Down Syndrome Advisory Network Victoria
Down Syndrome Victoria has a Down Syndrome Advisory Network (DSANVic). Our DSANVic members are passionate about developing new ideas, strengthening community understanding of Down syndrome, and advocacy.
Chief Executive Officer
Commencing in the role 2019, Dan is known to many of our Down Syndrome Victoria community as he – with his wife Corina and children Holly, Abby and Tyson – has been an active member since 2010. Between 2016-19, Dan was a member of the Down Syndrome Victoria board and helped ensure that the voice of our members was consistently front of mind in all our decision-making. For the past 14 years, Dan has worked within the financial services industry in a variety of roles which provided valuable and extensive experience in leadership, program management and business performance. Dan brings a great balance of advocacy, empathy, understanding of our sector, commercial focus and positive energy. Dan is motivated by creating empowerment through opportunity and is privileged to serve members of Down Syndrome Victoria and their communities.
Personal Assistant to Chief Executive Officer and Receptionist
Stephanie has been working at Down Syndrome Victoria for 22 years and is a valued member of the team. She really likes working at DSV in her current role, and spending time with a lovely group of people. She has also worked at the Guardianship Administration Board, as a volunteer at Ecumenical Migration Centre, and the Brotherhood of St. Laurence. She has completed a Certificate 3: Business Administration.
Janice started her career in the health sector as a physiotherapist, and went on to gain a range of skills in the public sector, before moving into the disability sector where she has worked for the last 20 years, including at DSV since 2018. Being a strong advocate for her son with Down syndrome throughout his life has instilled the values and beliefs which are the foundation stones for shaping an inclusive and ‘typical’ life for her son, into his adulthood.
Janice is passionate about using her lived experience, disability sector knowledge and to benefit the DSV community.
Family Support Manager
Sonia is a social worker and a parent of a child with Down syndrome. She has worked with services in the disability sector, mental health and community based prenatal services. In 2016 Sonia worked as a MyTime Facilitator for DSV and thoroughly enjoyed her time facilitating the group, providing her with a great opportunity to gain understanding and knowledge in many areas relating to families who have or who are caring for children who have Down syndrome.
Adult Support Manager
Debby is a social worker with a long history in the disability sector. She started out in direct services, and then worked with the Association for Children with a Disability for a few years after her second child was born with a disability. Following that with a stint in case management she then returned to the Association for Children with a Disability as the Coordinator of ACD Educate with a focus on assisting parents in preparing for the NDIS. Debby firmly believes in never being afraid to try new things and make some mistakes on the way. It’s all part of life and learning.
Grants and Compliance Manager
Leonie has an education background, and has worked within the disability sector for the past 15 years, not long after the birth of her third child who has Down syndrome. Prior to joining Down Syndrome Victoria in 2012, Leonie coordinated the MyTime program for Playgroup Victoria where she passionately supported families of children with disability. Leonie has been Down Syndrome Victoria’s grant writer since 2014 and uses her lived experience and knowledge of Down syndrome to acquire much needed funds for the organisation.
DSV Advisory Network Member
Matt has been a dedicated DSV advocate for a number of years; representing DSV on the Down Syndrome Advisory Network (DSAN), volunteering and speaking at a variety of DSV events. Matt is now also working for DSV on a casual basis, working closely with Madison to help establish our advisory group, including the recruitment and onboarding of fellow advisory group members later in 2020. Matt is also involved in other paid employment opportunities that present throughout the year at DSV.
About his position Matt said, “[To] work with DSV is to show what I am about, it is a part of my life of living with a disability. I want people to look up and I believe I have a voice.”
Lucy has worked in the disability and community development sectors for over 15 years. Growing up with a sister who has Down syndrome developed her strong belief systems and passion to work towards a society that values true inclusion, equity and opportunities for all individuals. She previously worked at Down Syndrome Victoria as Adult Support Coordinator in 2006 and 2007. After working at organisations such as YMCA Victoria, the Epilepsy Foundation, EACH, and Deakin University, she has once again found her niche at Down Syndrome Victoria.
A former broadcast journalist and communications professional for more than 10 years, Pammy is passionate about building meaningful connections, sharing people’s stories and driving change.
With a personal connection to Down Syndrome, she is dedicated to making a positive contribution to the Down Syndrome Victoria community and helping promote inclusion, understanding and equality.
Health Project Manager
Zoe has worked in the not-for-profit sector for the last 16 years, delivering projects in a wide range of sectors in workforce capacity building. In particular in the last three years Zoe has worked in the health and aged care sectors to build capacity of professionals to work with people with disability and complex support needs and the NDIS to facilitate getting supports to live an ordinary life in the community.
She is passionate about working with communities that facilitates real change founded on social justice, equality and inclusion, as well as ensuring information is targeted, practical and brings about better outcomes for people with disability and those that support them.
Club21 and Volunteer Coordinator
Helen has a background in science research. She has volunteered with the Club21 programme since 2013 and jumped at the chance to take on the role of Club21 Coordinator in 2018. Down Syndrome Victoria and Victorian Council of Social Service gave her the opportunity to complete a Certificate IV in Disability at RMIT. She relishes her new path working in the disability sector and is passionate about Club21 and promoting the inclusion of people with Down syndrome in the community.
Madison has been volunteering with Down Syndrome Victoria for 5 years, at Club21, StepUP! and Family Fun Day, and has 6 years experience supporting children with a disability. Madison now runs the Club21 Eastside group, and is our MyTime Coordinator. With a degree in Psychology and Psychophysiology she is passionate about helping people and making a positive contribution to the Down Syndrome Victoria community.
Shelley previously worked at Down Syndrome Victoria from 2013-2015 in administration and as Event and Volunteer Coordinator. In January 2019 she re-joined us as Events Coordinator and is simultaneously undertaking a Master of Social Work at the University of Melbourne. This post graduate study is building on her Bachelor of Health Sciences majoring in Health Promotion and Human Services, as well as subjects in disability. During her few years away she worked in community development in East Africa, including with an organisation for people with disability in Ethiopia. Shelley continues to develop a new organisation with a local in Ethiopia which aims to raise awareness of disability through dance and works towards full inclusion. Shelley loves organising our Family Fun Day and StepUP! events. She invites anyone who has talents to share at one of our events, to apply by sending through an email to email@example.com.
Paula is an experienced teacher who has worked in primary schools in both Australia and overseas. She also has experience teaching socially disadvantaged children with Berry Street. Paula has post graduate qualifications in Psychology, having completed a Graduate Diploma in Psychology and a Graduate Diploma in Professional Psychology with Monash University. Paula joined the Education Support Team in January 2019, and is committed to helping students achieve their goals.
Ro is an experienced primary teacher who has worked in a variety of mainstream schools across all levels. She has also worked as a Reading Recovery teacher and in the co-ordination and delivery of other literacy support programs. Ro enjoys assisting and supporting students and teachers in the metropolitan area.
Carolyn is an experienced primary teacher who has worked across all levels F-6. She was Deputy Principal for four years and then took on the role of Welfare Coordinator. Carolyn joined the Educational Support Team in January 2019 and is dedicated to assisting and supporting students and teachers across Northern Victoria.
Amy has worked in a variety of education settings including early intervention, primary schools and specialist education schools. Amy has a Post Graduate Diploma of Education and a Masters Degree in Special Education. Amy joined the Education Support Team in October 2020 and is passionate about supporting students and teachers to achieve their education goals in regional Victoria.
Dianne is an experienced special education teacher who has spent many years in the classroom as well as in the role of Equity and Inclusion Leader in schools in the Barwon region, Victoria. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Ed), Graduate Diploma (Sp Ed) and Graduate Diploma in Mental Health for the Teaching Profession. Dianne joined the Education Support team in October 2020 and is committed to advocating for access to education, and inclusion of all learners, in our schools.
Finance and Officer Manager
Mara joined DSV in January 2019 after having worked in the disability sector for 12 years at the Association for Children with a Disability in administration, finance and payroll.
Mara’s son Matthew is 20 years old and has an intellectual disability. She has experienced firsthand the ongoing need for support, services and funding required by families and understands the importance of helping individuals feel empowered by the decisions they can make to achieve personal goals.
Down Syndrome Victoria’s focus of empowering individuals with Down Syndrome, allows Mara to be part of a dedicated team that helps individuals achieve independence through our education and training programs.
Anna has worked in various administrative positions in the education and childcare industries before coming to Down Syndrome Victoria in June 2017. She has done volunteer work in Poland and helped with the refugee crisis in Greece. She enjoys working at Down Syndrome Victoria because she loves being part of an organisation that is working towards positive change.