A group of people with Down syndrome who have shown an interest in self-advocacy and want to work their way into the STRIVE team.

Home 9 Step Up

Stand up loud

Talk about


People with Down syndrome to have


Participation and political rights


Headshot of Andrew Oswin

Andrew Oswin

Canterbury Zone 6 / founding STRIVE member

I have been a founding member of STRIVE and am now a member of STEP UP to mentor new members of STRIVE. I have paid work doing administration including data entry for Parent to Parent Greater Canterbury and I do voluntary work at a dementia day centre. I speak up at Down Syndrome International Zoom Forums as the New Zealand Representative to give a New Zealand perspective. In 2011, I went to Greece for four weeks with the New Zealand Special Olympics Summer Games Team and came back with two gold medals. 

Fun fact since then, I have travelled to Europe three more times with my parents, and had wonderful experiences

Edward Borkin

Auckland Zone 1 / founding STRIVE member

I am Edward Borkin with Down Syndrome and 44 years old. I live in Auckland and flatting where I try and be as independent as possible.

I work at Pak in Save and have been there for 22 years.

I enjoy Special Olympics and watching TV and listening to music. I sing loudly and not always in tune.!!

I was one of the first members of STRIVE and now STEP UP.


Jeffery Maclean

Auckland Zone 1

My name is Jeffrey, Maclean, I enjoy working two days a week at a local cafe. Being a part of STEP-UP  has allowed me to be a leader in the disability community which is awesome.

A fun fact about me is that I love cars.


Georgia Garrett

Manawatū Zone 3

Name Georgia Garrett
Region Manawatu

3 things I enjoy:

Catch up with friends dancing and spending time with my Partner

What you do as a step-up member:

Learn how to be a better leader by meeting and talking with interesting people

Fun fact about me: Celebrated my 30th birthday this year


Emily Thompson

Wellington Zone 4

Hello, this is queen Emily Thompson. I am 30 now. My birthday is on September 2nd

I live in Wellington. I live in Island Bay.

I’m looking for a boyfriend. I like doing Pokemon writing. I like being creative, to make a card.

Fun fact: I was on a dating show, it was called Down for Love Season 2, tv show on TVNZ On Demand

Carlos Biggemann

Dunedin Zone 6

My name is Carlos I live in the Otago region in Otepoti- Dunedin.

My top 3 things that I love doing are:

1-    I enjoy travelling considering it teaches me so many things while I take photographs of their countries and knowing different cultures.

2-    Reading while I immerse myself into a whole new world of fantasies, I can read and read until someone reminds me that it’s time to sleep.

3-    Hang out with friends while having a good laugh, while we drink either a cuppa or something exotic E.g. a glass of wine maybe.

I am a member of STEP-UP, and we learn so much cool stuff,  such as we have guest speakers who share their knowledge with us and we contribute within the community, to speak up for others who don’t have a voice to be heard and to those in need, 

I am passionate about life and I live it intensively