House debates

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Statements by Members

George, Ms Joline

1:35 pm

Photo of Dai LeDai Le (Fowler, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

Today I would like to shed some light on the work being done by Joline George, a mother of autistic children, a local who lives in my electorate of Fowler and the founder of Help You Cope, an organisation that provides support for mums whose kids suffer from autism spectrum disorder. Joline established Help You Cope to give local mums the chance to get together over a cup of tea and talk to each other about their experiences with autism. I want to recognise Joline's work in providing a safe, open and caring forum for parents who might feel alone, judged and misunderstood when caring for children with autism spectrum issues. We all know that a burden shared is a burden halved.

I have seen how autism can impact a multicultural, multilingual community like Fowler, where non-English-speaking families struggle to comprehend the complexities of navigating the health system. They are often wracked with guilt and blame because they can't provide adequate support for their children living with autism, and, often, they don't understand what's happening. It's through the generous work of people like Joline George that we can help to normalise the conversation about autism within our multicultural communities, especially at a time when we are seeing rising rates of autism in our children. Right now, it is estimated that one in every 100 Australians have some form of autism. We need more people like Joline George, who are working hard to remove the stigma associated with autism through acceptance, support and education.