Autism Family Swim Night

The swim centres open exclusively for the autism community. These open events provide a safe environment for all to come, have fun, connect with others and a bit of exercise. This is open to all ages. We meet at the swim centre, spend approximately 1 hour in the pool and then come together over a BBQ dinner.

Currently, events are held in Sandringham, Windy Hill and Diamond Creek. We are open to offering more events in other locations, please contact us.

Autism Family Lawn Bowls

Due to some excellent partnerships with bowls clubs, we run family lawn bowl days for our community. This gives everyone a safe and supportive space to enjoy some exercise, get out in the sun (when the weather is kind) and connect with like minded individuals. Better yet you don’t need to know anything about lawn bowls to come and join the fun. Show up, learn the rules and let those balls fly down the green. With events currently in Chirnside Park and Diamond Creek there is fun to be had for all at multiple locations. 

Education Evenings

The focus of education evenings is to educate, extend connections and information sharing.  We try and target topics not readily accessible.  We aim to provide topics not found elsewhere.  We encourage this to be done in an inclusive, supported social setting over a meal whilst listen to presenter and connecting with those in similar journeys.

Any topics or suggestions for these sessions is welcome and appreciated. We would love to hear from you. 

How can we help those we are supporting if we don’t get help ourselves particularly when things become complex or overwhelming?  Many carers are simply not aware of the supports and services that are available to them in the community.  Many others feel unworthy, or unable to access the supports they need.

Different Journeys is funded to support carers and parents of autistic individuals. We create non-judgemental spaces, either online or face to face, for carers of all ages to link with other carers in similar circumstances. We replace isolation and judgement with a supportive community.

All of our ‘lived’ experiences provide lessons about the impacts of caring for Autistic people. Notably, these lessons are supported by the academic literature which states caregivers of Autistic people experience:

  • significantly greater stress than caregivers of other children with developmental conditions
  • debilitating stigma, including being blamed for their child’s deteriorating development, and often feel judged, excluded, avoided and/or pitied, and
  • significant emotional distress and are at risk of experiencing serious mental health conditions.

These negative attitudes towards caregivers can become accepted by them and embedded within their own psychological identity. 

At Different Journeys we work to redress the misunderstood and hidden challenges of caring for Autistic people.  Our carer education, information and celebration events provide inclusive, safe, and supportive environments in which to provide both peer-based and professional supports.

Our individualised, wrap-around support programs aim to decrease the prevalence of mental illness and social isolation in the carer community. And we seek to enhance carers’ employment and education opportunities. 

Different Journeys recognises and embraces the richness, strengths and opportunities that diversity brings and encourages and respects a diverse range of individuals and views.

Different Journeys acknowledge that we live, work, and meet together on the lands of the Kulin nation. We acknowledge the continuing connection to this land that members of the Kulin nation have, and we thank them for caring for the land and waters since time immemorial. We acknowledge Elders past and present. We recognise and respect that sovereignty was never ceded, and a treaty has yet to be signed. Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.

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