Category: Updates

Special General Meeting Notice

Letter from Chairperson

Dear Members,

We are writing to inform you of a Special General Meeting that has been called by the Board of Deaf Australia. The purpose of this meeting is to vote on several important matters that will shape the future of our organisation.

Date: Thursday, 15th August
Time: 7:00 PM AEST
Location: Zoom


1.   Vote on a special resolution to update the constitution of Deaf Australia
2.   Consider a name change for the organization
3.   Amendment to the 37th Annual General Meeting
4.   Appointment of Prolegis Lawyers to oversee the process of applying on behalf of Deaf Australia

Please see the attached letter for detailed information regarding the Special General Meeting and the proposed updates to the constitution.

Your participation and input are crucial to the decision-making process, and we encourage all members to attend this meeting. Please mark your calendars and make every effort to register and join us on the specified date and time.

You can register and join the meeting by Zoom by using this link.

If you have any questions or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]

Thank you for your continued support and dedication to Deaf Australia.

Debra Swann
Deaf Australia

Thank You From Shirley


Hello! I’m Shirley, the Acting CEO.

I wanted to provide you with this video because today is the 28th of June. It’s a big day for us because most of our staff are busy wrapping up their projects as their roles are ending today. It’s not everyone, a couple of people are continuing at DA.

Overall, we wanted to say a big thank you to you all. All the staff agree that we want to recognise you all, either as individuals, deaf organisations and businesses, our partners and allies. All of this has been a massive support to us and our work for the past few years. It’s been incredibly valuable. Thank you.

Also I, myself, really appreciate those of you who took the time to check in with our staff after they saw the news about the impact on funding, which was unfortunate and sad. To make sure they felt supported through a restructure of their future plans. Really big thanks to those who recognise that we we are also a part of the deaf community and provide support to each other during a hard time or life’s ups and downs. We really appreciate that.

Yes, Jen our CEO, will be back to work starting next week. But as the board announced recently her role will be reduced to part time. Also, we still have a few advocacy initiatives ongoing ensure a fair and equitable access for the deaf community. Keep an eye on our social media to follow and continue supporting our work. We are really excited to show some opportunities coming up soon. Yes, this group of staff was fantastic to have as support through difficult time and we know they will have our deaf community support moving forward and stay connected. Thanks to you all and thanks to the board for their support through this difficult time as well. Have a good weekend! Bye.

Visual description

Shirley is wearing a black shirt and standing in front of a plain beige wall. Her hair is pulled back into a bun. She is signing in a professional, friendly, and slightly bittersweet way that is appropriate to the tone of the content.

Strategic Planning Update from Board – Filmed 9 June 2024

Transcript and visual descriptions


Visual description: A woman with dark coloured shoulder length hair, in a blue three-quarter sleeve blouse, with a tattoo on her right hand, is standing against a light charcoal coloured wall, facing the camera, communicating in Auslan.

Deaf Australia has had a productive two days. On Friday we had the Board and staff come together to reflect and celebrate our achievements, and look ahead to the future of Deaf Australia. On Saturday the Board gathered to talk through the vision, goals and purpose of Deaf Australia. Here are some thoughts from Board members about our strategic planning weekend.


Visual description: A person with short dark coloured hair, wearing circle shaped glasses, in a green t-shirt with a printed image of their sign name, is standing against a light charcoal coloured wall, facing the camera, communicating in Auslan.

The last two days have been exciting. Plenty of seeds that will be spread throughout our community and as a result we will see individuals in our community thrive.


Visual description: A woman with short curly light-black coloured hair, wearing rectangle shaped glasses, in a navy woollen jumper, is standing against a light charcoal coloured wall, facing the camera, communicating in Auslan.

Over the weekend what stood out for me was the growth of Deaf Australia from just advocacy into other initiatives. Incredible.


Visual description: A woman with long curly light coloured hair, wearing circle shaped glasses, in a black top, with large yellow and red shaped earings, is standing against a light charcoal coloured wall, facing the camera, communicating in Auslan.

Over the two days what I witnessed was the different changes being made. I am so excited to see Deaf Australia and the deaf community working together, for future success and growth. I am so excited.


Visual description: A woman with dark coloured hair tied behind her head, wearing rectangle shaped glasses, in a dark coloured t-shirt, is standing against a light charcoal coloured wall, facing the camera, communicating in Auslan.

Our strategic planning session was full of detailed conversation where we developed new goals within three areas. Are you wanting to know more details? Well, we will be sharing more information with you all soon. 


Visual description: A woman with dark coloured shoulder length hair, in a blue three-quarter sleeve blouse, with a tattoo on her right hand, is standing against a light charcoal coloured wall, facing the camera, communicating in Auslan.

What an amazing weekend. The Deaf Australia Board now will be working hard to prepare and present, with feedback from you the deaf community, a plan that meets the needs of our community.

After 1 July Board Update


Hello. Deaf Australia’s Board would like to give you an update about the changes happening from the 1st of July 2024.

You may be aware from Shirley’s recent update, that Deaf Australia’s funding has been reduced. This means that Deaf Australia’s workforce and operations will be significantly impacted.

Shirley will be finishing on the 28th of June, and Jen will be returning to work part-time on the 1st week of July. This means our capacity will be limited.

The board will look for new options forward by reviewing the funding and exploring additional income streams to keep Deaf Australia operating.

On Behalf of the board, I want to thank Shirley and the staff for all the wonderful hard work they have done at Deaf Australia. Thank you.

Visual description

Debra is wearing a long-sleeve grey shirt and standing in front of a plain grey background. She is signing towards the camera in a professional manner.

eLearning Website Release Announcement


Exciting news! Deaf Australia have an exciting opportunity for you all to win a gift card after completing a survey! We have just released a new eLearning website available online that includes the following topics: Advocacy, Convention on the Rights of People with Disability (CRPD), Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Writing an Advocacy Letter in English, and Disability Law.

Complete one course of your choosing and the feedback survey for a chance to win $100 gift voucher! Only the first 10 people to complete a module and survey will receive the gift voucher prize so get in fast for your opportunity to win!

These courses are in Auslan and have optional English captions and voiceover. We have a Deafblind version of the videos, as well. You will see that some course contents are supposed to have quiz, but we experience some technical difficulties and will release the quizzes soon.

Good luck!

Visual description

Raquel is wearing a black shirt and standing against a white wall background with white doors. She signing in an excited manner to match the content of the video.

Funding Situation Update from 19 June


Hello I’m Shirley, the acting CEO of Deaf Australia. Thank you all for your support and engagement with our video updates on the funding situation Deaf Australia is dealing with. We have been keeping track of your comments and questions on what will be happening as a result of these funding cuts. This video will provide you with an update.

As you would be aware, Deaf Australia is a member of the consortium with AFDO, Australian Federation of Disability Representative Organisations, there is a total of 7 member organisations as part of this consortium. Where we work together to lobby the government on disability specific issues, currently we are working together lobbying government on the reduction of funding, making government aware of the impacts this creates on our organisations, particularly our staff and operations. This reduction in funding severely restricts our capacity.

Deaf Australia applied for a core grant which we were not successful in receiving. But AFDO was successful in receiving a grant. This grant will be disbursed to all members of AFDO, this means Deaf Australia will receive $143,000 funding for one year. This funding will allow Deaf Australia to continue to employ some of our staff.

Deaf Blind Australia received no funding, they have now joined AFDO, and it has gone from 6 members to 7. Which means AFDO needs to negotiate with the government to increase the funding. We are hopeful Deaf Australia will receive $220,000 for one year, not $143,000. We are grateful for any increase.

AFDO are working hard on a campaign to increase awareness about this funding issue. AFDO are doing media interviews and meetings with the Government. Some organisations have been writing directly to Government Ministers, like Minister Rishworth and Minister Shorton, their Government departments look after various disability grants. Our focus is on the grants for DROs, Disability Representative Organisations, who do systemic advocacy.

Deaf Australia was not successful for ILC grants, which is a separate issue for us to respond to.

Our funding issue is time critical, as we are fast approaching the end of financial year. Deaf Australia is developing advocacy letters, and we would greatly appreciate your support. By downloading this advocacy letter, adding your details and sending to the Government Ministers. This will add pressure and highlight to the Government the important role of Deaf Australia and the work we do as a key advocate for our community. Such as advocate on issues related to our culture, language, and the important need for access. We appreciate your support. A link to our website will be made available this week for you to access and get more information.

Our team are currently very busy, wrapping up different projects as we approach the end of the financial year. The Board of Deaf Australia will be sharing more video updates in the coming weeks.

I would like to again thank you for your support while Deaf Australia responds to this funding issue. We appreciate your support as we do our best.

Thank you.

Visual description

A woman with black hair tied behind her head, in a blue long sleeve sweater, is standing against a cream-coloured wall, facing the camera and smiling. The content in the video is presented in Auslan, in a warm friendly and informative tone.

AIDE Toolkit Now Available online!


Hello. Deaf Australia is excited to launch a new toolkit called AIDE toolkit. AIDE meaning Accessibility, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity. This toolkit can be used for deaf people, their friends/family, organisations, anyone that may benefit from, e.g., deaf advocacy, deaf awareness, improving accessibility in workplace, and other relevant areas. There are three areas the toolkit focuses on- legal, education, and health. That includes covering important issues relating to the three areas. For example, key issues relating to deaf educations are covered, including accessibility issues at school. There is both an AIDE Education Checklist and Guideline provided to ensure needs are being met.

Important to note that there are still some videos yet to be finished: the Literature Review, and the Deaf Census Report, including the infographic, visual representation of census data. Those videos are coming very soon. Still, at the moment, we would like to ask you to give it a try, have a look, and give us  feedback on how we can do better with the toolkit.  Your feedback is extremely valuable to us for potential future projects. Thank you!

Visual description

Josh is standing against a plain beige background and wearing a black shirt. He is signing in a professional and information manner towards the camera.

Sydney Trains Auslan Assist Co-Design Workshop


You people who use public transport a lot? We have an exciting project with Sydney Trains, Qvest and QUT.

It is …. Auslan announcement at train stations. We need your feedback to help us to make sure the access to information suits for everyone in deaf community.

We are looking for 6 deaf participants who use Auslan, the workshop will be on 5 July. Auslan interpreters and lunch will be provided.

Visual description

Video features a woman wearing a black shirt and blazer signing in an excited and friendly manner towards the camera. There is a QR code in the upper right hand corner that reads "Sydney Trains Auslan Assist Workshop Registration July 5 2024"

CEO Update 5 June AFDO Canberra Delegation


Hi I’m Shirley, the acting CEO of Deaf Australia. Today, I am here at parliament house in Canberra. I have flown over to Canberra to discuss the issue we recently shared with you, in relation to our funding reduction and the plan going forward. Today, I am here as part of a larger collective, with AFDO, The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations. Behind me here are seven members who have attended Canberra. Today we have met with Minster Rishworth’s senior advisor to discuss this serious issue of the allocation of $143,000, which is simply not enough.

We explained, advocated and discussed the importance of our organisation and that if our organisation was to close the very serious impact on the community. Who would advocate for the importance of Auslan, our language, culture and identity, who would inform government of the importance of this? We covered these points with the advisor. We have just finished a media interview, sharing the impacts on our organisations, we hope this will create an impact to increase funding. We hope to see this funding increase slightly, it may not be enough, but it is better than nothing.

This afternoon we have a few more meetings with MPs and senators to raise our issues again. We’ll update you over the coming weeks as we have more information. For your ongoing support, we thank you!

Visual description

The video shows Shirley, the acting CEO of Deaf Australia, giving a sign language presentation with inclusivity in a warm, positive atmosphere. In the background there is a diverse group, including a person in a wheelchair. The scene implies a meeting or event for Deaf Australia, with the text "CEO Update 5 June" visible. Shirley's identity is reinforced with the caption "Hi I'm Shirley, the acting CEO of Deaf Australia."

EOFY Donation Callout


Hi I’m Ipek and I work here at Deaf Australia. Do you know what’s coming up soon? It’s coming closer! End of financial year! Meaning once June is over and we’ve ticked over to July 1st it’s time for us to pay our taxes.
One way you can reduce your tax bill is by making donations. Deaf Australia is accepting donations at the moment so if you donate anything over $2, you will get a reduction on your tax bill. If you want to support our work for the rest of 2024 and beyond please consider making a tax-deductible donation. Have a look at the link below for more information. Bye!

Visual description

Video: Ipek is wearing a black t-shirt and has dark curly hair. They are sitting in front of a beige wall and signing towards the camera in an animated and fun manner.
Deaf Australia information closing slide: Graphic features white Deaf Australia logo on a green and blue gradient background. Text reads “Deaf Australia is a Deaf-leg advocacy and information organisation in Australia representing all Deaf, Deafblind, and hard-of-hearing people and others who use Auslan (Australian Sign Language) as their language of preference. Contact us: [email icon] [email protected], [website icon], [Instagram and Twitter icons] @deafaustralia, [Facebook icon] DeafAustraliaInc”
Skip to content