Grace Fava, the founder and president of non-profit charity Autism Advisory and Support Service in Liverpool, was named the Women of the West at the University of Western Sydney 2015 Woman of the West award.
The University of Western Sydney established the Women in the West Awards in 2005, to show its appreciation for the many women who are improving the lives of people in greater western Sydney.
Grace was chosen as the winner for 2015 for her tireless advocacy for those living with autism, and the incredible support and devotion she provides to both them and their families.
“The other 14 nominees were all successful in their chosen fields and passions.It was awkward at first as I had to give a speech. I was quite emotional”, said Ms Fava.
“I can talk under water with a mouth full of marbles where it comes to autism, but I was shocked”
“Luckily that didn’t last long and I managed to mumble a few words of thanks and a few words on while we like to look at the accomplishments and positives that can come from autism, there is also the silent world that many families affected by severe autism live in every day”
“I am hoping this award can shine a light on those families and address the gaping hole in service provision they face.’’
The Autism Advisory and Support Service has been operating as a non-profit charity in Liverpool since 2007 and provides Australia’s only 24-hour autism hotline, a therapy-based playgroup, a young adults’ social group with peers and mentors, a school outreach program and an art group.
Interview with Grace Fava: