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September 2022 Edition
Kia ora koutou

Isn't it nice to see the days getting so much lighter post Daylight Saving?! I've seen a real mood shift in the office and at home this past week - it's not a coincidence that Mental Health Awareness Week happens at this time each year. We hope you took some time over the long weekend to reconnect with the people and places that make you feel good.

In this month's edition you'll find: 


We're also crying out for images for our new website. The details are below.

Please drop us a line,, if you have suggestions for this newsletter or ideas that might enable us to better support you as a community.

Ngā mihi
Selena and the WDSA Committee
It was a modest turn out for this year's AGM and one we're looking to better for 2023. Nonetheless it was nice to see some new faces amongst the usual suspects.

In committee news, Blair Griffiths stepped back from his role as Chair to focus on the mayoral race for Upper Hutt City. Many thanks for your efforts this past year, Blair. Blair will continue to serve on the Committee to support the 13+ age group for the foreseeable future. We welcome Ruth Coard to the role of Chair, formerly Fundraising Coordinator and New Parent (Hutt Valley) Liaison for WDSA. Many of you will know Ruth already, she's been an enthusiastic and outgoing member of the committee since 2019. She brings a wealth of experience to the role from running her own business(es) and wrangling three active boys.

Your new committee looks a bit like this:

Ruth Coard, Chair
Laura North, Secretary
Richard Whinam, Treasurer
Carey-Ann Morrison, NZDSA Rep
Blair Griffiths, Committee Member
Alan Ryan, Committee Member
Selena Hurndell Bulled, Committee Member (Comms)

We'll introduce you to each of the members in newsletters from next month onwards. And you'll get to meet us all in person as we strive to run more face-to-face events than the previous years have allowed.

It was enlightening to hear Gerri Pomeroy speak about her experiences as a disabled person, Co-Chair of the community establishment group for Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People and Co-Chair of the Enabling Good Lives Governance Group. She reiterated the importance of community support to build a rich and meaningful life. Many thanks again to Gerri for giving up part of her busy Sunday afternoon with her grandchildren to join us. Also thanks to the Wellington Early Intervention Trust for loaning us their building as a venue.
Te Wao Nui Open Day

You are invited to join Wellington Hospitals Foundation and hospital staff to celebrate the opening of the Te Wao Nui Child Health Service and hospital.  

This is your chance to see inside this stunning new regional children’s hospital before Te Wao Nui opens to its first patients next month.

Come and explore the new building, and hear from some of the doctors and nurses involved in bringing it to life.

11am-3pm, Saturday 1 October
(last entry 2.40pm)
Wellington Hospital
Riddiford Street
Special Children's Christmas Party

With Christmas just around the corner (what?!), we're putting the call out to see who would like tickets to the Special Children's Christmas Party. Email to secure yours.

Limit one per special child with one accompanying adult. Unfortunately, we're not able to cater for siblings.

Sunday 27 November
Te Rauparaha Arena
17 Parumoana Street
Special Olympics Young Athletes Programme

Lots of our little people enjoyed the 'Have a Go' programme run by Special Olympics NZ last Sunday.

Young Athletes focuses on fundamental motor and sports skills, like running, kicking and throwing - as well as social skills like communicating, sharing and interacting with others.

The good news is that Special Olympics NZ will be running more of these 'Have a Go' sessions throughout November. Register here.
********** WHAT DOES INCLUSION MEAN TO YOU? **********
October marks Down Syndrome Awareness Month. We'd love to hear your thoughts on what inclusion means to you. Please email us any words or photos that we can share on our Facebook page throughout the month.
Virtual Conference to Mark Down Syndrome Awareness Month

This October, NZDSA will once again be hosting a Virtual Down Syndrome Conference to commemorate World Down Syndrome Month. The conference commences on 3 October and will end on the 21st with a virtual cocktail party. Registration is now open to all events and is free.

The theme for the Conference this year is “Inclusion” and there will be a huge variety of high-profile Kiwi and international expert speakers who will cover a wide range of topics including Enabling Good Lives, education, employment, relationships, siblings, and more. The conference will include topics for people with Down syndrome, parents, siblings, whānau, educators, professionals and allies.

PLEASE NOTE: NZDSA is utilising Zoom's newest events software for the Virtual Conference so you may need to update your current Zoom software to access the events. It is very easy to do so - when you register you will receive an online ticket via email, at the bottom of this ticket there is a link to update your software if required, we recommend you do this before the events start.



Join the virtual AGM to hear from guest speaker Juliana Carvalho, Access Matters Aotearoa – Lead Campaigner.

Accessibility is key to a more inclusive society. Since 2016, the Access Matters campaign has been calling for accessibility legislation that would remove barriers that prevent people with disabilities and access needs from fully participating in our society. Now the Accessibility for New Zealander’s Bill is in front of Parliament, the Government is calling for submissions to the Bill. This presentation will show you how can you have your say about the Bill and be part of the change.

More information is on the NZDSA's website.

6.30pm, Weds 19 October
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 851 1606 3562
Passcode: 099604
********** HELP!!! **********
We're updating our website and would like to use imagery representative of our community to make sure it looks slick and engaging. If you have any high quality photos (professionally shot or otherwise) that you would allow us to use for this, please email us. We're looking for candid shots of people with Down syndrome of all ages, genders and cultures - by themselves, with their siblings, other family members, pets, friends or just doing the things they enjoy.
IHC Library - Personal safety, appropriate touch and consent

The librarians at the IHC Library are often asked for resources on these sensitive topics, not just for children but for all age groups. If you would like help selecting resources on these or any other topics please get in touch via email or call 0800 442 442 and IHC librarians will be very happy to help. 

Gecko Press

For those of you who haven't come across them yet, Gecko Press is an excellent independent publisher of children’s books based in Wellington, New Zealand. Gecko Press asked their Tik Tok friend Giana Torrez of El Paso Public Library in Texas, for a list of books she likes to recommend that feature characters with different needs. Check out her awesome and inspiring list here.
Sexuality & Intellectual Disability

Family Planning are offering this free workshop for whānau and caregivers that focuses on what whānau and guardians can do to support their loved ones in their sexual and reproductive wellbeing. 

The workshop will be 1.5 hours long.

6pm, Thursday 3 November
Register at


Zoom Meeting: Going Flatting

James Young moved in his own home in 2017 after years of planning by his parents to get the right flatmates, funding and support. His mother, Kaye, will share their story in this session aimed at families on a similar journey, particularly those who may have children with Down syndrome and Autism or additional support needs.

7pm, 8 November
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 875 4365 7509
Passcode: 804054
  • Save the dates: WDSA Online Auction (from Friday 11 November) and WDSA Christmas Party (Saturday 3 December)
  • Attitude Pictures are casting for their second season of Down for Love. Email if you, or someone you know, is 18 or older, lives with DS and are looking for the love of their life. Made in consultation with NZDSA.
  • There have been changes to Covid-19 rules and regulations since the Government announced it was removing the 'Traffic Light System'. Read the NZDA's bulletin to stay up-to-date.
The WDSA Committee is made up entirely of volunteers.
We'd love to connect with members of the community who can spare a few hours to help here and there. If that sounds like you, sign up to our Friends of the Committee Facebook group.
Copyright © 2022 Wellington Down Syndrome Association, All rights reserved.

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