Canberra Raiders coach and autism ambassador Ricky Stuart calls on Pauline Hanson to be part of solution
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Canberra Raiders coach and autism ambassador Ricky Stuart calls on Pauline Hanson to be part of solution

Now Pauline Hanson has brought autism and education into the spotlight, Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart wants the One Nation leader to follow through and be part of the solution.

The founder of the Ricky Stuart Foundation is happy to sit down with Senator Hanson to find a way to keep disabled children in mainstream education.

Senator Hanson caused outrage when she called for autistic and disabled children to be removed from mainstream classrooms when she was speaking in Federal Parliament on Wednesday.

She said it was putting strain on teachers and taking resources away from the other children in the class.

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Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart, pictured with his 18-year-old autistic daughter Emma at his respite house, wants Pauline Hanson to give disabled children a "fair go".

Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart, pictured with his 18-year-old autistic daughter Emma at his respite house, wants Pauline Hanson to give disabled children a "fair go".Credit:Graham Tidy

Mr Stuart's used his profile as an NRL coach and past-player to set up his foundation to raise money and awareness for autism, after his daughter Emma was diagnosed with it.

Now Senator Hanson has raised the topic, he wants her to help find the solution.

"If she wants to be an advocate for 'fair go' and 'make Australia better', what better place to start than with our disabled children, our children with autism," Mr Stuart said on Friday.

"Let's fix it ... let's stop using them as a topical issue for debate in parliament and let's start putting some execution or an action around the actual situation and problem itself.

"Now she's raised the subject, she should be responsible for leading a program of finding the solution."

Through his foundation, Mr Stuart has built one respite house, in Chifley, to help families of children with a disability, and he's about to begin building a second in Cook, which will be named Emma Ruby House after his daughter.

The Raiders' major sponsor Huawei donated more than $40,000 to his foundation on Monday, after they auctioned off special jersey's that were worn against the Sydney Roosters last month.

Mr Stuart said it was important children with disabilities were given the opportunity to be part of mainstream classrooms, not only for the sake of those with the disability, but also their classmates.

"I'd be more than happy to sit down and discuss the situation with her and I know there would be a number of people more educated than I that would be only too happy to sit down and try a create a means to helping these children be involved with mainstream education," he said.

"I know it does work, it does help children with disabilities, but I also know it does help the children without disabilities learn and become better people by understanding the situation of these other children. 100 per cent."

David Polkinghorne covers the Canberra Raiders, local rugby league, Canberra Cavalry, racing and cycling, along with every other sport, for The Canberra Times.

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