Thursday, March 24th, 2016

Not-for-profit autism service, Irabina, will be hosting its second annual Superhero Fun Run to raise funds for children with autism and kick off World Autism Awareness Month.

Picture opportunity - Sunday 3 April


Children of all ages, their parents and other supporters will be dressed as superheros, running 4-8km to raise money for autism, with appearances by:

- Irabina ambassador, and artist with autism, Tim Sharp, creator of superhero: Laser Beak Man
- Irabina superhero SPECTRO

The Irabina Superhero fun run is in its second year, after a successful debut attracting 500 participants in 2015. The money raised will help not-for-profit service provider, Irabina, to transform the lives of people and families with autism through the delivery of specialist programs and services.

Interviews available:
- Parents, siblings and/or child living with autism benefiting from Irabina Autism Services
- Irabina ambassador, and artist with autism, Tim Sharp 
- Irabina Autism Services CEO, Debra Goldfinch

Tan Track, Pillars of Wisdom, Lawn 9, Melbourne Botanic Gardens
(Metered street parking close to entry gates)

- Media alert
- Media release

Media contact:
For more information, please contact me on 0431 431 882 or email [email protected]



Hundreds will ‘save the day’ for people with autism, donning capes and tights for the Irabina Superhero Fun Run in Melbourne on 3 April, and kicking off World Autism Awareness Month.
Chief Executive Officer of Irabina Autism Services, Debra Goldfinch said most kids love a superhero. But for those with autism, these fearless characters with special powers can become an important way to cope with their acute sensitivity to the chaos of our everyday world.
“Everybody needs a superhero sometimes. The world can be a confusing place and if you have autism, it’s even more confusing,” Ms Goldfinch said.
“For those living with autism, their superheros usually come in the form of parents, families, carers and friends.
“This Sunday we’re giving all Victorians the chance to become a superhero and show their support for people living with autism,” Ms Goldfinch said.
Australian artist Tim Sharp, who has autism, is the event’s ambassador. Also known as Laser Beak Man, Mr Sharp’s paintings are all focused singularly on this superhero he has created to help him manage his own autism and bravely face the world.
In its second year, the event aims to raise money for children to access vital early intervention services which can cost upwards of $60,000 a year per child.
Ms Goldfinch said the event is anything but your typical fun run – it’s a day for families, carers and friends to celebrate the extraordinary abilities of people living with Autism while raising awareness in the community.
“The money raised will help Irabina to transform the lives of people and families with Autism through the delivery of specialist programs and services,” said Ms Goldfinch.
“The fun run isn’t about how fast you run or the time you complete it in. It’s a chance for everyone to come together to celebrate and support the unique abilities of Irabina’s 400-plus children and families, living with autism,” she said.
The event is open to all, with children under five-years-old free to join.
To find out more about the Irabina Superhero Fun Run, please visit

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About Irabina

Irabina is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to helping families adapt to the challenges of living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The centre has delivered expert support and education services for almost 50 years. Our expert team of therapists, psychologists and specialist educators help families and individuals connect and communicate with the world around them. While there is no known cure for Autism, there is an enormous amount that can be done to help those on the Autism Spectrum and the families that support them.


About Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a pervasive developmental condition, which is characterised by deficits in the following two areas:

  • Impaired communication and social interaction
  • Restricted interests and repetitive behaviours

1 in 50 people are now diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. It affects four times as many boys as girls. Many individuals with autism experience sensory differences and difficulties. They may be under-sensitive or over-sensitive to any of the five senses.

The word ‘spectrum’ is used because no two people with Autism Spectrum Disorder are exactly alike. Autism is a lifelong developmental disability and most people with autism will require varying degrees of support throughout their lifetime.

“To know one child with Autism is to know one child with Autism” – Anon.

Each child will vary in the combination and severity of the behaviours he/she displays and so may seem quite different even when compared to siblings with autism. The term ‘high functioning’ is not a diagnostic term; rather, it is often used to describe someone who has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder but is not as severely affected in their autism and cognition.

Claudia Piscitelli
P: 03 9416 0046
M: 0431 431 882


fun run, autism, disability, parenting, Victoria, melbourne



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