In consultation with the autism community, Amaze writes policy advice and submissions to state and federal governments to ensure the needs of Autistic people and their families are voiced and heard to influence positive systemic change.

Latest submissions

Below are the most recent submissions by Amaze that are available for download. 

Amaze made a submission to the Statutory Review of the Online Safety Act.

Our submission highlighted the vulnerability of some Autistic people online and encourage considerations of how the Act could be amended to better protect and support our community.

Our submission provided evidence that Autistic people may be more likely to engage in problematic internet and game use, and be more vulnerable to harm online, than non-Autistic people. It encouraged the Inquiry to consider how the Act could better protect and support Autistic people, including by requiring targeted information resources, driving research and ensuring complaint mechanisms are clear, accessible and transparent. It also recommended that consideration be given to strengthening provisions regarding cyberbullying, abhorrent violent content and intimate images to better protect Autistic service users.

Amaze submission to Online Safety Act review, June 2024

Amaze is actively supporting the Australian Government’s development of a National Autism Strategy. Closely connected to government, we continue to provide advice, research and data to support the Strategy’s development. We are also working to connect the Strategy’s developers to a diversity of Autistic voices and perspectives, helping to ensure all Autistic people are at the centre of its development.

As part of our work, we have recently made submissions to the Draft National Autism Strategy Consultation (May 2024) and the National Autism Strategy Discussion Paper: What we have heard: moving towards development of a National Autism Strategy (October 2023).   

Our submissions have highlighted that to drive sustained, meaningful, and measurable change for Autistic people across Australia the Strategy must:            

  1. Centre the views, voices and aspirations of Autistic people and be informed by a diversity of Autistic voices and perspectives.
  2. Embed a human rights approach.
  3. Cover whole of life and the support needs of all Autistic people, including Autistic people with complex and high support needs, and from vulnerable intersectional cohorts.   
  4. Include clear and transparent objectives, targets, outcome measures and indicators.
  5. Promote the application of an “autism lens” across Australian Governments.
  6. Identify timelines for review of the Strategy.
  7. Be accompanied by an autism health capability framework.

Amaze submission to National Autism Strategy Consultation – October 2023

Amaze submission to Draft National Autism Strategy – 31 May 2024.

Amaze made a submission to the Australian Government’s consultation to inform its response to the Disability Royal Commission’s Final Report.

Our submission highlighted our support for the Commission’s unanimously agreed recommendations and asked that the Australian Government:

  1. Lead its reforms with a Disability Rights Act.
  2. Apply an ‘autism lens’ to the reform process (i.e., disaggregated targets to increase the proportion of Autistic employees in the public service).
  3. Establish an Autism Healthcare Framework and Centre for Excellence.
  4. Take an evidence-informed approach to inclusive education, housing and employment, prioritising the building of a skilled workforce.
  5. Establish a Disability Reform Implementation Council to oversee an integrated response to both the NDIS review and DRC recommendations.

Amaze submission to Australian Government’s consultation on Disability Royal Commission response (January 2024)

Amaze made a submission to Jobs and Skills Australia’s consultation to inform its 2024-25 Work Plan development.

Our submission encouraged Jobs and Skills Australia to focus part of its 2024 – 25 Work Plan on:

  1. The current, emerging and future workforce, skills and training needs of disability service providers across disability, community and mainstream services.  
  2. How the skills and expertise of Autistic people can be harnessed to help fill workforce shortages.

Amaze submission to Jobs and Skills Australia work plan consultation January 2024

Amaze made a submission to the Australian Department of Social Services’ option paper for establishing a Disability Employment Centre of Excellence.

Our submission supported the establishment of a Centre that:

  1. Recognises Autistic people as a priority cohort for employment solutions.
  2. Supports self-advocacy.
  3. Works in close partnership and collaborates with Autistic people, their families, carers, and representative organisations.
  4. Utilises transparent targets and measures to evaluate success.

Amaze submission to Establishing a Disability Employment Centre of Excellence Options Paper November 2023

Amaze made a submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Victoria’s state education system.

To improve the experiences and outcomes of Autistic students in Victoria, the submission recommended:

  1. Build an outcomes framework for Victoria’s Disability Inclusion Reforms and Autism Education Strategy.
  2. Enhance the capacity of Autistic students and their families to set goals and participate in student support groups and inclusion processes.
  3. Increase access to Autistic led student mentoring, peer support and staff training.
  4. Ensure teacher shortages are not compromising access and inclusion.
  5. Support Autistic students and their families experiencing ‘School Can’t’ (including by adopting all recommendations of the Senate Inquiry into School Refusal). 
  6. Strengthen outreach, flexible learning options and mental health support for students continuing to be impacted by Covid-19 lockdowns. 
  7. Create a Victorian strategy to implement all unanimously agreed recommendations of the Disability Royal Commission.  

Amaze submission to Victorian inquiry into State education – October 2023

Amaze made a submission to  Western Australia’s Parliamentary Inquiry into support for Autistic children and young people in schools.  

The submission provided the inquiry with data and evidence on the experiences and outcomes of Autistic students. It also provided an overview of, and early learnings from Victoria’s Disability

Inclusion reforms and Autism Education Strategy to help guide WA’s reforms.  Early learnings shared with the inquiry included the need to:

  1. Embed transparent targets for change and outcome measures in any reforms.
  2. Support accessible inclusion processes for students and families (including support to access student support group meetings).
  3. Provide equal access to supports across all schools, including to peer support and mentoring.

Amaze submission to WA inquiry into autism in schools July 2023

Amaze made a submission to the Australian Government Department of Education’s review of the impact of Covid-19 on school students with disability.

The submission highlights the key impacts of Covid-19 on Autistic students with disability. It also encourages the government to learn from the well-known negative impacts of remote learning on many Autistic students and their families, as well as the positive impacts experienced by some students and their families. In the case of, and to prepare for any future public health emergencies, it encouraged the government to:

  1. Engage in Autistic led planning and solutions.
  2. Provide flexible learning options.
  3. Ensure easy access to online learning and supports.
  4. Introduce targeted measures as any restrictions ease.

The Review report will be provided to the Federal Minister for Education during 2023.

Amaze submission to review on impact on Covid-19 on school students with disability

While the Victorian Government has implemented several nation leading reforms since Victoria’s 2017 Parliamentary Inquiry into Services for Autistic people, much still needs to be done to create a Victoria where Autistic people are properly supported, included and heard.  

In the lead up to the Victorian State election on 26 November 2022, Victorian autism sector organisations Amaze, Aspergers Victoria, Different Journeys, I CAN Network, Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre and Yellow Ladybugs have released a joint paper calling on candidates to stand with Autistic people and commit to Autistic leadership and inclusion. 

United, Victorian autism organisations call on all Victorian election candidates to commit to:  

  1. Supports and services for all Autistic Victorians and their families.  
  2. The swift delivery of a revised, Autistic-led and accountable Victorian Autism Plan.  
  3. Autistic-led inclusion across Victorian schools, workplaces, services and communities. 

Autism sector’s election call: Stand with Autistic people and commit to Autistic leadership and inclusion

Amaze made a submission to the Victorian Government’s Discussion Paper for the Victorian Eating Disorders Strategy.

Amaze attended a targeted consultation on neurodiversity and eating disorders on 7 November 2022 with Yellow Ladybugs and Different Journeys. 

We emphasised the importance of the strategy being led by people with lived experience and Autistic people being recognised as a priority group under the Strategy. 

Amaze submission to Discussion Paper on Victorian Eating Disorders Strategy – Nov 2022

Amaze made a submission to the Victorian Government’s Disability Inclusion Draft Exposure Bill. The Bill proposes a new Disability Inclusion Act to replace the current Disability Act. More information about the Bill is available on the Engage Victoria website.

Amaze’s submission encouraged the government to enshrine in the new Act:

  • Obligations relating to the Victorian Autism Plan, including matters it must address and reporting obligations.
  • Commitments to true end-to-end co-production with people with disabilities, including in relation to all policies and services that impact people with disabilities.

Amaze submission to Disability Inclusion Draft Exposure Bill

Amaze, alongside Aspergers Victoria, Yellow Ladybugs, Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre, Different Journeys, and I CAN Network, hosted the first ever Autism@VicParliament event in June 2022. The event coincided with the 5 year anniversary of the the landmark Victorian Parliament Inquiry into Autism report. 

This paper was disseminated to all Members of Parliament to brief them on the next steps for Victorian autism policy. Read the paper below.

Opportunity Autism – July 2022

In 2021, Amaze and the Victorian Department of Health (Mental Health and Wellbeing Division) convened a historic Roundtable on Autism and Mental Health.

This communique is a record of the meeting and sets out several important activities that Amaze, our sector partners, and the Victorian Department of Health will be undertaking.

As a follow up to the Roundtable, Amaze looks forward to convening a Mental Health and Autism Advisory Group in mid-2022 to work with the Department on opportunities to ensure the Royal Commission reforms deliver improved mental health and wellbeing for Autistic people.

Read the Amaze and Department of Health joint communique.

Amaze made a submission to inform redesign of employment services for people with disability, which is not working well for many autistic people. Amaze’s submission reflected rich input from our community and included tangible ideas for improvement including:

  • Relaxation of eligibility requirements which would see more autistic people eligible for employment support – regardless of how few or many hours they can work
  • Stronger pathways to open employment with an immediate focus on areas of skills and labour shortages
  • A Centre of Excellence in Disability Inclusive Employment Services to build the competency of all employment service providers in evidence informed tools and approaches
  • Higher quality specialist providers with requirements for lived experience in their workforce and boards, and strong links to community
  • Better articulation between employment support in NDIS and DES

Amaze made a submission to the Disability Royal Commission to highlight the need for user led, autism specific and nationally consistent advocacy services.

Our recommendations included:

  1. Fund user-led, autism specific advocacy services (individual and systemic) through transparent and open tender processes.
  2. Support the capacity and capacity building activities of autism specific advocacy services to operate nationally, in parallel with generalist disability advocacy services.
  3. Develop a nationally consistent approach to advocacy, with clear and agreed roles for the Commonwealth Government and the States and Territories, built on an ongoing and consistent funding model.
  4. Ensure funding growth is applied to advocacy programs to maintain pace with the increased demands caused by the NDIS

Read Amaze’s submission to the Disability Royal Commission

Amaze made a submission to the Disability Royal Commission highlighting the systemic changes needed to improve interactions between autistic people and the criminal justice system. The submission drew heavily on Amaze’s earlier submission to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Victoria’s criminal justice system.

Our submission recommended that the following key measures be developed and implemented in co-design with autistic people, their families and carers:

  1. An overarching autism and justice strategy to support autistic people who encounter the criminal justice system. The strategy should cover: autistic victims, witnesses and alleged offenders; diversions from involvement in the criminal justice system; and accessibility, supports and support systems across the entire justice system (including police, courts and corrections).
  2. Systematic screening and data collection for autism/cognitive disability. This should apply to each stage of the criminal justice system (including police, courts and prison).
  3. Autism accessible courts. This should include staff training, a Code of Practice for supporting autistic people attending court, accessible information and resources, and a guideline for creating autism accessible court rooms.
  4. Autism accessible prisons and therapeutic pathways. This should include an autism accreditation program to support a consistent, comprehensive and transparent approach to supporting autistic people in prison.  

Read Amaze’s submission to the Disability Royal Commission

‘Towards a National Autism Strategy – International lessons for Australia’ is a synthesis of the many examples of international jurisdictions that have acted to introduce a national autism strategy.

The paper, authored by Amaze’s Nicole Rees and Tim Long, with valued advice and guidance from Monique Blakemore, offers a summary and analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of several autism strategies.

Amaze strongly supports the development of an Australian National Autism Strategy that sets ambitious goals and dedicated actions to improve the health, wellbeing and lived experience of autistic Australians.

Read the paper here.

Amaze is also pleased that some of these recommendations have been captured in Victoria’s new State Disability Plan (2022 – 2026). For example, the Plan commits to embedding disability awareness and responsiveness in the police and corrections workforces, and increasing awareness and the use of Independent Third Persons. We are also pleased that the Plan commits to improving access to therapeutic options for women and young people with cognitive disability involved in the criminal justice system.

Amaze submission to Victorian Inquiry into Criminal Justice System, September 2021

Amaze made a submission calling for a bold and ambitious approach to Victoria’s next disability plan. The next iteration of the plan needs to drive inclusion for people with disability, actively tackle discrimination and include ambitious targets. 

Read our submission

Amaze is calling for the Transition to Work program to be the default employment services option for young people with disability and enhanced to better enable young people with disability. 

Read the submission here.

Amaze made a comprehensive submission to inform the development of the next National Disability Employment Strategy as part of our ongoing efforts to improve employment prospects for autistic people.

Our submission calls for significant changes to elevate the profile of autism within the next National Disability Employment Strategy, including a recommendation to establish an Autism Employment Taskforce.

Read our submission

Amaze has made a submission to the National Disability Insurance Agency’s consultation on proposed changes to capacity building supports for autistic children.

The changes proposed by the NDIA include:

  • placing autistic children in “funding levels”
  • introducing firm caps on the amount of capacity building funding available to each participant
  • reducing funding for capacity building supports by 40% at age seven
  • introducing principles and standards for the delivery of supports for autistic children.

In our submission, we call upon the NDIA to abandon its plan to place autistic children in discrete “funding levels”, to cap their funding and then reduce it at age seven.

We believe these changes are poorly designed and will have a negative impact on autistic children.

We provide productive and positive suggestions for how parents of younger autistic children can be supported to make informed decisions about which supports are right for them.

It is important that the NDIS works well for autistic children and reducing funding for essential early supports is not the way forward.

Read the submission here

Amaze has made a submission to the House of Representatives Select Committee to inquire into Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. 

The Committee was set up to look into the findings of several recent strategic reviews of the current mental health system. 

These reviews include the Productivity Commission Inquiry Report into Mental Health, the Report of the National Suicide Prevention Officer and the Victorian Royal Commission. 

The Committee will also take into account the 2019 bushfires, the COVID-19 pandemic and the capacity of the mental health workforce. 

Our submission highlights that autism is essential for the mental health sector. 

Our recommendations include: 

  • identifying autism as a priority group in the next National Mental Health & Suicide Plan 
  • expanding access to Medicare rebated autism assessments for those aged over 13 years 
  • increasing the autism knowledge and skills of the mental health workforce 

Read the submission here

The Australian Autism Alliance has made a submission to the NDIA’s consultation on the proposed introduction of “independent” (or functional) assessments which will be used to determine access to the NDIS and the amount of individual plan budgets. 

In the submission, we argue against the introduction of these assessments, call for the NDIA’s tender process to be stopped and for any future changes to be co-designed with NDIS participants and their families. 

We are very concerned that these assessments, which will have a significant impact on support and budgets for participants, will be conducted in just a few hours by an unknown assessor and will cause unnecessary stress and hardship for autistic people. It is very likely these assessments won’t be accurate, and they are not able to be reviewed under the current proposal. 

Read the submission here. 

Amaze wants to make sure your voice is heard by the Australian Parliament, who are separately looking into the NDIA’s plan to use mandatory functional assessments to determine NDIS access and individual plan budgets.  

Tell us your story by sending an email to [email protected]if you have been involved in the pilot program of proposed assessmentsor are a current NDIS participant or parent of a participant and want to share how you feel about these proposed changes.  

The Australian Autism Alliance has made a submission to the NDIA’s consultation on a redesigned Early Childhood Early Intervention approach. 

There are major changes planned for the NDIS’s early intervention supports, which are currently available to children aged up to six years. In the submission, we support some of the proposed changes and call for the NDIA to pause other parts of the reform.  

We think a future Early Childhood Approach should:  

  • Provide children and their families with immediate access to supports 
  • Help detect the signs of autism in children and assist families to access diagnosis 
  • Enable autistic children to have smooth and rapid entry into the Scheme 
  • Connect families with effective autism supports, informed by the emerging evidence base 
  • Increase and support participation of autistic children and their families in mainstream life – including early education and school 
  • Enable families to progressively lift their goals and aspirations for their autistic child. 

Read the submission here. 

Amaze wants to make sure your voice is heard. 

Tell us your story by sending an email to [email protected]if you are a current NDIS participant or parent of a participant and want to share how you feel about these proposed changes. 

Amaze has made a submission to the Inquiry into access to TAFE for learners with disability. 

In developing this submission, Amaze together with Yellow Ladybugs, the I CAN Network, Different Journeys and Aspergers Victoria, conducted a detailed survey of autistic people to develop a unique perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of the Victorian TAFE sector, as it relates to autistic learners.

Our research provides insights into where and how TAFEs can improve their accessibility, responsiveness and relevance to autistic learners.

Download the submission

The Australian Autism Alliance provided input to the development of a new National Disability Strategy. The current National Disability Strategy is not delivering for autistic people and remains substantially worse than for most other disability and vulnerable population groups.

A National Autism Strategy would create an intentional and coherent approach to shifting the dial on outcomes for autistic people. It would provide an overarching and bi-partisan framework to drive coordinated and mutually reinforcing policy, research, service, and program responses across different domains and jurisdictions. It would cover autistic people across the life course – including through key life transitions – and across the spectrum.

Download the submission


Amaze, through the Australian Autism Alliance co-wrote a submission to the Department of Treasury on the eligibility of people receiving the disability support pension to qualify for the Federal Government’s JobMaker initiative.

In this submission we argue that the eligibility criteria for JobMaker should be expanded to include people who receive the disability support pension, both on grounds of equity and fairness. 

View the full statement

The Australian Autism Alliance has released a statement on the Australian Government’s proposal to introduce mandatory NDIA-commissioned assessments in the NDIS.

In its statement, the Alliance has stated they do not support the proposal to introduce NDIA-commissioned assessments.

The Alliance believes that the Australian Government’s proposal will diminish participant choice and control, and disadvantage current and future autistic participants. 

View the full statement

Amaze has made a formal submission to the National Disability Insurance Agency and its consultation on reforming the Support Coordination function.

In our submission, we call for a fundamental reset of Support Coordination, as we believe the current system is not delivering on its vision and promise, and as a result does not serve NDIS participants as well as it could.

Download the submission

Amaze’s vision for support coordination would see much greater clarity about the role of a support coordinator, more training for support coordinators, greater access to information about local NDIS supports, and importantly, a greater focus on conflicts of interest.

We thank our community members who provided insight into their experiences and supported the development of this submission.

Amaze, through the Australian Autism Alliance, co-wrote a submission to the Disability Royal Commission on improving education and employment for Autistic people. The submission provided an overview of how autistic people fare in the education system and in employment in Australia. It also made a number of considered structural reform recommendations, including:

  1. Education.
  • Overhaul the National Disability Standards to positively reframe inclusive education and strengthen protections.
  • Expand targeted measures to increase participation of autistic children in early learning programs.
  • Upscale professional development on autism for educators, education support staff and leaders.
  • Increase accountability and transparency around how disability funding is used and funding outcomes.
  • Improve transitional support for young autistic people to explore and navigate vocational options.
  • Incentivise programs and strategies by vocational and higher education providers.
  1. Employment.
  • Include specific measures for autistic jobseekers within public sector employment initiatives.
  • Establish a federal social procurement framework requiring Australian Government contractors to deliver training and employment opportunities for marginalized jobseekers – including autistic people.
  • Expand demonstration projects to strengthen the evidence base on effective and efficient models that support the sustained employment of autistic people.
  • Include an autistic employment stream as part of a COVID-19 job creation scheme.
  • Convene a wide-ranging autism employment summit, co-produced with autistic people, to identify measures to enable autistic people to find and maintain work as Australia recovers from the pandemic.

Read the Alliance Submission submission


Amaze has led the consultation and development of the Australian Autism Alliance’s submission to the Inquiry into the services, support and life outcomes for autistic people in Australia.

In the submission, we call for major changes to how the Commonwealth Government funds, organises and supports services for autistic people, with our primary recommendation being for the establishment of a National Autism Strategy.

The submission is titled The Autism Dividend Unleashing the skills, talent and opportunity of Australia’s autistic community, and you can download it here.

The submission would not have been possible without the input of the thousands of members of the autism community who contributed their personal experiences to the most comprehensive survey and report into autistic Australians and their families undertaken outside of the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The voices of 3,884 respondents are reflected in the submission, and we thank each participant for their contribution.

Amaze and the Australian Autism Alliance will continue to push for real and meaningful change at the Federal level.

Amaze responded to the Disability Worker Registration Board of Victoria’s Disability Worker Regulation Scheme proposed registration standards.

It is well documented through recent studies, inquiries and reports that the safety and quality of disability services in Australia and globally is being compromised by poor service coordination and inadequate staff training and resourcing. Disability worker skills and knowledge are fundamental to the provision of high-quality support for autistic people. 

In the submission, Amaze details aspects within three recommendations

  • Continuing professional development
  • Scope of practice
  • Accessibility

Download the submission

The Productivity Commission has a track record in assisting government, the private sector and the community sector to navigate seemingly intractable systemic and structural issues. This Inquiry has the potential to make a significant practical contribution to the long-term reform agenda for mental health.

There are many strengths in the Productivity Commission’s Draft Report. However, we are concerned that the draft report does not specifically examine the high level of co-occurring mental health conditions in autistic people, or the impacts this co-occurrence has for access to appropriate mental health diagnosis, services and supports. 

Download the response report

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