Frequently asked questions

About Impact21

Impact21 is a multi-year education and employment program for young people with Down syndrome and intellectual disability, which has been created by e.motion21 and its partners to meet a critical need in the Australian landscape.

The program, commencing in 2020, will break the cycle of people with an intellectual disability receiving repetitive training that is rarely applied in practice, undertaking continuous short-term job placements and experiencing the inevitable disappointment and loss of confidence that arises from failed encounters and which can deter employers from hiring individuals with an intellectual disability.

The program’s initial target market is the 700,000+ Australians living with an intellectual disability, the 95% of working-aged individuals with Down syndrome who are not in open employment in Australia, and employers and educators across the country who are committed to inclusion.

Impact21 will commence in 2020 following the successful completion of the Impact21 Pilot.

The Impact21 Pilot is a 12 month education and employment program that supports individuals to become ‘work ready’ for specific roles and responsibilities with pre-determined employers. It is intended to prove the concept of the broader Impact21 initiative.

The Impact21 Pilot focuses on developing the work readiness of a small cohort of young people living with Down syndrome and supporting selected national employers to design and offer meaningful and sustainable roles within their organisations for people with different abilities.

The Pilot will involve intense collaboration with approximately 80 people – a mix of young people living with Down syndrome and representatives across industry, education, disability employment services, media, Government and the not-for-profit sector.

Course information and requirements

The Impact21 Pilot is expected to commence on 11 February 2019 and conclude in mid-February 2020.

The Impact21 pilot will operate over a 54 week period, with 5 holiday weeks, that align with the Torrens University timetable.

Trimester 1: Mon 11 Feb -  Fri 18 May  (14 weeks)
Includes Public holidays (Good Friday, Easter Monday, Anzac Thursday)
Two week holiday break

Trimester 2: Mon 3 June – Fri 31 August (13 weeks)
One week holiday break

Trimester 3: Mon 9 September – Fri 21 December (15 weeks)
Two week holiday break (including Christmas and New Year)

Intern program: Mon 6 January – Fri 21 February (7 weeks)

Education phase: 3 days per week
Days: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday
Time: 9.30am - 4.00pm
Employment: Commitment to minimum of 15hrs per week (day/hours to be agreed with future employer) from February 2020

Some elements of the Pilot will be eligible for NDIS funding. NDIS-related FAQs are available here. Further information about costs and potential funding for participants are available by request. Please contact us on

Torrens University Australia
196 Flinders St, Melbourne, VIC 3000


It’s really important that all Pilot participants commit to attending the scheduled three days per week of classes. More information about unplanned participant absences will be discussed with successful applicants in the next phase of recruitment.

Employability skills refer to a set of transferable skills and personal attributes which are highly regarded by employers and essential for effective performance in the workplace.


The following employers have expressed strong interest in participating in the Pilot and are working with Impact21 to agree strategic alliances to support the Pilot:*

Deakin University –

DuluxGroup –

PwC Australia –

Sodexo -

*The Strategic Alliances with employer partners are yet to be contractually agreed – although we expect this to occur imminently.

Roles will be customised for the different personalities, capabilities and interests of participants during the training period of the Pilot. The specific roles will be co-created with the young people, employers and disability employment service provider throughout the Pilot once we all know each other better and have refined key employability skills. Examples of the types of jobs that may be made available include:

  • Hospitality - such as concierge, setting up of meeting rooms, tidying of meeting rooms, re-stocking items for meeting items and communal spaces, taking catering orders, serving tea and coffee, preparing meals in the kitchen
  • Administration - such as clerical work, data entry, mailroom, print room, office paper recycling, stock lists, shredding confidential files
  • Manual - such as setting up of work and event spaces, moving stock, unpacking/stacking boxes.

*Please note: all roles will be based in the Melbourne area.

Of course! Every job that is offered to participants at the end of successful completion of the Pilot will be paid, meaningful and sustainable. You will be paid the full award wage* for the role you are doing.

*See “What about my Disability Support Pension” for further information regarding full award wages

If you have concerns about the possibility of losing your entitlement to the Disability Support Pension (DSP), we can work with you, the potential employer and Centrelink to determine how you might remain eligible for the DSP. This may involve, for example, participation in the Supported Wage Scheme at a percentage of the full award wage for your role. Any income earned under this Scheme will need to be reported to Centrelink and the amount of DSP received will be adjusted accordingly.

We will use our best efforts to place participants in the right role with the right employer.  Job roles will be developed throughout the Pilot in consultation with the young person, not imposed on them– e.motion21 manages the job matching of individuals and employers in collaboration with the young person to increase the prospect of a long-term fulfilling employment experience for both the young person and the employer.  The young person will have rights to end their employment under standard laws and regulations.

Jobs will be tailored to individuals by using an evidenced customised employment philosophy, which looks at matching the work to be done with a person’s unique set of skills and interests that would be an asset in the workplace.

It means it’s a real job in a real workplace, earning real wages, which is designed to be a long-term role leading to permanent, on-going employment.

Applying for Impact21

Click here to be taken to the eligibility page

Complete the Expression of Interest form by Sunday 9th December.

We will contact you on the details you provide to let you know the outcome of your Expression of Interest by Tuesday 11 December.  Second round applicants will be invited to participate in one of two Information Meetings on Wednesday 12 December 12-3pm or Thursday 13 December 5pm-8pm. More information about this meeting will be shared with successful applicants.

We genuinely wish that we could accept every individual who applies for the Pilot, but it’s just not possible for us to do at this stage. We know that some people will feel disappointed when they are not successful in securing a place in the Pilot. To help make this a little easier for unsuccessful applicants, we will do our best to provide you with other opportunities that might be of interest. And don’t forget, the full scale Impact21 Program is expected to commence in 2020, which isn’t that far away!

We anticipate that applications for the 2020 program will commence towards the later part of 2019.

Unfortunately there is no guaranteed entry into the Impact21 program in 2020. A similar application process will be undertaken, however if you are unsuccessful in securing a place in the pilot, we strongly encourage you to apply for the full scale program in 2020.

Following the submission of your online expression of interest which includes the “getting to know you” video, there will be a shortlisting process. If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to a face-to-face or phone-based information session which is an opportunity for you and your support person/s to ask questions and meet some people involved in the Impact21 Pilot. Shortly after the information session, you will be informed if you have been successful in your application. Click here for timeline.

About e.motion21

e.motion21 is a not-for-profit organisation that provides Australian-first, innovative dance and fitness programs for children and young adults with Down syndrome. Through performance-based activities and community engagement, e.motion21 aims to enhance lives for people with Down syndrome and change perceptions of Down syndrome within society.

We call this moving bodies and moving boundaries.

  • Moving bodies: providing programs to children and young adults with Down syndrome in supportive and social environments tailored to meet their specific learning needs.
  • Moving boundaries: engaging positively with individuals, families and communities through our programs, performances and media to uncover new potential, promote understanding and raise expectations.

The e.motion21 vision is to enhance lives and change perceptions of Down syndrome within society through moving bodies and moving boundaries.

Impact21 is an expansion of e.motion21’s work in delivering tailored ‘moving bodies and moving boundaries’ programs to people with Down syndrome. The e.motion21 expertise in the Down syndrome community, relationships with our families and our corporate partners over the past decade, is now being transferred into the education, training and workforce environments.

The vision of Impact21 is to fill the gap in inclusive post-secondary ‘education into employment programs’ that leads to sustainable and meaningful careers for individuals with Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities. It operates under the auspices and constitution of e.motion21.

Contact us on and we will respond to your query by no later than the end of the next working day.