World Autism Awareness Day, held on April 2 each year, aims to spread awareness of people’s experiences of autism. People often celebrate this day by sharing and accessing educational materials, donating to organisations, and looking at how they support people with autism in their day-to-day lives.

We have called on the experiences of the Bamara family, hearing from members of our team on autism and the changes they would like to see in the community.


Brooke is the DHUB – Opportunity Hub Co-Ordinator for Bamara in Dubbo. Brooke has a son, Q’Dell, diagnosed with autism at a very young age.

Since the age of two, Q’Dell has had numerous visits to specialists, counsellors, psychologists, occupation therapists, sleep clinics, and his paediatrician. Q’Dell had his diagnosis changed several times throughout his early years.

“What I found hardest was that it was a constant battle to remove the stigma that automatically comes with ‘spectrum’, ‘autism’, ‘ADHD’,” said Brooke. 

Brooke speaks from her perspective as a mother and how she had to adapt their way of life to minimise the stress placed on Q’Dell. The family try to keep Q’Dell’s routine consistent to avoid emotional stress for Q’Dell and give him the best environment to thrive in. 

“We need to come together and learn from people affected by these diagnoses,” said Brooke. 

“Do not judge them, do not shy away from them. Embrace them – they can teach us a thing or two.” 


Another perspective is from Bamara’s General Manager, Lesley. Her son, Marli, was diagnosed with level three Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ADHD and a mild intellectual disability at just two and a half years old.

Lesley wishes to expand people’s knowledge surrounding autism to show the public how important it is to respect the people with autism around us. 

“I am very passionate about raising awareness of ASD – to promote a better understanding of the complex needs of people with ASD,” said Lesley. 

Lesley’s goal is to help people become more aware of how we can support people with autism to live meaningful lives. By creating inclusive environments, we can make a space where people are valued members of their communities and share the same experiences as their fellow Australians.


Kerrie is our RTO Manager for Bamara Education and Training and shared about her granddaughter, Maple, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. Maple has two younger siblings and loves to spend time with her grandmother, who she calls ‘Gabba’.

In wishing to best support Maple, Kerrie completed courses through Autism Australia to better understand her granddaughter’s needs. When speaking on the importance of awareness of autism, Kerrie expressed the need for acceptance, respect and dignity.

“Just because you’ve got a tag or stigma doesn’t mean that it’s not acceptable or different,” said Kerrie. 

“People with autism are just as important as everybody else and should be shown inclusivity.” 

Throughout Kerrie’s experiences, she speaks about how her awareness has changed since having Maple in her life. This includes being more aware of the environment people with autism are in within our communities , and how aspects of it may be impacting them.

“I think our behaviour needs to change, and I’d love to see people be more accepting,” said Kerrie. 

How you can play your part

Among all our stories, these women and their families are looking for respect, inclusion, and understanding.

You can support people with autism in your community by fundraising for services, resources and families who may be in need and by starting the conversation around awareness of autism.

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