Category: Archives

Outlook Blog (December 2020 – January 2021)

Video translation of Deaf Australia Outlook (December 2020 – January 2021)

Members Blog

Happy belated New Year, we certainly hope you had a festive and safe holiday. We hope that 2021 will be an exciting year for all of us and we all stay safe and are keeping well.

Before Christmas, we were invited to participate in Deaf Community of Australia Forum (DCAF) with Shirley hosting the event and we were able to share with you the updates of what we have been doing.

Through Christmas, Deaf Australia has been preparing a submission to Department of Health to address accessible services for Deaf People who use Auslan in Hospital and Health Services and organising webinars for Disability Royal Commission and NDIS-ILC project.

  • Accessible Services for Deaf People who use Auslan in Hospitals and Health Services

There have been too many mistakes, too many bad stories, too many preventable situations that has not been adequately addressed to ensure that our health and wellbeing are looked after.

The submission outlined 4 key areas:

  • Hospitals
  • Medical and Allied Health Services
  • Telehealth Services and
  • National Relay Service

This submission has been sent to Department of Health through our role with Covid-19 Disability Roundtable hosted by Department of Health. Through this group, Deaf Australia have reminded them the importance that deaf people need to have access to interpreter when there are media announcements regarding Covid-19 and accessing interpreter for health and medical services which led to this paper.

Deaf Australia acknowledge that Deaf Victoria is undertaking parallel project in Victoria asking deaf people their experiences with Hospitals. We look forward receiving their report.

To view written submission (

  • Disability Royal Commission

We are thrilled to inform you that there will be webinars throughout the year covering different topics with the Disability Royal Commission. Darlene Thornton will be facilitating these webinars on a fortnight basis and would love to hear your stories and experiences so Deaf Australia can prepare our report to Disability Royal Commission.

We also encourage you to participate if you wish to directly share your experience to Disability Royal Commission and we will be able to assist you with your submissions.

To view webinar program (

  • NDIS – Information, Linkage and Capacity (ILC) Building Grant (2019-2022)

We are ramping up with the project with Paula Thornton and Vanessa Alford taking key role with this project as Resource Officers.

Before Christmas, we had a full day workshop to discuss ideas, plans and strategy to improve our engagement with you.

This project will focus on 2 things:

  1. Improve information distribution and
  2. Developing appropriate and accessible resources that will strengthen deaf community’s knowledge and skills.

We will be using staff, volunteers and others to provide information, workshops or training through online and in person.

Deaf Australia is working hard behind the scenes to prepare and develop the program for this year. We look forward to an informative year for everyone. If you have any suggestions, please share with us by sending us an email – [email protected].

  • Other information:

National Relay Service – registration required by 20 April 2020 – if you on or after 20 April, your application process may take longer. Please register here.

4th WFD Conference in Thailand has been postponed to 20-22 April 2022 due to Covid-19.

NDIS App Trial

The App makes it easier to claim and managing your budget. The trial App will allow NDIS to help them improve the App before it is released to the public. 

You need to be: 

  1. Self-manage your plan, 
  2. Use smart phone regularly, and
  3. Currently making claims on NDIA ‘myplace’ portal. 

If you are interested to test/ trial the App, please send email to NDIA at [email protected] with email subject as ‘Deaf Australia Mobile App Invitation’. NDIA will ask you a few questions before providing you a link to download the App. 

Copy paste this script in your email to NDIA. 


Subject:  Deaf Australia Mobile App Invitation

Good (morning / afternoon) 

I am responding to a social media post from Kyle Miers, Chief Executive of Deaf Australia, regarding trialling the NDIA App. 

I am interested in trialling the NDIA App, please email me with further instruction. 

With regards

(your name)

Good luck.

NDIS and NABS – Important Information (Zoom information session)

Information for the deaf community and Auslan users regarding the NDIS

  • Are you under 65?
  • Are you an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia?
  • Do you use Auslan for medical appointments and other activities?

If you use NABS and you are under 65, you need to apply to join the NDIS to continue receiving free Auslan interpreting services.

What is happening to NABS for Deaf people under 65 years old?

Deaf people who have an NDIS plan with funds for Auslan support and choose NABS for interpreting must pay with their NDIS funds.

To access Auslan interpreting for medical appointments and other activities you will need to join the NDIS, and get an NDIS plan with funds in place to pay for Auslan interpreting.

Why apply to join the NDIS?

The NDIS provides funding to help you access the services and supports you need to help you achieve your goals.

If you need Auslan interpreting, the NDIS will provide you the fund into your NDIS plan.

When applying for NDIS, please provide NDIS your communication support and services when discussing with Local Area Coordinator. 

You can find your nearest Local Area Coordinator on the NDIA website.

You can find more information about the benefits of joining the NDIS on the NDIA Auslan page.

How do I apply to join the NDIS?

Please follow these steps to apply forthe NDIS by 23 December 2020.

Step One:

Contact the NDIA by calling 1800 800 110, using the National Relay Service, and let them know you want to apply for the NDIS.

Tell them you use Auslan interpreter when requesting for Access Request Form (Access Request Form is a NDIS application form).

You can pick up the Access Request Form from your local NDIS office, have the form posted or emailed to you or download it from the NDIS website.

If you need help filling in the form, contact an NDIS Local Area Coordinator or your local NDIS office. Find your closest office at

Step Two:

Fill out the NDIS access request form. Include details about using Auslan services so it is included in your NDIS plan.

Step Three:

Send the completed NDIS form back to the NDIA.

Step Four:

NDIA will send you a letter, telling you if you are eligible for the NDIS. If the NDIA says you are ineligible for the NDIS please read the: What happens if I’m not eligible for the NDIS? section below.


Applying for the NDIS can take time, so you need to start as soon as you receive your application form (Access Request Form).

To continue receiving Auslan interpreting you must have an approved NDIS plan, with funding for Auslan interpreting, before 31 March 2021. 

What happens if I’m not eligible for the NDIS?

If you are told you can’t have the NDIS you can still get free Auslan interpreting services for medical appointments from NABS until 31 March 2021, you will be required to show proof (letter from NDIS) that your application was unsuccessful. 

If you are over 65, you can continue to access NABS after 31 March 2021.

If you are not eligible for the NDIS and you are under 65, you can use the National Relay Service (Video Relay). Video Relay is available from 7am to 6pm (Eastern Standard Time) Monday to Friday, except for National Public Holidays.

Participate in Information Session via Zoom if you need more information.

Zoom Information Sessions
Monday, 30 November 2020 – 7.30 PM (AEST)(Register here)
Wednesday, 1 December 2020 – 9.00 PM (AEST)(Register here)
Saturday, 5 December 2020 – 11 AM (AEST)(Register here)

Where can I find more information?

Phone:1800 246 945
TTY:1800 246 948
SMS:0427 671 261
Email:[email protected]

Phone:1800 800 110
TTY:1800 555 677
Speak & Listen: (voice relay)1800 555 727
Email:[email protected]

Expression of Interest

Expression of Interest

Deaf Australia is seeking 2 x Resource Officers who will be key members of the Deaf Australia’s team in providing information and support for deaf people who uses Auslan and servicing the members of the Australian Deaf Community in a truly diverse and multicultural group including Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders, CALD, LGBQITA+, children and young people and vulnerable members. This position will focus on developing appropriate, accessible resources allowing Deaf people using Auslan as primary or preferred language to access information and resources to independently undertake various activities.

The Resource Officers shall work for 5 days (full time) a week until 30 June 2022 and will be expected to:

  • Conduct surveys to identify resources, webinar and Professional Development priorities;
  • Liaise and collaborate with website manager to establish effective information delivery including registration and online presentation;
  • Prepare, develop and disseminate accessible information resources and trainings (including promotion and registrations);
  • Presentation of workshop, training and presentation;
  • Develop operational and sustainable processes, including program review;
  • Prepare information, articles, researches, information sheets, and other information materials in consultation with relevant stakeholders; 
  • Undertake research to support the activities undertaken by Deaf Australia;
  • Respond to information enquiries; and
  • Other duties as required by Chief Executive.

For further inquiry for this position and/or to send expression of interest, please contact Mr. Kyle Miers, Chief Executive at [email protected], outlining your experience and attaching current resume/curriculum vitae.

Download here for Position Description.

EOI – Close 23 October 2020.

This project has been made possible through NDIS’s Information, Linkage and Capacity Grants.

Disability Royal Commission

Deaf Australia would like to welcome Ms. Darlene Thornton who has been appointed as Advocacy Support with Deaf Australia for the Royal Disability Commission.

Introductory video:


Hello, I am Darlene

Deaf Australia would like to let you know that I am working with Deaf Australia as Disability (Deaf) Advocacy Support to work on all matters related to the Disability Royal Commission (DRC).

I will be working in this role until 30 June 2022, working with you in the Australian Deaf Community and with Disability Royal Commission.

We will be focusing on few things like:

  1. Advocate for both individual and organisations;
  2. Provide information about DRC in Auslan and deaf-friendly language so everyone in Deaf Community can understand;
  3. Provide support and help with understanding of the DRC’s processes and what to expect; and
  4. Provide support and guidance when submitting a report or attending a hearing/ meetings with the DRC.

It is important for us to know how DRC work and what it means for us in the Australian Deaf Community, and why it is necessary to contribute by submitting reports and attending hearings.

If you have any issues, questions or concerns about DRC and how I will work with you or other members in the Deaf Community, please contact me at [email protected].

More information about Disability Royal Commission in Auslan videos will be coming soon.

Thank you and I look forward working and supporting you all in the Deaf Community about the Disability Royal Commission.

  • end

Roadmap 2020-2025 – Community Forums

Deaf Australia is hosting three (3) Community Forum to discuss Deaf Australia’s Roadmap 2020-2025 and to respond to any questions, comments or concerns that the members may have.

Dates and time of Community Forums:

  • Wednesday, 7 October 2020 at 7.00 PM (AEST) – Please register here.
  • Friday, 9 October 2020 at 8.30 PM (AEST) – Please register here.
  • Saturday, 10 October 2020 at 10.00 AM (AEST) – Please register here.

Click here to download Roadmap 2020-2025 for your information and preparation for the forum.

Ms. Debra Swann (Chairperson) and Kyle Miers (Chief Executive) will be co-chairing the forum.

Deaf Australia Board

Please welcome Ms Debra Swann (SA), the Chairperson, for Deaf Australia.

Ms Debra Swann, Chairperson, Deaf Australia

Ms. Debra Swann has work in NSW, Vic and South Australia (where she is currently residing). Debra has been involved in a number of volunteering and committee positions over the years both within the Deaf community and mainstream organisations. She has also worked for a number of different Deaf organisations as well as other organisations in the disability sector and is well aware of the many challenges within the Deaf Community.

Ms Swann is currently studying a Master in Counselling with the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. In addition to her qualifications, she has acquired Masters of Social Work and Bachelor of Human Services (both from La Trobe University) and Diploma of Community Services (Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs) from TAFE Gippsland.

It is a privilege to be elected as Chairperson of Deaf Australia as I am keen to work with the Deaf Community and other stakeholders to ensure that Deaf Australia remain to be the representative organisation of the Deaf Community.

Ms. Debra Swann, Chairperson

The Board will be supported with Mr. Rodney Adams (NSW) and Mr. Adrian Doyle (Vic). The board welcome your suggestions, ideas or improvements for Deaf Australia to better serve the Deaf Community.

New Organisation Logo

Click to Logo to view Auslan translation of Media Release

14 September 2020

Deaf Australia is launching a new logo to signify our core value and belief that sign language is a fundamental human right for deaf and hard of hearing people.

Recently we reviewed our organisational capacity and current funding structure, our relationship with stakeholders, our public and community profile, and we decided to change our logo to better reflect who we are now. 

Deaf Australia is renewing our focus towards promoting and recognising the rights for deaf and hard of hearing people to use and access sign languages; to strengthen deaf and hard of hearing people to be empowered through effective supports and resources; and to promote providers in catering the needs of deaf and hard of hearing people so that everyone can play an important role in the community.

In the previous year, Auslan has gained prominence through high profile partnerships with Huawei/StorySign and Canberra Raiders, the first Auslan presentation at the National Press Club in its entirety, and constant exposure of Auslan interpreters on broadcast networks and social media.

As many as 25,000 primary and secondary students across Australia are learning Auslan through the National Language Curriculum program.

The Census 2021 survey will include ‘Auslan’ as a language prompt for the first time which will provide us with better data which will help us identify what work needs to be done to fully realise the potential of deaf people. 

In addition, some Aboriginal Sign Languages have also gained prominence in recent research publications showing the importance of sign language with the development of community and cultural identity, which is the fundamental human right that is enshrined in the United Nations Human Rights Charter.

Deaf Australia has directly and indirectly contributed to all these and innumerable other achievements.

Our new logo is a testament of who we are, what we have accomplished, and what we aspire to achieve.

  • End.

Download PDF

The Colin Allen AM Lecture – 2020

When: 18 September 2020 at 7.30pm AEST


  • $15.00* – member of Deaf Australia (Members will receive 10% after the event.)
  • $16.50 – non-member.
Ms. Caroline Conlon

Deaf Theatre: Yesterday, today … tomorrow?

Ms. Caroline Conlon was the Artistic Director of Australian Theatre of the Deaf (ATOD) and had been involved with the organisation in other roles for nearly 20 years.  She has appeared in mainstream Australian television drama shows and other productions which promote the talent of deaf actors in this industry. She was part of the team that created and produced SignPost, an award winning TV program that delivered Auslan infotainment on Ch 31.

Caroline also worked in Western Africa, Vietnam, Laos, and Samoa delivering capacity building training to National Deaf Associations and organisations servicing respective Deaf communities. Caroline also led a Scope Global pilot volunteer disability project team to Fiji with the intention to promote disability awareness.

She has a passion around protecting the heritage of Auslan and sharing this correctly with learners. Caroline currently works as an Auslan Instructor with Deaf Can:Do and has successfully changed their culture of Auslan teaching into an energetic and learnable language while ensuring students inherit a respect for Auslan.

Interpreter and captioning provided.

Notice of 34th Annual General Meeting

Wednesday, 23 September 2020 at 7.30 pm

via Virtual (Zoom)

Dear Member,

Deaf Australia Inc will hold its Thirty-fourth (34th) Annual General meeting on Wednesday 23 September at 7.30 PM via Virtual (online) at 7.30 pm.


Due to Covid-19, the Commonwealth Government has allowed companies and organisations to convene annual general meetings, and other meetings, prescribed under the Corporation Act, entirely online rather than face-to-face.

The meeting must provide members with a reasonable opportunity to participate, as such, put questions to board members and vote online.

To register in advance for the Annual General Meeting, click below:

After registering, we will check your details against our membership database, and you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the AGM.

Important note: Make sure your full name and email address correspond with our database. If you changed your contact details (address, email and phone) please contact me as soon as possible.

The AGM will be livestreamed on Facebook for non-members. 

Deaf Australia’s Constitution that was amended on 22 November 2014 states that:

Election of Board Directors:

  1. Nomination shall be in writing addressed to the secretary and shall be signed by the nominee, proposer and seconder, all whom must be financial Ordinary Individual Member of Deaf Australia, please click ‘Nomination Form’ to open the document;
  1. Nomination must be lodged 21 days prior to Annual General Meeting (nomination must be received by 2 September 2020);
  1. If we receive 3 or more nominations, we will send you a ballot on 9 September 2020, and ballot must be received by 22 September 2020 (a ballot can be in form of electronic ballot)
  1. Only Ordinary Individual Members[i] are entitled to vote for board members. We will send you information on ballot voting once we receive nominations; and

The current Board Directors:

  • Todd Wright (NSW) – Term completed – RETIRED.
  • Adrian Doyle (Vic) – Term completed – AVAILABLE FOR NOMINATION
  • Rodney Adams (NSW) – Term continue until 2021.
  • 2 x Directors – Term continue until 2022 – AVAILABLE FOR NOMINATION
  • Debra Swann (SA) – Co-opt Board of Director (1-year term to 2020) – AVAILABLE FOR NOMINATION
  • Josie Hodgetts (WA) – Co-opt Board of Director (1-year term to 2020) – AVAILABLE FOR NOMINATION

Due to current vacancy of 2 x directors (term expiring 2022), these positions can be filled at the AGM if there are more than 2 nominations. In case of ballot, first two nominees with highest votes will be elected to 3 years term, subsequent votes will be elected to 2 years term until all positions are filled.

The constitution dictates the following:

  • Maximum (two) 2 Board of Directors can be elected from same state/ territory;
  • After the AGM, the elected directors will determine its positions.


  1. All members (ordinary and associate) are entitled to put items (things you want to talk about) on the agenda for the Annual General Meeting.
  2. Written notice of item for the Agenda must reach the Secretary by 2 September 2020, Agenda, minutes and other papers will be sent to you on or before 9 September – send email to [email protected].

Voting at the Annual General Meeting:

  1. If you are an Ordinary Individual Member or an Ordinary Organisation Member[ii] you are entitled to vote at Deaf Australia general meetings.
  1. If you are not coming to the meeting on 23 September 2020, you may appoint another member as your proxy to vote for you (please click ‘proxy and apology form’ to open online form).  

Please complete and submit Proxy and Apology Form by 22 September 2020.

NB:           The person you choose as your proxy must be a member of Deaf Australia who is entitled to vote.

  1. If you are an Associate Individual Member[iii] or an Associate Organisation Member[iv] of Deaf Australia, you are not entitled to vote at Deaf Australia general meetings. However, due to online AGM, you are welcome to join the meeting through livestreaming (Facebook) on DeafAustraliaInc.


  1. Submit board nomination forms by Wednesday, 2 September 2020;  
  2. Propose your meeting agenda item/s by Wednesday, 2 September 2020;
  3. Submit Apology/ Proxy Form by Tuesday, 22 September 2020;
  4. Submit your ballot vote by Tuesday, 22 September 2020 (if required).


Nominations for Annual Awards is open (please click below to enter nomination) (Closing Date: 5 September 2020)

Please send all items to the Deaf Australia at PO Box 1348, Blackburn North, Victoria 3130; or fax to 03 8691 1324; or email to [email protected]. Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Kyle Miers, CEO/ Company Secretary

  • [i]   An Ordinary individual is Deaf or Hard of Hearing Person.
  • [ii]   An Ordinary organisation member is a national organisation where more than 50% of its board members are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • [iii]  An Associate individual member is a person who is not deaf or hard of hearing.
  • [iv]  An Associate organisation member is any organisation that is not a national organisation/ and or where less than 50% of board members are deaf and hard of hearing.
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