The big lighthouse at Flagstaff Hill is turning blue for World Autism Awareness Day on Monday April 2.
The Wollongong lighthouse is changing colour as dusk to recognise and celebrate people on the autism spectrum and be a beacon for awareness.
Glow Blue for Autism is being organised by Care & Share for Autism. The local charity supports families and people with autism by hosting inclusive events where everyone has the opportunity to have fun and be themselves without judgement.
Members of the community are encouraged to come and Glow Blue for Autism next Monday. It is a free event with food, entertainment and family-friendly activities from 3pm.
Care & Share for Autism president Jenn Ratcliffe said “we are committed to raising awareness and acceptance for those on the autism spectrum in our community. We also want to support and celebrate the struggles and achievements of the many Illawarra families living with autism, to let them know they aren’t alone on what can be an isolating journey”.
Care & Share for Autism committee member Kylie O’Neill organised for the lighthouse to turn blue on World Autism Awareness Day in 2017 and has worked with other committee members this year.
“Our daughter Grace has autism and she is unique with her own challenges which include no speech, difficulties with communication, Sensory Processing Disorder, difficulty in particular social and language situations, and developmental delays,” she said.
“As individuals, we all have something in common, and that is everyone wants to be loved, accepted and included. World Autism Day is about celebrating the progress made to ensure people who live with autism feel included, and highlight the need to continue to research, create awareness and educate people.”
Raising awareness: Kylie O’Neill and her daughter Grace in front of the Flagstaff Hill Lighthouse in 2017 with many others who attended the free Glow Blue For Austism community event. Picture: Greg Ellis.