Hi! My name is Amelia and I have Down syndrome. I am 17 years old and am doing Year 11 at Our Lady of Sion College in Box Hill, Melbourne.
I love music, dancing and performing.
My mum and dad take me along to lots of places and events. They expect that I will join in.
Our family attends Rosewood Music Camp every year. We’ve been going since I was three! It’s a really friendly place where everyone of all abilities is accepted and included. Everyone is expected to join in–even the adults!
The highlight of the camp is performing in the Sunday Night Concert, which I do every year. Last year, I was also asked to M.C. a bracket of the concert. (That’s inclusion!!) I did that with my dad. It was a hoot!
We go to the National Folk Festival in Canberra every Easter. Last year, I performed with Peter Vadiveloo’s Percussion Experience in the final Concert, in front of about a thousand people.
I also play percussion in the Intermediate Concert Band at school. We perform at school events and concerts and last August, we took part in the Victorian School Music Festival in Hawthorn against three other schools. We got the Gold Shield!
I am helped in the band by my percussion teacher, but my fellow percussionists also help me.
Last year, our school had a staff-versus-student talent quest. I hadn’t practised anything, but decided to go in it. I sang “Don’t Stop Believing” and came second!
Have a go at something that you love. You may be surprised by the response you get from the community.
It’s a good idea to look for a community that believes in inclusion before you join them, but if you don’t have a go, you won’t know if they are. So, follow your passion and what you love to do–and have a go!
– By Amelia and Jackie Getson
Read more about DSA’s position on education and people with Down syndrome