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Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Page: 3749


Mr MATHESON (Macarthur) (13:45): Today is World Down Syndrome Day and I would like to commend a group of parents in my electorate who have dedicated their lives to supporting families living with Down syndrome in Macarthur. The Right Start Foundation is committed to raising awareness about Down syndrome and giving their children the best chance in life. The main objective of this group is to establish Australia's first Down-syndrome-specific centre in Macarthur to ensure children and families receive all the therapies and support they need for the right start in life.

I have worked with this group on many occasions to help raise awareness and funds for their cause. They are a wonderful group of parents who want only the best for their children and work tirelessly to achieve this despite the tough challenges they face on a day-to-day basis. I have also spent time with their beautiful children, who are some of the most courageous, inspiring and amazing children in my electorate: Jake Graban, Talara Gray, Claire Robinson, Ash Longbottom, Brodie Ellul, James Pennock, Aiden Puttock, Joshua Richardson, Joshua Batten, Harrison Golden, Maia Careres, Olivia Montgomery and Emily Laws. They all live with Down syndrome and, together with their parents, they are bringing support, hope and joy to the lives of other families living with the condition in Macarthur.

As we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day today, I hope that we, as leaders of our communities, can show our support to all families living with Down syndrome. I give special praise to the members of the Right Start Foundation who work so hard to make this world a better place for their beautiful children.