Down Syndrome Awareness Month 2023  

Understanding and celebrating Down syndrome.

Every October, the world marks Down Syndrome Awareness Month. This month-long event celebrates each unique and individual person with Down syndrome and raises awareness, breaks down barriers, promotes inclusion and diversity and dispels myths surrounding Down syndrome.  

What is Down syndrome?  

Down syndrome is a condition in which a person is born with an extra chromosome – the packets of genes that determine how our bodies form and function.  

A baby is typically born with 46 chromosomes, but a baby with Down syndrome has an extra copy or part of a copy of one of those chromosomes, chromosome 21. 

The extra copy of chromosome 21 changes how a baby’s body and brain develop, which can cause mental and physical differences. The physical symptoms of Down syndrome vary from person to person. 

Down syndrome can also cause intellectual and developmental symptoms that lead to cognitive impairment, which means challenges with thinking and learning. Like the physical symptoms, they vary and can range from mild to moderate

The importance of awareness 

People with Down syndrome are just like anyone else – they want the same things we all want, family, friends, and a career. That’s why at CVGT Employment we are committed to creating amazing futures for our participants with Down syndrome.  

Sadly, all around the world, people with Down syndrome are treated badly. 

  • They are denied a quality education. 
  • They are denied the chance to work and earn their own money. They are denied good health care. 
  • They are not allowed to make decisions about their own lives. 
  • Their voices are not heard. 

By bringing awareness to Down syndrome we can tackle stereotypes and myths surrounding the condition with the hope of making their world a little brighter. 

They are still proud of me and who I am becoming right now.

Bar Tender – The Belmont Hotel

The importance of inclusion  

Empowerment and inclusion are integral to our culture and how we live  our values. We ensure our employment solutions are inclusive and respond to the diverse needs of our participants. 

At  CVGT Employment, we work closely with businesses and industry to build inclusive practices, improve equality, and ensure every person has access to employment. 

We have a shared vision for developing pathways to employment for people of all ages and abilities, ensuring people with disability, including those with Down syndrome have the support they need to make life-changing decisions. 

Celebrating success  

A look at some of our success stories that show how we’ve created inclusive employment opportunities for people with disability, and how our partnerships have empowered our participants with Down syndrome. 

Perri and her manager Felicia from Aquarena Aquatic and Leisure Centre.

CVGT Employment and partners work together to create Perri’s dream job – and Perri loves it!

Expanding a positive impact – Nicky is looking forward to joining Impact21 as it expands to the Bendigo region.

Ed rocks the kitchen at the Hotel Esplanade, he is making the most of a great new opportunity to build a career in hospitality. 

Perri and her manager Felicia from Aquarena Aquatic and Leisure Centre.

Kyle finds a sweet spot in doughnut dreamland, singing, dancing and making sweet treats.

Katie secures employment through CVGT Australia Disability Employment Services

Kyle serves up hospitality behind a bar at the Belmont Hotel.

I love working here, with all my friends.

Chris – Aquatic Attendant
Eltham Leisure Centre

Our Programs 

At CVGT Employment, we believe every person deserves the opportunity to fulfil their potential. Our programs support people with a disability to find meaningful work. Find out more about our programs below.   

Disability Employment Services 

Disability Employment Services (DES) is an Australian Government Initiative that helps people with a disability, injury or health condition (including anxiety and depression) find and keep a job.   
Our goal is to find employment solutions that work for our participants, their needs, skills, experience, and interests.  – Disability Employment Services – CVGT Employment 

Specialist Disability Employment Team  

SDET supports the partnerships CVGT Employment have with external organisations. It enables CVGT to offer dedicated, intensive, and customised support to participants with a disability, all of whom have an intellectual or development disability. Corporate responsibility – CVGT Employment 

Our Partners

About our partnership with Impact21 

Partnering with not-for-profit Inclusion Foundation, we assist in delivering a world-first education and employment program for young adults with Down syndrome. Our latest participant group started their education component based at Torrens University, and by mid-2022 will have paid employment in a customised role with one of this year’s employer partners: JB Hi-Fi, Sodexo Australia, ACMI, Tennis Australia, MSAC, Torrens University and CVGT Employment. 
“To work with the students in Impact21 each and every year, has really enabled CVGT to be involved in a service that truly meets the ideals of what a Disability Employment Service is meant to be.” – Mark Little  

About our partnership with Onemda 

We continue our close working relationship with Onemda by formalising our collaboration on their SILOS project. It introduces young people with intellectual disabilities to work and employment while in their last 3 years of school. The program, funded by an NDIS ILC grant, will deliver activities in the Melbourne North, Melbourne East, Melbourne West, Bendigo and Ballarat regions. 
The “model of interagency collaboration” will be formally evaluated by Australian Catholic University. 

Our People

CVGT Employment has a diverse workforce of people who believe in our purpose of connecting more people to meaningful work. We are proud that our team brings the skills, passion and compassion to support the work we do.  


Corportate Office Admin


Specialist Disability Employment Team

Check out Jamie’s article series ‘Q&A with Jamie’. He is our frontline reporter for the Specialist Disability Employment Team heading out to businesses and visiting participants who have been placed into employment.  

You can read ‘Q&A with Jamie’ by hitting the links below.  

Connect to CVGT Employment Disability Employment Service 

If injury, illness, or disability is making it tough for you to find the right job, CVGT Employment can help. Enquire about Disability Employment Services onlineor call 132 848 today to learn more about how we can support you to find inclusive and sustainable work.   

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