AEIOU Autism Centre

The Foundation partnered with the AEIOU Foundation to design and construct a $5million purpose built Autism early intervention facility, extending the John James Village precinct in Garran.

  • Project Value


  • Project Timeline

    January 2020 – April 2021

  • Project Design

    Buchan Architects

  • Industry Awards

    Australian Institute of Building – ACT

    • Andrew Blencowe – Professional Excellence Award – Building Professional of the year – 2022
    • Andrew Blencowe – Professional Excellence Award – Commercial Construction $2million – $25million
    • Andrew Blencowe – Professional Excellence Award – Project Management
    • Andrew Blencowe – High Commendation – Interior Construction

    Master Builders Association – ACT

    • Best Commercial Construction Under $5million (Project Coordination Australia)
    • Judges Commendation – Special Purpose/Adaptable Commercial Construction (Project Coordination Australia)
  • Project Builder

    Project Coordination Australia Pty Ltd

  • Project Superintendent

    Andrew Blencowe – Project & Asset Development Manager – John James Foundation

  • Officially Opened by

    Official Opening conducted by John James Foundation Patron, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd.) Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia on Wednesday 17 August 2022.

Community Infrastructure Project Partner – AEIOU Foundation

The John James Foundation proudly continues its Partnership with reputable early intervention autism specialists, the AEIOU Foundation as part of its Philanthropic Community Infrastructure Projects benefiting our local community.

This important Partnership features the John James Foundation philanthropically funding development of a $5million, purpose-built daytime therapy and early education facility on the corner of Curlewis Crescent and Rusden Street in Garran, ACT.

The facility has enabled the Canberra community to access early intervention education and support services for young children aged 2-6 years and their families affected by autism.

The AEIOU Canberra Centre has capacity to support up to 40 children and their families from Canberra and surrounding regions, and provides employment for up 35 professional and support staff.


The AEIOU Foundation for Children with Autism, has a simple yet sincere goal: to provide early intervention that enables children with autism to live their best lives. It’s how they do it that sets them apart from everybody else.

AEIOU is a profit-for-purpose organisation, established in 2005 to deliver high-quality education, therapy and care.  AEIOU’s reputable family-centred program meets the Guidelines for Good Practice (Roberts & Prior 2012) and supports children with autism to develop essential life skills, independence and confidence.

Along with providing early intervention, AEIOU is committed to research through the AEIOU Research and Innovation Committee.  AEIOU are a founding partner of the first national Autism Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), a founding partner of the Griffith University Autism Centre of Excellence (ACE), and a member of the Australian Autism Alliance.

AEIOU provides strong advocacy at state and federal government levels to raise awareness and increase the financial support for children with autism and their families.

Each child undertaking the AEIOU Program will be armed with an individual support plan, taking their unique needs and strengths into account.  Early intervention is life-changing for children and their families.The delivery of evidence-based early intervention not only makes a difference to an individual or family, and there is an estimated $2.1 million cost benefit to society over the lifetime of each child who receives this support.

Click here to find out more about the AEIOU Foundation

About the Building

The John James Foundation takes a unique approach to developing its Community Infrastructure Projects.  The Foundation carefully considers the operational needs of its project partners during the design development phase. This ensures the amenity is low maintenance and introduces cutting edge technologies to enable the end user to focus on its core service deliverables.

The AEIOU facility has been designed to include sustainable building elements such as a 33KwH Solar Energy system with Battery storage to eliminate the need for ongoing AEIOU for reliance on mains energy supply for the facility.  Any surplus energy generated will be redirected to the local energy grid for distribution and supply to the local community.  AEIOU will be the beneficiary of all financial credits for energy production.  The solar energy system modeled will net energy cost savings in excess of $180,000 over a 20 year period for the AEIOU Foundation.

The Foundation prides itself on developing high quality facilities for the local community.  The Buildings take on so much more than being “just a building”.  Projects are architecturally designed to reveal the highest quality materials, cost effective yet environmentally friendly design principles, and to blend seamlessly into the surrounding streetscape.

The Foundation is committed to extensive community consultation as part of the design process, showing an appreciation for the environment in which the building co-exists.

About the Partnership

The opportunity to partner with the AEIOU Foundation began to take shape in 2018.  The AEIOU program is well established in Queensland with 10 AEIOU Centres in operation, and it was identified that families were relocating from the ACT to Queensland, in order to access AEIOU’s leading autism program. Following a needs analysis across the ACT and broader region, a partnership was established with the goal of bringing AEIOU services to Canberra by 2021.

The John James Foundation agreed to fund the development and retain ownership of the facility. The AEIOU Foundation agreed to transfer the land to the John James Foundation and now enjoy exclusive utilisation of a purpose built, high quality facility.

In any partnership there are compromises to be made and so with transparency and philanthropy at the heart of decision making, a strong and lasting partnership was born.

In addition to providing the AEIOU facility, the John James Foundation has committed to a longitudinal granting program that will leverage the partnership for greater impact, supporting the AEIOU Foundation to research, develop and improve autism services in our community.

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