DNews November 2016
View this email in your browser
DNews November 2016

Thank You from Step UP!              

Here are the ways in which YOU supported Step UP! in 2016:
Setting up a team page to fundraise
Supporting one of the Step UP! events
Donating to support Step UP!
Taking part in the walk to raise awareness
Sharing Step UP! with family and friends and spreading the message

With your help Down Syndrome Victoria will be able to continue to offer our services to ensure that people with Down syndrome will be able to continue to live a meaningful and productive life like everyone else.

Preschool to Primary School transition

Down Syndrome Victoria has received an allocation of funding from the DET and Training to support the work of the Education Support Service. Through the Preschool to Primary School Transition Program Education consultants from DSV have provided specialised support and advice to 14 families and schools for students with Down syndrome who will be starting Prep in a mainstream government school in 2017.

This has included advice about the transition process, assessments and funding and meeting with families and schools. Our consultants have also visited the preschools and school Foundation transition sessions which has been a fabulous opportunity to get to know the student, family and school staff.

Bodhi on his way to school


George Youssef runs for 150th game

George Youssef and his family have been long time members of DSV. George and his mother attend almost all Family Fun Days in March and StepUp! for Down syndrome in October. During the winter George is a dedicated player with the Mazenod Panthers Football team. This year George ran out for his 150th game. His family are very proud.

Well done George!

New Parent Morning Teas


Our new Family Support worker - Dani Kohn

We welcome Dani Kohn our new Family Support Worker.  Dani got off to a flying start last week when she ran her first Early Days Support Workshop.  It was a great success and we're very glad to have her as part of our team.


Dani says, "It was lovely meeting the new and expectant parents, their gorgeous babies and bumps at our recent “new parent night”.  Did I mention the babies are gorgeous?!
I was reminded of the night I attended 6 years ago, when our son was a baby.  It was very powerful being in a room with people who ‘just know’ and it can be really reassuring to hear that others are experiencing the roller-coaster of emotions, too.
The group was a mixture of first-time parents and parents with other children.  First-time parents (and expectant parents) shared thoughtful insights about the difficulty of knowing which of their feelings were about having a child with Down Syndrome, and which were emotions that any first-time parents might be feeling.  We spoke briefly about how and when to talk about DS with siblings.  Everyone had stories to share about uninvited and unwanted comments - moments when we have tried to stay calm and chosen to gently educate, or walk away. We spoke about high expectations and the positive futures that can be expected for children born with DS in 2016.
I look forward to supporting these lovely new families and seeing them at the morning tea on the 2nd December." 

Ladies Race Day at Ballarat

The Ladies Luncheon held at the Ballarat Turf Club on Tuesday the 18th October raised funds for Down Syndrome Victoria through a raffle on the day.

Sue O’Riley along with Ellie Flutey attended the lunch together with those from the Ballarat Down Syndrome Support Group and Sue was able to thank the Ballarat Turf Club and talk about the work that Down Syndrome Victoria does.


Sophie West and Tianna White who were at the lunch.

DSV new resources available

New resources are now available on our website.  They contain information covering school transition periods and you can access them here.

Transition to Primary School
Transition to Secondary School
Planning for Life Beyond School

Thanks to our financial supporters


New online training course

Supporting early development for children with Down syndrome from birth to 5 years.

Down Syndrome Education (DSE) has launched a second online course, focused on development from birth and early intervention through the preschool years. The course looks at many aspects of early development, including play, cognition, speech, language, number and motor skills.

The course offers convenient and cost-effective access to up-to-date information and practical guidance for early years professionals supporting children with Down syndrome aged from birth to 5 years, including health visitors, early years teachers and assistants, speech and language therapists, advisory teachers, educational psychologists and outreach/advice staff and volunteers at organizations supporting young people with Down syndrome. The course will also be valuable for the parents of children with Down syndrome seeking detailed advice, based on the latest research.

All the details are on the DSE website


MyTime Dad's Group (Abbotsford)

On Monday 7th November 5 dads met up at the Down Syndrome Victoria office and shared some pizza and chat. The group of guys have decided to get together once a month on the 1st Monday approx 6:30pm, usually involving an activity – bowling, the footy, basketball or a BBQ.

If you would like to be involved please contact Murray Turner 0425 774 084 or Kerry Hands, MyTime Coordinator 9486 9600 ext. 202

World Down Syndrome Day - Tuesday 21st March, 2017

The theme for World Down Syndrome Day 2017 has been announced: Enabling people with Down syndrome to speak up, be heard and influence government policy and action, to be fully included in the community.

This will be the 12th Anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day

2017 will focus on enabling people with Down syndrome (and those who advocate for them) to speak up, be heard and influence government policy and action, to ensure that they can be included, on a full and equal basis with others, in all aspects of society. 

People with Down syndrome are encouraged to say MyVoiceMyCommunity and everyone is asked to respond to the call by sharing and showing the world how people with Down syndrome participate in the community alongside everyone else.

You can participate by sharing the details of WDSD activities, such as photos, messages, quotes, any other ways by using the hash tag #MyVoiceMyCommunity as well as #WDSD17

For more info see the World Down Syndrome Day website


International Day of People with a Disability

International Day of People With a Disability (IDPWD) is December 3rd. This year’s theme is Achieving 17 goals for the future we want with the focus on a more inclusive and equitable world. Click here for more information.

On Friday 2nd December DSV will attend an event organised by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), the aim being to promote diversity and inclusion in the work place. We look forward to sharing the work that DSV is doing to promote more opportunities for people who have Down syndrome, to be included in the workforce, making valued contributions to the community.

Club 21 November update

At the beginning of October, Club 21 joined hundreds of others at Princes Park for Step Up Melbourne. This year, Club 21 had a fundraising page which raised over $1,000!  A huge effort for our first year – thanks to all our amazing supporters.  Unfortunately with the wind we didn’t stay long but we still enjoyed a catch up with friends.

In mid-October Club 21 danced their socks off at an 80’s dance class.  We warmed up to some great hits by Prince & Rick Astley and then learnt a dance routine to Footloose, it was an absolute blast.  You can check out our dance routine on the Club 21 Facebook page

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

Club 21 at Step UP! Melbourne

Early Days Support Workshop 2

For parents of pre-school aged children
This workshop is designed for families who have attended Workshop One and whose children are now aged one to five years. Topics covered include: self care, planning and goal setting, early intervention, using funding supports and creating a vision for your child’s future.

Monday 21st November, 6.15pm to 9.15pm
DSV offices, 18/71 Victoria Crescent
Abbotsford, 3067

RSVP's essential: please RSVP by Wednesday 16th November by phoning
9486 9600 or emailing

Parent Catch-up Warragul

Let's catch up and talk about a new Parent Network group for families in our area!

The kids can play in the play-room while we have a cuppa and chat.

Family network groups provide families in the area, with a child who has Down syndrome, a regular chance to get together.  Family Network groups are supported by Down Syndrome Victoria and provide a great opportunity to get together informally with other families, share ideas and experiences, meet new friends, and give children time to play together.


Looking Ahead Leaving School - new date

Looking ahead leaving school November workshop has been rescheduled to 9th February 2017

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 to download the registration form

Share your thoughts

Share your thoughts on a draft model for a future carer support service system

Parents (Carers) - the Department of Social Services needs your feedback! This is an opportunity to share your thoughts on a draft model for a future carer support service system. Feedback can be provided between 6th November and 16th Dec 2016.

Follow the link here

Diary dates for 2017

2017 is just around the corner, so here are some dates for your diary.

Dates for schools and children
  • 9th Feb – Looking Ahead Leaving School Workshop
  • 20th Feb – Early Days Support Workshop One (New Parent Evening)
  • 8th March – Education Professional Day
Dates for everyone
  • 19th March – Family Fun Day
For more information about events visit the events page or email us here at

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.
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