Governor-General encourages all Australians to get involved in World Down Syndrome Day 2019

The patron of Down Syndrome Australia, Governor-General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove, has encouraged all Australians to get involved with World Down Syndrome Day, 21 March 2019.

“I am proud to be patron of Down Syndrome Australia and encourage all Australians to get involved with World Down Syndrome Day. It is an opportunity to celebrate the remarkable lives and achievements of people with Down syndrome,” the Governor-General said.

The Governor-General (pictured with Down Syndrome Australia chair Angus Graham, Natalie Graham and Henni Graham) will host an event at Government House in Canberra today to mark the occasion.

This morning, Down Syndrome Australia (DSA) published the last of 21 stories by people with Down syndrome about things that make us proud.

“The international theme for World Down Syndrome Day 2019 is ‘no one left behind.’ Too often people with Down syndrome do not have the same opportunities as their peers because of the stigma associated with intellectual disability,” said DSA Chief Executive Dr Ellen Skladzien.

“For World Down Syndrome Day this year, Down Syndrome Australia is tackling the stigma and lack of understanding about Down syndrome in our community.

“We asked people with Down syndrome to consider the question, ‘What Makes Me Proud?’ The answers we received showcase the diverse interests, passions and abilities of people with Down syndrome,” Dr Skladzien said.

“I like to get up at 4am each morning. It’s a special time for me, when I have the house to myself because Mum and Dad are asleep. I like to paint, write, play my guitar,” said Warrnambool artist Alex Rees when asked what makes him proud.

“Many people have bought my paintings. People tell me that they really like my paintings and that the colours make them happy. I like the feeling this gives me.

“When I sell a painting, I use the money to support a deaf student in Ghana. I also buy Solar Buddy lights for Ghanaian children, so they can read and do school work at night,” Mr Rees said.