DNews September 2016
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StepUP! for Down Syndrome Registration

Registration for StepUP! for Down Syndrome 2016 is now here to register your team and to attend the event. Those who have registered their team by 25th September will go in the draw to win an amazing prize courtesy of Crown Casino.

If you need more information about StepUP please call the office on 9486 9600 or email
Down Syndrome Victoria Comes to You (DSVC2U) Warrnambool  
After numerous requests from families from the Warrnambool region, we organised a DSVC2U in the area. We met with families at a local pub and ran 3 information workshops on the Friday 26th focusing on transition stages:
  • Moving to Teens by Sue Blandford
  • Living life to the full – life beyond school by Kerry Hands
  • Pre and Primary School years by Ian Cook.
The latter attracting 11 parents in the afternoon. All attendees were enthusiastic and the feedback on the day was very favourable. Parents found the information stimulating and thought provoking and they were able to share local knowledge and information. Some families had travelled for over an hour to be there and greatly appreciated the time to connect with others and to have the contact and information from DSV.
By far the highlight of the trip was the family dinner at Rafferty’s Tavern on the Thursday night. Sixteen families (54 people) joined us for a meal. Some families reconnected and others met for the first time. Some had had prior contact through social media but not yet met in person. We had families of toddlers, teens and in between, and all the way up to 45 years.
Two of the local members have their driver’s licence and travel quite some distance in the area. One young man (24 year old) lives in Camperdown and drives about an hour to work at Tasty Plate Catering Company in Warrnambool. And in fact, Tasty Plate provided an excellent catering service for our workshops on the Friday.
While we were at dinner one parent received a message to say that a Melbourne couple they had been supporting online and who were expecting their baby with Down syndrome, had actually given birth that morning. There was lots of celebrating and jubilation. This couple actually live in Melbourne and had attended a recent DSV morning tea for new and expectant parents, so we were thrilled to hear this news too. Again this shows the connection between members of the Down syndrome community and the joys that people share, despite the distance.
It would be great to build on events such as these and develop a great network of connectedness between families in our state.

Special thanks to Sandy Joyce and Mpower for all their assistance for the events and a big shout out also to the Dwyer family for their help.

Thanks to the NIB foundation for the grant that made this visit possible. 


Save the date – Dsv comes 2U Warragul
Monday 17th October - 6pm onwards catch up with families at Mercure’s Newmason Restaurant for dinner
Tuesday 18th October – 9:30am to 2:30pm at Mercure Warragul. Information workshops for families including a school session from one of our Education Consultants and an NDIS update 
More information here
Expressions of interest to attend –
Down Syndrome Victoria Comes to You Echuca
Monday 12th September 
Dinner with DSV staff
The Shamrock Hotel, 579 High Street
5.30pm onwards

Tuesday 13th September
 Living Life to the Full Workshop (see details below)
Quest Apartments, 25-29 Heygarth Street


Please RSVP to 
Family Support News
Babies update….
So far this year we have heard from 28 new families… welcome to the world little ones!

Attention new parents!!!!
"Early Days Support Workshop - One"

Down Syndrome Victoria will be hosting an evening gathering of parents with a young baby with Down syndrome on:
Monday 24th October - 6.15pm to  9:15pm
Down Syndrome Victoria’s Office in Abbotsford
RSVP’s essential – by 19th October

 The evening will include:
  • an introduction to Down Syndrome Victoria  and our services
  • exploring  the potential of people with Down syndrome
  • practical things to consider in the early days including information on services & supports
  • a chance to browse our library of resources
  • supper will be provided (please advise any specific dietary requirements)
  • the opportunity to meet and get to know some other families, and
  • time to reflect on the journey so far and share ideas and experiences.
This session is part of a suite of workshops that are designed to support parents and the family unit. The intent of Workshop One is to bring parents of babies with Down syndrome into one space in which you can not only access information, but can meet, share and unite with others in a similar situation. The sessions are relaxed and quite informal to allow for the sharing of experiences and learning from others.
Introducing our newest support team member Danica Kohn
Dani’s first contact with DSV was as an expectant parent. Dani and husband Chris attended their first Family Fun Day before son Bodhi (now 6) was even born and since that day, her family has drawn on DSV to help develop and foster a community of friends and support network.
Dani is excited about the opportunity of joining the team as our new Family Support Worker to help contribute to the community that has given so much to her family over the years and believes that the Family Support Worker role is a key position that is so vital for supporting people at vulnerable, transitional points in their lives.

Dani is a qualified Primary and Secondary and Dance teacher with a passion for Yoga.
We welcome Dani and I am personally looking forward to sharing the support role with the aim of passing the baton onto her in the next few months so that I can focus on Training, Projects and Community Development.

Sue Blandford
Family Support Manager
In August, Club 21 enjoyed an all time favourite activity – pub night. Although it was a rainy night we were able to sit in the Union’s lovely beer garden and enjoy a hearty pub meal. The Union also generously shouted us ice cream – the way to all of our hearts. With a gap in the rain, we wrapped up the evening by checking out a light projection show at the local park.

Our last activity for August was a trip to Melbourne Museum to check out the Jurassic World exhibit, and it was awesome! It was just as the movie depicted and we were all blown away by the T-Rex in particular.

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
Looking ahead, leaving school – planning for the transition from school to adult life
Calling all parents of year 9, 10 and 11 students. Down Syndrome Victoria will be holding a workshop to assist you to navigate this next phase in your young person’s life: what are the options, what can you do now, what support is available. The workshop will be at our Abbotsford office  (Parking available at these times and light meal included).
Please send expressions of interest to for one of the following  times:
Thursday 3rd November 6.00pm to 9.30pm or Friday 4th November 10.00am to 1.30pm
e.motion21 presents...
Sunday 18 September, 2016
 Camberwell Grammar School, 55 Mont Albert Road, Canterbury (enter gate 5 for parking)
1:00pm & 5:30pm

The 7th annual 'Motion Picture Awards', a Dance Spectacular like no other, full of captivating and moving performances that will have you on the edge of your seats!

Join host Tim Campbell, star of the stage and screen and celebrities straight off the red carpet to watch performances from your favourite award winning movies! Grab your pop corn and choc-top as the 'Motion Picture Awards' are not to be missed!

Get your tickets you can sit close to the stars!! 

Click here to book!
Volunteer Induction Night
We had a very successful evening for new volunteers on Wednesday 17th August. There was lots of enthusiasm in the room, and we will have plenty of new faces for StepUP! this year! Thanks to all who came,  we're looking forward to working with you!
Seeking personal stories
Are you an adult who has Down syndrome and a great story to tell about your life? What are your dreams for the future? Down Syndrome Victoria is creating a booklet called Dream Big, where we will share your stories. You don’t have to be the best at everything, even having just one thing you are passionate about in your life, will let other people know what is possible for a person to achieve and enjoy.

If you would like to submit a story with some high resolution good quality photos of you doing  things I your life, please send them to

Here is one example from Matthew who lives in WA:

Mathew was just 21 when he decided he wanted to move out of the family home and have his own place. Since then, he has shared his home with a few people, but is now living by himself. He has some support from family and support workers to help him with budgeting, shopping and cooking. He has a budgeting system that
helps him manage his weekly money, and his freezer is stocked with meals that Mathew has cooked with his support people, though he enjoys going to his Mum’s house for dinner once a week. Mathew travels by public transport to his parttime job at Coffee Club, and into the Perth CBD to see his personal trainer three times a week. He is dedicated to keeping fit and developing his physique. Mathew also plays basketball with the Special Olympics and is proud of the photos and medals on display in his house. Mathew says “I’m good at having my own home and being independent. I’m very proud of my house, my job working in a coffee shop, and
keeping fit at the gym. People who helped me are Mum, Hannah, Dorey, Pania and Noni and my family. They are my team. I would like to increase my working hours, but my biggest dreams are to be in the NBL draft and to be an actor”.

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 contacStephanie Papaleo.
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