Clarkson photographer captures playful joy for Down Syndrome WA 2019 calendar

Elliot and Isaac Bicker. Picture: Tracy Bicker
Elliot and Isaac Bicker. Picture: Tracy Bicker

A CLARKSON resident is the mastermind behind the second annual Down Syndrome WA fundraising calendar.

Photographer Tracy Bicker captured pictures of children having fun around Perth for the 2019 calendar, which will help families with education and support services.

Her son Elliott (1) is one of the children with Down syndrome who feature in the calendar.

Aurora (3 months old). Picture: Tracey Bicker

“They are just like every other child who wants to have fun and be energetic in life,” Mrs Bicker said.

“The pictures show just how amazing all our kids are, how much joy and love they bring to everyone’s life.

“I love how physical all the kids were in their photos, jumping, dancing, catching balls.

Jacina (2). Picture: Tracey Bicker

“I did the calendar to further connect with other mums and families – I saw it as a way to use my skills in photography to spread awareness.

“It was also a great way to raise funds to further continue the great work DSWA does for all our families.”

The organisation provides support and information to people with the genetic condition caused by an extra chromosome, their families, and those in the community who support them.

Nikki Schwagermann with Elliot Bicker at the DSWA playgroup. Picture: Tracey Bicker

DSWA’s family support and event coordinator Nikki Schwagermann, of Wanneroo, coordinates weekly playgroups and new parent morning teas.

“Talking to other parents of a child with Down syndrome can be very helpful and reassuring,” she said.

Last year the mother-of-three, whose youngest son Wil (9) has Down syndrome, added coordination of the annual fundraising calendar to her task list with Mrs Bicker.

Quade (3). Picture: Tracey Bicker

“This is the second year the playgroup has been doing the calendar,” Mrs Schwagermann said.

“We shot it in locations around Perth.

“We have limited government funding – all the money raised will go to DSWA to run our playgroups.

“Without that and fundraising we wouldn’t be able to be the support for the families that they need.”

Mrs Bicker has become a Down syndrome advocate on her Instagram profile @threesmallwanderers, posting daily musings about life as a mother of a child with Down syndrome.

When their second son was diagnosed at birth, she was scared he would not be close to his older brother Isaac.

“If only I could see these images back then – two brothers happily playing under a fruit tree, completely in awe of each other and building a bond that will last a lifetime.”

Her next project will be a photography book delving into the different birth stories from families around Perth.

The $20 calendar, which raised $5000 last year, is available online at www.dsawa.asn.au