chris varney 

Growing up, I benefited from a network of parents, teachers and friends who embraced my Autistic strengths and anxieties and encouraged me to say ‘I CAN’. Founding an organisation in their name was the best way I could express my gratitude.

“Employing so many Autistic people is truly the most rewarding thing I have ever done professionally.” 

Chris, Founder and Chief Enabler I CAN Network

career highlights

Chris is an Autistic law graduate and a pioneer of Autistic-led service provision in Australia.

Chris has a background in children’s rights and youth programs, having been 2009 Australian Youth Representative to the UN and World Vision Australia’s Manager of Youth.

Chris founded I CAN Network in 2013 and as Chief Enabling Officer has grown it into Australia’s largest Autistic-led organisation with 60 Autistic staff and 1,500+ students in the program nationally.

Chris was a 2018 Victorian Australian of the Year Finalist and recipient of the 2017 Supreme Court of Victoria’s Best Achievement in Human Rights Award. He also serves as National Patron of the Australian Association for Special Education and is on the Advisory Board of Learning Creates Australia. Chris married his wife Karen in 2019 and is a proud father to son, George. 

i can introduction

I built I CAN Network to be a demonstration of what Autistic people can achieve. Fifty per cent of my team are Autistic. We deliver group mentoring programs in schools and in online settings. We also share our insights in professional development workshops and consultancy projects. We are driven by a vision to create a world that benefits from embracing Autism – Together our purpose is to prove what Autistics CAN do.

Thank you to the team I am so lucky to serve.

We are rethinking Autism and look forward to working with you. u. 

Chris Varney

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