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  • 14 Mar 2020 8:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear Community Members,

    Aspergers Victoria Coronavirus Outline

    The safety and health of our community are our number one priority at Aspergers Victoria. We are monitoring closely the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and have attended the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) briefing for organisations and so we are following some common-sense measures that are consistent with current guidelines issued by the DHHS

    At this moment we have had no reported cases of any of our staff, volunteers, members or related family members being exposed to the virus. All of our activities have been running as usual with more hygiene awareness. 

    • With DHHS we recommend we all focus on personal hygiene management and social distancing. Regular hand washing is currently the best hygiene approach with alcohol-based sanitisers as an alternative, avoiding touching your face unnecessarily, and using a tissue or your elbow for coughing or sneezing. Shaking hands is a part of life and is optional with clean hands - or use feet/elbows. 

    • In line with the DHHS guidelines we ask that  anyone not feeling well, experiencing flu, cold and/or cough symptoms, do NOT attend groups, meetings and events, even if it is known not to be COVID-19. If you are taking pain medications such as panadol these can mask illness. 

    • We also ask you If you or your child has been exposed to this virus or if someone you live with is required to self-isolate, you must also self-isolate for 14 days. If you attend a group and later develop COVID-19 please let us know. 

    • If you have travelled recently we request you follow the government guidelines for travellers


    Upon arriving back from international travel:

    Higher Risk Countries

    We ask that you do not attend any AV groups or events for 14 days following arrival back into Australia for the countries classified as High Risk by both the Australian Government and World Health Organisation (WHO).(Based on the Australian Government list of countries of concern ( This list will be updated periodically.

    All other countries

    We ask that you do not attend any AV groups or events for 7 days following arrival back into Australia for all other international travel

    • Some of our Group Leaders, who are volunteers, may decide not to run their Group, and we will notify you if you have registered or on that Group email list. Some volunteers may also decide to hold other meetings online instead. We do have technology options we are investigating for our Groups and other meetings as an interim measure during any group closure but that may depend on suitability for our Leader and the Group. 

    • At this stage Power Neighbourhood House and other groups venues are open with the DHHS additional hygiene measures in place but may get a DHHS directive at some stage to close for a period of time and in that case our activities held there will be cancelled. 

    We also recommend avoiding reading or listening to news that causes you to feel anxious or distressed. It is also important to gather information from reliable sources such as the DHHS to help you distinguish facts from rumours. Continue healthy habits by engaging in physical exercise, keeping hydrated, eating healthy foods, getting adequate and consolidated sleep. DHHS has a thorough website outline of how to manage your hygiene plus virus information at:

    The situation is evolving and our position may change at short notice from DHHS. A significant change in position will be communicated to current members. 

    Thank you for respecting our imperative to minimise the risks within our community,. Please email me if you have any feedback about this.  Here is one article about helping children manage the anxiety around this virus : How to talk to your child about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and one from Harvard Business Review for adults: Coping with coronavirus anxiety - Harvard Health Blog Please stay well. 

    Tamsin Jowett, President Dated 13th March 2020

      Here is the DHHS hygiene approaches poster:Ten ways to reduce your risk of coronavirus 

  • 17 Feb 2020 7:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    When I was first diagnosed with "mild Aspergers syndrome" in Year 9, at the age of 14, I told people on a "need to know" basis. After getting panic attacks in the school assembly hall in Year 12 (2000 & 2001), I recognised that lecture theatres at uni would be a similar environment.  By the end of 1st year uni, my panic attacks were common knowledge among my fellow students - thanks to it being relevant to learning about "fight or flight"...

    After studying at uni for 8 years (Bachelor of Biomedical Science, Honours, and Masters of Biostatistics), I started working in April 2010. I'd always planned to tell my immediate supervisor Robin... Approx 7 weeks later, I was in her office in tears, mid-anxiety meltdown.  I realised I had to tell her - RIGHT NOW!!  A month or so later, I told the "big boss" of my research unit - she'd already figured it out!

    Later that year, my Gma gave me the book "All Cats have Aspergers Syndrome" by Kathy Hoopmann for my birthday. That book lived in my bag for 6+ months, and was a great disclosure tool. There are lots of cute pictures of cats, and the words ring true - I showed many friends, cycling mates and work colleagues and told them as they were reading it that I was diagnosed at age 14.

    My work calls for items in eNews - by the end of 2013, I'd written a few articles about the talks I'd given for Aspergers Victoria and the start of the I CAN Network. So my autism was "common knowledge" at work.  In August 2014, I attended my first autism conference - as Chris Varney was giving the closing keynote.  At the Victorian Autism Conference, I was asked if I was happy to be interviewed and photographed by The Age. (They wanted a personal story to go with A/Prof Amanda Richdale from OTARC's research on students disclosing to their university.)  I said "Yes" straight away.

    When the article came out on the Tuesday, I barely got any work done - cos work colleagues kept on coming past my desk to tell me they'd seen me in the paper. I wondered how the students would perceive it - I didn't need to be worried, cos the 2nd student who arrived at my first tute on the Thursday bounded into class and excitedly told me "Penny, I saw you in the paper!!!"  

    Several months later, I Googled "Penny Robinson Monash" - the second item in the search (at the time) was my article in The Age. I decided to add my autism - and all the autism advocacy I do - to my CV at that point, as otherwise it might look like I was trying to hide it.  In fact, last year, Robin asked me to send her my complete CV - research (30+ publications), teaching (900 + 300 students in Semester 2) and autism advocacy.

    The advantage of my autism being "common knowledge" at work is that my quirks are embraced - I'm well known for my live tweeting of seminars, wearing my (Monash Uni) cap.  I've been able to adjust my start & finish times to avoid peak-hour crowded trains in the morning.  Often its the simple adjustments that make a huge difference.  

    This resource by Amaze on 8 things to help in the workplace may also be useful:

    Note: Thank you to Penny for joining our AV lived experience Panel on Tuesday 18th February.. For more go to @PennyRobaus on Twitter and Penny Robinson - speaker on FB

  • 16 Nov 2019 6:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In writing up my AGM report for tomorrow’s event I am just reflecting on the wonderful contributors we have had this year. I want to say thank you for all you have done. 

    Thank you to Gayle Vermont who has dedicated herself to crafting programs and support that our Members need and cannot get elsewhere, especially in employment. Also to her sidekick Kathryn and Tim who are quietly delivering employment support. Elisa volunteering her expertise for our surveys towards measuring outcomes and Elena with our support systems. 

    Our Events team who have provided six major events across the year seamlessly as volunteers. Anna and her team who have contributed the lovely and conveniently located Bayview Eden Hotel for our events and tomorrow.Emma who supports everyone with no fuss. Our Group Leaders who spend time each month leading our peer groups and social fun. Our calm Help team who share their knowledge of lived experience with those needing guidance and support. 

    Thank you to our supporters such as those who provide grants to our social change organisation. This includes the free tickets from the Arts Centre’s First Call Fund to some amazing eventsand Variety for their Children’s Christmas Party which is such a highlight for our Primary kids. Also Tim and his team at DHHS supporting us and the Autism Advisory Group to help deliver change in our sector. Thank you to AFDO as well for their support and guidance. 

    Then there are those who provided bequests and donations– you know who you are and we appreciate your thoughtful contribution to our resource-stretched not for profit. Thank you. 

    Almost finally our Board who drive our not for profit with such passion and determination to empower our members, contributing time when they have none. You have all delivered the changes we were seeking and provided thoughtful and impactful hours of dedication. 

    Finally our Members who are why we exist. Our community give us the energy and collaboration to help change our world for the better in our small way. Thank you for being you with all the strengths you have and your challenges. We try hard to see and hear you. Thank you to anyone I have missed! Aspergers Victoria is such a community effort. 

    I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow to celebrate this past year and what is to come.  Tamsin

  • 27 Aug 2019 7:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Carol Owen : I wanted to send you a little poem I wrote, hope that is ok? 

    Sometimes :

    Sometimes I want you to see All the love, inside of me Sometimes I want you to see Inside my soul, inside of me Today as thoughts twist and twirl I wander through a foggy swirl As I travel through daily mist Fighting each turn, feeling each twist Sometimes I just want you to see What my life was meant to be Sometimes I need a helping hand Sometimes I need you to understand That what I really need from thee Is to really see, to really see me Sometimes I want you to see What my soul fights hard to be Sometimes I want you to hear All the thoughts, confusion and fear Sometimes I want you to see How different my life could really be Sometimes I want you to see But now you turn and run from me Now it is too dark too see As I run from life, not meant for me Now you cannot possibly see I simply can’t bear the thought of me I close my eyes to what could be As hurt grows strong inside of me I close my eyes, don’t want to see How cruel and cold the world can be Sometimes I don’t want to see The loneliness inside of me All I want to do is rest Life moves on, it’s for the best Leave me be in this place This life is cruel I cannot face Who is this species, the human race Where life is easy to replace Wrap my soul inside of lead Quiet my brain, the heart is dead Once I wanted you to see Really see, simply me

  • 19 Aug 2019 8:11 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     ASPERGERS VICTORIA have again been invited to submit a request for invitations to attend this year’s SPECIAL CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS PARTY at the Melbourne Showgrounds on Saturday 7th December between 9:30am until 1:00pm.

    The event is in its 24th year and is a completely FREE Christmas Party just for children with special needs. A 3.5hr stage show featuring many artists will keep the children entertained as well as activities such as merry go-rounds, jumping castles, face painting, free food and drinks and much more! Of course no Christmas party is complete without Santa and after his arrival the toy room will be open and each special needs child will receive two beautiful presents.

    The basic eligibility to submit a request for an invitation are:-

    • You have a current membership with Aspergers Victoria. Not a member? Click here to join now; and

    • The child must be 12 years or under and have Aspergers

    Please also consider the following criteria from the event organisers before submitting a request:

    • Entry to the Melbourne Showgrounds to attend the event is for invite holders only. No Invite, No Entry. No Child, No Entry.

    • Only one child can attend on each invitation and must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Each child’s invite entitles one adult entry.

    • The child must be accompanied by a parent/carer at all times – there are no child minding facilities.

    • Catering will be provided to children only. Parents/carers may purchase refreshments or bring a picnic lunch.

    • Siblings (under 12 years) are also welcome to attend and join in on the fun of the day, go on rides and enjoy the food but they won’t be allowed to go through to the Toy Room to receive a present.

    • This is an alcohol free event and smoking is in outside designated areas only.

    • Each year the organisers receive more requests than they can supply. Therefore requesting an invitation is NOT a guarantee of receiving an invitation and is subject to the number of invitations issued to Aspergers Victoria by the organisers.

    To request an invitation, please email the Sunday 25th August with the following details:-

    1. Child’s age (must be 12 years or under)

    2. Age appropriate gift for child’s ability. (Eg. a 10 year old may be suited to a gift for a  6-8 age group

    3. Child’s gender: (Male / Female

    4. Name of Parent(s)/Carer(s) attending:

    5. Currently an Aspergers Victoria member? (Yes / No) Requests can only be submitted for current AV members.

    6. Parent/Carers email

    7. Parent/Carers phone

    8. Postal address for invites to be sent to (if successful).

    On behalf of Aspergers Victoria, good luck!

  • 10 Aug 2019 3:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our AGM date has been agreed to be Sunday 17th November. We are planning a creative celebration for our members and community. This means we welcome you to submit your art, sculpture, perform, entertain or maybe even display your best LEGO creations. Whatever your creative desire may be we want to showcase our Aspergers community talents and celebrate them. More details coming about how to book your spot for your creative contribution. 

    Also our wonderful Board secretary Amanda is leaving our Board so this Board position will be vacant and we need someone with Board level skills. You can look at details of this role at the ACNC website here

    We look forward to celebration our year and your talents!

  • 8 Apr 2019 3:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Please go to this link here to buy your Entertainbook Book that will support Aspergers Victoria's team. Thank you for your support of our volunteer services. 

  • 14 Mar 2019 11:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Tamsin Jowett 13thMarch 2019 (speech given about neurodiversity)

    Aspergers to me and AV is simply a different neurology, part of the autism spectrum.  We see how this different mind offers so many strengths, sometimes with communication and cultural differences.   

    So I am the President of Aspergers Victoria (AV). This is a small volunteer run not for profit of 18 years, run by passionate people with Aspergers lived experience to empower our Aspergers community. 

    I believe I have grown up with Aspergers around me without realising I was within that interesting culture, so I continue to learn more as I try empower the membership community at Aspergers Victoria. 

    AV’s key focus now is on the growing employment issue with the majority of our Aspergers facing unemployment when they are intelligent, creative and dedicated specialist expert staff – but have struggles with the social and communication aspects of life. It is a silent crisis that's looming. 

    I have seen the amazing potential of Aspergers minds with many professionals such a surgeons, accountants, engineers, artists, CEOs and more having this high intellect neurology. To name a few that are mentioned online like few Bill Gates, Nicola Tesla, Jane Austen, Anthony Hopkins, Mozart, Abraham Lincoln, Marilyn Munroe, Einstein who all found their creative call and had differences accepted and celebrated – but not without their challenges. 

    In the USA they have approximately 1 in 50 or so with autism they say and Australia where we have had few autism measures we’re saying 1 in 100 but we know it’s more with many undiagnosed or not disclosing. As Amaze research says over 80% know an autistic but only 20+% understand what that means. 

    No serious discussion about the topic of business innovation, learning, and collaboration can afford to ignore neurodiversity. Neurodiversity is key to innovation. In particular people with Aspergers minds who think and work differently – who simply require some basic adjustments to flourish and contribute. Who after a short period can change and improve your systems, contribute ideas, and dedicate all hours to solving issues beyond others’ capacity. 

    Each individual is different – and this concept that there is a “normal” is misleading and a myth. My father, a GP, always told me "there is no normal!". The concept of Neurodiversity recognises this – as the term’s creator Judy Singer says 'neurodiversity relates to all beings – all humans' and how neuro-difference is part of humanity. Its part of our culture mix.

    Aspergers is part of the basket of recognised neurological differences of neurodiversity which can include ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia and tics. These are NOT mental health conditions but simply brain differences. 

    This involves a major shift away from the medical pathologising paradigm of Aspergers, autism and other neurodiverse minds as disabled with the value dismissed.

    Instead of continuing to categorise our Aspergers specialists so difference is disability, Im talking about a shift in cultural values, in particular a proper appreciation of the value of human diversity in our social and employment norms. 

    This means a shift in our approach to valuing Aspergers' specialties in knowledge, process and innovation – and a shift to inclusive work environments. To valuing their amazing productivity, loyalty and focus at work. Not dismissing autistics due to any social quirks or differences. 

    This inclusive approach requires a cultural shift, moving from the unconscious bias in recruitment where you recruit “people like us” and from systems that encourage employees to be the same - to appreciating the business benefits of having different minds who can see your work, your approaches and your service in a new light. It also means changing your culture so Aspergers and other neurodiverse staff can work at their best. I am so pleased many Melbourne companies and departments are embarking on this important journey such as ANZ, NAB, PTV and DHHS. Jobs Victoria are also working hard at encouraging change. 

    Your work culture, environment and approaches for our diverse individuals can either facilitate or inhibit their contribution. Approaches to consider include :

    -       how you recruit: interviews only test how good people are at interviews, not role suitability. Aspie strengths wont show here - maybe you can walk and talk instead of sitting face to face or do a trial week? 

    -       how you assess performance: what about dedication to results, instead of team communication style

    -       how you brief your team:  not just verbal but clear written instructions that suits literal thinkers

    -       It may be letting people come to the office later so they don't have the sensory overload of public transport at peak hour, which can mean an hour recovering before they’re productive

    -   Realising your office environment has sensory impacts such as downlights, sounds of equipment or talking, and open plan: I know of one Asperger that built a 3 sided cubicle for themselves near a window

    -       Even scheduling in daily plans to allow more movement breaks such as walks outside

    Aspergers Victoria now has work coaches who help companies adapt their systems, environments and manage cultural and communication adaptations that a neurodiverse individual requires so their potential is not limited by allistic systems of work. 

    As many diversity and inclusion teams know, this needs to extends beyond recruitment to an inclusive culture that impacts how you design, deliver and manage your products and especially services for the end user. You will have neurodiverse customers as well you should consider.  

    For transport, this means when an inspector checks a ticket , he knows not to make the wrong assumptions when the person can't look them in the eye. It means looking at train design for lightings, sound dampening and layouts so they can be more autistic friendly. Maybe offer one or two quiet train carriages per train with no mobile use. It means lots of warning about transport schedule changes which lead to anxiety for neurodiverse Aspies who can’t manage change. Have customer service trained to assist anxious Aspie commuters who can’t manage such change – or crowds. 

    I love discovering more neurodiverse people every day in my life. I am so lucky to rub shoulders with such interesting thinkers and creators with wonderful strengths to offer, and who are here to help improve our world. We all just need to accept and understand them and welcome differences into our world. 

  • 18 Jan 2019 11:25 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Help us celebrate the world of Aspergers and International Aspergers Day on 18th February 2019 when we can highlight the contributions our Aspergers make across our community.

    The 18th of February is International Aspergers Day and we have many reasons to celebrate. It also will be our 28th birthday as a for purpose organisation empowering our Aspergers to reach their inspiration. 

    We will celebrate with an event which is in final stages of planning so please put a hold the date for 18th February in your diary with details to be confirmed soon. 

    For more about our reasons for celebration browse some of of pages about the strengths of Aspergers people in our website and social media. 

    More details coming soon...

  • 22 Nov 2018 8:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Last night we enjoyed a community celebration of the past year at our annual AGM. 

    It was a night to consider where we came from a year ago and how much has been achieved by our volunteers and Emma this year. So much change and support to empower our members and their supporters. 

    The finale were the performances by some of our members including poems, songs, jokes and dance moves. 

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