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OPEN LETTER - Victorian Shadow Education Minister, Dr Matthew Bach 

On behalf of the Board of The Autistic Realm Australia (TARA) Anna Cristina, Kylieanne Derwent, Kathy Isaacs and Yolande McNicoll, respond to Victorian Shadow Education Minister, Dr Matthew Bach's opinion piece in The Age - January 30, 2023 "School refusal numbers are soaring. Parents need to show tough love"

It is the view of The Autistic Realm Australia that parent shaming causes further harm to families who are already suffering emotional and financial hardship due to to their child's inability to attend School

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By Everyday Autistics

Kylieanne, Anna & Kathy

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"This painting is of Kylieanne Derwent, Anna Cristina and Kathy Isaacs, these 3 women who started TARA (The Autistic Realm Australia). They are amazing. They are all Autistic parents with Autistic children and they volunteer their time helping countless others to understand themselves and they parent in tune with their Autistic child’s needs.

They also educate around advocating for radical inclusion in terms of gender and sexuality.

They offer support to those who need it as well as share their personal insights. They lift others up, creating opportunities and promoting others continuously.

They have supported me profoundly. Commissioning artwork whilst offering encouragement and understanding and inviting me to apply for opportunities I would never have otherwise been aware of, eg. creating the artwork for the Attorney-General of Australia’s Disability and Mental Health Action Plan 2022.

As part of TARA they run a parent support group, an adult peer support group, engage in research and advocacy and showcase ‘Autist in Residence’ profiles (of which I have been a recipient).

They have created a home for people like me to flourish.


Somewhere for me to come to accept and understand myself and recognise my strengths.

Freya Pinney - Autistic Artist

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