In 2011, the Annual Aspect Recognition Awards were held at Darling Park's Pavilion in Sydney. Following are details of each of the recipients of the Awards and some photos from the night.
Individual Achievement Award
Jessica-Lea Russell (Jess)
(nominated by her mother Corinne Russell)
Jess is a young woman who is enjoying life and who is reaping the benefits of her hard work, after facing many challenges.
After completing her HSC in 2008, Jess took part in a Northcott Transition to Work program before going on to study for a year at TAFE. Her TAFE studies in business have set her up for her current role where she is a valued team member working with a Chartered Accountancy practice in Parramatta two days a week.
Jess's love of international travel has meant visits to Great Britain and China and Jess is looking forward to travelling to America next year with her sisters.
The support Jess received while attending the Aspect Vern Barnett School and her transition through two satellite classes, has assisted Jess in overcoming many obstacles and achieving her goals.
Jess is an outstanding example of what people on the autism spectrum can achieve.
(nominated by her husband Sam Hays)
Jacqueline Hays is mother to three boys diagnosed with an ASD. Ethan, 7 and twins Josiah and Sebastian, 5 are integrated into main stream schools and are succeeding, greatly acheived through Jacqueline and husband Sam's tireless advocacy for equal opportunity support for students with an ASD.
In 2008 Jacqueline was instrumental in establishing and coordinating Hunter Connect, an organisation to support and connect families impacted by an ASD in the Hunter region. Her outstanding contribution to this cause in supporting families who have recently received a diagnosis, connecting them to services and support agencies was recognised.
Jacqueline's ability to overcome personal challenges, her determination for equal opportunities for people with an ASD and her unwavering support to others make her an inspirational role model and a valued recipient of this award.
Professional Achievement Award
Dr Chris Kilham
(nominated by Dr Debra Costley)
Dr Chris Kilham is a psychologist and teacher who has spent many years diligently supporting children with autism and their families through education and research.
As a valued member of the Aspect Research Committee, she guides and supports research activities. Chris trialled two research projects in Aspect schools which led to an updating and refining of the Aspect Comprehensive Educational Approach, assisting Aspect's professional staff by providing evidence based teaching and learning for students.
As a Senior Lecturer at the University of Canberra, Chris leads the post graduate program ‘Inclusive Education in Autism’, she delivered the keynote speech at the first Aspect Research Forum, and has written a number of journal articles in conjunction with Aspect. Chris is also a member of Positive Partnerships, delivered by the Australian Autism, Education and Training Consortium which is led by Aspect.
Chris is an outstanding example of a professional working above and beyond, independently and in partnership with Aspect, to enhance the lives of people with autism and their families.
Patronage and Partnerhsips Award
The Primary Club of Australia
award accepted by Rick Glover, Joe Scarcella and Jim Winchester
(nominated by Sarah Pieters)
The Primary Club of Australia are long term supporters of Aspect. Their first contribution in 1993 was a playground at the Aspect Western Sydney School.
Since 2007, the Primary Club of Australia has been one of Aspect's biggest supporters. Their Primary Club Marathon Cricket Day and other activities have provided funding to build playgrounds at four Aspect schools including the new Aspect Macarthur School, Cobbity.
The support the Primary Club of Australia has provided has enabled the purchase of significant pieces of equipment, and provided services to people with an ASD, that would otherwise not have been possible.
Their ongoing support and generosity have made the Primary Club of Australia one of Aspects greatest patrons and a deserved recipient of this award.
David Foster Award for Volunteer Service
(nominated by Gregory Locke)
Christine Ayo is an untiring supporter of services and programs for people with an ASD. Her volunteer work in establishing and coordinating the Inner West Autism & Asperger's Support Group, and the development of the ASteen Social Group has significantly assisted people in the autism spectrum community.
The ASteen Social Group, which coordinates social activities for adolescents and young adults with high functioning autism and/or Aspergers’ disorder, has received huge interest from families across Sydney. Christine's involvement with Asteen has been instrumental in the groups success and fantastic reputation.
The excellent work ASteen's delivers is recognised and supported by Aspect, and is denoted to the brilliant efforts of Christine and her volunteer colleagues.
Christine is an inspiration to us all and regularly achieves more for others through her volunteering efforts than many people do in a lifetime of paid work.
Click Here to see Aspect's Recognition Awards 2009