DNews February 2016
View this email in your browser

This is an essential conference for anyone working with a student with Down syndrome or an intellectual disability and is suitable for educators and therapists from early childhood, primary and secondary settings.
Download the program here
Limited places | Please RSVP by March 1 | Click here
$235 non members | $195 DSV Members

Dreams for a better world awards night

DSV was thrilled to be part of the Sunsuper ‪#DreamsforaBetterWorld Grand Final in Sydney in early February. There were four finalists however we were all winners on the night. There were over 900 applicants for this round and DSV made it to the final four, which is a testament to what a worthy campaign ours was.

A big thank you to Sam, Dan, Cameron, Ed and Tara who starred in the Sunsuper video and inspired so many. It was also fantastic that Tara was able to attend the Sunsuper Grand Final and share in the excitement of the night.

Congratulations to the Pyjama Foundation took out the $25K first prize and were a worthy winner.

Down Syndrome Victoria were honoured to be the recipient of 3rd place and the $15,000 prize money will be used to continue our employment project for adults with Down syndrome.


The 2016 school year begins

Many students have returned to school this month and some young ones have started school for the first time. This is a story from one parent, Jo, who talks about what was needed for a successful transition into Primary School for her son.
"Our son Alex is 6 years old and started prep this year at Oberon Primary School.  We had always wanted him to go to a mainstream school with his siblings and thanks to the welcoming and inclusive nature of the Oberon School Community it is a reality. From the initial phone call to enrol Lily, his older sister, and discuss Alex's attending in the future, (mind you made from far North Queensland!) to the supported and informed approach to his assessment for support and finally his transition days last year; the process has been straight forward and dare I say it a pleasure. I must admit that this was made easier due firstly to the recommendation from a friend, the teaching and support staff at Greenville Kindergarten and the staff at Oberon, specifically Principal Andrew Augerios, Support Co-ordinator Tracey Czarnuch and of course his prep Teacher Natalie Jardine. We were able to attend the school on various occasions last year, to photograph each area where Alex would go; to create his getting ready for school album and  to familiarise him over the holidays. We were able to arrange for his prep teacher to attend kinder and vice versa for his kinder teacher Kim Haintz, to attend school to be meet and be photographed together, to help him transition. We were given a timetable to explain different activities he would do whilst at school and readers to have over the holidays to read to him. The school also distributed a letter on our behalf, to all the prep families to introduce Alex and explain what Down syndrome is. Alex has settled well into his first weeks at school due to the efforts and acceptance of all those involved at Oberon Primary School."


2016 Family Fun Day


Let’s get excited – Family Fun Day for 2016 is coming up
On Sunday 20 March, Ashwood School will again be the venue for a wonderful family-friendly day of entertainment, activities and catching up. 
Pack a picnic and spread a rug on the spacious ground of the school, with fun for all ages
Activities will include workshops with e.motion21 instructors, an engaging animal farm, the always popular Aerobounce, jumping castle, face painting and plenty more. 
On the entertainment stage Dynamite Dave and Blazing Brittany will perform, the Glenn Family Band will play, BAM Allstars will excite and our Club21 members will host a disco to finish the event
Family Fun Day begins at 11am and finishes at 2.30pm. This event is free for DSV members and $15 for non-members.

Market to raise awareness of Down syndrome

Ballarat Down Syndrome Support Group will host its annual Down Syndrome Awareness Day market on Saturday 5 March 2016.

Located on the Anglican Church grounds in Learmonth (cnr High & Church sts), the market kicks off at 10am for four hours of family fun.

Funky Turtles, who are musicians with a disability, and e.motion21, a dance group for people with Down syndrome, will perform during the day. DSV staff will be there too.

There will also be free children’s entertainment such as face painting, pony rides and jumping castle; market stalls featuring local produce, wine, art & craft; BBQ and raffles with great prizes.

Grant received from nib foundation


DSV has recently received a grant from nib foundation to support parents and carers of a child with Down syndrome navigate the education system. The project, proudly supported by nib foundation, will allow DSV to deliver a number of parent workshops focusing on choosing a school, starting school, surviving school, transitioning to Secondary School and leaving school. The workshops will be delivered from our offices in Abbotsford in 2016, as well in 3 regional areas.  A parent resource will also be produced and distributed to workshops participants.

DSV would like to acknowledge this contribution and thank nib foundation for their tremendous support.

Adult Support Team update

The Adult Support Team will be working on the following projects in 2016:
  • Employment capacity building
    Thanks to the Sunsuper Dreams for a Better World initiative:
    • Developing resources for employers to gain a better understanding of how they could include a person who has Down syndrome into their workforce and some tips on providing support.
    • Working with schools to improve work experience options and post school transitions to further education and open employment.
    • Providing information to families and individuals who have Down syndrome about employment possibilities.
    • Maintaining a database of people who would like work – resumes can be sent to Kerry Hands.
    • Resume format
  • Looking ahead, leaving school workshop  - September
  • Accommodation
    • Participation in Eastern Region Housing Network bimonthly meetings
    • Developing resource list of housing options in Victoria
  • Respectful relationships workshops – May to August
    • Developing a workshop series for adults and their parents which will cover:
      • How to form and maintain friendships – sharing interests
      • Different types of relationships
      • How to respect each other
      • How to keep yourself safe.
  • Ageing and Down syndrome Workshop – August or September
If you have any information/feedback or would like to know more about the work of the Adult Support Team please contact Kerry Hands 1300 658 873 or 9486 9600 ext. 202 or Email:

Early Days Support Workshop One

Early Days Support Workshop One 8th Feb was postponed.
Please stay tuned for the rescheduled date.

New Parents: register your interest - Phone 9486 9600 ext: 208 or email
For more information click here.         

MyTime groups continue to grow

Did you know that Down Syndrome Victoria coordinates 17 MyTime peer support groups across Victoria? All groups support families of children with Down syndrome but seven of the groups are facilitated by parents of children with Down syndrome: Altona North, Bendigo, Blackburn South, Bundoora, St Kilda East, Seaford and Wantirna South. To find a group in your area click here.

We are working on a group in Black Rock for next term and also a Dad’s Group which will meet monthly in Abbotsford.

If you would like to know more about MyTime call Kerry Hands on 1300 658 873 Ext. 202.  

Club 21 looking for new members

Both Club21 Melbourne and Club21 Geelong are keen to hear from people over 18 who have Down syndrome and would enjoy social outings. For a registration form please contact Casey Taylor or Kerry Hands.


The NDIS and housing: information session

Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre/CarerLinks North are holding an information session titled "The NDIS: Supported, affordable housing: how might this develop?". The session will be held on Wednesday, 24th February from 10:30am-1:30pm, at the Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre.
For more information and to register, click here.

Upcoming Carers Expo 


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.

Find us on YouTube!

Down Syndrome Victoria is on YouTube!
Our channel is updated regularly and features playlists for specific topics of interest, including education, employment and the NDIS. This adds another dimension to our services and is an easy way to gain insight into any queries you might have.
Check it out and subscribe today!        

Follow us on social media

Copyright © 2016 Down Syndrome Victoria, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list