DNews December 2016
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  DNews December 2016 

DSV President and Board

Dear Members & Friends of DSV,
Welcome to our final edition of DSV news for 2016, and what a wonderful year it has been!
We have had a number of significant achievements this year including:
  • The NDIS & Me information sessions held across Victoria, giving families information and the tools to navigate the NDIS
  • The release of our new Educational Resources and videos that will assist parents and schools to support students with Down syndrome
  • Attendance at the Down Syndrome Australia AGM in Darwin that was hosted by Down Syndrome Northern Territory - The AGM officially welcomed Ellen Skladzien in her role as CEO of Down Syndrome Australia
  • The opportunity for the EO’s and board members of the DS associations across Australia to meet at the two day AGM and to work together to strengthen the partnership through DSA as collectively we have a stronger voice
With major changes occurring as the roll-out of the NDIS takes place, DSV remains as vital today as it was in its original inception.  In addition to offering our existing support and educational services, 2017 promises to be a transformative and challenging year as we ensure NDIS readiness for both our members and DSV.
The DSV AGM was held in October and we would like to acknowledge and thank our outgoing president Natalie Graham and board member Michelle Wakeford for their many years of tremendous service to DSV.  The DSV board, staff and members are grateful for their tireless commitment to achieving a better and more inclusive community for people with Down syndrome.
Katrina Enos is the newly appointed DSV President.  Katrina joined the DSV Board in 2014 and has a strong interest in representing the needs of older people with Down syndrome and their families.  Her uncle had Down syndrome and she grew up with a strong sense of advocacy for people living with disability and an understanding of some of the challenges which families of people living with disability can face.
At DSV we are always looking for passionate people to help strengthen our board and are particularly interested in hearing from those from culturally diverse and regional backgrounds.  At the moment we are also looking for people with legal and disability/NDIS experience.  The board is seeking expressions of interest and encourage you to email:
From the staff and board at Down Syndrome Victoria, we wish all of our members, supporters and friends a wonderful and safe festive season and we look forward to a prosperous and exciting 2017.

Membership renewal - December    

December Membership renewals are due by 31st December 2016.
Yearly membership is priced at $60 per family and includes 3 copies of VOICE delivered as well as membership rates on workshops.
Existing members can log in here and renew their membership online.  If you're unsure if you're an existing member or cannot remember your log in details, please contact our office on 1300 658 873.  Please note our office closing dates for Christmas and New Year at the bottom of this email.
You can also fill in this editable PDF and email it to us to process your payment.  

If you wish to pay by cheque you can post it to:
18/71 Victoria Crescent, Abbotsford, 3067
We look forward to another year of your continued support. 

A team approach to REAL inclusive education    

DSV's Talking Education workshop will be held on:

Wednesday 8th March 2017

 Key note speaker: Anthony Semann from Semann & Slattery

Principals, school leaders, teachers and assistants are invited to attend.
4 experts will cover different aspects of education and inclusion:
  • How to ensure your school is inclusive in its practice and all students are welcome and valued
  • Key initiatives of the Victorian Special Needs Plan
  • How to maintain a positive learning environment and respond to individual aspirations and personalised learning and support needs.
  • Building teacher capacity for inclusive education.
Conference attendance is accredited VIT Professional development

Registrations are now open | Places are limited | Register before 22nd February
Click here to register


Fantastic fundraisers and supporters of DSV

We are always grateful to our supporters who do amazing things to raise money for us here at DSV.  This month we have two fantastic fundraisers to feature; Perri Bastian and Harrison White.

Perri Bastian competed in her school triathlon and has currently raised $1,004 for Down Syndrome Victoria.

She says "It was a great day for all the kids at Ashwood School who finished the race with me.  Thanks for all your support everyone.  We had to wake up early to get to Mordialloc in time for the start.  The water was very cold to start with, and then the flies annoyed me on the bike ride.  I ran really fast but got so hot that I had to have another swim at the end to cool down.  I'm hoping someone took some photos of me in action because dad had too much trouble keeping up with my speed to take any pictures."

Thank you Perri - we are very grateful for your fundraising efforts and what a fantastic achievement to complete the triathlon.

Perri getting her bike ready for the big day.
Harrison White took part in the City to Sea for the second year in a row.  He ran 86th overall (out of 5500 runners) and was  3rd in his age group, recording a time of 59:25 beating last year's result and his personal best.  Harrison is a Year 12 student who has a younger sister Caitlin with Down syndrome and he raised $1,050 to support DSV which is a great effort and we are very appreciative.

Harrison running a PB in the City2Sea
Well done Perri and Harrison!
Your efforts are wonderful and we thank you for your support!

Hamilton Marino Builders

DSV would also like to thank Hamilton Marino Builders for their generous support during 2016 from sales made on vending machines at their 13 building sites.  This year Hamilton Marino has raised $13,085 which is used to assist DSV in delivering our services.  The support from Hamilton Marino is greatly appreciated.

Raising money with vending machines

New parent update - December

This year the DSV Family Support Team has supported the families of 42 newborn babies, supported 16 expectant families, distributed new parent packs, visited families at home and in hospitals, and delivered 9 new parent sessions.

Peer support is an extremely important factor in the early days and we appreciate all of the families that have put their hand up to offer their support and lived experience with new families. Thank you to the MyTime and Family Network facilitators for their work this year.

On a personal note, it has been a real pleasure for me to get to know more of the families in our dynamic and supportive Victorian DS community over the last three months.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Dani - Family Support Worker

Sarah with Charlie and Linda with Cody at the New Parent Morning Tea

Down Syndrome Associations meet in Darwin

DSV were represented at the DSA Board meeting and AGM in Darwin with EO Sue O’Riley and Board Member Monica Kelly attending.  It was a great opportunity for the EO’s and board members of the DS associations from all states and territories across Australia to meet and discuss how we can strengthen the partnership to ensure that we have a strong national voice in the NDIS transition and on advocacy issues. 

Down Syndrome Northern Territory hosted the event and the EO meeting was held at the DSNT office of Project 21, which provides an educational pathway for young adults with Down syndrome on leaving Year 12.  The DSA Board meeting was held at Darwin’s Parliament House with guest speakers Michael Sullivan – an advocate for Down syndrome, and Suresh Rajan - President National Ethnic Disability Alliance.  Thank you to DSNT for your hospitality, it was a very worthwhile and productive trip for all involved.

Julian Hill MP

Thank you Julian Hill MP for highlighting to the Department of Human Services 
that Down syndrome isn't curable!

It is NOT ok that people with Down syndrome are being subjected to regular reviews of their eligibility for the Disability Support Pension, including the requirement to show medical evidence that they still have Down syndrome; this is not only an unnecessary burden on people with Down syndrome and their families, but is also an uninformed and unjustifiable waste of government resources.

Down Syndrome Australia has strongly and successfully advocated in the past that Down syndrome be considered a manifest condition for Carer Allowance, yet we now face the same battle for the DSP.  Down Syndrome Australia made a submission to the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit, regarding providing input to the inquiry on the Auditors General's Report 18 Qualifying for the Disability Support Pension (DSP) on 4 November.

For the whole story click here.

World Down Syndrome Day - Tuesday 21st March

As part of a strong national united voice we are going to have a 21 day countdown to World Down Syndrome Day.  We will have a social media campaign which will include stories of people with Down syndrome and families participating in their communities.  The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness about Down Syndrome as well as to highlight some of the great work of the DS Organisations.

Do you want to take part in this fun World Down Syndrome Day campaign? You can tell your story, share your photos and get the message out about Down syndrome at the same time!  Please email as soon as you can!  #MyVoiceMyCommunity.

Club 21 update

At the beginning of November, Club 21 ventured up to Batman Markets in Coburg. There were several food trucks with tasty treats from Spain, Vietnam, Canada and India to name but a few.  We had a great night catching up with friends and all left with very full bellies.

The last weekend in November, fifty Club 21 members, volunteers, carers and staff enjoyed a cruise down the Yarra for our end of year Christmas party.  As soon as the DJ played that first tune we were up on the dance floor and the dancing didn’t stop for three hours of the cruise.  We had a beautiful, calm night with a great rooftop terrace to enjoy the view of our beautiful city when we were in need of some fresh air or to rest our weary feet for a couple of songs.  A big shout out to Jess, a volunteer on the Club 21 program, who applied for a NAB employee grant which enabled this awesome end of year celebration – this wouldn’t have been possible without you!

Our final activity for the year was meant to be Carols by Candlelight but unfortunately due to a thunderstorm there was a last minute change to Karaoke.  This wasn’t all bad, we still sang a few Christmas carols and of course a few of the classics – we all had a great night and kept well out of way of the nasty storm.
Thank you everyone who has been apart of Club 21 in 2016 for such a fun year.
Club 21 will start up again in mid-February 2017.
If you are an adult with Down syndrome, over the age of 18 and would like to join Club 21 please email Casey, Club 21 Coordinator or Kerry, Adult Support Manager

Matt, Mark, Michelle and Marina having a great time on the cruise.

Grace dances up a storm at Emmanuel College

To perform a self-choreographed Hip-Hop routine in front of all your year 7 – 12 secondary peers takes some courage, but that is what Grace did for over 5 minutes, dancing to 'Uptown Funk' as part of her school’s annual student centred ‘Emmanuel's Got Talent'...and the entire college loved it as attested to by the rapturous vocalisations and applause.

Grace has just transitioned to year 7 at Emmanuel College Warrnambool this year from a small feeder primary school just outside Warrnambool and the move has been an overwhelming success.  Grace is known by all her co-ed setting peers and she participates fully in the school’s curriculum.  Grace is ‘overboard’ where sport is concerned and to her delight has two P.E. electives plus the usual year 8 P.E. sessions for 2017 – “I got every thing I wanted”.

The support from her teachers and the learning support team is exceptional and after a screening of her Hip-Hop video as an introduction at our most recent SSG, at which Grace was present and contributing, the following remarks were amongst those made by staff:

“Grace has been a positive contributing factor in the dynamics of a sometimes demanding class”
“She has taken things to another level within the class”
“She has made my classroom a richer place”

As well as the above, year 7 held a ‘walkathon’ around Lady Bay raising $3,300 for DSV.
Grace has added so much to Emmanuel College which is a truly inclusive school.  Having previously had other students with Down syndrome the staff have empowered themselves to the extent that support from our ESS is no longer required.

Grace will successfully continue through to year 12 and transition to the next stage.
Go Grace!

Grace with her teacher

Brad Doolan's Story

In the middle of 2015, Down Syndrome Victoria was approached by Racing Victoria about the possibility of employing a young adult with Down syndrome to work in a variety of roles in their Flemington facilities. We identified 4 young people who were subsequently interviewed.  All 4 presented really well, but Brad Doolan seemed to be the right fit for the roles they had in mind.  Brad has been working with the Executive Assistant to the CEO for most of 2016 (apart from a trip to Florence Italy for the Trisome Games, as part of the Australian Down Syndrome Swimming team).

Brad was interviewed for a Channel 9 news story on employment for people who have disabilities.  This coincided with the launch of an ANZ Bank initiative #AccessAllAreas on International Day of People with Disability.
Well done to Brad and to Racing Victoria for their collaboration and showing that employment is possible for people with Down syndrome.

Looking Ahead Leaving School - 9th February 2017

Looking Ahead Leaving School workshop

Planning for the future workshop for parents of teens
and adults who have Down syndrome.

Thursday 9th February, 2017 6:00pm - 9:30pm
Down Syndrome Victoria offices
18/71 Victoria Crescent, Abbotsford

(Parking is available and we are accessible by public transport)

Click here more info and to download the registration form


'Tis the season for giving

'Tis the season to be generous so...
Why not leave us a gift under our tree?

Donate to Down Syndrome Victoria and you will help us to continue our work in 2017 by building genuine societal change for individuals with Down Syndrome, empowering them to reach their goals, and by creating opportunities for inclusion.  Your gift will also help us to provide valuable education and training for these individuals and their families. 
Click here to donate.                

Call out for My Voice submissions

Would you like to share your achievements with our national Down Syndrome community? Here’s your chance!

We are looking for submissions to the ‘My Voice’ section of Voice, our members’ journal which is published three times a year. My Voice is a section devoted to letting you tell your story – perhaps you’ve just started a new job, or have attended an awesome DSV event, or have a special occasion or triumph that you’d like to share. We’d love to hear it!

Simply send a short paragraph about your news and a high resolution photo to accompany it to, and we’ll see if we can include it in the next edition of My Voice.

For further information, please contact Stephanie Papaleo.

Chirstmas and New Year closing dates

The Down Syndrome Victoria offices will be closed for the Christmas and New Year period from:
Friday 23rd December to Monday 16th January.

DSV staff Christmas message

From all of us here at the DSV office we wish you all a wonderful festive season.  Throughout this year you've shared with us in coming to support groups, trainings, Family Fun Day, Club 21 and by being part of our major fundraising event Step UP! for Down Syndrome.  We thank you for being part of Down Syndrome Victoria throughout 2016 and look forward to continuing to support you in 2017.  

 Merry Chirstmas and Happy New Year

Copyright © 2016 Down Syndrome Victoria, All rights reserved.

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