Autism Queensland Creative Futures Recognition Awards
Kaye and I are very pleased to welcome the Autism Queensland family to Fernberg once again for this annual presentation of Creative Futures awards — and we are delighted that, for the second year in succession, we have been able to host this important ceremony on the International Day of People with Disability.
The third of December each year offers a wonderful opportunity for Autism Queensland’s Board, staff, and supporters to join sufferers, researchers, and advocates around the world in shining a spotlight on this most puzzling of developmental disorders.
It is a day that prompts us all to reflect on the enormous impact of Autism Spectrum Disorders on individuals, families and communities throughout our State and our nation.
Research eight years ago suggested that one in every one hundred and sixty Australian children aged between six and twelve years had an Autism Spectrum Disorder. More recent research suggests that the incidence is now as high one in every hundred.
Statistics like these can be dispiriting, especially when the cause and cure remain frustratingly elusive.
But as a society we must also recognise that the unique world view of every autism sufferer represents enormous potential.
Temple Grandin is a celebrated case in point, but researchers exploring famous lives from the time before Autism was given a name have suggested that, without Autism Spectrum Disorder, Mozart may not have given the world such musical treasures and Lewis Carroll may not have invented Alice’s magical adventures in Wonderland.
Stories of these lives, like the Creative Futures awards, give inspiration and hope to those who are living with the disorder, those who care for them, and to me as Patron of Autism Queensland.
The awards and special commendations to be presented today recognise the contribution and achievements of the individuals and organisations, communities and carers, businesses and sponsors who have made an exceptional contribution to Autism Queensland, and to autism sufferers and their families.
I congratulate all those whose efforts are being acknowledged today and commend Autism Queensland on their continued commitment to making a positive difference to the lives of Autism sufferers and their families throughout Queensland.