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Back to News 29 September 2021

Welcome to the neighbourhood: Autism SA establishes Tonsley headquarters

Welcome to the neighbourhood: Autism SA establishes Tonsley headquarters

Autism SA is the latest organisation to relocate its headquarters to Tonsley Innovation District, having recently moved into a brand-new, purpose-built facility to establish a significant presence in Adelaide’s southern suburbs.

Home to 120 permanent staff, Autism SA’s new Southern Hub is autism and disability-friendly and offers clients unique experiences through its state-of-the-art sensory spaces, gross motor room, consultancy and therapy rooms, life skill spaces, rooftop conference room and garden designed for all ages.

The organisation is building on the quality of service that the local autism community has come to rely on over the past 57 years—including the provision of information, education, support and advocacy—but is now much better positioned to offer outreach and support in southern Adelaide.

“With the opening of our Southern Hub, we are now positioned to deliver even more services and supports right across Adelaide, from the north to the south,” says Jenny Karavolos, CEO of Autism SA.

"“Our Northern Hub, opened in 2017, is continuing to provide valuable support to the autism community in the north, including in the regions, and I am pleased to share that our Northern Hub is also expanding, enabling us to have increased reach and impact.”"

Jenny Karavolos, CEO of Autism SA

Jenny believes that Tonsley is the ideal location for Autism SA’s new headquarters because of the kind of research and development taking place within the innovation district, as well as the opportunities for collaboration, capacity building and inclusion of the autistic community across many of the sectors in Tonsley.

“By being immersed in the culture of innovation that exists at Tonsley and having the opportunity to network with Tonsley-based entities such as the Global Centre for Modern Ageing, Flinders Digital Health Research Centre and the New Venture Institute—among others—we are aiming to stay at the forefront of research, learning and social change,” Jenny says.

“It is also our intention to build the capacity of our school leavers as well as adult clients, by facilitating opportunities within the STEM industries here at Tonsley through newly created partnerships, and for the precinct to ultimately become an Autism Friendly site – where everyone in the autism community is welcomed, accommodated for and provided with the same opportunities as everyone else.

"“A further advantage of being here at Tonsley is that our clients, their families and staff now have ready access to the award-winning Main Assembly Building and the cafes and public amenity on offer there, giving them a safe and interesting place to spend time before and after appointments, and enabling them to participate in the Tonsley experience,” "

Jenny Karavolos, CEO of Autism SA

Currently Autism SA provides services and supports to over 5,000 clients in any one year by providing occupational therapy, psychology, speech pathology, behaviour support, in-home support, respite, supported independent living, a program of social events, life skills, school inclusion, training, NDIS support and a range of other crucial services including the Autism SA Infoline – a free phone and web-based LiveChat service for anyone in the community to access.

The new headquarters at Tonsley has not only given the autism community another support arm but has also generated a number of new employment opportunities for South Australian allied health workers.

“We are currently undertaking a recruitment drive to fulfil new roles here at Tonsley in a range of allied health areas including occupational therapy, psychology and speech pathology, and are offering training for suitable candidates,” says Jenny.

Autism SA is also planning to host a launch event in due course to celebrate their new premises, but in the meantime is enjoying being part of an inclusive, forward-thinking community that values connection and collaboration and that embraces new ways of thinking, creating and doing.

“We feel a strong synergy with the businesses located here. Being here just feels like the perfect fit to make a meaningful difference,” Jenny says.


If you would like your business to neighbour these amazing innovators, check out our other commercial accommodation options and see if your business is a fit for Tonsley Innovation District.


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