Roots of Change is a storytelling platform dedicated to the Alumni community of The Funding Network Australia. Here we share their stories of ingenuity, courage, determination, spirit, growth and the impact these grassroots organisations have had, as a direct result of funds and support received from The Funding Network community.




Providing evidence-based dance and fitness programs specifically for young people with Down syndrome.

Through performance-­based activities and community engagement, they enhance lives and change perceptions of Down syndrome within society. e.motion21 run a project called Moving Bodies, which aims to move both bodies and boundaries. They provide specialised movement and performance programs in every community in which people with Down syndrome live.

2019 Pitch

Funds raised: $33,000

Since their pitch in 2014, the fitness classes offered by e.motion21 have grown and now they are looking to hire people with (dis)abilities to help run these classes. At TFN Live Melbourne, Jane was raising money to employ three young people with Down Syndrome to co-lead these fitness classes and be a role model (dis)ability leadership within their local community.

2014 Pitch
Funds raised: $15,400

e.motion21 uses dance to offer children and young adults with Down Syndrome a supportive space to learn, enjoy themselves, and be active. The organisation, which runs dance and fitness classes, was born out of CEO and founder Cate Sayers’ frustration at the lack of opportunities for kids with Down Syndrome to be socially included in creative and active pursuits. Her program saw an explosive response from its humble beginnings, growing from 6 to 40 students within its first 8 months; some families traveling from hours away to have their children participate in classes. After raising $15,400 at The Funding Network in December 2014, e.motion21 achieved its goal of hiring a part-time coordinator to oversee dance classes for one year.

The impact...

The funding from TFN allowed the organisation’s volunteer numbers to expand to over 250, and a much greater participation of 285 children and young adults with Down Syndrome attending dance lessons in 2015.

Six years on, e.motion21 continues to realise its vision to “enhance lives and change perceptions of Down Syndrome in society” through dance and positive community engagement. Founder Cate Sayers says this work is about “helping people understand that disability is not the limiting factor for people to reach their potential - It’s society’s reaction to that disability.” Among the overwhelmingly positive effects of e.motion21, Cate says that the program has allowed students to experience personal growth, a sense of achievement, and to develop lasting friendships.


Read their Impact Report

Learn more about e.motion21





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