A new common room for young adults with autism is being launched today at Curtin University, with the support of Norton Gold Fields.
Norton Gold Fields donated $50,000 to develop the common room into a dedicated space for students participating in the Curtin University’s Specialist Mentoring Program (CSMP).
Curtin University’s Dr Sean Murray, Head of Counselling and Disability, said CSMP was a peer mentoring program designed to support students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to improve academic performance and social development in preparation for employment and an independent adult life.
“People with ASD often experience significant difficulties with verbal comprehension, planning, social awareness and group work which can make it difficult to adapt to university life,” Dr Murray said.
“The CSMP program has been assisting young adults with autism to reach their full potential in education and employment.”
The Norton Gold Fields Common Room provides a welcoming place for students with ASD to interact with each other and their mentors and work on improving their academic performance and social development.
“The Norton Gold Fields Common Room is a perfect addition to Curtin University and is a great way for young adults with autism to feel safe and connected with their peers in a controlled and friendly space,” Dr Murray said.
The generous support from Norton Gold Fields, one of Australia’s largest domestic gold producers, enabled a fit out of much-needed furniture and technology for the students to use in the new space.
Dr Dianmin Chen, the Non-Executive Director of Norton Gold Fields, said that as a father of a child with autism, the program was close to his heart and one he hoped would grow from strength to strength.
“By offering peer mentoring and social group activities, Curtin is ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity to learn and prepare for an independent adult life,” Dr Chen said.
“Norton Gold Fields is proud to support initiatives such as this which have great potential to improve the educational experience of students for generations to come.
“We look forward to following the program’s continued growth and success in the future.”
For further information about the Curtin Specialist Mentoring Program, please visit their website.