Down Syndrome Victoria
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  DNews April 2017 

World Down Syndrome Day 2017 (WDSD) 

Down Syndrome Victoria were thrilled to attend the Down Syndrome Australia & Parliamentary Friends of Disability World Down Syndrome Day Morning Tea held at Parliament House in Canberra on the 22nd March.  James White the Ambassador from Down Syndrome South Australia delivered the welcome speech and the Hon Jane Prentice MP was in attendance dressed in the theme of lots of sox.  There were many politicians present along with representation from the Down Syndrome Associations of young adults with Down syndrome and it was a great opportunity to showcase World Down Syndrome Day in the capital city.

The 2017 WDSD video Not Special Needs was played. If you have not seen it visit the campaign website at
Thank you to everyone that helped support DSV during World Down Syndrome Day 2017.
Funds collected will go directly towards supporting people with Down syndrome and their families.
Thanks to our fundraisers:
Maddy Hoops who raised $2,280 – through an inventive raffle draw with a range of amazing prizes. Maddy has a 30 year old brother Ben who has Down syndrome and she has been a great supporter of DSV.
           Ben meeting his hero Arnie          Ben meeting Angus Graham at Parliament House      
Also Henni Graham who raised $905 – through holding a morning tea to celebrate people with Down syndrome. Henni’s WDSD morning tea has become an annual event and DSV are thankful for the support. 
We would also like to acknowledge and thank Paul Quinane who organised a regional bike team 321 Ride for DS to take part in a two day ride covering of 321kms to fit in with WDSD being the 3rd month & 21st Day through regional Victoria a fantastic way to raise awareness of Down syndrome through the community. Paul has an 8 year old son, Ned who has Down syndrome and this is the 2nd  321 Ride for DS that Paul has led.

Upcoming events

April 21       New Parent Morning Tea 
April 27/28  DSV Comes to Ballarat
May 1         Early Days Support Workshop 1 (EDSW1)
May 18       Talking Education Barwon
June 16
      EDSW2 and Setting Goals & Drafting an NDIS plan (0-17 years)

For more information contact Sue Blandford

April 21  New Parent Morning Tea 

RSVP: or 9486 9600 ext. 208


April 27/28  DSV Comes to Ballarat

Each year Down Syndrome Victoria brings it's expertise
and knowledge to families living in regional Victoria.

For more info download the flyer here

Last chance to register - Ph: 9486 9600 ext 206 or E:

DSV will also be coming to YOU
Mornington Peninsula in July and Shepparton in August

May 1  Early Days Support Workshop 1 (EDSW1)


Monday 1st May  - 6.15pm to  9:30pm
Down Syndrome Victoria’s Office
18/71 Victoria Crescent
Abbotsford, 3067

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
  • 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 this session is to bring parents of babies with Down syndrome into one space in which you can not only access information, but can meet up with and share with others in a similar situation.

To avoid disappointment, call early as numbers are limited.
Phone us at the office on  9486 9600 ext: 208 or email
(It is important to book so we know who to expect for catering
or if there are any last minute changes etc.)
Babies are, of course, welcome but the evening
is not suitable for young children.

May 18  Talking Education in Barwon

Our education team have been really busy over the last few months.  Talking Education - A team approach to REAL Inclusive Education has had 2 presentations already and the third presentation in Barwon is happening on 18th May.  After a successful events in Melbourne and Tasmania (Hobart, Launceston and Devonport), Talking Education will also be presented by our knowledgeable and experienced education team in the Barwon area. 

June 16  EDSW2 and Setting Goals & Drafting an NDIS plan (0-17 years)

Keep the date of Friday 16th June free.  This is an opportunity to meet other parents and gather useful information from our knowledgable staff.  The follwoing workshops will be offered:

  • Early Days Support Workshop 2 (children aged 1-6 years)
  • Setting goals - drafting and NDIS plan for all age ranges (7-17 years)
The day will include a group lunch.  Register your interest early as places are limited, email

For more upcoming events see our events page here

Reflections on Family Fun Day  

This year's Family Fun Day sure was hot, but members, family and friends turned out regardless, ready for a good time.  As usual, parents got the chance to network and gather more information about the Down Syndrome Victoria and our services in a relaxed environment, AND there was plenty of entertainment for everyone including performances by the Glenn Family Band and BAM Allstars dancers.

Huge thanks to all our volunteers who helped out on the day, our performers and entertainers and to Ashwood School for so generously providing us with the space to hold the event. Down Syndrome Victoria is very appreciative of all that our members and friends do for us.

From the sausage sizzle, face-painting and bungee jumping to live music and special dance performances, there was so much to see and do.

Adult Support change of staff

Farewell to Kerry Hands
Kerry has been at DSV for 6 years in the role of Adult Support and MyTime Coordinator.  During this time Kerry has assisted countless families with information, support and has been an integral part of the DSV team.  DSV would like to thank Kerry for her commitment to improving the life for those with Down syndrome and wish her all the best for the future.
From Kerry
It is with some sadness that I will be saying farewell to DSV next week. Over the past 6 years I’ve seen many changes, with comings and goings of staff to a position now where there is a really great cohesive team of dedicated people, working hard to support families. Particularly at this time of great change to the NDIS. I’ve met fantastic families and young people and learnt so much from everyone. I will miss the staff and families but I’m sure there will be times when we can catch up again. I wish you all well and hope for a bright future for people with Down syndrome, particularly when they have such great families advocating for them.

Welcome to Yvonne Harrison
Yvonne joined DSV this month and is undergoing a handover of the Adult Support role from Kerry.  Yvonne is passionate about helping people with a disability to enjoy full and inclusive lifestyles. Yvonne has personal, family experience of physical and intellectual disability. With a background in Disability Employment workplace support and a wealth of training experience she will be a great asset to the DSV Support Team and the organisation as a whole.


Kids at school - What's your opinion?


Family Support Update

Hello families

It’s the school holidays! Wishing you all a fabulous break if you’re having one.
Term one has been busy for families and staff in the DSV office. We’ve had families starting and returning to school, our Talking Education conference, and World Down Syndrome Day events: including the Learmonth WDSD event, Step Up Geelong, and Family Fun Day.  Having attended a few Family Fun Days as a parent, it was lovely attending my first as the Family Support Worker.

I would love to hear your feedback on Family Fun Day. You may even have some ideas for next year….

It has been wonderful to see families engaging with the various parenting development courses offered in March. The Triple P parenting online behaviour course had some good strategies for identifying and changing behaviours for children with Down syndrome. Monash University’s Resilience and Stress seminar presented some interesting findings on parental stress and mental health with some recommendations for supports and strategies for parents.

In addition to Family Support, I am in the process of taking over the MyTime co-ordination role as Kerry Hands is leaving us in mid-April. If you have any questions or feedback on MyTime please do not hesitate to contact me. I would love to hear from you.

Our closed facebook page is another form of peer support that families are engaging with.  If you are a parent and you are not on our closed facebook page please do not hesitate to contact me so I can add you to the group.

Dani Kohn | Family Support

NDIS phasing schedules  

Phasing schedules for Central Highlands and Loddon areas have been released.  
To see the schedules and for more information on the NDIS please see the NDIS page our website
Or contact our NDIS and Me coordinator Elizabeth McGarry.


Club 21 update

Club 21 enjoyed another year at Family Fun Day. We had a super relaxing day...enjoying a picnic lunch and some of the many activities on the day, especially the activities run by the Special Olympics. We also assisted in raffle sales on the day. If you bought tickets from us on the day – thank you :)

Our second activity for March was a trip to St Kilda Markets. It was a glorious sunny day which meant we were able to enjoy a great picnic lunch before taking a stroll down the esplanade and making a few purchases from some of the stalls.

As of 2017, we will be closing the public Club 21 facebook page and creating a closed group for families, members and volunteers. Information regarding Club 21 activities, photos from activities, information on external events and other relevant information will be posted in this group. Please search and add yourselves to Club 21 Members, Families & Volunteers. Once you have sent your request, a DSV staff member will add you to the group. Please note this is only for Club 21 members, their families/ support workers and Club 21 volunteers.

If you would like to join in the fun at Club 21 Melbourne
please contact Casey,

Club 21 relaxing in St. Kilda

The Princess and the Pea

Big thanks to Arts Centre Melbourne and Victorian Opera for arranging free tickets to our families to see a special sensory friendly production of The Princess and the Pea opera.  Six families attended the performance and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to share an afternoon at the opera together.

Claudia and Henni at the show

Victorian Disability Awards

The Victorian Disability Awards recognise people and organisations who make an outstanding contribution to empower and include the lives of people with disabilities living in Victoria.  They are Victoria’s premier disability awards which promote and support people with a disability from diverse backgrounds and identities.

The awards are a joint initiative between National Disability Services and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Nominations are encouraged from:

  • the Victorian community
  • people with a disability, their families and carers
  • community service organisations and volunteer groups
  • disability service providers
  • disability peak bodies and committees
  • businesses

Nominees selected as finalists by the judging panel will be invited to the 2017 Victorian Disability Awards ceremony on Wednesday 16 August where the winners will be announced.

Make your nominations here by Thursday 27th April          

All Abilities Dance Group

Do you like to dance? Do you like to meet new people?
Do you like to have fun?

Beginning at 9:30am on Saturday, April 22nd, 2017, at the Wonthaggi Scout Hall, Parkes Street, North Wonthaggi.  This is our 1st class and will be offered FREE.  All interested participants, parents & carers are welcome. Come and join in our NEW all ages and all abilities dance group for Bass Coast/South Gippsland area.

We are a subsidiary group of the BAM Allstars dance crew, which currently runs dance groups and performs throughout Melbourne and surrounding areas. You can find more info at, check them out on Facebook BAM Allstars or YouTube – BAM Allstars. Classes for ages 2 &1/2 – 65 years+ will be held on Saturday mornings during School terms only. Different class times for different ages.

To register your interest or for more info please email
Or contact Emma Draper on mobile: 0466114222

DSA Newsletter and job opportunity

DSA Newsletter
Did you know that Down Syndrome Australia have a new, quarterly newsletter? Keep up with all of the latest national news by signing up here.
Job Opportunity
Down Syndrome Australia is seeking an experienced, highly organised professional to take on the role of Managing Editor of Voice Magazine. Please visit the DSA website for further information. Enquiries can be sent to


Dulcie Stone Writer's Competition

The inaugural Dulcie Stone Writers Competition will be an annual writing prize open to people with intellectual disability.  The competition is designed to showcase the voices of people with intellectual disability and recognises the lifetime contribution of Dulcie Stone to services for people with intellectual disability and writing.

Submissions need to be sent to the VALID office by 5pm on Thursday 27th April, 2017.

More information and entry form can be found here.



Children with Down syndrome represented in advertising

It's been great to see children with Down syndrome represented in advertising recently.  See some pics below of Kmart and Target catalogues and television ads.  Well done to these companies for supporting and representing people with Down syndrome.


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.
Thanks for reading - Happy Easter!


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