CE’s Update – 14 October 2021


Hello, I’m Jen Blyth, the CE of Deaf Australia. I’d like to provide you with a summary of updates.. As you all know the deadline for the Dot Shaw young writers competition is coming up soon. We have finished receive submissions which we appreciate. I’ve read through them and I love them. We love the stories from all young deaf people from all over Australia. I adore them; I can’t wait to receive more. I’m not involved in the panel but if I were involved I would want to make all of you winners.

The second thing I want to remind you about is the AGM on 31st October starting at 7 pm. Please come.

The third thing I want to remind you about is that the deadline for nominations for the Colin Allen AM lecture has been extended. The lecture is on November 26th, a Friday night. We encourage you to submit nominations. If there is a person you’re keen to have present, about a topic you’re wanting you can nominate them.

The fourth thing is you probably have seen a lot of things happening in New South Wales over the news about the new premier not providing interpreters at his press conferences. You may also have seen the Australian Lawyers for Human Rights’ open letter questioning the decision of the New South Wales government to stop providing interpreters. A lot of things have happened as a consequence.

So those in the media and journalists have contacted us asking for Deaf Australia’s opinion and position. We said that it is important to provide interpreters at all press conferences. COVID is important, yes, but other things are too. There should be interpreters at all press conferences as well as the provision of captions

We also advocated to the Prime Minister that he should have an interpreter at every press conference. Every time we have an interview I emphasise that premiers and the Prime Minister both should have interpreters.
I also want to let you all know that I had a meeting with the Australian Lawyers for the Human Rights yesterday and it was a productive meeting. I will have a meeting with government MP next week to discuss the issues further and then later again launch a press release to say come on, you need to make sure that you have an interpreter beside you. The MP in Parliament today during question time asked what’s being done about the interpreting situation and their response was to put the question on notice which means they’ll come back to it later.

Our team is really enthusiastic and work hard but I’m sure you have seen that we have advertised EOIs for five positions. We really want our team to grow. It’s only until the of June next year because we rely on funding from the NDIA which finishes then. We don’t have ongoing funding. Which means we only have positions while being funded. The five positions are: Diversity and Inclusion Officer to meet with lots of different people around Australia to tell us what we should be focusing on, what we should advocate for and how we can improve our diversity and inclusion practices. The second position - Darlene will move to a new role within Deaf Australia so it means her job as a Disability Royal Commission Advocacy Officer position has been left empty. Darlene has been working as a DRC advocate and we want someone to come and fill her very big shoes.

The third position is project management, looking after projects. We have two big projects at the moment and we need someone to look after them. The fourth and fifth positions are project support offices and are part and full time. I’m also open to accepting a hearing and codas but of course they must be fluent in Auslan. Only one position is excepted - that of the project manager. If they are hearing and not fluent in Auslan that’s fine but we need to make

sure that we have a deaf person working alongside to pass on skills. I think that’s all from me now. We have had quite a few big meetings recently. I’m sure that at the next update I will tell you a lot more in detail, especially of that related to the New South Wales Premier. I hope that you will also be involved in sending off letters to demand interpreters as well. Thank you. Thank you and as usual if you have any questions or concerns, please contact me. I’m more than happy to respond and talk with you, thank you.

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