Leaders Program

We will adhere to the rules provided by the Government over the coming months, and will keep the selected Future Leaders updated on any changes to the Program delivery as a result of these rules.


To be eligible to apply for the 2020 Future Leaders Program an applicant must:

  • be an autistic adult;
  • be aged 18 or older (no upper age limit) on 1 June 2020;
  • live in Australia (as an Australian citizen or permanent resident);
  • be willing and available to participate in all of the program activities, and;
  • have an interest in both
    • making a positive difference in their community, and;
    • exploring and developing their leadership potential.

It is not important to have previous leadership experience as the program is best suited to those who would most benefit from building and developing skills to reach their leadership potential.


Application and selection process

There are three parts to the application, which all need to be submitted by the closing date. 

  • Part A is an online form that will ask you questions about who you are and some of your experience. 
  • Part B are a series of selection questions that can be answered through your choice of an online form, PowerPoint presentation or video.
  • Part C is a series of marketing questions and a declaration, which will be completed at the end of the online form. 

More information about each of the activities can be found in our Applicant Information Pack.

Important things to know

  • Applications closed 5pm AEST on Friday April 24, 2020.
  • You will get an email within two business days confirming that we’ve received your application.
  • After the closing date, all of the applications will be considered by a selection panel. Most of the members of this panel will be autistic adults.
  • You will find out if you are offered a place in the program by email between Monday 25 Mayand Friday 29 May 2020.
  • We expect there will be approximately 15 places in this year’s program. It is very likely we will receive more than 15 applications so not everyone who applies will be offered a place. 

Future Leader graduate thoughts about the Program

If you like, you can read more about the history of the program. You can also watch some short videos of our 2018 Future Leaders graduates sharing their thoughts about the program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you can find answers to some of the other questions you may have about the program. Please also read the Applicant Information Pack to see if the answer to your questions is there.

If you have a question that isn’t answered in the FAQs below or in the Applicant Information Pack, please email our Project Officer Ainslie at arobinson@autismspectrum.org.au. Please note that Ainslie is part time and may take 2-3 business days to respond to your email.

Fortunately, most of the Program is delivered online. We will adhere to the guidelines provided by the Government, and would keep the selected Future Leaders updated on any changes to the Program delivery.

We are looking for autistic people who are motivated to make a positive change in their communities and interested in exploring and develop their leadership skills to help them to do so. This means we aren’t looking for a set amount of leadership experience.

The selection questions will give you the opportunity to demonstrate your interest and potential as an emerging autistic leader.

Please note that the current program has been designed for emerging or future leaders, it is not targeted at those with a significant amount of existing experience and/or knowledge in this area.

No, you can’t submit an application on someone else’s behalf.

However, you are welcome to tell someone you think they should apply. You can also help them with their application if they want you to.

You are welcome to get a friend, support person or family member to help you complete your application.

Examples of ways people might help are by filming or interviewing you, or helping you to write your responses.

If someone helps you, it is important that you know about and agree with everything that is being said in your application.

No. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer our 2020 program internationally.
Future Leaders is a program for autistic adults. Unfortunately you are not eligible for this offering.

The expanded program is significantly different from the program that was offered in 2013. This means that Future Leaders 2013 graduates are eligible to apply for this year’s program, however 2018 and 2019 graduates, who have already completed the expanded program, are not.

Yes, you are eligible to apply on the same basis as other applicants. This means your suitability for this program will be assessed using the information you provide in your application.
If your application is successful, you will need to complete another online form. This will ask you to tell us things like who we should contact in an emergency and what your dietary and accessibility needs are.

There won’t be any interviews.

We will only ask more questions during the application process (by email) if something in your application is unclear.

The workshop will be held in Brisbane at the Best Western Plus Hotel Diana, Woolloongabba.
No, this is not an employment program. It is also not linked to any specific leadership positions.
No, however on completion you will become a graduate of the Future Leaders Program and a member of the Sylvia Rodger Academy.
Unfortunately, not. We expect to receive lots of applications and won’t be to give specific feedback about why an individual application was not successful this year.

No. We consider attending the workshop to be an essential part of the Future Leaders experience.

No. The voluntary placement is intended to give you access to new experiences and opportunities.

There will some flexibility around how you complete the placement. Personal circumstances such as your current employment and caring responsibilities will be considered.

Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) is the major sponsor of Future Leaders. The Sylvia Rodger Academy is an initiative of Autism CRC, which receives funding from the Australian Government