As we come to the close of 2017, many of our local schools are celebrating with various forms of Assemblies and Presentation days. Each year Strive For Autism Recognises outstanding individuals, distributing various awards; including the Strive Awards, Tim Austin Memorial Award and Ambassadors Awards, throughout our schools within the Hunter Valley and our local community.
This year, we had 28 students receive the Strive Awards. The " Tim Austin Memorial award" went to an Aspect teachers aide who's effort throughout the year and contributions to our community were worthy of recognition, as well as 2 Ambassador Awards. With all award winners receiving a $50 cheque as well as their certificate.
Below are some of the photographs we've received from the Hunter Valley community.
We congratulate all of our Strive Award Recipients of 2017 and wish them all the best in their endeavours.
If you have any additional photos you'd like to share please feel free to email those to firstname.lastname@example.org
Strive For Autism Celebrated their 10th Anniversary on the 14th of November. Holding the anniversary dinner at the Cessnock Golf Course, guests enjoyed a delicious 2 course meal and celebrated the achievement of Strive over the last 10 amazing years.
The evening opened with a stunning rendition of "Creep" by an up and coming artist "Sophee Kerslake " - who wowed us with her amazing talents - not only as a vocalist but as a pianist.
Followed by presentations to our newly appointed Strive Ambassadors Dr Lee Sturgeon & Anna Behnke whom are highly respected in their fields and contributions to our community.
We then welcomed highly regarded keynote speakers "Tim & Judy Sharp" - all be it that Tim was unable to make the evening due to illness- he sent his regards. Judy did an amazing job in his absence, sharing their families inspiring story and incredible experiences - escaping domestic abuse situation to go on to raise her two wonderful sons; Tim and Sam, and Tim's journey on the spectrum.
Through Judy's immense love and dedication - "where there is a will, there IS a way" we see the amazing outcomes of focusing on Tim's abilities opposed to disabilities. Judy shares how they discovered Tim's love of drawing and incredible talents as an Artist, with his super hero creation "Laser Beak Man".
As a result, Tim is now in recognised as an international artist and as well as having his own TV series screening on networks in Asia, New Zealand and Australia, and continues to defy all odds!
Tim & Judy's talks have been well received at many Autism conferences with their presentation and this heartfelt tail shared with our Strive For Autism community received a standing ovation, ongoing inspiration and memorable messages of hope and wonder of what really is possible.
The night was a massive success with so many wonderful messages on our Facebook page and chatter within our community of how much everyone enjoyed our celebration.
Again a massive thanks to everyone who made this evening possible.
Author/ Keynote Speaker Judy Sharp & Tim Sharp
Internationally acclaimed artist and creator of Laser Beak Man
"As keynote speakers at the “Strive for Autism” 10th anniversary Dinner in November 2017 it was incredibly inspiring to learn of how a few families were able to start something 10 years ago that has now grown into a major regional success story. With their commitment to supporting families and people living with autism, educating the community, working with professionals and creating an environment of inclusion in regional Australia, it is one of the best and most proactive networks we have had the pleasure of connecting with. Their growth in those ten years within the region and the Australian autism community is phenomenal and a perfect example of what can be achieved by people coming together. It was a joy to share our story with 'Strive for Autism' and to share common goals of hope, opportunity, inclusion and acceptance for all living with autism."
Judy Sharp author/keynote Speaker and Tim Sharp internationally acclaimed artist and creator of Laser Beak Man. Tim was diagnosed with autism at age three.
For more photos, feedback and community contributions. Check out our Facebook Page
At 9:40am 3/11/2017 Gail Baird was interviewed by the crew at 2NUR FM, Listen to the Audio Below
"As a parent of a child with an ASD, I was in need of meeting people who knew what we, as a family were experiencing. I needed to know how other people managed; I needed to know where to look for help. Working with Strive has given me that connection. Being able to meet with other parents and family members and hear from professionals has been a valued lifeline. An event that particularly made an impact on me was hearing from guest speakers who were on the spectrum themselves, proudly talking about their lives, how they have reached their true potential and never let ASD stop them. Thank you to Strive for the support you bring to our families."
Community Liaison Officer
Kurri Kurri High School
P: 4937 1877
Article by Krystal Sellers
HONOURED: Strive for Autism's public officer Alan Baird and president Maxine Baird with the group's award for Community Event of the Year at Cessnock's 2017 Australia Day awards.
Ten years ago this month, a support group for families of people with autism spectrum disorders held its first meeting in Cessnock.
Since then, Strive for Autism has helped to provide support for such families, and raise much-needed awareness of the lifelong developmental condition that can affect communication, sensory perception, social interactions and behaviour.
Strive for Autism president Maxine Baird said the group’s meetings provide information and support, and a forum for families with questions and stories to share.
The group presents annual awards to participating schools to acknowledge the hard work and achievements of students with ASD and their teachers.
It also raises funds to support local schools, sporting groups and individuals.
“Thanks to the support of our community and the generosity of our sponsors we have been able to provide many resources over the last 10 years,” Mrs Baird said.
The donations have included iPads, computers and grants to help educate children on the autism spectrum.
Strive’s regular fundraising events include an annual shopping weekend bus trip to Sydney. This year’s was the eighth shopping trip, and raised $4050.
Strive has won two Australia Day awards for Community Event of the Year – the first for its Sounds of the Spectrum concert in 2010.
The concert was held at Cessnock Performing Arts Centre to a sold-out crowd of over 460 people.
Mrs Baird said it was an unforgettable event.
“We raised over $20,000 and gave our community an insight to autism,” she said.
“It is important that we create awareness as it’s not always an easy road for people on the spectrum.”
The seminar featured renowned speakers Dr Lee Sturgeon, Rachel Lee Harris and Jeanette Purkis.
“Their great expertise and understanding has helped to improve the awareness and support for families and individuals living with autism in our local community,” Mrs Baird said.
Dr Sturgeon, a clinical psychologist, is now an ambassador for Strive.
He said support groups such as Strive are essential in mobilising families to support other families with members with autism spectrum disorders.
“One aspect of current best practice for families with children with an ASD is to engage themselves with local community services and supports,” Dr Sturgeon said.
“Strive greatly assists families to meet this goal in the Lower Hunter region.
“I have been involved with Strive now for ten years and congratulate them on their accomplishments to date and wish them every success in their future ASD-related endeavours.”
Strive for Autism’s 10th anniversary dinner will be held at Cessnock Golf Club on Tuesday, November 14 at 6.30pm. The guest speakers will be Tim and Judy Sharp.
The cost for the dinner is $35 per person. RSVP is required by November 6. Contact Maxine on 0419 913 033 for more information.
Find out more at www.striveforautism.org.au.
Another Fabulous Article. - Thanks Krystal Sellars for the write up.
Strive 10th Year Anniversary - Invitation to all Strive Members .
We'll have guest speakers; Tim & Judy Sharp, to share their story of great love and inspiration.
Well it's a wrap!! Another amazing fundraiser brought together by dedicated people, sponsors and of course our participants who all had an fantastic time.
We'd like to take the time to thank all of our sponsors and thank everyone for participating. No doubt conversations will be had and planning will be on the cards to make 2018 annual bus trip even better!
Below a few sneak peaks of the adventure, all proceeds raised from this event go towards continued support and strengthening in our local community.
“For the past five years I have attended the annual Strive Shopping Trip. We visit a variety of shops that cater for everyone of different age, taste and interest. It’s a great girls weekend away, full of laughs and plenty of money being spent. All in the name of supporting a great charity.” - Jenni Rowlands
Shane from Cessnock Ambos today presented Maxine with a cheque for $1045. Thank you once again for your ongoing support, the money was raised from a Bowls Day held on the 1st August!
Cessnock Quilters and Embroiderers Support Strive
Following their recent very successful exhibition, “A Gathering of Threads”, president Cath Boughton presented a cheque for $5,000 to Strive representative, Kylie Whiting. The Cessnock Strive organisation supports families coping with autism and Kylie informed the members that the funds donated would be used to support and encourage the students in their education. A cheque for $2,000 was also presented to the management of Cessnock Civic Indoor Sports Centre, the venue for the exhibition, with thanks for their outstanding support of Cessnock Quilters and Embroiderers.
Our Annual bus trip is not too far away! We're scheduled to climb on board and hit the shops on 14th-15th October 2017! If you haven't already secure your tickets and for more info visit the BUS TRIP page for more details
This poem was sent to STRIVE, Poem by Rebecca Tuckey Muswellbrook, year 9 student.
I have a brother
His name is John
He is Autistic and artistic with shaving cream
He loves to dream about the Wiggles and likes to giggle
He is sneaky and cheeky
He is funny and cuddly as a bunny
John loves Hi 5 it makes him jive
I’m in the middle, Cassie the oldest
John the youngest, the baby of the family
He can’t talk but he loves to walk
We have the best Mum in the world
She is never glum
I know John has a disability
But he can do things to the best of his ability
John is my brother so you can see
He can be annoying
But that’s just how things are meant to be