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Farewell Karen, Gaye and Bec!


Deaf Australia is sad to say farewell to three of our wonderful team as they move on to new challenges in their lives.

Bec Driscoll finished at Deaf Australia on 19 December 2013. She worked as Deaf Australia’s Education Programs Administrator since July 2009. Bec finished her BA in Communication and Bachelor of Business in Tourism in 2008 and was volunteer organiser of the children’s events at the Abbey Medieval Festival for two years while studying.
Bec is leaving Deaf Australia to work 4 days per week as Co-ordinator of Hear for You (Qld) and is looking forward to new challenges.
All the best Bec!
Gaye Lyons has been Deaf Australia’s Office Administrator since April 2006, following two years as a volunteer in the office. She has been a key person in organising Deaf Australia events, including two national conferences and two national summits. Gaye convened the Dorothy Shaw Young Writers competition and was on the judging panel for many years. Previously she worked for the Australian Public Service for many years and almost 10 years for Australian Communication Exchange.
Gaye’s been a member of Deaf Australia since it was established in 1986. After retiring, she plans to have a well-earned rest, travel, and maybe do some part-time work, preferably with deaf children.
We will miss you Gaye!
Karen Lloyd AM has worked tirelessly for 13 years as Deaf Australia’s longest serving Executive Officer. During her time here, the organisation has grown from 1.5 staff to 4 staff plus 25 casual employees and 9 volunteers, despite its limited financial resources.
Karen has written and published numerous papers, policies, reports and conference papers and has led Deaf Australia to many successes in improving access and services for Deaf people in a wide variety of areas, including: Early Intervention, Education, Employment, Health, Interpreting, Telecommunications, Media access, Access to information and services, Community Consultation, Community Events and Fundraising.
Some particular successes have been:

  • Lobbying resulting in the establishment of a national interpreting service for private health appointments (NABS).
  • Successfully lobbying for interpreting to be included in employment assistance funding.
  • Obtaining government funding to establish the Deaf Telecommunications Access and Networking project which operated for nine years until the establishment of ACCAN; its most recent success was the establishment of an SMS emergency call service.
  • Ongoing lobbying to establish and improve upon the National Relay Service, with a current focus on the introduction of a Video Relay Service.
  • Successfully lobbying Education Queensland to retain the Toowong State School bilingual education program and to change its policy from signed English to Auslan in Queensland schools.
  • Successfully tendering to provide Auslan courses for Queensland school communities.
  • Obtaining funding for a Northern Territory community development project.
  • Obtaining funding for a two-year youth leadership training program.
  • Organising and hosting Deaf Australia’s two very successful national conferences – in 2006 and 2011.
  • Negotiating improvements to captioning provision (television and cinema).
  • Establishment of The Auslan Shop.

In 2006, Karen was awarded the prestigious Member of the Order of Australia (AM) award for services to Deaf and hard of hearing people.
After retiring from Deaf Australia, Karen plans to do more writing, read more books, help her husband finish their home renovation, learn to be an urban backyard farmer, pursue her many sewing, craft and other interests, travel, perhaps do some part time work, and have time for coffee with friends.
Thank you for all you’ve done for the Deaf community Karen – you will be missed!

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