Bulldogs backrower Adam Elliott has been sidelined with a shoulder injury since round 8, but that hasn’t stopped him from working hard off the field. Elliott has been nominated for the prestigious Ken Stephen Medal for his community work around autism. He’s raised over $10,000 for the Autism Community Network, a charity focused on building strong support for those impacted by autism.
Adam’s older brother James is autistic, so Adam and his father dyed their hair blue (the colour of autism awareness) to raise funds for autism community support.
Of particular focus to Adam is getting others to understand the acute impact COVID has on those who are so reliant on routine.
“I think that’s more important than raising funds (for ACN). For everyone else, we’re going through something frustrating. But for someone with autism, it can be multiplied. Their normal day is so set around routine. So for them to not go to school, have to start working from home, wearing face masks….they’re little things to us, but to them it can be really hard to handle.”
Elliott is imploring people to consider this change when they witness what he calls “meltdowns”, so they can have a greater understanding as to why they occur.