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ACT Police Minister disappointing response

Dear Mr Gentleman MLA

Your response below is disappointing. Were it appropriate to call 000, I would have.

Part of the problem was due to calls to 000 and the predictable but inappropriate response. You claim that the "operational matters" in this case "are best judged by the experts in each of the Agencies". And my letter clearly stated that you so-called "expert" hung up rather than respond appropriately and receive relevant information. Clearly, your advice was not helpful.

'Something is wrong': Inquiry hears harrowing school violence stories

ACT Minister for education

Sherryn Groch, Kirsten Lawson

A nine-year-old boy who feels "all hope is lost" after being punched, kicked and strangled in the schoolyard remains in the same class as the child responsible.

A family was forced to send their daughter interstate to escape bullying and violence at school, after footage of her assault spread across social media last year.

These are some of the harrowing stories parents have shared with an ACT inquiry into school violence

New Canberra autism support model bringing joy back into family life

Glynis Quinlan

Early last year life became very tough for Nikita Fulton of Flynn. Recently diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Nikita was traumatised by having to change schools in Week 3 of the first term of Year 8 due to difficulties with affording school fees. She had no school friends and was stressed, unhappy and struggling at school.

ACT: letter to Chief Minister -

Dear Mr Barr MLA & Ms Berry MLA

Speaking Out for Autism Spectrum Disorder (SOfASD) remains concerned that there has been no discernible progress in the ACT Education Directorate towards recognising the need for and employing properly trained and registered behavioural clinicians to support students with distressed behavior in ACT schools. 

ACT Government: number of autistic prisoners

prisoners being sniffed by sniffer dog on lead

SOfASD asked the ACT Government how many autistic prisoners there are in the AMC. You can download the Minister's response (6/7/2018) from the link below.

Basically, the ACT Government says:

  • it doesn't know how many of its prisoners (detainees?) are autistic
  • detainees can self-identify as autistic and have their claim written on their ACTCS Induction Form
  • its system "offer[s] a supported environment and care coordination for detainees with identified complex needs". They do not indicate how many detainees meet this criterion, or say whether self-identifying as autistic means having "identified complex needs" (it's sounds unlikely).  The ACT Government provided no evidence whatsoever of any actual support
  • it asked the AMC and JHS "to work collaboratively on improving the data collection and storage processes" ... if this happens the ACT Government may be able eventually to answer basic questions about the number of autistic prisoners

Special needs school transport for autistic boy refused

Emily Baker

Canberra's Education Directorate told a single mum it could not help transport her autistic son to school despite having a spare seat on a bus for students with disability already travelling the route.

Instead, the directorate suggested Nancy Ju move her son

to a school closer to home, noting she had agreed at his 2014 enrolment to transport him to Duffy Primary from their Chisholm home.

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