What we do

About Amaze

In 1967, a group of parents who were struggling to find autism resources set up the Victorian Autistic Children’s and Adult’s Association. It provided a central information source and supported autistic individuals and their families. The organisation was renamed Autism Victoria Inc in 1999 and again renamed Amaze in 2013.

Today, Amaze is the peak body for autistic people and their supporters in Victoria.

Amaze builds autism understanding in the community, influences policy change for autistic people and their families/supporters, and provides independent, credible information and resources to individuals, families, professionals, government and the wider community.

How can we support you?

 Autism Advisor service 1300 308 699 

Free phone, email and web chat service, providing information, support and referrals to services that can help you further.

 

 Early Days Workshops

Free information and education sessions for families with young children who have recently been diagnosed with autism.

 

 Training and Professional Development 

Building the capacity of professionals, businesses and community organisations to support autistic people.

 

 eSpectrum newsletter 

A free fortnightly online newsletter for the autism community.

 

 Online resources 

Quality, evidence-based information and learning available 24×7 for individuals, families and professionals.

 

 Government advocacy

Working to influence change in priority areas, including access to assessment, education, employment and the NDIS.

 

Shape a better future for autism

Amaze focuses our work in three areas:

Understanding

Building community understanding of autism over time by ensuring more people know the facts about autism and what they can do to support autistic people.

Engagement

Influencing systemic change in government, and the private and social sectors so they can positively engage with autistic people in key areas like support services, education, employment, and healthcare.

Acceptance

Creating opportunities for meaningful participation and contribution from autistic people by building their skills, but also the capability of the wider world to support autistic people and their families.

Amaze aims for a society that respects the dignity of every autistic person and offers them real opportunities to participate and contribute.

Amaze outcomes by 2040

How we measure our progress

Community awareness and understanding of autism in Victoria increases over time. An increasing percentage of Victorians understand the key facts about autism
Attitudes and behaviour towards people on the autism spectrum by the Victorian community (government, private and social sectors) improves over time. An increasing number of institutions build their capabilities to positively engage with people on the autism spectrum.

Discrimination decreases.

Opportunities for meaningful participation and valued contribution increase for people on the autism spectrum. Choices and opportunities for people on the autism spectrum are increasing.

 

Four principles underpin the ways the Amaze board, staff and volunteers approach their work.

  1. Autistic people and their families at the centre
    We embody the motto “nothing about us without us”. We act as a facilitator to ensure the voices and needs of autistic people and their families/supporters are heard in the wider world. We proactively engage with autistic people and their supporters to inform our priorities, how our organisation is governed and operates, and how we design and deliver our activities. We actively work to improve attitudes and behaviours towards autistic people and their families/supporters.
  2. Collaboration and Partnership
    We recognise that we cannot achieve our social impact goals alone and so we actively seek out like-minded people and organisations as partners.
  3. Courage and Independence.
    We condemn any discrimination and ableism used to stigmatise or invalidate the life experience of autistic people. Whilst we adopt a practice of partnership, the needs of autistic people and their families will always come first, and we will speak out and challenge any government or organisation’s policy or practice that compromises autistic people.
  4. Evidence-based
    We seek data and evidence to underpin decision making and we measure the outcomes of our work wherever possible. We advocate for greater collection of and accessibility to, data from public institutions that measure and track outcomes for autistic people and result in greater accountability.

We are committed to working openly and transparently and hold ourselves accountable to the autism community and wider society.

The autism community is diverse and is represented by autistic people, family members, carers and supporters, autism specific organisations, businesses and community groups, governments and the wider world. Stakeholders may be part of one or more of these groups; for example, a parent of an autistic person may also be autistic.

Achieving measurable impact and reach and ensuring Amaze’s long term sustainability are our most important priorities. Amaze must secure $1 million of additional funding each year to fund our core operating costs to ensure its longer term viability and sustainability to achieve our strategic goals. We will seek out pro-bono support from individuals and organisations to provide goods and services we need to operate.

We operate in a financially sustainable manner with the Amaze Board and its Finance Audit and Risk Committee reviewing financial performance monthly. We have a strategic Fundraising Plan in place that directs how we finance our work from a mix of funders including philanthropic foundations, community donations and events, our fee for service capacity building activities and from all tiers of government (commonwealth, state and local).

Strategic Directions to 2040: Amaze’s strategic plan

Traditional Owners

Amaze acknowledges the traditional owners of the land where we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, and pays respects to elders past, present and emerging.

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