CE update – 26 July 2022


Hello, I’m Jen Blyth, the Chief Executive Officer of Deaf Australia. I am here on Wurundjeri land of the Kulin Nation, in Naarm (Melbourne) Victoria. I have a few CEO updates for the community.

Firstly, we have a new Executive Assistant – Lauren Stuart. We are excited to have her join the team and support efficiency by improving response time to email enquiries and assist with other tasks in the workplace.

Secondly, Darlene recently attended the AFAC conference. AFAC is the emergency services council, which includes the SES, CFA and other emergency services departments. Previously Shirley and Tayla have worked with these services; and from that work, the CEO of AFAC contacted us to discuss how to better engage with Deaf people around accessibility in emergencies. Not just during emergency situations; but in the preparation of emergencies, during emergencies and in the recovery phases; and what Deaf people can do in these situations. We want the momentum of this relationship to continue. It shows the amazing work of the team in making this happen and the importance of Deaf inclusion in emergency situations.

Recently, I went to Cairns to meet with a far north Queensland indigenous group: Deaf Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. I felt truly honoured to be invited to meet with this group and listen to their experiences. If you would like us to visit your state and local community – anywhere in Australia – please reach out, as we are happy to travel to you and listen to your stories at any time. So please do contact us.

SBS vodcast episode 5 has been released this week and episode 6 will likely be released in the coming week or two so please have a look as this episode is about ‘Intersectionality’.

The Colin Allen lecture nominations have now closed, and we will announce this year’s lecturer soon. The lecture will be given on the 23rd September which is the International Day of Sign Languages. The lecture will be given online and more information about who is presenting will be released soon. During that same week, which is the National Week of Deaf People, there will be events including the AGM on the 19th September. Also, the Dorothy Shaw youth writing competition, which we will release more information about soon; but there will be prizes for different forms of writing such as stories, artwork, cartoon, graphic novels, etc. This was one of my favourite events last year so I’m looking forward to it again this year.

Lastly, I would like to congratulate Deaf ACT for their lobbying and petition of over 500 signatories provided to the ACT Parliament to propose more research and inclusion of Auslan in key areas. Deaf Australia also added a submission along with other stakeholders. So well done to Deaf ACT for this amazing advocacy.

That’s all from me. Have a lovely week. Thanks, bye.

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