Deaf Australia held their 27th Annual General Meeting on 16 November 2013 at the Deaf Community Centre, Moorooka Queensland.
Ann Darwin, President thanked Deaf Services Queensland for allowing us to use the venue. She extended a special welcome to Colin Allen, President of the WFD; Bobbie Blackson, President of Deaf Services Queensland; and Brett Casey, CEO of Deaf Services Queensland.
The 27th Annual Report was presented to the meeting and adopted. Highlights were:
Key priority 1: Early intervention and education
- National Summit on Early Intervention & Education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children, Canberra, 29 & 30 November 2012.
- Disability Employment Services – meetings with government. We received some funding to run community engagement workshops in 2013-2014.
Key priority 2: Access to communications
- Upgrades to the National Relay Service:
- SMS relay – can be used to call emergency services
- Video Relay Service
- Captioned telephony
Key priority 3: Access to information and media
- TV captioning quality
- National Disability Insurance Scheme
- Workshops for the Deaf community
Key priority 4: Organisation stability and growth
- Outlook newsletter became a blog
- National Week of Deaf People
- Auslan Community Classes/Workshops and Auslan Short Courses continued this year.
- Worked with many other organisations throughout the year, e.g., Australian Federation of Deaf Societies, ASLIA, Deafness Forum
- Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs meeting with disability peak representative organisations
- The Auslan Shop is doing better. Ann thanked Auslan Shop staff and volunteers.
Deaf Australia’s Treasurer John Wade presented the 27th Annual Financial Report. The report showed an operating surplus of $72,072 for Deaf Australia’s general operations and an operating surplus of $29,109 for The Auslan Shop, with an overall organisational operating surplus of $101,181. This was a big improvement on the previous year’s finances. Ann thanked John Wade, Karen Lloyd and the staff for their work on keeping the financial situation healthy.
The following Board positions were open for election this year:
President (2 years)
Treasurer (2 years)
Board members (2 x 2 years)
Board member (1 x 1 year) became vacant
Ann Darwin informed the meeting that she had decided not to stand again for President. One nomination was received for President, so Ann declared Todd Wright automatically elected as President.
One nomination was received for Treasurer, and so Ann also declared John Wade automatically elected as Treasurer.
Two nominations were received for the position of board member: Ann Darwin (VIC) and Ida Rogers (NSW). As the number of nominees (2) equalled the number of two-year positions available (2), both were automatically elected as board members for a two-year term.
Since Todd Wright was elected President, his position on the board had become vacant for one year. Ann called for nominations from the floor for this position. Colin Allen nominated Patricia Levitzke-Gray, but Patricia declined the nomination. As there were no further nominations, the board will investigate and invite a suitable person to take up the position.
The new board is:
President: Todd Wright (NSW)
Secretary: Danni Wright (NSW)
Treasurer: John Wade (NSW)
Board Directors: Ann Darwin (VIC), Ida Rogers (NSW), Rachel Miers (VIC).
The Deaf Australian of the Year award nominees and winners were also announced. Click here to see more about the 2013 awards.
The next Annual General Meeting, the 28th, will be held in Perth WA.
Ann Darwin announced that Deaf Australia’s Executive Officer, Karen Lloyd, has decided to retire and would be leaving Deaf Australia at the end of February 2014. She provided the meeting with information about Karen’s work and achievements over the years. In recognition of her services, the board of Deaf Australia decided to award Karen with life membership, and presented her with a certificate.
Karen said she had enjoyed working for Deaf Australia for 13 years and that it was a great honour to receive life membership. She thanked the presidents she had worked under, Robert Adam, Kyle Miers and Ann Darwin; the board; staff; and her husband John Louttit. She announced that Gaye Lyons also would be retiring at the same time, and thanked Gaye for her seven years of dedicated service as Office Administrator.
The meeting was followed by an announcement that seven youths have been elected to form a new youth committee (click HERE to read more about this), and a presentation by Colin Allen, President of the World Federation of the Deaf, about the WFD and his work as President.