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Autistic individuals RISE above!

Department of Transport & Planning/ Specialisterne Australia


Autistic individuals RISE above! The then Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) both recognise that there is a unique opportunity for Victorian Departments to work together to meet their business needs in an innovative way by tapping into the autism advantage. The team of neurodivergent individuals who were originally placed by Specialisterne at DHHS (the RISE Team) took advantage of the opportunity to work at DELWP in the Digital Cadastre Modernisation (DCM) field.

The RISE Team was selected for these roles in January /February 2019 as they were proven to be an innovative and high achieving team. They have an impressive eye and attention for detail, low tolerance for error, and are skilled at effectively managing large volumes of work required within the role as record management officers.

Assessing candidate suitability

The RISE@DHHS Team was invited to participate in a Specialisterne training and assessment program to learn about performing the day-to-day tasks of a Data Analyst within the DELWP Team and for the most suitable candidates to be selected.

There were seven RISE@DHHS employees who seized this opportunity over a two-week period with four people being offered Data Analyst positions within the DCM Project.

The modernised digital cadastre will transform the way information is gathered, stored, and accessed, providing a foundation for improved digital property and land registration services for Victorians.

For the selected team members who were offered positions at DELWP, their record management skillset offered strong transferable skills for the Data Analyst positions.

During the two-week program, Specialisterne offered guidance to the candidates and the hiring team at DELWP with autism awareness training being delivered to both the broader DELWP Team, as well as the specific DCM DELWP Team, including the direct line manager. This capacity building proved to be invaluable for the success of this program.

Background to the project and alternative employment processes

Project: DCM Project = Digital Cadastre Modernisation Project

Role: Data Analyst

Classification: VPS Grade 3

Commencement Date: 11 February 2019

Project Director: Mark Grant

Program Manager: Christopher Quinn

Direct Manager: Kirk Mason

The DCM Project was a three-year project initially. It was extended an extra year and finished in June 2023.

This project was to be delivered in 4 stages:

  • Stage 1: Back Capture.

  • Stage 2: Adjustment stage.

  • Stage 3: Integration

  • Stage 4: Automation

Specialisterne provided support and training for staff and managers regarding the recruitment, onboarding, and day to day employment processes. This support and training included:

  • general & tailored awareness training for managers and colleagues,

  • tailored Support Plans created and delivered to their manager to enable the employee in the workplace, and

  • monthly individual support meetings (plus any ad hoc support as required) from 2019 until June 2023. This support took the form of check ins convened by Specialisterne staff with the four employees and their manager.

Outcome/Impact on the team/department/manager

Louise, Santo, Chay and Sean added enormous strength to the team because of their ability to work rapidly through fine detail and quality assure supplied data. This sub-team were able to deliver the quality assessment requirements for the digitised data being supplied by DSM Soft, India. In addition, these team members each proved to be highly adaptable and moved between multiple roles in the project.

Sean Data Analyst QC team
“They were each highly valued colleagues who delivered attention to detail and innovation throughout the life of the project. Working on the DCM project has been such a rewarding experience. Going through a recruitment process that enabled me to demonstrate my capabilities over the course of a week was not only significantly less stressful than the standard process but also gave me time to really know if the work and the environment was suitable to me. Where I am now given how far I have progressed, it speaks volumes that this type of process can achieve phenomenal outcomes for both employer and employee.”
Louise Data Analyst QC team
Standard recruitment and employment processes create barriers to employment for many people on the Autism Spectrum. I’ve been unemployed half my working life. Being unemployed is difficult to explain if you haven’t experienced it. The social security system, the way it is presently set up, is punitive—and it also allows people to hover at the poverty line. Programs like Specialisterne’s and the forward thinking of the people at the DHHS and DELWP who implemented and supported the program work towards removing poverty and disadvantage. Everyone benefits from a sustainable income.
Georgie, Specialisterne Australia
"I have had the privilege of knowing and supporting Chay, Louise, Santo and Sean and their managers over the last four years. It has been amazing to watch as they learn new tasks and most importantly how they best communicate and interact with others. It has been wonderful to see them be able to showcase their skillsets, find new roles to suit their development as well as develop lasting friendships and relationships, some have even purchased their own homes! Chay, Louise, Santo and Sean have all shown incredible resilience, tenacity, and compassion - resulting in not only flourishing in the workplace but also thriving in their personal lives. The managers have been kind, supportive, flexible, understanding but most importantly, understand what an asset these 4 employees are and can be in the future!"

Do you have plans to employee autistic and neurodivergent talent?

The Specialisterne Australia branch was established in 2015 to build on and support the foundation's global ambition to create 1 million meaningful jobs for people with autism. Since 2015 Specialisterne AU has worked with a number of Global clients including financial, IT, government and consultancy business clients to successfully source, place, retain and increase the value of autistic talents within their businesses.


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