Welcome to the Spring edition of Another Piece!
I am writing in haste prior to my departure, together with Dr Josephine Barbaro, to Dreamforce 2016, held each year in San Francisco. With more than 150,000 delegates, Dreamforce is the largest IT conference in the world. We are scheduled to give a ‘Dreamtalk’ headed by Mr Dan Bognar, Senior Vice President for Salesforce in the Asia Pacific region and member of OTARC Advisory Committee, who spearheaded the build of the early identification app, ASDetect. With more than 10,000 downloads within 6 months of release, the app, based on the early identification work of Dr Barbaro, recently won the National iAward for Research and Development. A personal highlight for me is that U2 will be playing at Dreamforce!
We have a new staff member, Ms Mathilda Wilmot, who has joined us as a Research Officer in the Dandelion Employment Project. Working with Dr Hedley, Mathilda is busy with the new implementation at the Australian Department of Defence. We are also working on a related project to build a virtual marketplace to facilitate the employment of people with autism. This is another initiative funded by the Salesforce Foundation, and we are working in partnership with the Autism CRC, Specialisterne Australia and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Our Project Manager, Mr Sanjay Gopal ran a Workshop on Autism and Employment in late July with key stakeholders to gather the requirements for this important initiative.
We recently hosted two other events at OTARC, one for Grandparents and the other for our Research Participants and supporters. They were both well received. However, we missed our dearest grandparent, Mrs Olga Tennison, who is recovering following surgery. Our ‘grand’ attendees sent her hearty virtual wishes which were delivered to her bedside!
I was recently invited to present at the Parliamentary Inquiry into Services for People with Autism held by the Family and Community Development Committee. The hearings began in Melbourne on 29th August and are underway in regional Victoria. Views are being sought from people living with autism, researchers and peak body representatives. Amaze, The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne and the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre were amongst the first to present evidence to the Committee. The inquiry is investigating the availability and adequacy of services provided by the Commonwealth, State and local governments across health, education, disability, housing, sport and employment services. My presentation focused on services for children under the age of three years who number between 1 – 2 % of the population. It is clear that as a community, we have much work to do!
Our regular newsletter items
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- Visitors to the Centre
- Out & About
- New Appointments
- Media Activities – April to June 2016
- Invited talks
- Autism CRC Update
- News from the Margot Prior Wing (ASELCC – Vic)