Hello, I’m Jen Blyth, CEO of Deaf Australia. Happy New Year, am really excited to be back, Deaf Australia is really keen to see what’s happening this year with the Deaf community. To let you know a few things that’s happening, first, the CEO Q & A that was postponed last January. It will now be in February, on the 10th at 5pm Melbourne time. The format is the same as the Q & A that was held last year where the community asked some hard questions as well as easy questions; am looking forward to the next one.
In March we have the SGM, will release more details soon. The SGM will cover a few topics, and an important one for you all are the awards. We’ll have nominations open for the awards very soon. The Deaf community has indicated that they really want this to happen, so we’ll make sure it does happen for you all. You can nominate someone for Deaf Australian of the Year, Deaf Youth of the Year and Community volunteer of the year. There will also be an AGM later on this year and the awards will be presented again. The SGM awards this year is to acknowledge those for last year’s; the AGM awards are for this year.
Now for the NDIA update. You remember that I encouraged you all last year to let me know of barriers encountered with getting Auslan provided for children in your NDIA plans. I thank those who’ve already done so. The NDIA recognises that there is a gap in their modelling and it needs to be improved. We are collaborating with them to fix the situation where Auslan is put under the ‘core’ section – it should be in the ‘capacity building’ section. We know that if you have a self-managed plan it’s fine, but if it’s managed by others that’s where the barriers are encountered. The NDIA will continue to note these issues and for now, do continue to ask for a review and AAT. You can ask Deaf Australia to be included as an AAT expert to explain why including Auslan is so important. Please do continue to contact me, and keep submitting your complaints to them.
This bit is exciting; you remember the Dot Shaw Writer’s Competition from last year? We also have an Auslan Competition! We’ll have the competition on 13th April, called the Auslan Day Video Competition. We’ll release further information very soon about this, and I’m excited about getting submissions from you all, from different categories, age groups and topics. I won’t tell you all the details just yet! Just know that I and the team will enjoy getting popcorn and watching all the submissions! We’ll give you more information soon.
I hope you have a wonderful 2022 and as always, contact me or the team any time.