Australian Autism Alliance;

Facilitation of the Strategic Planning and Governance project

In 2016, a group of Australian autism organisations convened to form a coalition to progress the aim of improving the quality of life and life outcomes for Australian autistic people. The emphasis of the alliance was to be ‘one strong voice for autism’ in representing the views of a community of approx. 250,000 autistic people and their families across Australia.

After five years of work, the alliance decided to move into a new stage of development that would require a strategic plan and new governance arrangements to be established. Through a competitive process, Community Works was selected by the Australian Autism Alliance to facilitate a project to develop a strategic plan for the group and establish governance arrangements that would enable it to move forward with confidence into the next phase of its activities. The work we did involved a series of consultations with the twelve member organisations of the Alliance following by two half-day online workshops that enabled the key elements of the strategy and governance arrangements to be explored in depth.

In collaboration with the co-chairs of the alliance and a smaller working group of alliance members, we developed a series of draft strategic plan documents. Each version received comments and feedback until we reached an advanced draft as a basis for more detailed operational planning. We also proposed options for governance structures for the alliance that enabled the group to discuss and decided on the best approach.

The work we did for the project took almost four months to complete. Our thanks to the Australian Autism Alliance for the opportunity to contribute to its development and to the essential role it performs at a national level for the autistic community in Australia.