Why are people calling tomorrow “Auslan Day”?
13th April 1989 was the date of publication of the first Auslan dictionary. In 2019 DSNSW made a video to celebrate 30 years since the first publication, and last year several of our members suggested through their social media posts that this date should become an annual celebration, and gave it the name Auslan Day. This seemed to be a very popular suggestion in the community, and at
Deaf Australia we think it’s a really interesting idea and a great way to remember the starting point of Auslan being recognised as a distinct language in its own right by our community and the public. It could also be a great platform for Auslan users to proudly promote Auslan as the natural communication mode for Deaf people, as well the culture & history of the Deaf community.
This year Deaf Australia is celebrating the anniversary of the first Auslan dictionary in a few ways. First by releasing a video of an interview with Professor Trevor Johnston, who created the dictionary, about the use of term ‘Auslan’. Then later in the evening, DA will host a webinar about the history of Auslan by Darlene Thornton. For this week, DA is encouraging members of Deaf community to use the custom designed frame celebrating Auslan Day to use on your Facebook’s Profile – you can find the frames on DA’s Facebook Page.
DA is keen to get your feedback about making this celebration a permanent official fixture on the Deaf Community’s calendar, and calling it “Auslan Day”. We will discuss and vote on this at the next DA AGM, which will be later this year. Many members of DA believe this will help promote awareness of Auslan and its community of users to the broader Australian community, and help us in pushing for Auslan to be formally recognised as an official minority language in Australia. Auslan was recognised as a community language in Australia in 1991.