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Down Syndrome Australia
A message from the Executive Director: June 2005

Terry Sylvester

It is with great delight and anticipation that I come to the Down Syndrome Connection as your new executive director. I am deeply impressed with the organization, its purpose, and the people involved. I consider it an honor and a privilege to take the responsibility for insuring its continued success, while building and expanding on the organization�s unlimited potential and opportunity.

What has been accomplished in the past is truly admirable, considering how many families have been served with so few resources. What is exciting is that the time is ripe for the Connection to feed on its momentum, seeking new financial investors, getting current families more directly involved, and creating awareness and generating interest to others outside the Down syndrome community.

There is an old Chinese Proverb that says, "If you are thinking a year ahead, sow seeds. If you are thinking ten years ahead, plant a tree. If you are thinking a hundred years ahead, educate people." It is time to educate the community about Down syndrome. As those of us associated with this disability know, once you have been exposed to a child with Down syndrome, you are never quite the same. Our mission should be to expose the general public in the same way, making them aware of the services that are made available through our agency, and encouraging them to become a partner in our cause. With exposure comes inspiration and with inspiration, action, leading to the investment with hearts, time, and financial resources!

The Down Syndrome Connection started with a dream to provide families much needed support and encouragement as they faced the prospect of raising a child born with this disability. The success of the Connection has resulted from several foundations and many individuals believing strongly enough in the cause to continue to invest significant funds. We are in a very enviable position because we already have strong support. We have the opportunity to make a difference every day in the lives of others. But there is still so much more that we can do, if we are willing to broaden our horizons. Convincing others to join in our mission should be one of our goals for the future.

Where do we start? The breadth of an organization can often be measured by the attendance, while the depth of the organization by the contributions. Over 1000 families are currently using our facilities and benefiting from our services. We are starting with you, and with every other family that has benefited from our services in the past! If we can�t convince those of you who have had first-hand experience of the immeasurable value of our services and support, we aren�t going to easily convince others. Our attitude will greatly influence those outside our circle, and their attitude will influence many others outside our extended family. We should not be shy or complacent about asking for support. The greater the support we raise, the greater our opportunities. And with greater opportunities, come unimaginable rewards.

I look forward to meeting each and every one of you and to becoming partners with you in expanding and broadening the unlimited and unimaginable future of the Down Syndrome Connection.