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Foundation wins national recognition award

Foundation CEO Anne Long was presented with 2016 Above and Beyond Award for support of the trial and subsequent expansion of an Early Intervention Readiness Program (EIRP). The program helps families with a child, newly diagnosed on the autism spectrum, to access information and practical support to prepare them for their child's transition into appropriate services that will enhance their future learning potential. It was piloted in the Hunter and has now expanded in that region and is operating in Port Macquarie.

Aspect CEO Adrian Ford said the 2016 Above and Beyond Award was for organisations or individuals who have made a significant contribution to the autism community, either in the form of financial value or as an in-kind commitment to improving the lives of people on the spectrum. The recipient is considered to be an inspirational model for the community at large. Mr Ford said, thanks to the support of the Greater Charitable Foundation, more than 400 families have benefited, in difficult early years when a child and their family have so much to learn about.

“As well as providing funding for the EIRP project, the Foundation arranges for Greater Bank staff to volunteer with Aspect,” Mr Ford said.

“The Foundation has not only provided volunteer support with the EIRP program but also for other programs and working bees at our school in Thornton,” he said.

Ms Long said the Foundation was honoured to receive the award. She dedicated it to Aspect’s staff and the families that have benefitted from the EIRP program.

“This Aspect project is a great example of the type of work the Foundation wishes to support because it is about making a real and lasting difference to the lives of many people,” Ms Long said.

Since it was established in 2011, the Foundation has provided more than $5 million in funding to 14 charity partners. By 2017 it will have provided Aspect with almost $800,000 for the EIRP autism program. The Foundation is funded through the profits of Greater Bank.

A total of nine awards were handed out at a gala ceremony in Sydney on Friday evening. The Greater Charitable Foundation was one of 63 individuals and organisations nominated across five categories.

World Autism Awareness Day is April 2. Aspect is also organising #walkforautism from April 2 to 9 with a goal to get people to walk a combined total of 42,000,000 steps, effectively walking around the Australian coastline

The Greater Charitable Foundation will announce its 2016 funding grants in mid 2016. Expressions of interest closed last month.

Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) is Australia’s largest not-for-profit provider of services and supports working with people on the autism spectrum and their families.

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