Background and History

Dorothy Evelyn Shaw was an inspiring Deaf lady who advocated for the development of Deaf and Hard of Hearing children’s literacy and literary skills.

After many years of dedication, Dorothy was awarded the prestigious Order of Australia Medal in 1989.

When Dorothy died in 1990, donations in lieu of flowers for her funeral were passed on to Deafness Resources Australia (DRA). After such a generous gesture, the Board of DRA decided to establish a short story writing competition for young Deaf people, in memory of Dorothy Evelyn Shaw.

The Dorothy Shaw Young Writers Competition (DSYWC) was managed by DRA until its merger with Deaflink Inc in May 1995. This resulted in the formation of Australian Communication Exchange Limited (ACE). ACE then managed the competition.

In 2006, ACE transferred ownership of the DSYWC to Deaf Australia (formerly known as the Australian Association of the Deaf (AAD)) so that it remains true to its heritage and purpose. As well as being involved in the establishment of DRA, Dorothy Shaw was also Deaf Australia-AAD’s founding President.

Competition Aims

  • To encourage Deaf and Hard of Hearing young people to express themselves creatively through writing and story telling
  • To promote the development of literacy and literary skills among Deaf and Hard of Hearing young people.