20 October 2017 – KIA ORA KOUTOU, Ngā mihi nui kia kouotu katoa.
A big thank you to everyone who attended our biennial conference, Transitions #Breakthrough2017 in Auckland in July. Two hundred and five delegates joined us for the event and 100 of you completed the evaluation form and rated this event very highly.
We have a pretty good idea of the things you appreciated most and tips for ways to do things better.
Our planning team is meeting soon to consider the feedback and think about future learning events. Is one big national event the best way to go? Would smaller regional events be better? Is it ideal to have autistics, families and professionals all at one event and if so, would it be better to stream the presentations with each audience in mind?
If you have some suggestions to help us consider these questions and you have not already shared these ideas via the #Breakthrough2017 evaluation survey, please send an email clearly and briefly outlining your recommendations.
In September I attended the fifth Asia Pacific Autism Conference (#APAC17) in Sydney. This was a conference on a much larger scale, with an excellent range of keynotes and presenters. For those who weren’t able to attend these events, we have tried to share the love in this Journal with summaries of various presentations. APAC19 will be held in Singapore, which is a timely reminder that that this is not the Australian but the Asia Pacific Autism Conference.
I also visited a client site in Melbourne with Specialisterne Australia and met the seven new employees working in records management at the Victorian Government’s Department of Health and Human Services. It was very encouraging to see how positive these recruits are about in their new roles and how well Specialisterne’s Dandelion programme has worked for them. We are working hard to get the Specialisterne programme into New Zealand.
Explore Behaviour Support Services and the Ministry of Health held a roadshow throughout New Zealand to outline Explore’s new model of autism services after picking up the contract from IDEA Services. Sean Versteegh, specialist advisor for Explore, has given us a summary of this new model and the relevant pathways.
The next round of our network meetings is underway. The key topics of interest we are covering with these regional meetings are education, behaviour and sensory sensitivities. Look out for the dates and venues of these meetings on our website and through social media. These are free to attend and open to anyone in New Zealand.
We now have a new government and Altogether Autism will continue to advocate for improved services and support for our autism community nationwide. We welcome hearing from you by phone, email, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter – or even kanohi ki te kanohi / face to face.
Noho ora mai.
Catherine Trezona – National Manager, Altogether Autism