South Australia has appointed its first Autism minister. Emily Bourke has been appointed to the newly established role of Assistant Minister for Autism.
Ms Bourke , who is also the Assistant Minister to the South Australian Premier. As a result, the role will see Ms Bourke responsible for implementing the State Government’s Autism policies. The newly formed ministry is a first for the Australian Government.
Premier Peter Malinauskas says he has heard from many South Australians that the time has come for a dedicated effort from government to make autism a priority.
“That is why we have created this new role,” he said on Monday.
“We have made major commitments with the aim of implementing a whole-of-government autism inclusion strategy, starting with our schools.”
In a statement Ms Bourke shared;
“I am a mother of three, so I know that every parent and caregiver wants their child to reach their individual potential.
“But I do not have lived experience with Autism. That’s why I will establish the Autism Education Advisory Group. We will work with the Autism community to consult, to reform, and to make change. Together, we can get it done.”
Ms Bourke Introduced one of the youngest members of the newly formed Advisory board on Facebook, 17 Year old Thomas. Thomas will be one of the many Autistic voices in the group to ensure a strategy developed by the autistic community for the autistic community.
The Premier said the government would deliver on its election commitments to invest $28.8 million for an autism lead teacher in every public primary school and an increase the number of autism qualified staff in preschools.
In Australia it is estimated that up to 1 in 20 are on the Autism spectrum. Surprising, an Autism diagnosis is the largest primary disability group served by the NDIS.
With this years release from the Autism Senate enquiry it is great to see progress and advancements to autism awareness and acceptance across the country.