The Morrison Government is investing $9.7 million to expand the Giant Steps Melbourne school and reduce the waiting list for its specialist education for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Victoria.
Giant Steps Melbourne provides a Prep to Year 12 school program for children with complex to moderate autism, with highly trained teachers and therapists integrating educational and therapy goals for all students.
Giant Steps Melbourne opened in 2016, following in the successful footsteps of Giant Steps Sydney which has been providing specialist education since 1995.
Demand for the education and support provided by Giant Steps Melbourne, however, is increasing and its waiting list is growing.
This funding, provided through the Community Development Grants Program, will enable Giant Steps Melbourne to expand and increase its support for Victorian families including:
increasing the footprint and learning spaces of the school and extending the playground area;
increasing support services for children and young adults with autism;
introducing a community college program for students;
establishing an early learning program to help transition preschool-aged children and their families from diagnosis to school;
training school teachers in supporting Autism Spectrum Disorder students; and
establishing an early intervention outreach service, siblings program and mental health clinic.
Our support will leave a lasting legacy, with the funding also extending the work Giant Steps Melbourne does in collaborating with other schools and universities.
Through the Quality Schools package, the Coalition Government is investing around $300 billion in schools to the end of 2029. This is an increase in Commonwealth funding of 63 per cent over 10 years.
The Government can deliver this support because our responsible budget management allows us to guarantee the essential services that Australians rely on.