The Board of Deaf Australia wish to advise the members and friends of Deaf Australia of three important pieces of information.
1. The Federal Government’s decision to de-fund Deaf Australia:
As many of you may be aware, the Commonwealth Government has decided to stop funding Deaf Australia as a national funded peak organisation.
This will affect Deaf Australia’s capacity to continue to advocate for deaf people on a national level with government and business. From 1 March 2015, Deaf Australia will no longer have a direct voice to the Australian government.
This is extremely disappointing because we have advocated for the rights of deaf and hard of hearing people to equal opportunities and access in areas of employment, early intervention and education, justice, services and more for many years.
This advocacy role will now be take over by broad-based organisations that focus on women, children, migrants Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islanders and people with disabilities.
We believe these organisations will not be effective in working for deaf people because they do not have a good understanding of the specific needs of the deaf community.
We believe deaf people need and deserve an organisation that is run by deaf people and for deaf people, so we will continue to advocate for future funding to make sure that we can go back to working hard for your rights and access.
- Deaf Australia will NOT close. Deaf Australia will return to pre-1992 where the organisation is fully voluntary.
- Deaf Australia’s Auslan Shop WILL continue as normal.
- Head Office in Brisbane will be closed (Sign On Employment Service will continue).
- Deaf Australia will undertake campaign strategies (more information will be forthcoming).
2. Membership Schedules and Fees:
In accordance with Deaf Australia’s Constitution, we are required to provide 28 days notice to members advising of Membership Schedules and Fees.Download the Membership Schedules and Fees for your information.
We will start implementing the new structure on 14 March 2015.
You will notice there are 3 Schedules:
- Schedule A – Individual Members
- Schedule B – Corporate Members
- Schedule C – Deaf Friendly
At the recent Annual General Meeting in November 2014, the members of Deaf Australia approved the amendments to Deaf Australia’s Constitution.
Registration and renewal of membership (in any schedule) will be online and is payable through our secure PayPal system. We will send out a notification once this is up and running.
3. Information Session:
Deaf Victoria (with support of Vicdeaf) has organised an Information Session about changes to the membership structure and funding model on 13 March 2015 at 7pm – 9pm at Vicdeaf. This information session will be live-streamed online for anyone in Australia to view the presentation and it will be recorded for people to view at a later time. The Information Session will have interactive SMS so you can share your thoughts, comments or ask questions.
At this information session, we will provide members, friends and interested individuals information about Deaf Australia’s current activities, as well as clarify the new membership schedules and fees and the Deaf Friendly Initiative.
We will distribute more information as soon as it is available from Deaf Victoria.
Lastly, Deaf Australia appreciates your ongoing support over the years. We want to say a huge thank you to all our members, supporters and staff over the years who have all worked so hard to improve access and human rights for deaf people. This is the time we need to show strong unity in the deaf community to overcome the challenges we are facing, because we all want the same thing; to maximise opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing people in Australia and make your lives fairer and better.
We look forward to continuing to work with you and for you.