• Sheree Echlin

Zac Gallaway Proves Ability Knows No Bounds


Zac Gallaway sure knows how to bust a move. With Michael Jackson’s timeless hit Beat It pouring out of the speakers, the Burpengary teen dances his heart out.

Zac’s love of dance is evident in the way he moves with timeless effort and skills mastered by years of hard work and practice.

It’s no surprise he has such amazing dance skills. Zac was a feature dancer this year at Creative Generation, a large scale onstage production with more than 1,500 participants.

“I love dancing,” Zac says. “Tap, ballet and hip hop. I’ve been dancing a long time.”

Dancing is just one of many achievements Zac has to his name. He lives a very active life, playing multiple sports and keeping as fit as possible. Soccer, cricket, basketball and athletics are just some of the activities you’ll see this confident young man tackle regularly, and earlier this year Zac’s talent on the soccer field saw him participate in the Special Olympics Australia National Games in Adelaide. His team won silver, an accolade Zac is proud of but easily downplays.

“I like to help my teammates and be nice to everyone,” he says. “I was very nervous because I had an injury - I had been kicked in the knee. I still played and it was nice to win.”

Fuelling his love of the sport is Zac’s cousin who plays premier league in New South Wales, and Zac wants to be just like him.

But there’s more to this young man than meets the eye. He might only be 17-years-old, but Zac lives life to the fullest, and all while living with Down syndrome. He certainly doesn’t let it hold him back or slow him down in any way.

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month in Australia, and Zac’s mother Sally is one person who wants to see the community hear more about life with Down syndrome.

“For me, I try to get it out there as much as possible,” Sally says. “I would like everyone to know someone with Down syndrome.

“You celebrate the small achievements. But you see things through different eyes and you realise everyone is beautiful.

“I don’t like to generalise but those living with Down syndrome are no different to you or me. And this is something that needs to be exploited more.”

Sally couldn’t be prouder of her son and everything he has already achieved so far. He was the miracle baby she was never meant to have, but he changed her life.

“He’s achieved so much more than I could have imagined,” she says. “He gives one hundred per cent all the time; school, sport, everything he puts his mind to.

“As a mum, I just want Zac to have anything in life that he can. For him to live as independently and happily as possible, that’s what every parent wants for their child….and for him to be accepted.”

For Zac, living with Down syndrome doesn’t seem to faze him, but it’s a sentiment that goes for most things with this talented young man who is attending his final year of school at Caboolture Special School.

“I just want to help my family, hang out with my friends (and my girlfriend),” Zac says. “I want to get a job and help out at home. I finish school this year, which is a bit scary but it makes my mum sad.”

But his aspirations are high and it seems there’s no holding Zac back. He would love to work in fitness after school, and he is also a big Zac Efron fan (must have something to do with the shared name).

“I like what he does,” Zac says. “Things like High School Musical and The Greatest Showman, I love watching them. I want to meet him.”

The future is definitely bright for this local talent, so watch this space!

Zac Gallaway sure knows how to bust a move. With Michael Jackson’s timeless hit Beat It pouring out of the speakers, the Burpengary teen dances his heart out.

Zac’s love of dance is evident in the way he moves with timeless effort and skills mastered by years of hard work and practice.

It’s no surprise he has such amazing dance skills. Zac was a feature dancer this year at Creative Generation, a large scale onstage production with more than 1,500 participants.

“I love dancing,” Zac says. “Tap, ballet and hip hop. I’ve been dancing a long time.”

Dancing is just one of many achievements Zac has to his name. He lives a very active life, playing multiple sports and keeping as fit as possible. Soccer, cricket, basketball and athletics are just some of the activities you’ll see this confident young man tackle regularly, and earlier this year Zac’s talent on the soccer field saw him participate in the Special Olympics Australia National Games in Adelaide. His team won silver, an accolade Zac is proud of but easily downplays.

“I like to help my teammates and be nice to everyone,” he says. “I was very nervous because I had an injury - I had been kicked in the knee. I still played and it was nice to win.”

Fuelling his love of the sport is Zac’s cousin who plays premier league in New South Wales, and Zac wants to be just like him.

But there’s more to this young man than meets the eye. He might only be 17-years-old, but Zac lives life to the fullest, and all while living with Down syndrome. He certainly doesn’t let it hold him back or slow him down in any way.

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month in Australia, and Zac’s mother Sally is one person who wants to see the community hear more about life with Down syndrome.

“For me, I try to get it out there as much as possible,” Sally says. “I would like everyone to know someone with Down syndrome.

“You celebrate the small achievements. But you see things through different eyes and you realise everyone is beautiful.

“I don’t like to generalise but those living with Down syndrome are no different to you or me. And this is something that needs to be exploited more.”

Sally couldn’t be prouder of her son and everything he has already achieved so far. He was the miracle baby she was never meant to have, but he changed her life.

“He’s achieved so much more than I could have imagined,” she says. “He gives one hundred per cent all the time; school, sport, everything he puts his mind to.

“As a mum, I just want Zac to have anything in life that he can. For him to live as independently and happily as possible, that’s what every parent wants for their child….and for him to be accepted.”

For Zac, living with Down syndrome doesn’t seem to faze him, but it’s a sentiment that goes for most things with this talented young man who is attending his final year of school at Caboolture Special School.

“I just want to help my family, hang out with my friends (and my girlfriend),” Zac says. “I want to get a job and help out at home. I finish school this year, which is a bit scary but it makes my mum sad.”

But his aspirations are high and it seems there’s no holding Zac back. He would love to work in fitness after school, and he is also a big Zac Efron fan (must have something to do with the shared name).

“I like what he does,” Zac says. “Things like High School Musical and The Greatest Showman, I love watching them. I want to meet him.”

The future is definitely bright for this local talent, so watch this space!

DOWN SYNDROME FACTS

(Information courtesy of downsyndrome.org.au, upwithdowns.org)

  • Down syndrome is a genetic condition. It is not an illness or a disease.

  • The population of people with Down syndrome in Australia is now more than 13,000.

  • There are three types of Down syndrome: trisomy 21 (accounts for 95% of cases), translocation and mosaicism.

  • Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21.

  • Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition.

  • Step UP! for Down syndrome! is an event to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October.

  • Visit http://www.stepupfordownsyndrome.org.au for further info on how you can donate.


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