Thursday, 5 November 2015

Steven Payne, the Melbourne Cup and the importance of valued work

Media world wide has celebrated the role that Steven Payne played in his sister Michelle's winning ride in the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday - they know a good story when they see one. 

These three local examples both take a great story for the mainstream media and make it work for people with Down syndrome as valued workers, wanting to have jobs and doing them well:

Ellie Laing prepared a well considered report for SBS World News (video and transcript here) on Wednesday night, again highlighting Stevie's role on race day, but leveraging it to relate his long work record and success in the industry, to present a perspective on what such success can mean for others with Down syndrome and their families.

Laing interviewed Down Syndrome NSW members Perry and Jane Gilsenan and their daughters Grace and Mollie, and Executive Director Tracylee Arestides, intercut with clips from Michelle Payne and Paddy Payne (Michelle and Stevie's father), precisely touching on the effectiveness of engaging personal interests and skills, personal value, and employability in establishing employment opportunities for both Stevie and Grace, and others with Down syndrome.
  •  The SBS News bulletin can also be viewed on SBS On Demand here, with the story beginning 21 minutes in.
Screen shots from the SBS report

Sydney journalist Peter Fitzsimons entered the arena with a light touch in his sports column for today's Fairfax press, in part crediting Steven Payne's role in the 2015 Melbourne Cup with allowing Prince of Penzance to challenge Phar Lap as the best ever Cup story:

Stevie Payne is not special because he has Down Syndrome, but because he's a really good strapper
Andi Yu, 7 News, 4th November 2015
That's what Down Syndrome NSW loved about the coverage of the brother of winning Melbourne Cup jockey Michelle Payne.

"What happened yesterday was so exciting and it's so nice to see a person with Down Syndrome being presented as a regular guy who's good at his job," the organisation's executive director Tracylee Arestides told AAP ...

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