Address details

Down Syndrome NSW
Level 6/410 Church St, North Parramatta
9am-5pm Monday - Thursday
T: 9841 444

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Two-wheeled adventure

A man, his bike, 40 years of daily motor cycling and a charity ... here's a nice introduction to one of the many 2011 Scrapheap Adventurers, Dr Bruce Campbell, from the Blacktown Sun.

Three little stories ... three big ideas

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that we like Dave Hingsburger's work very much.  Today's post at Rolling Around in my Head is a little beauty - three short vignettes about telling moments from lives lived well.  A mother is described as having "the knowing" - if this is you, it could make your day.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Workshop for Parents/Carers: Parenting Siblings of Children with a Disability

“What is Normal?”

Ann Fletcher – Cerebral Palsy Alliance
Frances Jackson – ADHC
Anastasia Dunstan – Northcott Disability Services
Jackie Currey – Strengthening Families
Kathy Jones – Facilitator - EDuCARE

  • Child Development
  • Sibling Rivalry
  • Copying Behaviours
 Also Enjoy:
  • Mini Expo of Service Providers & Free Carer Resource Material
  • Networking with other Carers
  • Morning Tea
This Workshop is a Collaborative Partnership between EDuCARE Support Service, Northcott Disability Services, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, ADHC and Strengthening Families.

Tuesday 3 May 2011
9.30am – 1.00pm (Registration from 9.10am)

Cardiff RSL 45 Macquarie Road, Cardiff

Cost: Free - Includes Morning Tea

Respite: Respite Care available if required (Contact Commonwealth Respite & Carelink Centre 1800 052 222)

RSVP to: EDuCARE on 4921 4895 or Email:

Disability Rights: know them and how to protect them

The Disability Discrimination Legal Centre and City of Sydney are pleased to announce a series of free information sessions for people with disability. The sessions will be held at community centres throughout the City of Sydney and will focus specifically on disability and employment and Aboriginal disability.

The information sessions are aimed at increasing awareness of disability rights and people will be given the opportunity to arrange follow-up one on one interview to provide legal assistance to protect those rights.

Aboriginal Disability information sessions
Abraham Mott Hall, 17 Argyle Place
Thursday 7 April ,  10.00 am — 12.00 pm

Employment & Disability information sessions
1.00 pm — 3.00 pm

Employment & Disability information sessions
Green Square Community Hall, 3 Joynton Avenue
Tuesday 3 May, 10.00 am — 12.00 pm

Aboriginal Disability information sessions
1.00pm — 3.00 pm

Employment & Disability information session
The Rex Centre, 58A Macleay Street (via Baroda Street)
Wednesday 1 June, 10.00 am — 12.00 pm

Aboriginal Disability information session
Wednesday 15 June, 10.00 am — 12.00 pm

Employment & Disability information session
Erskineville Town Hall, 104 Erskineville Road
Wednesday 6 July, 5.30 pm — 7.30 pm

Employment & Disability information session
Ultimo Community Centre, 40 William Henry Street (Cnr Harris Street)
Friday 29 July, 9.30am — 11.30am

If you have any questions contact Rachel at the DDLC on 8014 7000 or 1800 800 708

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day in Bali

World Down Syndrome Day was celebrated for the first time in Bali this year:

In less than a week, a committee of four mothers of children with Down syndrome (Eveleen, Arie, Pia (formerly from Sydney) and Rinda) pulled together an event for families and professionals in Bali.

Two short films were screened, one about Special Olympics Indonesia (SOIna - Indonesian Special Olympics) and the other about a young girl with Down syndrome in a small village in Kupang.  A 'Q and A' session followed with a Minikino  representative about the films. The screening was courtesy of Minikino and In-Docs Jakarta, who produced and holds rights of the films’ public screening.    

Information sessions followed lunch.A young and resourceful Balinese physiotherapist, Gede Rai provided valuable information for families.    The second session was on the immune system in children with Down syndrome and how it might be improved.

Around 60 adults and children (with or without Down syndrome) attended the event. Children were entertained with activities and educational toys throughout the event. We also had the pleasure of welcoming members (volunteers, educators, parents and students) of Sjakitarius, a Dutch initiative “Yayasan” (non-profit organisation) in Ubud Bali - almost 90% of their students have Down syndrome.

All in all, it was a glorious and happy day for us all in sunny Bali. We look forward to our next gathering!

POTADS (Persatuan Orang Tua Anak dendan Down Syndrome) is a Bali based Down syndrome support organisation.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Key Word Sign Group Workshop: Wauchope NSW

Come along and join teachers, parents, grandparents, teacher’s aide, friends, therapists etc to our FREE key word signing group

5.30pm to 7pm Wednesday 6th April  and 18th May

3 Enterprise Place, Wauchope
off Bago Road industrial area

Everyone is welcome and please feel free to pass on information. We have lots of fun, it is easy to learn – we play games, speak and sign, sign and play -  and it doesn’t matter if you know 1 sign or 30 or 100 you will learn about 20 – 30 new words every meeting or get to practise some forgotten signs.

Please email/ phone/ Text Julie Langeveld if you are interested in coming along to our meetings and RSVP for numbers. All materials supplied.

Contact: or 0402 729 319

Joining the Dots: Inner West

Discover the range of disability services available in Sydney’s Inner West
The Inner West Disability Network is pleased to invite people with a disability,families, carers, and community members to attend a FREE exhibition of disability service providers.

1pm - 4pm, Wednesday April 6, 2011
Where: Burwood RSL, 96 Shaftsbury Rd, Burwood

[A shuttle bus will run between Burwood Station and Burwood RSLthroughout the afternoon].

Disability service organisations will be available to discuss their service options with you and your family member/s.

Exhibitors will include:
Community services, government departments, education and training providers, open and supported employment service providers, accommodation and respite services, post-school and day programs providers, and equipment suppliers.

Translating services will be available for a selection of community languages thanks to the support of Anglicare. Please contact Debi Toman with any questions or special requirements: tel: 02 9685 9315, email:

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Older Parent Carer project: a Sydney example

An Older Parent Carer Project operating in Sydney's north was highlighted in this month's Working Carers' Gateway Newsletter.

... The project offers holistic case management for carers over the age of 60, or 45 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers who are caring for their adult son or daughter with a disability. The OPC assists and supports these carers to maintain their caring role for as long as possible and where needed, can refer and link to relevant community support services to help achieve this.

One of the major aims of the project is developing a futures plan for the family. Families do NOT have to be in current crisis in order to be referred! Anyone can refer, including carers themselves.

The OPC can provide older parent carers with information about supported accommodation services (both traditional options as well as possible alternative housing arrangements), health care information, and information on legal issues such as wills, trusts, powers of attorney and guardianship to enable them to make decisions regarding future care for their son or daughter with a disability ...  read on for more about this Older Parent Carer Project

The project's own website is here:  Community Care Northern Beaches Older parent Carer Project

Further information about help for Older Parent Carers across NSW is available from Carers NSW - type 'older parent carers' into the search box under the menus at the left of the screen.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Megan's World Down Syndrome Day

Megan Nay (9) was a busy woman on World Down Syndrome Day (21st March) - she represented her school at an inter-schools swimming carnival at Homebush, and won a swag of medals.  She will now be back to do it all again at the State PSSA Carnival. 

Congratulations Megan, and good luck for the States!

Sydney Half Marathon - Michelle is running for Down Syndrome NSW and ACT DSA

Michelle Stuckey-Paini is running the Sydney Half Marathon on 15th May 2011, and raising funds for Down Syndrome NSW and ACT DSA, in honour of her daughter Chloe who

 “... has taught us life is for living and loving, and that a person’s real ‘value’ is in the love in their heart, the joy in their soul, and their true self.”

You can support her via her Everyday Hero page:

Soccer for 5 - 12 yr olds: eastern suburbs

Friday, 25 March 2011

The BIG EVENT 2011

The NSW Chapter of In Control Australia proudly presents:

Self-directed Support: Making it Happen

10th and 11th May 2011, West Ryde

This two-day event will bring together Steve Dowson (UK), speakers from across Australia, people with disability, families, carers, advocates, policy makers, support services, government & administrators to
explore self-directed support in NSW.

Please register your interest by emailing Michael Bleasdale: 
Information about In Control Australia is available from the website:

Family Advocacy event for parents of students transitioning to secondary school

Why stop now: Inclusive education at High School

4th May 2011, West Ryde

• Would you like to learn about how inclusion can work for students with disability in a mainstream High School setting?
• Are you interested in curriculum adjustments that work?
• Would you like information about the transition to High School for students with disability?

Contact Family Advocacy to register your interest or for more information:
Telephone (02) 9869 0866 or free call 1800 620 588 (NSW only)

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Kayte Brimacombe photography exhibition One in Ten

From the

As many as one in ten people with Down's syndrome have the additional diagnosis of autism. Here we present Kayte Brimacombe's photographs of ten children and adults with the dual diagnosis, while their carers discuss daily life. Brimacombe's exhibition, One in Ten, is at the Oxo Gallery, London, until 27 March as part of a group exhibition, Shifting Perspectives, to coincide with Down's syndrome awareness week (in the UK)

Family Advocacy extracts 'a final word from NSW politicians'

In the run-up to Saturday's NSW election, responses from NSW politicians of three persuasions have been posted on its website by Family Advocacy.  Each party was asked to state its position on Family Advocacy's campaign priorities in the light of Stronger Together 2 document released by the NSW Government late in 2010.

From Family Advocacy's home page, the links are on the right of the screen, under the 'Hot issues' tab.

Aiming High Futsal (5 a-side-soccer) - eastern suburbs

A new opportunity - for men and women aged 16 years and over, with a disability

Randwick City Football Club

Competition to run for 8 weeks during winter. Season starts April.

Games played Saturday mornings 11.30am-12:30pm

Free coaching and instruction

Maroubra Memorial Bowling Club
Corner of Malabar Rd and Mons Ave

Cost - $20 – $30 depending on age

Email Ben Folino to register: or  0419 973 631

Invitations to participate in research studies

From time to time, Down Syndrome NSW is able to put researchers in touch with people with Down syndrome and their families to help with recruitment of participants for their studies. Two Sydney studies are currently recruiting:

Expression of emotions study - Macquarie University (March 2011)
Participants with Down syndrome over 6 years of age are being sought by a psychology honours student.  Further information about the project is available here.
This research project has been approved by the Macquarie University Human Ethics Committee.

Memory development in preschoolers and adults with Down syndrome - University of NSW (throughout 2011)
We are currently looking for participants aged 3-5 years old with Down syndrome for a study at the University of New South Wales.
The study would involve your child playing a series of memory games with pictures and toys. Your child will also participate in a standardized task to measure cognitive and communication skills.
The study is on-campus and $20 petrol costs and paid-parking will be reimbursed. Your child will also get to choose a small toy to take home at the end of the session.

From March 2011, a second stage of this project will be implemented, with adult subjects:

We are currently looking for participants aged 20-50 years old with Down Syndrome for a study at the University of New South Wales.
The study will involve participating in a series of memory tasks with pictures and objects and a standardized task to measure cognitive and communication skills.

If you’re interested in further information about either part of the study, or would like to participate, please contact Lynette Roberts on  0405 721 076 or at

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Wordless Wednesday

T4321 Bourke, NSW 2011

Cruz Ryan is well known and loved in his home town of Bourke,
in far north western NSW. 

His mum, Lynette Gooch organised a T4321 event with her colleagues at
Bourke Shire Council ...

... with a little help from Cruz ...

 ..... and the wonderful support of local businesses.....

... who helped to raise close to $600 towards the work of Down Syndrome NSW,
while they celebrated World Down Syndrome Day 2011

Business participating included:

Willoughby’s Butchery 
Essential Energy
Darling River Medical Centre
Bourke Shire Council
Indigo hair
Culhanes Clothing Store

Our thanks to Lynette, Cruz, donors and the generous community of Bourke.

Monday, 21 March 2011

World Down Syndrome Day Statement from Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers

21 March 2011
World Down Syndrome Day

Today marks the sixth anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day, an opportunity to learn more about Down syndrome and to recognise the important role that people with this condition play in our society.

Parliamentary Secretary for Disability and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, said that today was a great opportunity for people across Australia and beyond to take the time to become more aware about Down syndrome.

“It is important that we work to create a more inclusive community that more fully embraces people with Down syndrome and welcomes their participation in society,” Senator McLucas said.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the rate of Down syndrome among infants in Australia is 11 per 10,000 births.

Senator McLucas said the Australian Government has committed $122 million to providing better services to children with disability, including those with Down syndrome, through the Better Start for Children with Disability initiative.

“Under this program, from 1 July this year, eligible children aged under six diagnosed with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Fragile X syndrome, and sight and hearing impairments, will have access to up to $12,000 in funding to pay for early intervention services,” Senator McLucas said.

“The funding will provide more affordable access for families and carers to early intervention services such as speech pathology, occupational therapy, orthoptics, physiotherapy, audiology and psychology.

New Medicare items will also be available for children up to 15 years, including up to 20 treatment items for each eligible child.

Executive Officer of Down Syndrome Victoria, and mother of a child with Down syndrome, Catherine McAlpine, said the Better Start program is a much welcome investment that would help children with disabilities and their families.

“The importance of early intervention in the development of children with Down syndrome s paramount.”

“I look forward to the commencement of the Better Start program and the benefits it will bring many children with not just Down syndrome, but a range of other disabilities, and their families.”

Senator McLucas said the Australian Government’s Better Start program would help address the need for greater support for children with disability.

“Our initiative will help to relieve some of the financial pressure faced by families by making early intervention services much more affordable and accessible. “

“Evidence shows that young children diagnosed with disabilities that affect their evelopment benefit from early intervention to give them the best possible start in life.”

“Access to high quality services early in childhood is critical for helping these children to better participate in everyday life and attend school.

“This package is just one part of our Government’s commitment to providing better support for people with disability.”

2011 World Down Syndrome Day Awards: Down Syndrome International

On Monday 21 March 2011, World Down Syndrome Day, Down Syndrome International (DSi) is delighted to announce the recipients of the 2011 World Down Syndrome Day Awards.

2011 is the second year of the World Down Syndrome Day Awards, presented to individuals or organisations whose voluntary, professional or scientific activities have strengthened and enriched the lives of people with Down syndrome, or contributed to scientific advancement related to Down syndrome.

This year’s recipients are as follows:

Voluntary and Professional Awards
4 individuals with Down syndrome receive awards for outstanding self-advocacy:

Ty Belnap (Australia) – Record breaking swimmer, surf lifeguard and stage and movie actor.

Mia Farah (Lebanon) – Self-advocate and international disability rights campaigner.

Malgorzata Jablonska (Poland) – Stage and movie actress, performing in many European countries.

Sujeet Desai (USA) – Accomplished musician and self-advocate with worldwide reputation.

3 individuals receive awards for outstanding professional activities:

Dr Branka Butorac (Croatia) – Headmaster of Down Syndrom Centar Pula, Croatia.

Driton Bajraktari (Kosovo) – Co-Founder and Executive Director of Down Syndrome Kosova, Kosovo.

Pauline L`vovna Zhiyanova (Russia) – Special Education Teacher, Downside Up, Russia.

4 organisations receive awards for outstanding professional activities:

Ikatan Sindroma Down Indonesia (ISDI) (Indonesia) – Down syndrome support and advocacy group.

Yaldei Tismonet Down (YATED) (Israel) – Down syndrome parent support organisation.

Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria (Nigeria) – Centre for children and adults with Down syndrome.

Robert Owen Communities (UK) – Charity supporting over 350 adults with learning disabilities.

2 individuals receive awards for outstanding volunteer activities:

Agnieszka Tucholska and Zofia Aleksandra Tucholska (Poland) – Young sisters with volunteering experience assisting people with Down syndrome and other learning disabilities.

1 individual receives an award for an outstanding contribution to raising awareness of Down syndrome:

Casper Lja (Canada) – 23 year old man who cycled 7,444 kilometres across Canada to raise awareness and money for Down syndrome advocacy.

Scientific Awards

1 individual receives an award for outstanding contribution as a medical professional in the field of Down syndrome:

Dr S Suresh (India) – Co-Founder and Chief Medical Director, MediScan Systems, Chennai, India.

President’s Special Recognition Award

2 individuals receive special awards for lifetime achievement in Down syndrome advocacy:

Penny Robertson OAM (Australia) – Pioneer of Down syndrome advocacy in Australia, Founder of Australian International School, Indonesia and Co-Founder of Down Syndrome International.

Dr Balbir Singh PBM (Singapore) – Founding Chairman of Down Syndrome Association Singapore, pioneer of World Down Syndrome Day programme and Social Service and Disability sector advocate.

All recipients are invited to a formal presentation of World Down Syndrome Day Awards for the years 2010-2012 taking place at the 11th World Down Syndrome Congress (WDSC) in Cape Town, South Africa from 15-17 August 2012.

A selection of World Down Syndrome Day media

Channel 10's The Circle featured an interview with Dr Jan Gothard and Justin Marshall, about Greater expectations, published today, to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day here in Australia.

A new photo montage from the UK to mark World Down Syndrome Day 2011, was compiled by Penny Green, Director of the Down's Heart Group

Julia Hassell and Keira Maher's love of dance is highlighted in this report from the Hills News

Not really about World Down Syndrome Day, but nice timing in the publication of this story and photo of Prince William meeting a young woman with Down syndrome in Grantham, Qld, from today's Courier Mail

So little and so huge - a blog post for World Down Syndrome Day, giving one grandmother's perspective on what a grandchild with Down syndrome has brought to her life.

And in case you haven't seen it, here is the link again to the Down Syndrome International video, Let Us In

‘T4321’ World Down Syndrome Day events today

Down Syndrome NSW would like to thank all the schools, childcare centres and workplaces holding ‘T4321’ World Down Syndrome Day events today including  ....

Tweed Heads Centrelink Call Centre
Commonwealth Bank Cessnock Branch
St Joseph the Worker School (Auburn)
St Benedicts Catholic Primary School (Yeppoon, QLD) 
Garfield Street Children’s Centre (Five Dock)
Life, Marriage and Family Centre (Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney) 
Shore Prep
Burraneer Public School
Teddy Bears Educational Child Care Centre
Wellington Public School
Bourke Shire Council

... and everyone who is celebrating today  ... in whatever way.

We wish you all a wonderful World Down Syndrome Day.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

New Prenatal Testing: Are You Ready?

We at challenge you to make a personal action plan so that the day the new test will launch expectant parents across the nation will have the support and information they need to truly understand Down syndrome.

Learn more about this well developed and practical action plan here.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Gluten sensitivity? Adult Down Syndrome Clinic post

Some thought provoking ideas on gluten sensitivity from the Adult Down Syndrome Clinic's Facebook page today.  It is well established that coeliac disease is more common in people with Down syndrome, but we do hear about people with Down syndrome who test negative for coeliac disease, but who respond well to a gluten free diet.

The Adult Down Syndrome Clinic is in Chicago, and is known world-wide.  Drs Brian Chicoine and Dennis McGuire are the authors of the highly regarded Mental Wellness in Adults with Down Syndrome and The Guide to Good Health (for Teens and Adults with Down Syndrome) - both books can be borrowed by Down Syndrome NSW members from our library.

People with Down syndrome in the news

Man with Down syndrome uses CPR skills to save friend
A man with Down’s Syndrome saved the life of his best friend – after learning resuscitation techniques by watching TV’s Casualty.

Gerard McKenna was walking with Stephen Chard to their favourite takeaway when Stephen suffered chest pains and collapsed. Gerard, who is only 5’, caught 6’1” Stephen and lowered him to the ground, before putting him into the recovery position and giving him chest compressionsRead the whole story from the Manchester Evening News here.

First person with Down syndrome in Ireland to pass driving test
One very happy young man is in the BBC news for being the first person with Down syndrome to have a full driving licence in Ireland.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Let us in!

Down Syndrome International presents the global video event Let us in! in partnership with 45 countries for World Down Syndrome Day 2011.

You will catch a glimpse of our contribution very early in the video.

Please watch this video and help us create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down syndrome on Monday 21 March.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Diana and Alice in Uzbekistan

If you have enjoyed the film Body and Soul, you might like to catch up with Diana on her adventures in Uzbekistan with Alice, bringing it to a whole new audience:

Alice and Diana's Awesome Adventure in Uzbekistan (blog) or follow them on Facebook

Down Syndrome NSW members can borrow Body and Soul on DVD from our library.

World Down Syndrome Day dinner at Warners on the Bay ...

The Down Syndrome Hunter group kicked off celebrations of World Down Syndrome Day 2011 with a dinner for families, carers and friends and friends at Warners on the Bay on Satuyrday 12th ......

"We laughed, we ate, we drank (soft drink of course!), we talked ourselves silly, and we met new friends and enjoyed catching up with old.

We celebrated being proud parents of our beautiful children with Down syndrome and their incredible siblings. We especially loved welcoming baby Christian who brought his mum and dad along to meet us all and join the fun. It was a special night to share with wonderful people and to welcome a brand new family to DS NSW and our own Hunter group - thank you baby Christian for keeping us focused on why we were celebrating as your beautiful smiles melted our hearts all over again.

Meg did a great job bringing us all together from five different local government areas in the Hunter."
And so much fun was being had, that everyone forgot to take pictures!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

T4321... BLAST OFF!!

Put on Your Kettle for World Down Syndrome Day, 21st March 2011!

Meet Gerard: Tropfest winning actor. Recent winner of Newtown’s Short and Sweet Festival. Soon to study at NIDA. Happens to have Down syndrome.*

People with Down syndrome (also known as Trisomy 21), like Gerard, are now living more confident, happy independent lives than ever dreamed possible.

To celebrate that fact and to foster greater community acceptance and understanding, the first World Down Syndrome Day was declared on March 21st, 2006.

Now in its 6th year, hundreds of organisations around the world have joined in the celebrations with a variety of events. In NSW alone, Tea for 321 (T4321) was launched with over 60 events and over 1000 people taking part across NSW!

We are encouraging one and all to join in on the festivities on March 21st, 2011 by holding a morning or afternoon tea at your home, school, workplace, club, church, Local Park, Cafe or wherever you please! Grab your family, friends, colleagues, fellow club members, or even your local MP and tell them you’re putting on the kettle for a great cause. All you need to do after that is crack open the Tim Tams, bake some scones, order some lammies - and enjoy yourself!

To get your hands on the essential fundraising kit, please contact  or call 02 9841 4404.

All donations raised from the T4321 morning tea will go to Down Syndrome NSW, an independent charity supporting people with Down syndrome and their families.

Donations over $2 are tax deductible and can also be made at

*Gerard O’Dwyer pictured with Genevieve Kelly, Tropfest winner for “Be My Brother”, starring Gerard, in 2009

JESS CHALKER on 0434 840 212 / e:

Interviews with Jan Gothard and Justin Marshall: ABC Radio National and Channel 10

Jan Gothard, author of Greater expectations: living with Down syndrome in the 21st century, and Justin Marshall who wrote the "welcome" to the book, was interviewed by Richard Aedy, on Life Matters (ABC Radio National) this morning.  You can hear and/or download this excellent interview here. 

Comments on the interview will be posted here on the Life Matters web page.

There are just three days remaining to order a copy at a special World Down Syndrome Day discount - click here for details of the discount and an order form.

Reminder: ENT health for people with Down syndrome - Saturday 26th March

Please register as soon as possible if you wish to attend the talk by Df Phillip Chang and Dr harry Koumoukelis about Ear, nose and throat health  for people with Down syndrome at St Vincents Hospital on Saturday 26th March.  Register online here, or phone 9841 4411 or email A detailed flyer  is available here.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Down Syndrome NSW Calendar 2012

2012 Calendar

It's time to select your photos for next year's calendar and send them in.

All members are invited to submit photos for inclusion in the 2012 Down Syndrome NSW calendar.

Digital photos are preferred - please send your photos as attachments, in .jpg format at the highest resolution you have available (file size up to a total of 2 Mb per email message). Email your photos and details to Angela, at  with '2010 DS NSW calendar photos + your family name' in the subject line.

Prints may be submitted if you do not have access to digital photos - please include a return address if you need your prints returned. Please do not send in your only print copy of a precious photo!

We would like to have images of people of all ages with Down syndrome, babies to elders - doing whatever interests them, in family groups, with siblings, friends, at work, play, serious or smiling. You can submit more than one photo, but we cannot guarantee to have space for multiple photos from each family! Please tell us who everyone is in each photo. We need to receive permission from each person appearing in a photo, for it to be used by Down Syndrome NSW. Please acknowledge that photos submitted for the calendar may be used for other promotional purposes.

Photo submission will close on 31st May 2011.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Growing older with Down syndrome: Ballina, 6th and 7th April 2011

Two regional NSW events for families and carers of older people with Down syndrome

1. Growing older with Down syndrome
 - information and discussion for parents and family carers of people with Down syndrome aged in their 30s and older ~ adult siblings are welcome

  How might growing older impact on our son or daughter?

  What do we need to know?
  What supports might we need, and where will we find them?
  Just how common is dementia?
  What should we look for?

9.45 am - 2.00 pm

Wednesday 6th April 2011

Ballina RSL Club
240 River Street Ballina, NSW

There is no charge for this event, but booking is essential for catering.
Morning tea and a buffet lunch will be provided.

Contact Down Syndrome NSW on 9841 4411 or 9841 4407, or email
to reserve a place.
Click here for a flyer

2. Caring for older people with Down syndrome
- information and resources for people working to support people with Down syndrome aged in their 30s and over, and their families

  How might growing older impact on men and women with Down syndrome
  What do we need to know?
  What supports might they need, and where will we find them?
  Just how common is dementia?
  What should we look for?
  How should we care for people with dementia and Down syndrome?

9.30 am - 2.30 pm
Thursday 7th April 2011

Ballina RSL Club
240 River Street Ballina, NSW

Cost: $55 per head; $110 for three participants from one organisation (inc. GST)
Booking is essential
Morning tea and a buffet lunch will be provided

Click here to download a registration form to book your place.
Enquiries for both events: phone Miriam at Down Syndrome NSW on 9841 4407, or email

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Wishing Gerard well in the Short+Sweet Awards finals this weekend!

The 10th anniversary Short+Sweet Gala Awards Final on Friday 11 and Sat 12 March at the Parade Theatre, Kensington.

Gerard O'Dwyer will be there after recent success in the heats:

Beautiful is directed by Lisa Eismen and stars Gerard O'Dwyer and Kate Hardy. Gerard has Down syndrome and won best actor at Tropfest for the the film “Be My Brother”.

Writer of Beautiful, David Bulmer, has a  daughter who has Down syndrome. The play won its heat at Crash Test Drama.

Beautiful also took out the People’s Choice vote for the week at Newtown with an astonishing 29.03% (adj) of the audience vote, which means playwright David Bulmer has notched up the extraordinary achievement of writing the two most popular plays in the festival – Doing it for the Penguins (Top 110 Week 3 at Newtown Theatre) with 30.12% (adj) and Beautiful. Well done David !

We wish you well, Gerard and the Beautiful team.

Short+Sweet Gala Final Fri 11 and Sat 12 March 7.30pm Parade Playhouse (NIDA)
215 Anzac Parade, Kensington

Tickets $42/36 Bookings 1300 795 012 or

Full finalists details visit:  

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Tea 4321 in the park, at Queanbeyan!

Sunday 20th March is shaping up to be a big day for T 4321 events celebrating World Down Syndrome Day.  Here is news of another regional NSW event .... keep news of your events coming, and we'll keep posting them.

Tea for 3x21 chromosome
Fundraiser for World Down Syndrome Day raising awareness and funds to support children with Down syndrome around the world.

Afternoon Tea
Sunday 20th March
2:30 - 5pm

Tea, coffee, and yummy food provided

Queanbeyan Park Playground
(playground is enclosed within a childproof fence)
Beside tennis courts on Campbell St Queanbeyan

All welcome. Please join us to celebrate beautiful children with a unique genetic make-up

A small donation would be appreciated

Monday, 7 March 2011

World Down Syndrome Day in beautiful Narrabri, NSW

Narrabri will again celebrate World Down Syndrome Day

Join us at Narrabri Lake at the BBQ's closest to The Wilga.
If it rains we can lunch at the Wilga instead.

Sunday March 20th
at 12 midday

Once again BYO lunch and drinks and favourite games.
Cricket gear, boules and bocce will be there (maybe croquet) ......

Tips for Healthy Living for People with Down Syndrome: webinar

Joan Medlen and Phronesis Publishing are celebrating World Down Syndrome Day with a webinar (seminar on the Web)

Tips for Healthy Living for People with Down Syndrome
 Saturday, March 19, 10 - 11 am Pacific Time (US)
(for early risers on the east coast of Australia that will be 4.00 - 5.00 am Sunday 20th)

Where: Log in information sent after registration

Cost: $15.00 (US)

International participants welcome with USB Microphone/headset (no telephone access)

Details and registration links:

T4321 Dinner: DS NSW (Hunter), Saturday 12th March

Celebrate World Down Syndrome Day in the Hunter region, by joining us for T4321 DINNER for parents, carers, family, friends - anyone you would care to invite ....

Warners at the Bay
Warners Bay
Hillsborough Rd., Warners Bay

Saturday, 12th March from 6.30pm

A relaxed, easy night at the pub!

Meals are from the Bistro & ordered whenever you want (or not!)
Come for as little or as long as you like
We love to meet new people and catch up with old friends at this great night

  • Ring or text Meg on 0413 515 274 for bookings and more information

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Getting children with Down syndrome to answer questions

Jennifer Bekins blog Communication Skills for Life is always worth reading.  recently she has posted the first two parts of a series on supporting children with Down syndrome to learn the skill of asking  questions.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

5 Words Make Such a Difference

'Nan P' began writing her blog, Journey into Grand-Motherhood with the birth of her first grandchild,Cathal, born with Down syndrome and a significant heart problem.   This week she writes on the birth of Cathal's little brother, Oisin, how cathal has taken to being the older sibling, and what she has learned as a grandmother.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Inclusive Research Seminar - Centre for Disability Studies

Thursday 31 March 2011 9am – 4pm

You are invited to attend a one day seminar to learn more about Inclusive Research - where people with disabilities and their allies have control over the research process and outcomes.

Income earners: $44 (includes GST)
Non income earners: $15 (includes GST)
(Registration includes morning tea and lunch)

Charles Blunt Conference Room, Royal Rehabilitation Centre Sydney
227 Morrison Road, Ryde

Venue wheelchair accessible.

Phone:  Centre for Disability Studies, 8878 0500 Email:  Fax: 9807 7053

iVOTE: new online voting option

iVote is a new option for casting your vote online. It has been set up by the NSW Electoral Commission in time for use in the NSW Election scheduled for 26th March 2011.

People with Down syndrome might qualify to use the iVote option:

"you are unable to vote without assistance or have difficulty voting at a polling place because you have a disability"

Details and instructions are available from the iVote website:

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Key Word Sign Group Monthly Workshop (Hastings district - Wauchope)

Come along and join teachers, parents, grandparents, teacher’s aide, friends, therapists etc to our FREE key word signing group.

5.30pm to 7pm Wednesday 23rd March
(because there are 5 Wednesdays in March)

3 Enterprise Place, Wauchope
(off Bago Road industrial area)

Everyone is welcome and please feel free to pass on this information. We have lots of fun, it is easy to learn – we play games, speak and sign, sign and play and it doesn’t matter if you know 1 sign or 30 or 100 you will learn about 20 – 30 new words every meeting or get to practice some forgotten signs.

Please email/ phone/ text Julie Langeveld if you are interested in coming along to our meetings and RSVP for numbers - all materials supplied.

• Contact details:  or 0402 729 319

Free event - Puberty Sexuality and Relationships: Family Planning NSW

Following the success of the first Family Planning NSW (FPNSW) parent forum, Puberty Sexuality and Relationships, a further three forums will be held in 2011.

Dubbo: 2nd April
Newcastle: 14th May
Ashfield: 22nd October

The forums are free for parents / unpaid carers / foster parents / relatives of children and young people with intellectual disability.

Registrations are now open for the Dubbo forum. For more information and online registration please visit:

Please note the forum is not intended for service providers. A separate 1 day training session for service providers, Introduction to Sexuality and Disability, will be conducted in Dubbo on 1st April (the day before the parent forum). More information is included on the back of the parent forum flyer.

For more information about other service provider training please contact the FPNSW Professional Education Unit: ph (02) 8752 4349 or email


Rob Hardy:  or (02) 8752 4306

Nicola Pilkinton: or (02) 4016 1808

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Calling all aspriring comedians, writers and performers ...

Riverside Theatres and the British Council are offering emerging performers, writers and comedians the opportunity to participate in a workshop with UK comedian Francesca Martinez.

Francesca will work with participants on the process of harnessing creative courage, transforming life experiences, pushing the boundaries of performance and connecting with audiences.

Participants will have the opportunity to purchase a discounted ticket to Francesca’s performance at Riverside Theatres on Saturday 26 March, 2011.

This workshop is suitable for people with mild to moderate intellectual and physical disabilities and those without a disability.

Thursday 24 March, 2011

1 – 4pm

Lennox Theatre
Riverside Theatres
cnr Church and Market Streets, Parramatta

Places are limited.  The workshop is free.

To register, please contact Alison Richardson on 8839 3359 or email

For information about Francesca Martinez:

What's on in March?

Here we are in March already, with several events in our calendar - here's a recap on what's on this month:

Healthier Lives Forum: 9th March, Newcastle

Playing to their Strengths - at school: 17th March, Rosehill, and 31st March, Canberra

Playing to their Strengths - at home: Saturday 19th March, Rosehill

ENT health in children and adults with Down syndrome: Saturday 26th March, St Vincents Hospital, Darlinghurst

21st March, 2011

T4321 - click here for information on running a Tea for 3-21 event, on or around World Down Syndrome Day, like this now famous annual gathering:

Morning Tea (T4321) 
All Hallows Catholic Church, Halley Street, Five Dock
Sunday 27th March, at 11:00 am-midday.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Playing to their strengths - at school: Canberra, 31 March

A workshop for teachers and school personnel
Identifying the learning and communication strengths of people with Down syndrome, to provide appropriate support in school environments: classrooms, playground and activities

Thursday 31st March 2011, 9.30 am - 3.00 pm

West Belconnen Leagues Club
Hardwick Cres, Holt ACT

Speaker:   Judy Davidson, Parent Support Manager, Down Syndrome NSW

For a detailed flyer and to register for this workshop please download and complete the registration form at this link and return by mail or fax to:

PO Box 717, Mawson, ACT, 2607

Fax to 02 6290 0656, marked ‘Att: Karen Garrity’

Registrations close: Thursday 24th March 2011

Scrapheap wonder: wolf in sheep's clothing

Here's one for the Scrapheap Adventurers, spectators and supporters, from Trailbike Adventure Magazine:

The Scrapheap Adventure Ride raised big bucks last year, and entries for the 2011 ride are going like an English bowler through an Australian Test batting line up. Numbers are well up on 2010 and it looks as though a bunch of riders are in for a great ride again, this time heading for Cameron Corner, and the Down Syndrome Association of NSW is in for some more help.

So that’s all good.

But Perry’s determined to get this inflammable CB400/XR (or, as Perry calls it, the XR460 Four) out there. We met up with him for a good look at what older riders would call a “rat” bike.
.... read on here for more od the story and pictures.

Register for, or support the Scrapheap Adventure Ride 2011 here.