Australian Federal Police Celebrate First Anniversary of Groundbreaking Autism Program

Australia, Police

Article: The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is commemorating the one-year anniversary of its innovative DXC Dandelion Program, which provides individuals with autism a unique pathway into the AFP. As the only program of its kind in Australian law enforcement, the DXC Dandelion Program offers a two-year, paid traineeship in Digital Surveillance Collection (DSC) within the Covert and Technical Operations (CTO) division. The six trainees with autism work in various roles, including data analytics, software development, and hardware engineering, with the hope of continuing as permanent employees of the AFP upon completion of the program.

Managed by independent consultants DXC IT, the Dandelion Program provides ongoing support and guidance for the trainees and the AFP. The program participants are based at the AFP’s Edmund Barton Building in Canberra and have access to a neurodivergent-friendly workspace that includes a neurodiversity consultant, focus tools, and a sensory room for work and rest.

Superintendent Matthew Walls expressed his satisfaction with the program’s results, highlighting the technical skills developed by the trainees that have contributed to the DSC’s support of criminal investigations. The trainees’ work has already proven valuable in expediting investigations through the creation of electronic dashboards and software for efficient data collation and analysis.

The success of the Dandelion Program has attracted significant interest from both internal and external sources. Lachlan Cameron, a 23-year-old trainee, shared his enthusiasm for the program, describing it as his first meaningful job. Cameron emphasized the uniqueness and impact of the work, recognizing the opportunity for a long-term career in the field.

The AFP’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity is further exemplified by the Dandelion Program, which aims to harness the unique skills of individuals with autism while building the AFP’s technical capabilities and addressing the challenges of an increasingly competitive labor market.

To learn more about the DXC Dandelion Program, visit their website. For media inquiries, journalists can contact the AFP during regular business hours.