The 2017 World Dwarf Games are to be held in Guelph, Ontario – Canada from the 5th to 12th of August. Team Australia is already working hard to ensure the strongest team yet is sent over. Camp 1 was held in Sydney (August 2015), with a total of 16 athletes in attendance to kick-start their journey to WDG17. They gained a valuable insight into key areas of games preparation, fitness, training commitments and overall information of what it takes to be an Australian representative. The next camp will be on the Gold Coast from 19th – 21st February 2016. This will be a compulsory camp for those whom have previously expressed interest
SSPA President, Sam Millard received the McHugh-Henderson Award at the SSPA’s Annual Dinner Dance held recently at the 48th National Convention in Perth, Western Australia.
The award is given only when a nominee is deemed worthy, and as such, Sam was the first recipient since 2012. The award is recognition for Sam’s:
Congratulations to Sam.
Highlights from this year’s two major events on the SSPA calendar:
The 48th SSPA Convention in Perth, Western Australia
The 21st National Sporting Weekend in Albury, New South Wales – Presented by the Short Statured People of Australia
At the 48th SSPA AGM held in Perth, Western Australia, a new National Council has been elected.
Congratulations to the following newly-appointed SSPA National Council members:
President: Sam Millard (Victoria)
Vice-President: Linda Henderson (NSW)
Secretary: Alicia Jenkins (New South Wales)
Treasurer: Rosemary Hobbs (Victoria)
Overseas Liaison Officer: Samantha Lilly (Victoria)
Journal Editor: Tony Munro (New South Wales)
Membership Secretary: Vicki Fallon (New South Wales)
Sports Coordinator: Kobie Donovan (Queensland)
Anthony Koedyk (Victoria)
Carly Myers (Victoria)
Meredith Young (Victoria)
Lena Snook (Western Australia)
Michael Blair (New South Wales)
Sandra Lundie (Queensland)
Rob Millard (Victoria)
Troy Parker (New South Wales)
Suzann Franklin (Western Australia)
What is it?
October was officially recognised as “Dwarfism Awareness Month” by the Little People of America (LPA) in 2009. October was chosen as the month to celebrate dwarfism as it’s the birth month of the late Billy Barty, founder of the LPA. It is now celebrated around the world, with several countries passing a resolution to officially name October as Dwarfism Awareness Month.
The Short Statured People of Australia Inc. (SSPA), with the support of the Australian Federal Government joined the LPA in 2012 and officially declared October as Dwarfism Awareness Month. Dwarfism Awareness Month is now listed on the Department of Health’s website, along with all other major awareness days and months relating to health: www.health.gov.au/calendar
Why do we need it?
Dwarfism is a medical condition that is not fully understood. Generally, there is insufficient knowledge about dwarfism. This lack of knowledge has driven speculation and superstition about dwarfism, enabling discrimination.
The declaration of Dwarfism Awareness Month has been a huge step forward for people living with the condition and their families by providing an opportunity to educate society and create general awareness.
What do we hope to achieve?
Acceptance – for people born with a condition of dwarfism, the challenge is to be accepted and integrated into everyday society – this can be hampered by the common misconceptions and lack of education around the condition.
How you can help?
Purchase a wrist band:
Hold an event:
Contact local media:
The facts, the figures and the questions answered
What is dwarfism?
Dwarfism is a condition of short stature caused as a result of a medical or genetic condition. There are over 350 distinct forms of dwarfism and skeletal dysplasia’s.
Short Statured People of Australia Inc. (SSPA) – Equality of Opportunity
The SSPA is a non-profit organisation that provides support and information for people with conditions of dwarfism, their families and other interested members of the community. The SSPA is made up of volunteers who aim to educate the community, provide peer and parent support, participate in programs that benefit the dwarfism community and promote the achievements of people with dwarfism. The SSPA’s main aim is to assimilate people of short stature into society with the goal of equality of education and social status, and of employment opportunities.
Facebook: search ‘SSPA’
SSPA membership subscriptions are due from 1st August 2015. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your membership and hope that you continue in the year ahead. Please renew your membership to remain financial and enjoy the benefits of being an SSPA member.
Complete and submit the SSPA Membership form by clicking on the link below:
Remember your membership needs to be current to receive a discount on your Convention fees and to vote at the AGM.
**A big THANK YOU to the early birds who have already enrolled for 2015/2016.
Phillip Island Adventure Resort: http://piar.cyc.org.au/
Situated on 80 acres of landscaped grounds in the heart of Phillip Island, The Resort benefits from its close proximity to many local attractions and beaches. Featured among The Resort’s large choice of recreational facilities are 2 outdoor solar heated pools, 1 indoor heated pool, an extensive range of professionally built and accredited adventure activities, including 3 giant swings, 2 high ropes courses, 2 twin flying foxes, and 2 single flying foxes, plus 2 large recreational lakes.
We will be staying in Silverleaves which features air-conditioned dining, function and meeting areas plus activity facilities. Guest rooms are air-conditioned and ensuited.
The Resort offers disabled access to all and is fully accredited by – Australian Camping Association (ACA) and the National Accommodation Recreation & Tourism Accreditation (NARTA).
Lock it in your diaries now!
The 7th World Dwarf Games are to be held in 2017 with the country and dates to be announced. Although this is over two years away planning is well underway both here and abroad. We need to begin the process of organising training programs, camps, sponsorship and funding proposals, etc. As such we need to gauge interest from the members of the SSPA to determine the number of athletes wishing to compete and which events they will compete in. Additionally athletes will need to indicate attendance to the first national training camp – attendance and participation at training camps will be a key component of the selection criteria, which will be outlined at the first camp to be held in Sydney on 7th-9th August 2015.
Please complete the form below and return to Kobie Donovan (National Sports Coordinator) via email to: [email protected] A prompt reply would be much appreciated.
Statement on behalf of the SSPA:
The feature story that aired on 60 Minutes (Channel 9) on Sunday evening on the worldwide achondroplasia drug trial has opened up a huge conversation throughout Australia particularly via social media. The story featured Professor Ravi Savarirayan discussing the trial that boasts Melbourne as its largest centre. Part of the story were two young people who both have achondroplasia one who is taking part in the trial, one who is not. Their loving and supportive parents stood by them on the segment.
The SSPA is confident that Professor Savarirayan and his team at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute are conducting this drug trial with the health and safety of these children as their prime consideration.
Professor Savarirayan has provided us with the following statement:
“Our aim is to simply try and prevent or decrease significant medical complications and keep these children healthy as adults, not to “cure” them or make them taller.
For instance, babies with achondroplasia have a 5 times increased risk of sudden death over those without it, and we hope that if the medication improves spinal bone growth this will be reduced or eliminated without risky surgeries.”
We would like to clarify a word raised within the segment when referring to the hopes of the drug trial providing “normal” lives for these children. Men and women of all ages with achondroplasia, and indeed any of the 300+ conditions of dwarfism, do lead fulfilling, happy and meaningful lives. With achondroplasia, and many other forms of dwarfism, some individuals will live their entire lives with no medical complications and no need for medical or surgical intervention. Others may experience complications that require medical and/or surgical intervention during the course of their lives.
The achondroplasia drug trial does not have the goal of ‘curing’ the condition, nor does it have the goal of making children with dwarfism average height. The drug trial is hopeful that it will be able to assist specific areas where complications can occur, such as bowing of the legs, sleep aponea, and spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal cord) just to mention a few. The SSPA believes anything that can help children and young adults avoid the need for surgeries, hospital stays, time off school, time away from their families/friends, and away from their ‘normal’ everyday lives, is absolutely a step forward.
We wish Professor Savarirayan, his team and those fortunate to be involved within the trial of this drug, every success and happiness.
National President – SSPA