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Down Syndrome Perth Western Australia

Down Syndrome Association of Western Australia

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Down Syndrome trisomy 21 The Down Syndrome Association of WA (Inc)   working together for a better future for people with Down syndrome and their families.
4/1136 Albany Highway BENTLEY WA 6102, PO Box 338, BENTLEY WA 6982 ph: (08) 9358 3544 free ph: 1800 623544 fax: 9358 3533 E-mail: dsawa@upnaway.com
Contact Us / Donations Form

Associations Office Hours: are are on Mondays to Fridays between 9.30am and 2.30pm throughout the year. On Wednesdays the Family Support Worker - Julie - is available to take your calls at the office on 9358 3544 or 1800 623544. However she may be contacted at other times if arranged through the office.

Down Syndrome WA – Strategic Plan 2009 – 2013
View our Strategic Plan 2009 – 2013 (PDF 104KB).
Email your comments here.

Buddy Walk – AUSTRALIA 2008 (Perth - 12th October)

The largest celebration ever held in this nation for people with Down syndrome. A record number of Buddy Walks will be held around Australia. Visit: www.buddywork.org.au to read about it and to link with the everydayhero site for online fundraising (fundraising for WA will be operational by the end of August). Download your Registration and Sponsorship forms and order your Down Syndrome t-shirts by clicking:

Brand new website redevelopment is coming soon, so be sure to revisit!


Donations to this non-government funded, registered charity can be made to the Down Syndrome Association of WA, PO Box 338, BENTLEY WA 6982. See also Butterfly Charity Ball Perth held each May as proceeds go to the Down Syndrome Association.

Donate Here

News Items

2008 Butterfly Charity Ball - May 2008

2008 Butterfly Charity Ball was held on 31st May at the Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre Bellevue Ballroom. For information on coming events please contact the Association.

Down Syndrome Awareness Week - October 2007 Events

Dress Up Day, Picnic, Parties and much more! Please see our October 2007 Diary at Diaries Page for more information.

Position Available for 'Aim High Club Coordinator'.

This position involves coordinating a life skills program for young people with intellectual disability. Please see a copy of the job description form for more information.


Two West Australians, Patrick Ricciardo (17) from City Beach and Stephen Donovan (16) from Mt Pleasant, represented Australia recently at the 3rd World Down Syndrome Swimming Championships in Limerick, Ireland. The boys were part of a Team of 22 which included 8 Queenslanders, 6 swimmers from New South Wales and 6 from Victoria. The Australian Team was second overall in the competition, winning 69 medals (19 gold, 34 silver, 16 bronze + 20 world records). The next Championships will be held in Portugal in 2008.

It was a wonderful experience and a rare opportunity for people with Down syndrome to compete on a level playing field. Patrick came home with three silver medals (200m Individual Medley – 3.40.25, 100m Breastroke – 1.46.81 and 50m Backstroke – 49.56) and 7 personal best times. Stephen came home with a gold medal (50m Butterfly – 37.72) and a bronze medal (50m Backstroke – 45.33) and 4 personal bests.

Butterfly Charity Ball 17 June 2006

At the Perth Hyatt Regency Hotel, see Butterfly Charity Ball Perth website and DSAWA Diary page for details. All proceeds to the Down Syndrome Association.

Butterfly Charity Ball

This year's ball raised a staggering $115,000 and was an outstanding success! The inaugural ball on 21 May 2005 raised $50,000, so congratulations to Lucy Tilli, the ball committee and the sponsors! Photos and details on the DSAWA Diary page.

Down Syndrome Association 20th Anniversary Celebration!

It's our anniversary April 2006, so help us celebrate on the 29th. See our DSAWA Diary page for details.

World Down Syndrome Day on 21 March 2006!

It's our day, so see our DSAWA Diary page for details.

Down Syndrome Association Wins Award 2005

The DSA of WA wins a State Government Accessible Communitities Award - Professional Development. See our DSAWA Diary page for details.

Regional Seminars 2005

For teachers and parents of children with Down syndrome, see Diary page for flyer.

Down Syndrome Needs, Opinions, Wishes Study 2004

Researchers at WA’s Telethon Institute for Child Health Research are currently conducting a population-based study on the health, needs and functioning of children and young adults with Down syndrome. Read all about it in this the DOWN SYNDROME NOW Media Release (PDF 52KB)

Down Syndrome Awareness Week 2004 - 17th to 23rd October

The Association announces its Awareness Week Plans for Sunday 17th October. Activities will include:

Tuesday 19th October - DSA Centre Open Day (10 - 2pm) with guest speakers.
Wednesday 20 October 2004 DSA Dinner Menu (63KB).
Friday 22 October 2004 DSA Dress Up Day (48KB). Fund-raising day in schools and offices throughout the state.
Saturday 23 October 2004 DSA Fundraiser - Bowling (217KB).

See the October 2004 DSA Diary (PDF 185KB). for full details.

Annual Report 2006

The DSA of WA Annual Report for 2005-06.

  1. Annual Report 2006 Cover (74KB PDF)
  2. President's Report (51KB PDF)
  3. Office Co-ordinator's Report (101KB PDF)
  4. Treasurer Report(22KB PDF)
  5. Treasurer "Unaudited Figures" Page (31KB PDF)
  6. Annual Report - Treasurer (30KB PDF)
  7. Ball Organiser's Report (40KB PDF)
  8. Butterfly Ball - Some Thoughts (41KB PDF)
For previous reports, please refer our Down Syndrome Association Annual Accounts Archive page. News

Down Syndrome Awareness Week, etc

Emily See our News Page for major announcements, like the beginning of our Awareness Week programme, AGM details, Achievements and Awards and any news of major concern to our Members and the community concerning Down syndrome.

It's a happening place...


Diary Editor

Our monthly DSA Diary/Newsletter gives more detail on the day-to-day happenings and events of the Association. Our DSA Diary Editor is Jackie Softly. If you have any comments or news to relate please contact Jackie by email c/- the Association Secretary, Cathy Donovan.


New Parent?

Contact the Association for a talk or visit that will best meet your immediate needs. For new parent enquiries phone the office during office hours. At other times contact Julie on 9310 5214 or Cathy on 9364 6742.. You may also wish to read our New Parent Support Folder available on-line or request a hard copy from the Association. While this addresses the facts and issues of Down Syndrome, it is not intended as a substitute for person to person contact where there is a need for personal support. Full details on our Issues, Facts and Support page.

New Parent Support Folder

See our New Parent Support Folder Page!

New Visitor?

Beyond the Myths of Down syndromeSee photographs of people of all ages with Down syndrome from W.A. This superb 1997 Photographic Exhibition is a must visit here or from our Issues Page.

Also see our Your Say page for comments and down syndrome pictures from our members.

Student or Professional?

Student and other information is available from the DSAWA office and can be ordered by email and subsequently mailed. This may include information packs, booklets and CD-ROMs. See the Student section of our Library page for details and prices of the most common ordered items.


The Down Syndrome Association of WA (Inc) works to support the community to develop the potential of people with Down syndrome to live a valued life.

The Down Syndrome Association of WA (Inc) believes that people with Down syndrome have the right to be respected as valued members of society with their own level of independence, self determination, and a sense of belonging to the community. This can be achieved best by having access to appropriate services and support along the way.

This Web service is just one of the many services offered by the volunteers of the Association. It is not intended as a substitute for person to person contact. Please do not hesitate to make personal contact with the experienced and compassionate people at the address and phone numbers listed above.


1. To provide support through forums to share information and experiences relating to people with Down syndrome.

2. To raise awareness about people with Down syndrome as valued members of the community.

3. To advocate on matters relating to people with Down syndrome.

4. To administer the Down Syndrome Association (WA) efficiently and effectively.

While some of the Association's activities have gained prominence, the objectives are the same.

Background Information

Formed in April 1986, the Association began as a small group of families having a member with Down syndrome. The primary function was to provide mutual support by the sharing of information.

The Association was incorporated in December 1986 and by 1999 the membership increased to approximately 290 families plus around 60 professional memberships.

Association Structure

The Association is managed by a committee including 4 Executive positions. Sub-committee groups are formed as required. Until January 1991, when a part-time Office Administrator was appointed, all work was voluntary. The Administrator is employed for 10 hours per week to run the everyday activities of the Association, assisted by one regular volunteer in the office. Committee meetings are held monthly. The Office Administrator liaises on a frequent basis throughout the month with the Executive Committee and other Committee as required.

Funding Source

Until the establishment of the Association's office and appointment of staff, funding required to support our small service was very modest. However the increasing demand for more professional services have necessitated these moves, although costs are still tightly controlled. Grants have been received from various sources for some one-off purposes such as the printing of kits, purchase of equipment, and information resources in Meerilinga Library. However, no ongoing funding has been received, and the Association relies on donations and fund-raising by the membership to cover running costs.

Donations: can be made by cheque payable to the Down Syndrome Association of WA (Inc) and sent to the Secretary at the address shown on the home page. The Association is a licensed charitable organisation and all donations of $2.00 or more are tax deductable. The DSA of WA's operations are not funded by the government so all donations are much needed. All donations are properly recorded and accounted for and noted in the Treasurer's report to Executive Committee who meet at least once per month. Donations can be made anonymously or publicly to members, the Web and so on as requested to Committee. Business sponsorships are welcome and applications to Committee can be made through the Secretary. Donations can come in the form of any of the fund raising activities detailed on this Web site and in our publications to Members. The beneficiaries of the Association, its Members, are encouraged to participate in these activities as customers or fundraisers.


Among the achievements of the Association since its inception are:

The provision of accurate, current information to new parents.

Family support through information services and contact with other families.

Strong representation of the needs of members to Government and other agencies.

Improved community awareness of the potential of people with Down syndrome.

Newsletter and Diary

A comprehensive quarterly newsletter called DSA News, containing local, national and international information on Down syndrome is produced, printed and distributed by the Association to its members. This information is then supplemented with a monthly information diary called DSA Diary which includes a calendar of events. Our monthly diary is full of useful up-to-date down syndrome information.

Current Activities & Services


A group of parents, who have attended workshops aimed at improving counselling skills, visit new parents of babies with Down syndrome on request, to offer support and information.


A folder of current, positive information on Down syndrome including details of resources within the community as well as simple, practical advice for the first few months and this can be added to throughout the child's development. The folder is provided free to new parents and at cost to hospitals, health professionals etc. Information has been sent to every maternity unit statewide.


New parent morning teas: which provide support to new parents and introduces them to other parents, services & information.

New to 2 (years) club gatherings: where Mums, Dads & the whole family meet socially.

Regular coffee mornings: for parents.

Friendship group: for parents of young adults and teens.


Several of these are held each year, and feature a guest speaker and question/discussion time. Topics have included: "New parent information", "Medical aspects of Down syndrome", "Educational Options", "Guardianship Legislation", "Computers & people with intellectual disabilities", "Recreation Options". Several successful conferences for parents and teachers have been held, but these always depend on available funding.


A comprehensive selection of books, plus some videos and audio tapes on Down syndrome is now on site at the office (formally Meerilinga) and are available to members for loan. Information sheets, articles, journals and booklets on related topics, and modified scissors are available for purchase from the office. Library day is the last Thursday of each month.


Operates according to demand. 0-5 year olds and siblings are welcome to attend playgroup sessions which focus on the development of skills through play and interaction, and which form a support forum for parents or other family members.


A limited number of toys and play or therapy equipment is available for loan through the Association.


A number of social events are held throughout the year, including dinners, picnics, quiz nights, and the children's Christmas party. 


Two very successful family camps have been held to enable whole families to have contact with other families. 


The Association has represented the opinions and needs of its members in submissions to various bodies over the years, e.g. the "Draft Disability Services Policy", the "Working Party on Therapy Services in Schools", the "Cocks Report" on Authority for the Intellectually Handicapped (AIH), the "Disability Service Plan", the "Education Department Review of barriers to inclusion in the State Education System". The Association has also advocated for individual members as required.


This has become a significant part of the work of the group and includes:

National Down Syndrome Awareness Week - featuring media coverage of issues about Down syndrome, and the promotion of positive awareness of people with Down syndrome in the community.

Displays - of photographs and up to date information in a variety of venues, e.g. libraries, hospitals, schools, shopping centres.

Awareness Kits - one for primary school teachers to create an awareness of the experience of disability and to foster understanding of the child with Down syndrome among his peers - another for secondary school students and/or teachers.

Information packs - sent on request to students, teachers, health workers, professionals.

Talks - delivered by parents to child-care workers, students, schools (students, teachers, teacher assistants or parent groups) hospital staff, nursing students, community groups or wherever requested.

The Melanie Price Creative Writing Competition - held each year.

The Photographic Exhibition - 'Beyond the Myths' was exhibited from January to May 1997 at the W.A. History Museum. The photographer is Mona Neumann.

Other - New Parent Support Folder (for new parents), the Kids with Down syndrome Folder (soon to be released and aimed at helping school-age children integrate into schools and community groups), planned sequels for Teenagers and Adults to come, Community Announcement Video just released on WA TV networks, and based on the theme 'See the Person'.

Future Plans

Services to country members have been improved with the use of an 1800 contact number, workshops for country members and now information in the New Parent Support Folders being issued to all country maternity hospitals. The overall commitment is to develop initiatives as required and to improve existing services where possible. Prime emphasis will be on supporting families through the early years of their child with Down syndrome. The extent of commitment of resources to other age groups will depend on the level of members' input.


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