The La Trobe Bold Thinking Series – ‘Autism: Disability or Ability?’
The National Gallery Victoria, Clemenger Auditorium
Hosted by former ABC journalist Francis Leach, this free public event featured Professor Cheryl Dissanayake and Associate Professor Amanda Richdale in discussions on how to promote a meaningful life for people with autism. Nik Nikoliev, an adult on the Autism Spectrum, Judy Brewer AO, Chair of Autism CRC and parent, and John Doyle, Australian comedian and TV personality were special guests at this event. John Doyle shared his family’s experience of growing up in rural Australia with his sister Jen, who has autism, at a time when very few specialized services were available. Nik Nikoliev outlined the difficulties and successes he has in his profession in the information technology and services industry. Judy Brewer told of her experiences as a mother of a son with autism and what can be achieved with access to community and specialist services.