In 2010, the Annual Aspect Recognition Awards were held at the Customs House, Sydney. Following are details of each of the recipients of the Awards and some photos from the night.
Individual Achievement 16 years and over
(nominated by his mother Aurora Hammond)
Daniel is a young man who has excelled in his academic and personal pursuits since being diagnosed with pervasive developmental delay as a young child and then, at 16 years of age, with Aspergers’ syndrome.
Graduating with his HSC in 2004, Daniel was awarded the Principal’s award for student most embodying the school’s values. Following that he completed a Diploma in Business Studies and a Bachelor of Business Studies. Daniel’s university studies included participation in a leadership exchange program where he spent a semester studying in the US. He also travelled to Thailand and Singapore as part of the leadership exchange program.
Daniel presented a paper at the Asia Pacific Autism Conference in Sydney last year and has delivered presentations in many other settings. Daniel also actively volunteers to help people with mental illnesses and will complete his Gold Duke of Edinburgh award in 2010.
He is a outstanding example of what people on the autism spectrum can achieve.
Individual Achievement under 16 years
(nominated by Aspect Central Coast School Principal Janet Millhouse)
Matthew is a former student of the Aspect Central Coast School where he has attended both the base school and the Wamberal satellite class.
Matthew is also a boy who, in the early summer of 2009, demonstrated exceptional courage and decisiveness while on a family outing to the local swimming pool. At only eight years of age, he immediately dived into the pool to rescue a three year old girl who was drowning at the time.
Afterwards Matthew said “I could see that she was in trouble and that I had to help. I jumped in the pool, grabbed her arms, lifted her head above the water and pulled her out of the pool.”
Matthew’s account of what happened is rather modest. His immediate actions have been described as being so heroic that the young girl would otherwise not have survived.
Matthew is being nominated for a prestigious Surf Lifesaving Medal and also received another nomination by a local member of parliament for a bravery award.
(nominated by Nicola Wallis)
Lee’s son Adrian has made many accomplishments because of her guidance and support in his 19 years. Diagnosed with Aspergers’ and ADHD when he was in kindergarten and after a period of selective mutism, Adrian went on to complete his HSC.
Adrian now works in a local cinema and has won a traineeship in projection and much of this is because of Lee’s dedication to ensuring the best outcome for her son.
Lee is well known in her local area for her role in many community organisations, including coordinating an Asperger’s support group for local families. One of Lee’s proudest achievements has been establishing and teaching a special needs dance class, bringing the joy of music and dance to as many children as possible.
Lee is also an experienced and gifted educational professional. She now works tirelessly for Positive Partnerships – an initiative of the Federal Government in which Aspect is involved. Lee has shown herself to be a strong advocate for people with autism, a great support to families and a mentor and role model to many.
Her contribution as a parent to Adrian, and in so many other ways, has been exceptional.
|Dr Tom Tutton
(nominated by Andrew Sarikakis)
In nominating Tom for this award, Andrew, a parent of twin boys who are both on the autism spectrum, said that “I have met a lot of wonderful and remarkable people in the autism sector, however Dr Tom Tutton stands out the most.”
Tom was instrumental in implementing a positive behaviour support plan for one of the boys, George, to ensure his continued school placement when it had previously been under threat.
Tom has built a strong collaboration team for George, has helped to raise awareness about autism, and parents at the school and in the regional Department of Education office are extremely grateful for his valiant contribution.
Tom’s efforts have “proven, with the right strategies, what individuals with autism can really achieve.”
Andrew says that because of Tom’s outstanding contribution his son “is happy and now engaged in learning and everybody in the collaboration team has learnt how to best support George’s individual needs.”
Tom is an outstanding example of a professional working to enhance the lives of people with autism and their families. This is an unprecedented second nomination for an Autism Recognition Award, with Tom also being nominated by another Aspect staff member in 2009.
Patronage and Partnerhsips Award
award accepted by Chairman John Kennedy
(nominated by Sarah Pieters)
The Fairbridge Foundation are long term supporters of Aspect. They have contributed in excess of $175 000 in support of a variety of projects since at least 1997.
Most notably, the Fairbridge Foundation trustees have never rejected an application for funding. They have always been more than ready to assist to make sure that Aspect services are well resourced with high quality equipment and that the number of people receiving services can be increased.
An extremely generous donation of $81 850 from Fairbridge Foundation trustees was made in 2007 to ensure that the classrooms at the newly rebuilt Aspect Central Coast School where fully equipped with furniture and resources that met the special needs of the students.
The long lived support and generosity of Fairbridge Foundation has been greatly appreciated by all in the Aspect community.
David Foster Award for Volunteer Service
(nominated by Bruce Rowles)
Helen is an inspirational person whose associations with Aspect have impressively spanned more than 17 years.
Her involvement and support has ranged from roles as a teacher, teacher aide and volunteer. After retiring from paid employment with the Aspect South Coast School, she retrained as a swimming instructor and librarian and returned to the school in a purely voluntary capacity. Her impact at the school is particularly obvious in the range of activities made possible for students with very high support needs because of her consistent attendance and support. Despite the extreme challenges Helen faces in her own life, her calm, reflective, professional manner and sense of humour as a volunteer is highly valued at the school.
Helen is an inspiration to us all and regularly achieves more for others via her volunteering than most people do in a lifetime.
Special Service to the Community
(nominated by Anthony Perl)
Valerie Foley is being honoured in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the autism spectrum community made by the song “Through My Eyes”.
As well as writing the lyrics for “Through My Eyes”, Valerie was the driving force behind the production of the internationally recognised song – leading to a performance at the opening ceremony of the Asia Pacific Autism Conference in 2009.
Valerie’s dedication to using her creativity and motivation to help improve awareness of autism spectrum disorders has been invaluable since she first approached Aspect with the offer of including us in the production and release of “Through My Eyes”.
Valerie is a busy parent who also volunteers her time to support others including as part of the Aspect Someone To Turn To program. The extremely generous additional donation of her time and financial resources to “Through My Eyes” achieving the goal of increased awareness and understanding about autism is very much appreciated.
The song is available for download from iTunes, with proceeds continuing to support Aspect. It has received enjoyed by many with 35 000 views on YouTube.
Click Here to see Aspect's Recognition Awards 2009