Adorable toddler Heidi May Wilson is just one of the faces who will appear in Celebrate T21, a new Wollongong exhibition featuring more than 100 Australian families who have been touched by Down syndrome.
The exhibition at Project Contemporary Artspace will showcase some of the photos that will appear in this year's Celebrate T21 photo book.
Celebrate T21 is a local small business that wants to change the narrative around people with Down syndrome, and celebrate the joy they bring to the people around them.
Heidi's mother Emma Jane Lont from Victoria said the exhibition is about embracing people and children with Down syndrome.
"I feel like Down syndrome isn't something that is spoken about or celebrated," she said.
"It's really getting that message out there that we're proud of our children, and we celebrate them, and how lucky we are to have them in our lives."
While she is unable personally come to see the exhibition, Ms Lone cannot wait to get a copy of the book.
This year will be Celebrate T21's third photo book, which is due to be released on World Down Syndrome Day on March 21.
The upcoming book is three times the size of last year's and, like previous books, will be gifted to families who receive a prenatal or postnatal diagnosis, as part of a gift pack welcoming them into the Celebrate T21 community.
Celebrate T21 founder Stephanie Rodden also wants the book to be gifted to doctor's surgeries, hospitals and educational facilities.
Mrs Rodden said the exhibition is an opportunity for people to learn about the condition.
"We've got a range of images, and stories and quotes for people to be able to enjoy and read around the gallery," she said.
Particularly, she wants the beautiful portraits and family photos to bring awareness to the condition, and to celebrate families.
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"Being able to showcase it is just like any other family unit is really important, and to let them know it's okay."
Heidi's mother wants it to inform people regardless if they know they know anyone with the condition or not.
Mostly, she does not want expectant parents to go through what she did when she received the diagnosis.
"I know that myself when I got the test results, my doctor just kept apologising, and then when I wasn't reacting in a negative way, he kept telling me that it was bad news to try and get me to react badly," she said.
"I was just grateful to obviously just be pregnant, and to know that my baby was okay, whether she came with an extra chromosome or not, it didn't really matter, as long as she was healthy.
"She is the light in every room, and I say that as a mother and I get told that too."
Celebrate T21 designer Alexis Schnitger will have a portrait featured with her 12-year-old son Jordan, as well as some family photos.
Schnitger and her son have driven down from Ballina to see the exhibition.
"He is pretty impressed to see his face on the wall," she said.
"It's nice, he kind of understands what Down syndrome is now that he is older and the fact that he has Down syndrome, and recognise other people with Down syndrome."
Kylie Paskett from South Australia is also looking forward to the book's release, with her 10-years old son Felix making an appearance.
"He's such a little model," she said.
"He's all about the camera, always has been.
He literally makes us laugh everyday."
"He brings so much joy, and so much love, I've got nine children, but my heart has never been fuller."
Rodden's son Lincoln, who is also in the Vanity Fair shot (lower right with bowtie) will also be making an appearance in the exhibition.
"Without Lincoln, none of this would have happened."
The exhibition will be opening tonight, and will be running until February 28.
There's no charge to view the exhibition, but due to Covid restrictions, tickets must be secured.
Tickets can be bought at celebratet21.com.
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