Term 1 Newsletter 2016
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                    HELLO TERM 1!!

A message from our CEO, Claire Vissenga

Dear e.motion21 participants, families and friends,
Welcome back and I hope you are all enjoying the start of Term 1!
With so many exciting and unique opportunities in store for this year, I’m looking forward to sharing each of them with you!  
Firstly, we have our annual World Down Syndrome Celebrations @ Fed Square on Friday 18 March @ 12.30pm!  With lots of new surprises in store, you don’t want to miss this fun, free, public event packed with celebrities and awesome entertainment!  Tell everyone and bring along your workmates, family and friends - we want a HUGE crowd to fill Fed Square and celebrate our participants!   
I’m thrilled to welcome three new staff to e.motion 21. In the Kew office we have Emer Flynn looking after all our program coordination and Fiona Hilson working on events and managing our volunteers. I'm also delighted to welcome our new Regional Manager for Bendigo, Kate Dempsey.  Emer, Fiona and Kate began their new roles in January. If you get a chance to connect with any of them please make them feel welcome!
Recently we invited the families and friends of e.motion21 to consider nominating themselves for the Family & Friends Committee. This Committee has been established to facilitate great communication and the sharing of ideas between the Board of e.motion21 and our community. We have had a terrific response so far, however we still have space for a couple more members. If you are interested in contributing to the Committee, please get in touch with me to find out more.
2016 is set to be an exciting year as we explore new sites and ways for e.motion21 to grow across Australia. Our core aim is to enhance lives and change perceptions of Down syndrome within society – we want to see our programs offered to many more over the next year.
Please keep in touch with us and look out for updates via our Facebook, Twitter and website.  We know that communicating with you all is critical to our ongoing success.
As I enter my sixth month as CEO, I would like to thank each and every one of you for your support and I look forward to doing what we do best, moving bodies, moving boundaries, in the year ahead.
Warmest regards,


Claire Vissenga | Chief Executive Officer | e.motion21

Ps. I work full-time Monday - Friday and can be contacted by email, mobile or landline.
M +61 419 326 213  
T +61 3 9854 7100 

World Down Syndrome Day
Friday, 18th March 2016 @ Federation Square

This year marks the 11th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day, a UN sanctioned day which raises awareness and celebrates the abilities of people with Down syndrome.  e.motion21 will celebrate this day with a vibrant, colourful, FUN, performance at Federation Square to demonstrate what young people with Down syndrome can achieve!!  This free public event is jam packed with celebrities and awesome entertainment including our very own inspiring Performance Program.  Spoiler alert…our audience will also get the chance to dance.  Watch this space!

Fun + frivolity from 12pm with performance from 12.30 – 1.15pm!

We want ABSOLUTELY EVERYBODY to know about our WDSD celebrations at Federation Square so that we can help create awareness and celebrate the abilities of people living with Down syndrome.
How can you help us do this?
-      Come along and tell absolutely everybody! Bring along your workmates, family and friends, we want a MASSIVE crowd to fill Fed Square!
-      For our regional families we want you here with us - train down to Flinders St and walk across the road to party with us!
-      Share our Facebook posts on the event with your friends – help us reach a global audience!

Check out this link for a peak at last year's amazing event!

WDSD – Fed Square Dancers wanted!

We would like to invite all e.motion21 dancers (who come wearing their uniform) 11yrs+ to join us on the main stage for our finale!  Free dancing to ‘Absolutely Everybody’ you will have the opportunity to wow the crowd with your awesome moves and maybe dance with a few celebrities!  Please ensure you register by emailing so that we can allocate volunteers accordingly.

WDSD - Dulux Drummers wanted!

e.motion21 dancers aged 4-10 years old are invited to join us onstage at Fed Square as Dulux drummers! Front and centre, you will create drum-rolls on cue to excite the crowd and support the on-stage performers.  Please ensure you register by emailing so that we can allocate volunteers accordingly.

WDSD – Volunteers needed!

If you would like to be a part of the volunteer team for this event, and you have a few hours to spare on Friday March 18, please email your interest and availability to
Here’s a summary of what roles we have available: 
  • Bump in team Thursday March 17;  1-3pm.  Meet at Villa Maria at 1pm with your trailer and/or muscles for loading and delivery to Federation Square.  
  • March 18 Set up team – 6:30am-8am/9am (depending on how quick we get things done!)
  • March 18 Volunteer registration, promotion and security – 9am-noon
  • March 18 General event assistance  â€“ 10am-3pm
  • March 18 Bump out team – 1:30pm-3pm – for those of you short on time and don’t mind coming at the end with a trailer and/or muscles!

2016 NAB Challenge ‘Carlton vs Sydney’

Friday, 11th March 2016, 5:50pm
@ Etihad Stadium, Docklands 

This year the Carlton Football Club, an ongoing sponsor of e.motion21, has generously provided 6 free tickets to the Carlton vs Sydney game for 5 dancers and a 1 lucky staff person/volunteer.  This will be a really awesome night and a great opportunity to take some photos to use to promote our celebration of World Down Syndrome Day at Federation Square the following week.  Some Carlton players will be participating in our WDSD event again and will be drumming with some of our kinder kids! There is also an opportunity for some of our lucky ticket holders to meet some of the players before the game!  IF YOU LOVE FOOTBALL AND are happy to represent e.motion21 on this night (uniforms compulsory!), please let us know in 25 words or less why you would like to attend by COB February 19.  Please email  your response and the lucky winners will be announced on Friday February 26.
Performance Program - Auditions
Sunday, 20th March 2016

Each year e.motion21 offers the opportunity to our dancers to be part of
our Performance Program. The group was formed in 2011 to give e.motion21 dancers additional opportunities to perform in line with our vision to change perceptions of Down syndrome within society. Highlights include:
-      Performing at the World Down Syndrome Congress in South Africa - 2012
-      Performing with Vanessa Amorosi - 2013
-      Performing at the National Disability Awards Gala Dinner in Canberra - 2013
-      Opening the Special Olympic National Games in Melbourne - 2014
-      Welcoming Lauren Potter, Glee star with a Flash-mob - 2014
-      Performing with The Australian Ballet School WDSD – 2015
-      Performing at the World Down Syndrome Congress in India – 2015

The audition is held similar to a dance workshop and conducted in a way that is inclusive, supportive and most importantly FUN for our dancers.  To register your interest, please email
We are excited to welcome the following new dance teachers!
Bendigo teacher  
Natalie Hannaford

Natalie brings to e.motion21 a wealth of dance teaching experience, she has a Bachelor of Arts (Performing Arts) as well as a Graduate Diploma of Teaching

Cranbourne assistant teacher
Melanie Paxton

Melanie has completed a Bachelor of Arts in Dance & Drama as well as a Post Grad in Teaching.  She is currently also teaching at Elisabeth Murdoch College.

Kew assistant teacher
Eloise Harris

Eloise trained in the UK and gained a BA in Professional Practice in Dance as well as a Post-graduate Diploma in Community Dance.  She has taught in the UK and more recently in Dubai.

Kew assistant teacher
Cassandra Magill

Cassandra has completed a Certificate IV of Elite Dance Performance and is currently studying to be an Occupational Therapist.

Please join us in giving our new team members a warm welcome to e.motion21!!!
And a BIG e.motion21 welcome to our new staff members!

Program Coordinator
Emer Flynn

Emer has recently joined us as our full-time Program Coordinator. With a passion for dance and working within not-for-profits, Emer is in her element! Originally from Ireland, Emer has a degree in Business and Arts Management and a background in Business Administration.

Bendigo RM
Kate Dempsey

Kate recently joined the e.motion21 team as the Bendigo Regional Manager. With an aptitude for embracing diversity, and experience working with people of diverse abilities and backgrounds, she boasts an extensive professional background in Education, as well as experience in Marketing, Events Management and Dance. 

Working with e.motion21 holds particular appeal as it affords the opportunity to positively impact the lives of children and families with Down syndrome, whilst promoting one of her great passions, Dance. A dance enthusiast, and one of the founders of No Lights No Lycra in Castlemaine, Kate believes everyone should have the opportunity to experience the freedom, self-expression and joy of dance. Kate is committed to the vision and values of e.motion21 and is incredibly excited to be working with Bendigo families, the Bendigo team, and within the local community as the Bendigo Regional Manager for e.motion21.

Volunteer & Events Coordinator
Fiona Hilson

Fiona is the Volunteer and Events Manager  for e.motion21. Fiona has a background in accounting working for two of the ‘Big Four’ in the audit division.  After leaving her career in chartered accounting in 2004 as Senior Audit Manager at Ernst and Young, Fiona concentrated on raising four beautiful children.  Fiona saw the e.motion21 dancers performing at the Glenferrie Road festival in 2010 and was very moved by the performance and couldn’t wait to get involved by volunteering at  the next event.  She has since volunteered at many annual concerts in various roles and has worked on staff in Event management and Volunteer Coordination in 2012/2013 and 2015. After having such a great experience working on our events and with our volunteers over the last few years, Fiona became Volunteer and Events Manager in January 2016.
Creative Kick Off 2016

To kick-start the new e.motion21 year, we gathered together our Mover Base staff, dance teachers, Site Managers and Regional Managers from across all our sites to discuss the year ahead and generate some ideas to make this year bigger and better than ever!
Held at Carlton Football Club on January 31st 2016, we spent the day covering topics such as how can we reach even more young people with Down syndrome in 2016 and how do we better communicate with our families. We looked back over last year and the successes we achieved and looked ahead to the coming year and the opportunities that are open to us. We even got involved in a mini warm-up dance class session to keep our bodies moving throughout the day!
We have already started on some of the ideas that came through and can’t wait to explore the other ideas generated by everyone involved. 
Some organisations that we love...
                     Save the dates!

·       Term 1: 1 February – 24 March 2016
·       Term 2: 11 April – 24 June
·       Term 3: 11 July – 16 September
·       Term 4: 3 October – 9 December
·       World Down Syndrome Day, Fed Square – Friday 18 March 2016
·       Auditions Performance Program – Sunday 20 March 2016
·       Rehearsals for Annual Concert - Saturday 10 & Sunday 11 September 2016
·       Annual e.motion21 Concert Spectacular – Sunday 18 September 2016
·       Pako Fest, Geelong – Sunday 27 February 2016
·       Down syndrome Awareness Day, Learmonth, Ballarat – Saturday 5 March
Copyright © 2016 e.motion21, All rights reserved.

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