Day 7: Matt

Matt likes to go to events, meet new people, and make new friends. Which made going into lockdown a bit hard for him. But with his positive attitude he was still able to connect with people and support his community through his advocacy work remotely.
Day 7: Matt thumbnail.

A man with Down syndrome standing in front of a presentation and looks at a sheet of paper.

Story by Matt O’Neil

I have been doing lots of Zoom catch ups in 2020, with Club21, online learning and e.motion21, it really helped me to stay connected. With Club21 we did some exercise classes, which helped me to keep fit, because I couldn’t go anywhere during lockdown. 
I was very happy to be able to work online, I had lots of meetings, and I attended a summit with Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA). 

I was working with Down Syndrome Victoria to start the new Advisory Network. As the Advisory Network Chair, it was a great opportunity to help with the hiring process. We have a great, strong group, and I am excited to get started. 

With the Advisory Network, I will also be working on the DSV Pathways to Independence project. This will help me to build my leadership skills and provide more opportunities for people with Down syndrome. 

I am very excited to start working with my new mentor Katrina Enos who is the President of the Down Syndrome Victoria Board.  

I always try to be a good leader, a role model and to look out for the rights of people with a disability. 

I like to go to events, meet new people, and make friends. 

When I was in lockdown, this was a bit hard! 

I used my phone, iPad and computer to make calls, and keep in touch with friends and colleagues. I’m glad we can get together for a beer now. I’m looking forward to catching up with Daniel Payne (DSV CEO) for a beer soon. 

A man with Down syndrome sits at a table and is about to talk.