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Dorothy P E Shaw

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Background and History

Dorothy Evelyn Shaw was an inspiring Deaf lady who advocated for the development of Deaf and Hard of Hearing children’s literacy and literary skills.

After many years of dedication, Dorothy was awarded the prestigious Order of Australia Medal in 1989.

When Dorothy died in 1990, donations in lieu of flowers for her funeral were passed on to Deafness Resources Australia (DRA). After such a generous gesture, the Board of DRA decided to establish a short story writing competition for young Deaf people, in memory of Dorothy Evelyn Shaw.

The Dorothy Shaw Young Writers Competition (DSYWC) was managed by DRA until its merger with Deaflink Inc in May 1995. This resulted in the formation of Australian Communication Exchange Limited (ACE). ACE then managed the competition.

In 2006, ACE transferred ownership of the DSYWC to Deaf Australia (formerly known as the Australian Association of the Deaf (AAD)) so that it remains true to its heritage and purpose. As well as being involved in the establishment of DRA, Dorothy Shaw was also Deaf Australia-AAD’s founding President.

*No stories were received for the category of Secondary: Year 7 – Year 9.

Text in English

Winners 2021 

Primary: Prep - Year 2

Winner: Hasas Abeygunawardana from Eastwood Primary School and Deaf Facility - 'I Can Make Australia Proud Too'

Second Place: Jagger Alford from Fremantle Primary School - 'Deaf Bird vs Boss Bird' 

Upper Primary: Year 3 - Year 6

Winner: Sienna Frewen-Lord from Mundingburra State School - 'The Life of Lilly'

Second Place: Annabel Kecman from Mount Kuring Gai Public School - 'The Sprinkler' 

Upper Secondary: Year 10 - Year 12

Winner: Charlie Stathis from Forest Hill College - 'The Shaws'

Second Place: Hayley Edgar from St Mary's College - 'A Thriving Deaf Community'

Thanks to our Deaf judges:

  • Kerrie Taylor, Author & workshop facilitator
  • Drisana Levitzke-Gray, Great granddaughter of Dot Shaw
  • Anabelle Beasley, Deaf Youth Australia President
  • Catherine Miller, Deaf Australia staff
Featured video

Stories from Dot Shaw’s children


Dot Shaw Young Writers Competition

  • To encourage Deaf and Hard of Hearing young people to express themselves creatively through writing and story telling
  • To promote the development of literacy and literary skills among Deaf and Hard of Hearing young people.
Recorded videos

Creative Writing Workshop by Kerrie Taylor

For Secondary Students
Information Pack

How can you participate DSYWC 2021?

Deaf Australia is pleased to announce that Dorothy Shaw Young Writers Competition (DSYWC) for young Deaf and hard of hearing people will be run again this year. 

The competition is in memory of Dorothy Evelyn Shaw, who inspired so many and contributed so much to the Deaf Community. Since its inception in 1992, the response to this competition has been overwhelming.

All entrants are issued with a certificate of recognition and winners receive cash prizes. Prizes are also awarded to the school that each winner attends. Every year, efforts are also made to arrange publicity of the winners in local newspapers and school magazines.

The theme for 2021 is “A Thriving Deaf Community” – entrants should try to include this theme in their stories.

The DSYWC competition does not judge on English grammar or structure; students now have the option of the deciding how to submit their stories. This could be done in either in a written English format or filmed with the student signing in Auslan.

Competition Categories

  • Junior (6 – 8 years)
  • Upper Primary (9 – 11 years)
  • Senior (12 – 15 years)
  • Young Adult (16 – 18 years)

The judging panel usually comprises of the Competition Co-ordinator, a representative from Deaf Australia board, a representative from Deaf Youth Australia and a member of Dot Shaw family.

The winning students receive a voucher and voucher/resources from Deaf Australia’s Auslan Shop for the winning entrant’s school library.

We hope that the competition will be enthusiastically supported once again.

(7 October 2021)

A Promo to Remind You ...


Player 1: What’s this video?? The Dot Shaw Young Writer’s Competition? You know about this? No?? Have a look!
Player 2: (Shirley in navy blue) Hey! The Dot Shaw Writer’s Competition is fast approaching. The cut-off date to enter is 17th October…yeah, it’s really soon, just under two weeks to go! Better hurry up and submit your story!
You can write about anything you like! You can write a story, poetry, comic or a lovely song. Make sure that it’s linked to the theme ‘Thriving Deaf Communities.’
If you’re stuck for ideas, don’t know what to write, I’ll help you. For some ideas, I have a book…have a look, have a look. You could write something about 4 best Deaf spaces where Deaf people can secretly sleep and feeling refreshed afterwards.
Or you could…have a look…write about explaining to hearing people what magical superpowers Deaf people have. Or it could be about fairies! How Deaf people are friends with dragons and unicorns or any other magical beings.
Ooooh there are plenty of ideas! You can be as creative as you like, you don’t have to write non-fiction. If you want to write a true story, that’s fine, whatever you like. C’mon!
Also, the Deaf author Kerrie Taylor finished a workshop with young people on how to write a creative story. It will be uploaded onto our website very soon. Have a look there!
Player 3: (Shirley in red with a bball cap & attitude) Ugh. What’s this? Dot Shaw’s writing competition? Me write? Nah. I can’t be bothered.
Player 2: What?! You can’t be bothered? No, stop that, it doesn’t matter if you’re not a writer, you CAN be creative! It’s worth it. Dot Shaw was an inspiring person of significance; she worked hard to encourage kids to improve their literacy skills and be creative! You can do it!
Don’t forget there are prizes…
Player 3: There are prizes? Ooooh. I want to join after all I want to write a story, I can do it…thanks. I have motivation.
Player 2: Yes, there are prizes! We have prizes!
Player 1: Ooooh, prizes! How much??
Player 2: If you are prep to year 2, do you know how much you’ll get? I’ll show you what you’ll get if you win first or second prize!
If you’re in year 3 to year 6, this is what you’ll get if you win first or second prize!
If you’re in year 7 to year 9 have a look here:
If you’re in year 10 to year 12 have a look here:
Ooooh, it’s so exciting! You want to win, right?! Start now, get writing! Hurry up and do it, then submit it. Don’t forget, the cut off date is 17th October
Player 3: You should join too!
(Player 1 started writing...)

Prep - Year 2

Year 3 - Year 6

Year 7 - Year 9

Year 10 - Year 12

1st Prize: $100
2nd Prize: $50
1st Prize: $150
2nd Prize: $100
1st Prize: $200
2nd Prize: $150
1st Prize: $250
2nd Prize: $200

Submissions for stories to the 2021 DSYWC has now closed.

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