The Amaze Annual General Meeting 2015
The 2015 Amaze Annual General Meeting (AMG) was held on November 25, 2015, at the Pullman Melbourne Albert Park.
The AGM reflected on work that Amaze has been doing with the Victorian autism community, highlights from the year and new work.
Amaze’s key achievements for 2014/15:
- 1000+ attendees to the Victorian Autism Conference in August 2014
- The Autism Advisor service supported 2,600 families with a new diagnosis of autism
- The Information Services Team answered 3,500 enquiries from our community
- The launch of Spectrospective: Stories of Autism shared the voices, challenges and wishes of people on the autism spectrum and was viewed 45,000 times
- Amaze started work as an NDIS Disability Support Organisation working with 20 autism support groups across Victoria
Amaze AGM Guest Presenters
Karen Firth, who has three sons on the autism spectrum, spoke about her experience participating in the NDIS trial in Barwon, Victoria. Karen has been connecting with and supporting other parents whose children have been diagnosed with autism by attending peer support group sessions in Victoria with Amaze.
As a parent, Karen felt a mix of emotions after hearing about the NDIS – excited, sceptical and overwhelmed. At first, Karen wondered if choice and control would really be available to her children.
She persisted with planning ahead to access services under the NDIS despite feeling like it was too complicated.Overall, she said the emphasis on achieving goals was positive and the children were more confident and content after talking about the future.
“The biggest gain was finding a flexible provider to do it our way,” Karen said.
“They don’t take the easiest path and they are positive about the kids’ interests. They respect the need for people on the autism spectrum to not always be social.”
Judy Brewer, Chair of The Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC), spoke about the work the Centre is doing and its focus on diagnosis, education and adulthood.
The Autism CRC aims to provide evidence-based, practical outcomes that make a real and enduring difference in the lives of people on the autism spectrum. Ms Brewer said people on the autism spectrum are involved in all aspects of the Centre’s research from co-design to participation.
It was announced that Amaze has become a participant within the Autism CRC, joining 50 participants, across Australia and internationally, working collaboratively to transform the lives of people living with autism.
Members also heard from Amaze Chair Jane Evans and Amaze CEO Fiona Sharkie.
Two new board members, Janine Hoey (finance/accounting director) and Ryan Brown (fundraising/ philanthropy director), were appointed. Shannon Eeles was re-appointed as policy/advocacy director.