Federal Member For Banks
Shadow Minister for Communications


The Hon Dan Tehan, Minister for Social Services, and David Coleman MP announced that over $465, 000 has been granted to the Autism Community Network (ACN) to expand their services in NSW.

The Autism Community Network provides information, support and services to people on the Autism Spectrum, their families and carers, to help them lead confident and rewarding lives.  The Network is staffed by mainly volunteers and was founded to provide parents with a community forum to share their experiences, questions and advice.

Minister Tehan and Mr Coleman made the announcement in Riverwood, which is where the Network first established its operations in 2011. They now provide peer-to-peer support to more than 1,300 families.

“The Autism Community Network provides valuable support to people with autism and their family and carers,” Minister Tehan said. “The support provided by Autism Community Network encourages people to become more active members of our community which enriches the lives of all of us.”

“As minister responsible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme I have seen firsthand its transformational effect on the lives of people with Autism, but we also need local organisations and everyone in the community to work together to support people with disability to live full lives.”

Member for Banks David Coleman has welcomed the announcement, and has praised the hard work of ACN’s Founder, Steve Drakoulis, for his involvement with, and dedication to, the Network.

“Steve has been an invaluable force behind the Network’s success,” Mr Coleman said. “His management and dedication has allowed ACN to grow and expand into the important support network it is today.”

“This is a really important announcement for the Autism Community Network,” Mr Drakoulis said. “This funding will help us develop our services further, allowing us to expand our operations to help more families in need.”

Funding has been secured under the Strong and Resilient Communities Program, which aims to help promote resilient and cohesive communities by supporting local community organisations.