Address details

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

Friday, 29 April 2011

A great ride, for a great cause, with a great result!

The 2011 Scrapheap Adventurers made it to Cameron Corner on 23rd April, and are on the way home - congratulations and thank you to Perry Gilsenan and all involved.

Many more stories and pictures to come ...

We do not have final fundraising figures yet, but the R Kelly Gang have reached $8,645, exceeding their target of $8000. The total is approaching $50,000 !

Official Scrapheap Adventure website will be updated as the Adventurers return and recover. 

Thank you to everyone who donated and encouraged the riders along the long, long way!

The Thompson’s raise over $4000 for Down Syndrome through the Tuff Truck Challenge!

We catch up with Bronwyn Thompson to chat about her family’s experience in this year’s Tuff Truck Challenge, and discover why they decided to raise money for Down Syndrome NSW....

So Bronwyn, tell us a bit about the Tuff Truck Challenge!
Well, once again, our family competed in the Tuff Truck Challenge, an event held the weekend of Friday 8th - Sunday 10th April at Milbrodale in the Singleton area. Around 10,000 people came along to watch 50 or so trucks compete in driving over obstacles: If you can imagine boulders the size of your house, that’s the sort of terrain the trucks try to drive over!! The event is like a big carnival, and it’s become very family oriented in recent years. There’s face painting for the kids, you can get a good coffee, and it’s a lot of fun for everyone! Most people camp in motor homes and tents all over the site, although it can be quite noisy through the night as you tend to hear every hammer and tong of people working on their trucks! So this year we also rented a cottage nearby for some relief!

Describe your team’s truck!
It’s an old Mercedes Benz Uni MOG we found rusting in a paddock one summer’s day. We thought it would be fantastic to do it up and make some use out of it for a worthy cause – so we transformed it from the rustic relic it was into the red and black monster that it now is!! Unfortunately we didn’t win the Tuff Truck challenge this year, but we very nearly won the first stage of the event which was very exciting! Flynn, my 4 year old grandson who has Down syndrome, calls our truck “Yay” because that’s what everyone yells when they see it! He was our Tuff Truck team manager and kept us all in line, don’t you worry!

What was your best memory of the day?
Seeing the excitement on Flynn’s face when the crowd cheered for “Yay” – he knew they were cheering for Poppa, who was driving the truck!

I think it was pretty awe inspiring for him!

What do you wish more people would know about children like Flynn, who have Down syndrome?
That they are the same as other children – just a bit different. It’s important to learn what is best for every child - whether they have Down syndrome or not. Having a child with Down syndrome is a great journey, but it isn’t always easy. Hannah and Bradley, Flynn’s parents, have been inspirational. When Flynn had to have open heart surgery at 9 months, it was the hardest thing we’d all ever had to go through in our lives, but we have a very caring, inclusive family and got through it together. And because there’s real community in our family, we always try to make Flynn feel accepted. We have something called “Sign Sundays” where we all have to speak in sign language every Sunday! At first we were worried that Flynn wouldn’t be able to keep up with our speech, but now I think he worries we won’t be able to keep up with him!

And finally, why did you decide to raise money for Down Syndrome NSW?
Because we want the organisation to continue the great work they’re doing: they’re giving hope and courage to so many families. There were so many people who supported us in raising funds for the Tuff truck challenge - I think they could see the value of what Down Syndrome NSW does, and also our sincerity in the cause. If we can raise any money that will make a difference in Flynn or any other child’s or family’s life, then all the sleepless nights and hard work we put in is worth it!

Jess Chalker interviewed Bronwyn Thompson.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

New fact sheet on alcohol and other drugs and people with intellectual disability

NSW Council for Intellectual Disability has released the 29th of our Healthier Lives fact sheets for families, advocates, disability workers and other professionals. This one is titled Alcohol and other drugs.

All the other fact sheets in this series, written for people with intellectual disability are available here

What's on in May?

Now that the very long weekend is over, let's recap what's on in May:

Parenting siblings workshop - 3rd May, Cardiff

Why stop now?  Inclusive education in high school - West Ryde, 4th May

Managing challenging behaviours collaboratively course - starting 5th May, Wollondilly

Join the Dots, Illawarra - 5th May

The BIG Event: self-directed support - making it happen - 10th & 11th May, West Ryde

Puberty, sexuality and relationships workshop (for parents) - 14th May, Newcastle

Key sign workshop - 18th May, Wauchope

Macarthur District Disability Services workshop on intellectual disability and dementia - 24th May
CHW-School Link conference on mental health and intellectual disability - 27th May, Liverpool

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Hannah’s Hum Drum on internet radio

Hannah Bradsworth is a young woman with Down syndrome who has her own radio program (solo), Hannah's Hum Drum, in Augusta, Western Australia. Check it out  on Wednesdays at 6.00 pm WA time (that's 8.00 pm on the east coast). It is streamed live over the internet, so you can listen from anywhere in the world.

You can send  requests for music to Hannah via  - she'd love to here from listeners.

Hannah has previously had a spot on Yackety Yak (podcast here), a community radio program in her home state of Victoria (Radio East Gippsland at 105.5 and 90.7 FM). 

More jobs for people with a disability: Ready Willing and Able

A new strategy was launched in February with the aim of helping to halve the gap in the unemployment rate between people with a disability and the overall community by 2016. The Ready, Willing and Able program requires the NSW public sector to take three actions to provide job opportunities for people with a disability. 
  • Each of the NSW Government's super departments will identify and target at least 10 permanent positions over the next two years that are to be filled by people with a disability.
  • Five per cent of the cadetship, apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities that are created in the NSW public sector will be reserved for people with a disability. 
  • Each principal NSW government department must have at least one procurement contract with a registered disability employer in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012.

More information is available from National Disability Services.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Right planet, right child: Beverley Beckham

Beverley Beckham is a well known Boston writer, who occasionally writes about her granddaughter, Lucy, who has Down syndrome.  In this column, she ponders life on earth and our concept of limitations .... and there is a lovely photo of Lucy with her grandfather, as a bonus:

..... Here on earth, we all depend on wheels. We don’t have wings — we can’t fly. This is our disability.

We accommodate this disability by using bicycles, cars, trains, and planes and, yes, these are clumsy, cumbersome things and, yes, we’d get places a lot faster if we could just spread our wings and fly.

But we don’t beat ourselves up over this. We don’t think of ourselves as imperfect because we can’t take flight.

But we would if everyone else could fly ....  read all of the article here.

Perhaps we could use this analogy any time we are told that accommodations/adaptations are too difficult/expensive/impose on others ....?

Kindy kids thrive under 'creative' approach

Hills News, 26th April 2011:

Among last year's kindergarten intake at Our Lady of Fatima Primary School Caringbah were several children with high-support needs.

The school has extensive experience educating the full range of learners, but the unusually high number called for a new approach that heavily favoured the children's integration with regular classes.

The success of the "creative" supported integration model has now seen the children sail through kindergarten and ready to move up to grade 1.

With funding for special needs students across the education sector at a premium, Our Lady of Fatima — like many schools — decided to look at innovative ways to best support the five students, two of whom had Down syndrome, and one each with William's syndrome, mosaic cell-line deformity, and sensory integration difficulties.

.... click here to read the full article.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Disabled find their home is no longer safe: Daily Telegraph

Gemma Jones reports in today's Daily Telegraph (Sydney) about dilemmas arising from devolution of a large residential centre in Sydney, redevelopment of the site and relocation of residents.

Disabled residents of a historic Sydney home are to be moved on, with a not-for-profit organisation planning to develop a complex of seven-storey unit blocks on the site.

Some of the residents have lived at Crowle House at Ryde for almost 50 years - and families signed bonds believing their relatives would have a haven for life.

The historic home on 2ha was donated to people with a disability by the family of a philanthropist who had allowed disadvantaged children to live there.

Two years ago it was taken over by Achieve Australia, a private service provider for the disabled which boasts Olympian Duncan Armstrong as ambassador.

A spokeswoman confirmed Achieve would move 31 residents into supported housing and there were plans with council for seven-storey buildings with hundreds of units.

She claimed some residents might be able to move back after the development but she said other units would be sold to fund Achieve programs and to protect Crowle House from debt ..... read on here for the full article

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Library Thursday: new DVDs - Beautiful and Deedah

Genevieve Clay's new short film Beautiful is available for members to borrow from the Down Syndrome NSW library. Focussing on the development of a relationship that encounters interference, it says a lot in a short time, and says it very well.

The first-time lead actors are Catherine Senior, who has Down syndrome, and Peter Rosini. Made in Canberra as part of an inclusive film making project.  You can see footage of the Through a Different Lens workshops here.

Stateline interview with cast and crew of Beautiful

Genevieve Clay's website Busstop Films

Deedah (25 mins) is a account of a seven-year old girl’s relationship with her six-year old brother, who has Down syndrome, produced by their mother, a media professional. 

Our previewer's assessment:
.... very much a snapshot of a young sister’s perspective. A little naive but sweet.The clear message is that Jonathan is just one of the kids and is loved by his sister.

Contact the Down Syndrome NSW library to arrange a loan of either DVD.

All the best, Scrapheapers - have a wonderful trip

Our very best wishes to the Scrapheap Adventurers already on their way,  and those setting out today and tomorrow to meet up at Cameron Corner on Saturday!

We wish you safe but 'interesting' trip, and look forward to the tall tales when you get back.

If you see them approaching your town - go out to meet them, and make them welcome.

May the road rise up to meet you, and the wind be at your back.

New ADHC website launched - more information, easier to find

If you are looking for services and support for someone with with a disability and/or their family living in NSW, the NSW governeent's Ageing, Disability and Home Care Website is a logical starting point

With the recent change in government in NSW, the 'super department' of Human Services has been renamed the Department of Family and Community Services.  Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) remains part of this super department.

The Ageing Disability and Home Care website has been extensively revised, redesigned and relaunched.  It looks much more welcoming, and is easier to navigate, particularly for finding information relevant to people with disabilities and their families. 

Overall the new website is much more user-friendly, and we recommend you become familiar with it if you care for an adult or child with Down syndrome in NSW - you will probably need to access information about ADHC operated and/or funded services at some point.

Much of the information has transferred from the previous site, but is much easier to find, such as descriptions of HACC (Home and Community Care) services,  and links to HACC Services Fact Sheets - now located under Help at home.

New information is also being added - for example the information about a new model of Drop-in support for people with disabilities living in the community is very welcome, and is located under the Somewhere to live menu.

The options for locating ADHC offices and services in your local area are much better. Click on the 'Contact us' tab and give it a try - you can search by service/office type and location.

You might still have some difficulty locating particular programs - for example post-school programs (Transition to Work and Community Participation) are located under the submenu "Learning new skills" - logical, but three levels down the menu heirarchy.

It's well worth a bookmark, and a welcome development of an information resource that many of us need from time to time.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Wordless Wednesday

People with Disability: response to the draft report of the Inquiry into Disability Care and Support

Peak disability advocacy body, People With Disability has pubished a special issue of its E-Bulletin on the progress of the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Disability Care and Support, including PWD's response to the draft report, and plans for participating in further developments.  PWD broadly supports the draft report, and explains its position on those points it challenges:

... It is not an exaggeration to say that the Productivity Commission’s Interim Report on disability care and support is the most important public document on Australian disability services for almost 30 years.

... PWD welcomes the Interim Report, and acknowledges the work that has been put in to ensure that the content of the public hearings and the 603 submissions made to the Productivity Commission in its consultation phase, has been included and reflected upon.  The timeframe for response to the Report is necessarily short, given the need to complete and distribute the Final Report.  But the discussion about how best to implement a new disability service system will continue beyond the timeframe of the enquiry and people who are committed to ensuring that we deliver a system that is effective and truly inclusive, are at least able to rely on the fact that we are referring now to a single document.
... Once the report is handed over to the Government that is the time when disability peak organisations need to establish and maintain a regular and constant dialogue, to ensure that the significant systems changes recommended are carried through.

Click hear to download and read the detailed PWD E-Bulletin special issue

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Scrapheap Adventure Ride media round-up

The 2011 Scrapheap Adventure Ride is happening this Easter weekend, with the meet-up at Cameron Corner on Saturday 23rd April.  Riders are setting off during the week, from at least three States.  They have already drawn media attention across Australia over the last few weeks.  This week's media round-up includes stories about three teams:
 Australian Dirt Bike Magazine - May 2011:
Inspirational Aussie dad, Perry Gilsenan, is the man behind the Scrapheap Adventure Ride. It is a concept which sees keen punters restore a junker dirt bike, saddle up and point it towards Cameron Corner in North-West NSW, to raise funds for Down Syndrome awareness.
It’s a cause that’s close to 47-year-old Gilsenan, whose eight-year-old daughter, Grace, suffers from the condition. But what makes his odyssey even more exceptional is that Perry doesn’t have legs (and hasn’t since a horrific train accident, at age 12).
He’s already clocked up 500,000km in the name of charity despite his own disability, and isn’t showing signs of letting up any time soon.
“I don’t want Grace to have a life with limitations,” said Perry. “While I don’t have legs, there are so many things I can achieve. The only thing which limits me is my mind, my heart and my imagination. That’s why I love my motorcycle so much: there are no limits.”

Some of the wildest contraptions imaginable are being pieced together for the second running of the event, which will be held at Easter 2011.

How about a Ducati Monster 900 or Kawasaki ZZR 250 converted to a dual sport weapon?

If the budget won’t stretch to such exotic machinery, even a humble scrapheap-sourced CT110 will do the trick.

Get along to to check out some photos of competitors' machines, make a donation, or better yet, register to ride!

Fraser Pollock at the Sheffer Gallery: June 2011

Fraser Pollock, a 15 year old Sydney artist who has Down syndrome, will have drawings on exhibition in June.  You may have seen some of Fraser's work in Down Syndrome NSW publications.  He has an online gallery here.

Sheffer Gallery
38 Lander Street, Darlington 2008

Wednesday the 1st of June  - 11th June 2011

The exhibition will feature new work from the following artists: Marc Etherington, Fraser Pollock, Linda Brescia, Mitchell Spider, Frank Nowlan, Joe Dolahenty, Stephen Freiberg, Angus Mordant, and Peter Fay, Andrew Ritson.

I have invited a group of young artists to show work that they have been making of late. There is no curatorial theme associated with this exhibition. I am happy to let artists show what is fresh from their studios. As such there will be a great diversity of work and it will have a similar rationale to the show I organised at this space last year. (Peter Fray, curator)

Monday, 18 April 2011

NSW Aboriginal Community Care Gathering Committee nominations now open. Due 9 June

The NSW Aboriginal Community Care Gathering Committee is a group of representative Aboriginal Community Care and disability workers and community members who meet to improve community care and disability services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in NSW. The work of the Gathering involves policy development, conferences, responses to Government initiatives and regional and state networking.

Nominations from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with experience in community care and related services are now open for the next term. Gathering Committee meetings are held in Sydney, 3 – 5 times per year usually over 2 days. The Terms of Reference give more detail about how the Committee operates.

Deadline for return of nominations is 9 June 2011.

Click here for selection and committee information
Click here for Election Nomination forms

Source: NCOSS

Sunday, 17 April 2011

It's normal to be different: awareness TV campaign in Brazil

A new ad in the campaign 'It's Normal to be Different', by Instituto MetaSocial, is being aired on national Brazilian TV networks:
English Translation:
I love music. Like any girl my age. I love the internet. I love parties. But I am not like girls my age in everyhing. In one thing I am very different ... I play the drums.

Beyond ABBA - A Workshop Program for People with a Disability

Can you sing along to ABBA? Wave fabric? Make a macaroni necklace? Yes? Well, good work! But let’s see what else is out there….is there life beyond ABBA?

Beyond ABBA (formally known as WAPD) is Riverside Theatres’ ongoing workshop program that aims to challenge the predictable arts meal that is served up to people with a disability and instead provides an alternative diet of creativity, self expression & innovation.

Working alongside professional arts workers people with a disability can participate in a drama and movement workshop program designed to build self confidence, promote well being, increase skills in performing and self expression.

Beyond ABBA will focus on the theme Invisibility which was inspired by a piece of writing, from writer, actress and International Day for People with a Disability ambassador, Audrey O’Connor.

Using film, movement and theatre participants will explore what it means to feel invisible, to be not seen or heard and have no voice or say. Also explored will be the alternative, so what it’s like to be in the spotlight, the public eye, the notion of celebrity and how that is something to behold in our society.

2011 dates
Term 2 - Wednesday April 27th- Friday July 1st (10 weeks)
Term 3 - Wednesday July 20th - Friday Sept 23rd (10 weeks)
Term 4 – Wednesday October 12th- Friday Dec 9th (9 weeks)

Performance date
Wednesday November 23rd

Workshop times
Wednesdays 10-11:30am & 12-1:30pm
Thursdays 10-11:30am & 12-1:30pm
Fridays 10-11:30am & 12-1:30pm

Cost $140/term. Term 4 $126. Paid upfront prior to workshops commencing.
All workshops take place At Granville Youth & Community Centres, 3A Memorial Drive, Granville.

Places are strictly limited. To enrol call Alison Richardson on 8839 3359 or email

Friday, 15 April 2011

6.30 pm, Channel Ten tonight - story on Ty Belnap

George Negus at 6.30 on Channel Ten this evening will include a story about Ty Belnap, the star of the feature movie Just Like U, and recent winner of a World Down Syndrome Day Award from Down Syndrome International.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Intellectual disability and dementia training

Alzheimers Australia (NSW)
Intellectual disability and dementia

(recommended for disability service workers or community care workers caring for a person with an intellectual disability and dementia)

Part 1 focuses on recognising signs and symptoms of dementia in persons with an intellectual disability, understanding dementia from normal ageing, and differentiating from other causes of confusion.

Part 2 investigates the causes of cognitive change and decline in people with an intellectual disability and dementia, and build strategies for positive care practice.

9.30am -4.30pm Wednesday 20 April 2011

COST: $75
Fee includes workshop handouts, certificate of attendance, morning tea & lunch
Phone 8875 4640 for more information and a registration form

Alzheimer’s Australia NSW
Dementia & Memory Community Centre
Macquarie Hospital Campus, Corner Cox’s & Norton Roads, North Ryde, 2113
(free parking available)

Macarthur Disability Services/ Alzheimers Australia/Macarthur and South West Sydney HACC Training
Intellectual Disability and Dementia Workshop
This session will cover generalised information about dementia as well as information specific to those with an intellectual disability who develop dementia. The reasons for an increased vulnerability to dementia for those with Down Syndrome will also be discussed.

9am – 4.00pm Tuesday 24th May, 2011
Brian Wunsch Centre, 126 Avoca Rd

Trainer: Mary Bills, Dementia Educator, Alzheimer’s Australia NSW

Cost: $25.00 for HACC services in Liverpool, Fairfield, Bankstown, Macarthur, Wollondilly and Wingecarribee local government areas. $50.00 for Non HACC funded services or out of area HACC services

Click here to download the flyer

Contact: Anita Mulally / Karen Simpson, Macarthur Disability Services, Phone: 4621 8400 Fax: 4628 4006, Email:  

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

'See and Learn' update - links to presentation

Whether you have participated in the current round of online presentations about the Down Syndrome Education International See and Learn program, you can now access the outline of the presentation from this page, along with further information about the program's development.

New research and clinical centre in San Diego

If you have followed Prof Bill Mobley's work on the neurophysiology of Down syndrome at Stanford University, you will be interested in this report of the launch of  UC San Diego Down Syndrome Center for Research and Treatment following appointment to the University of California in San Diego last year.  The Center will focus on the study and clinical care of adults with Down syndrome.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Independent Support Brokerage - Two day Introduction Course

People with Disability is offering a substantial course on Independent Support Brokerage:

27 April–28 April 2011

Cost: $250

Venue: Offices of Gilbert & Tobin, Level 37, 2 Park Street, Sydney

Stronger Together 2 has made a commitment to person-centred approaches, with people with disability given the option to use individualised funding to control the supports they receive. This policy recognises the role that Support Brokers will play in assisting people with disability, and their families and carers, to manage these individualised supports.

Join international experts Alison Short and Steve Dowson for this two-day course, as they provide you with a clear explanation of the international history of individualised funding, its principles and benefits, and the role of the support broker.

Places are limited so you will need to register quickly. For more information, visit the PWD website Alternatively, phone PWD on 02 9370 3100 or Toll Free: 1800 422 015.

For more information/registration: click here to download the flyer and registration form (Word 268kb)

Enquiries: Emmie

Free online 'See and Learn' seminars 12th and 13th April (London time)

Down Syndrome Education International is offering two free seminars on its See and Learn early learning programs for children with Down syndrome on 12th and 13th April  (UK time).  Register here.

A new See and Learn Speech program is due for release in June 2011, and See and Learn Numbers is in development. 

Monday, 11 April 2011

Pilot Air donates $5000 to Scrapheap Adventure 2011 !

Perry Gilsenan accepted a $5000 sponsorship cheque for the 2011 Scrapheap Adventure from Martin Wyllie at Pilot Air on Monday 4th April.

What a great boost to this fun fundraising adventure!

Thank you, Pilot Air.

Challenging behaviour worksops: 8 week course for parents, Macarthur

Dr. Steven Walker (Brief Therapy Solutions) in partnership with Community Links Wollondilly, presents

Managing Challenging Behaviours Collaboratively

8 Session Parent Workshop (please note - these workshops are not for service providers)
10:00 am—12:00md
5th May and every Thursday morning until 23 June 2011
Cost: free
What will you learn?

●  Child development and the relationship to seriously challenging behaviours

●  You will consider the influence of the child, parent and the environment in the development of challenging behaviours over time.

●  Looking for and identifying lost skills in AD/HD, ODD and CD. What’s behind the behaviour.

●  Parents can be partners in managing a child’s challenging behaviour.

●  Strategies to reduce outbursts and to teach new skills to your child.

●  You will have the opportunity to think about your challenging child in a different light.

●  You will find out that you’re not alone.
Business Development Centre Macarthur
70 Topham Road,
Smeaton Grange

To register, contact Wollondilly Community Links:  Ph. 4683 2776

Shape the future with Accessible Arts

Maryanne Ireland, Chairperson of Accessible Arts has issued this invitation:

Accessible Arts is about to embark on the development of its strategic plan for 2012-2014.

We have devised a short survey and invite you to participate in our planning process by completing the survey.

Your answers will help shape the direction that our organisation takes over the next three year period.

The survey will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

The questions have been written so that they can be answered by a variety of stakeholders eg an artist with disability,an audience member or a disability sector employee.

We value the contribution of all our stakeholders and remind you that this is your chance to put forward your ideas.

Accessible Arts is the peak arts and disability organisation across New South Wales. Our vision is a society in which people with disability fully experience and participate in the arts and cultural life. Our mission is to promote full inclusion, access and cultural opportunities in the arts for people with disability through advocacy, education and information.

Accessible Arts on Facebook - lots of event information here.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

NSW Shadow Cabinet

The NSW Labor opposition has announced the new Shadow Cabinet, including:

John Robertson - Opposition Leader
Carmel Tebbutt - Education and Training
Andrew McDonald - Health; Medical Research
Barbara Perry - Family and Community Services; Aboriginal Affairs; Ageing; Disability Services
Cherie Burton - Healthy Lifestyles
Robert Furolo - Mental Health

Contact details for all members of the NSW Parliament are available here.

Mothers' Weekend 2011

We've been away working with families ad professionals on the far north coast of NSW for a few days - so no blog posts since Tuesday.  We have some catching up to do!  here's a start, with the announcement of a very popular Down Syndrome NSW event:

Edit (12/4/2011): this event is now fully booked. You can place your name on a waiting list in case a cancellation becomes available, via the contacts below.

Solar Springs Health Retreat
96 Osborne Ave, Bundanoon

3rd -5th June 2011

Cost: $250.00

Friday from 12:00 noon. Room access from 2:30pm
Sunday lunch and access to programs until 4:00pm

Weekend Inclusions
2 nights’ accommodation.
All rooms access a shared bathroom.
All meals including Friday and Sunday lunches.
Access to gym and aquatic centre (including pool, spa, sauna, steam room)
Access to daily supervised fitness programs and bush walks in the National Park

Weekend Program – Caring for the Carer
Friday Night Workshop, DS NSW
Saturday – Staying Healthy Body and Mind
Sunday – Carer Networking

Optional activities
Body Care and Pampering (at your own expense)
See website  for options including prices.These must be pre-booked

Places are strictly limited.
Bookings and payments must be finalised by 2nd May 2011.
Please note that this event is subsidised.

Please contact Judy Davidson or Lynn Bailey on 02 9841 4401 for information and/or registration

Click here to download a flyer you can print

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

NSW Ministry listed online

A full listing of the newly appointed NSW Ministry, with contact details is available here.

While all portfolios are relevant to people with Down syndrome and their families, these Ministers have responsibilities that might be more directly relevant than others:

Andrew Constance, Minister for Ageing, Disability and Home Care
Jillian Skinner, Minister for Health
Adrian Piccoli, Minister for Education
Kevin Humphries, Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Healthy Lifestyles

DNA techology and IVF

Technology newly applied in IVF, described in this news article is similar to that being developed as non-invasive diagnostic prenatal testing for Down syndrome and other conditions, where foetal DNA will be sampled from the mothers blood. 

Monday, 4 April 2011

CHW School-Link Conference on mental health and intellectual disability: 27th May 2011

Learning and Growing Together

27 May 2011
Liverpool, NSW

Registrations close: 13 May 2011
Registrations are now open, and we encourage you to register early to secure your place.

The program and registration forms can be found on the conference website.

Children's Hospital Westmead School-Link is a program supporting the mental health of children and adolescents with an intellectual disability. The online newsletter is an excellent source of information.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

T4321 at All Hallows, Five Dock - lots of happy faces!

Kathleen, John and Emily Collins have celebrated World Down Syndrome Day with a T4321 event at their local parish church, All Hallows at Five Dock, every year since T4321 began in 2007.
Kathleen says of last Sunday's event:
It was great morning - about 100 people attended, some new families to the parish who have children with Down syndrome, which was nice.
John spoke about treating people with respect regardless of ability and Gerard O’Dwyer spoke about how it made him feel to have support in his life.
  • We had biscuits and cakes donated from Trovatinos
  • Antipasto Platters from Deli Azzurri
  • Cupcakes from Cupcake Lane
It was a wonderful caring community atmosphere with so many people coming up to me to talk and give their support.
It is a great event in our parish community.
We raised $1330 !

Saturday, 2 April 2011

BUY A BOOK TO BUY A BOOK - support the DS NSW library by buying the Entertainment Book 2011 - 2012.

The Entertainment Book is a restaurant and activity guide that provides special 25-50% discounts and 2-for-1 incentives from many of the best restaurants, hotels and attractions. It represents great value for family entertainment. The featured restaurants and other businesses do not pay to be included, they are selected based on awards, reviews and personal recommendations. See the Entertainment Book web site for more information.

You can order localised editions, including North Sydney, Sydney, Sydney Greater West, Canberra, Central Coast/Newcastle/The Hunter, and there are interstate and New Zealand editions that would make great gifts.


Click here to download the Entertainment Book 2011-2012 order form

or contact Angela Adams or Sue Drummond at the DS NSW office on (02) 9841 4409 or email  for an order form.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Joining the Dots: Illawarra

A Speed Networking Event

The day will focus on Information and Referral Pathways, Community Care Support Services for Older People, People with a Disability and their Carers and a resource table will be provided for services to display their information and brochures on.

Attendees will be able to: Engage in a quick paced and fun speed way, in the style of “Speed Dating”. Participants will spend 3-4 minutes with a range of service providers and receive a brief outline of the services and programs they provide. You will also have free time to re-visit service providers to collect further information on particular areas of interest.

Take part in a discussion and question time with NCOSS representative Christine Regan on the latest in the COAG reform.

Attendees may choose to register as either an Attendee or an Exhibitor

9.00am to 4.00pm Thursday, 5th May 2011

Shellharbour Workers Club
Corner Wattle & Shellharbour Roads

Cost: Free for both Attendees and Exhibitors
Lunch and morning tea will be provided

For more information contact PAUL DOPPER
Illawarra Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre
Office: (02) 4295 - 5532