New Chief Executive

Kyle Miers resigns as Chief Executive of Deaf Australia. Jen Blyth becomes the new Chief Executive.


Deaf History International Conference

Deaf Australia hosts the Deaf History International Conference in Sydney in July.


Vale Ann Darwin

Past president Ann Darwin dies on 22 January.


New Chief Executive

Karen Lloyd, Executive Officer, retires on 1st March. Kyle Miers becomes CEO on 13 May.


SMS Relay

After eight years of advocacy, in February government announces that SMS relay will be included in a ‘new look’ National Relay Service from 1st July


Vale Emeritus Professor Des Power AM

Emeritus Professor Des Power AM dies on 3rd April. Professor Power was a renowned educator and academic in the field of deaf education, and a long-time supporter of deaf people and Deaf Australia.


WFD Oceania RS is formed

After six years of collaborative work by Deaf Australia, Deaf Aotearoa – New Zealand and Fiji Association of the Deaf, the WFD Oceania Regional Secretariat is formed on 1st January 2013 , comprising Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.


WFD Conference

WFD Conference is held in Sydney in October. Deaf Australia hosts a workshop for representatives of WFD Ordinary Members.


NDIS roll out

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) begins rolling out in Australia on 1st July.


Quality captioning

After many years of advocacy, changes to the Broadcasting Services Act on 25th June require reasonable quality captioning on all free to air TV programs between 6am and midnight by 2014.


National Summit

Deaf Australia holds a National Summit on Early Intervention and Education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children in Canberra, 29th – 30th November.  A report from the Summit was released on 31st May.


National Deaf Conference

Deaf Australia holds a National Deaf Conference and 25th anniversary celebration in Hobart, 13th – 15th May.


SignPost concludes

The SignPost team makes its 10th and last program.



The Australian Government holds an Inquiry on Migration and Disability. Deaf Australia participates by formally submitting their position and input at a public hearing.


Adelaide Forum

Deaf Australia hosts a forum in Adelaide on issues of interpreting provision in South Australia, at the request of Deaf Australia (SA) in August.


Working Group is established

Deaf Australia establishes a Video Relay Service working group to advocate for a Video Relay Service. The working group includes representatives from four organisations as well as Deaf Australia.


CRPD is ratified

Australia ratifies the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 17th July 2008. Deaf Australia begins to reference the CRPD in its advocacy activities.


Auslan Shop is established

Deaf Australia establishes The Auslan Shop.


Antenna Awards

SignPost wins the Diversity award at the Antenna Awards for community TV.


National forum is held

Deaf Australia hosts a national forum on access to emergency services.


AAD > Deaf Australia Inc

AAD changes its name from Australian Association of the Deaf Inc. to Deaf Australia Inc. in November. The aim is to strengthen the profile of the organisation and the deaf community.


Antenna Awards

SignPost wins Program of the Year at the Antenna Awards for Community TV in Melbourne in June.


AM is awarded to Karen Lloyd

AAD’s Executive Officer, Karen Lloyd, is awarded membership of the Order of Australia (AM).


National Junior Deaf Youth Camp is held

AAD hosts a National Junior Deaf Youth Camp at the Gold Coast, 24th – 27th September for youths aged 12-17.


National Conference is held

AAD holds a National Conference in Adelaide, 3rd – 5th November. It is the first ‘truly Deaf’ national event in Australia with almost all presenters, including hearing presenters, making their presentations in Auslan.


20th anniversary

AAD celebrates its 20th anniversary with a national picnic day on 2nd April, where state branches hold a picnic in a park in each capital city; and a gala dinner in Sydney on 2nd June.


SignPost commences

First episode of SignPost Deaf TV program, produced by AAD National Deaf TV Sub-Committee members, is broadcast on community TV in Sydney in May.


New website is launched

AAD launches a new website on 11th July.


International Deaf Film and TV Festival

AAD hosts an International Deaf Film and TV festival as part of 2005 Deaflympics cultural festival in Melbourne.


AFDO established

Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) is established. AAD is a founding member.


Head office move to Brisbane

The AAD head office moves to Brisbane, with a small office at North Rocks in Sydney.


Captioning win

Free-to-air TV stations agree to increase captioning to 70% of programs between 6am and 12 midnight by 2007.


Award Change

The AAD Deaf Achiever Award becomes the Deaf Australian of the Year Award.


AAD President visits all state capital cities

AAD President visits all state capital cities during National Week of Deaf People and, along with state representatives, meets with government Ministers responsible for disability issues.


Bilingual Education advocacy

AAD begins advocating for bilingual education programs for deaf children.


Open captioning trials

Three month trial of open captioned movies in cinemas in Sydney and Melbourne.


Youth category is added to award

A youth category is added to the AAD Deaf Achiever Award.


AAD hosts international events

In July AAD hosts:

    • XIII World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf in Brisbane in July. Over 2,000 people from 80 countries attend.
    • 2nd International Deaf Theatre Conference.
    • 2nd International Deaf Youth Camp.
    • XI WFD Regional Secretariat for Asia and the Pacific representatives meeting.

WFD President visit

Visit to Australia by the World Federation of the Deaf President, Liisa Kauppinen and World Federation of the Deaf General Secretary, Carol-lee Aquiline.


Establishment of funds

Deaf Australia establishes the first national Legal Defence Fund for Deaf People, and the AAD/WFD Cochlear Implant Fund.


Live captioning as result of lobbying

Successful lobbying results in live captioning of national news services (evening news on television).



The first National Week of Deaf People (NWDP) is held.


Establishment of NRS

The National Relay Service is established, funded by the Federal Government – a direct result of consistent and continued lobbying by AAD since 1986.


WFD Congress

AAD wins the bid to host the XIII World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf, to be held in Brisbane in July 1999.


Successful funding for NRS

$26.1 million dollars is allocated by the Federal Government to establish a National Relay Service - a direct result of consistent and continued lobbying since 1986 by AAD.


National Youth Camp

National Deaf Youth Camp is organised in Sydney.


TTY research

TTY research project conducted by Phil Harper for AAD.


Government funding for advocacy services

AAD receives government funding for the first time, from the Commonwealth Department of Health and Family Services, and launches its National Advocacy Service for deaf people who use Auslan.


National TTY-In

AAD organises a National ‘TTY-In’: members of the deaf community ring and fax Federal Parliamentary Ministers and Senators to raise awareness of the need for telecommunications access. This leads to a government-funded ‘Pilot TTY Relay Feasibility Study’ and eventually to a fully funded National Relay Service.


Achiever Award name change

The achiever award is changed to the Deaf Achiever Award in honour of Dorothy Shaw OAM. First winner is Nola Colefax OAM.


Advisory Body established

AAD establishes the Australian Sign Language Advisory Body.


National Deaf Youth Camp

AAD holds a national Deaf Youth Camp in Canberra


Deaf Achiever Award is introduced

AAD introduces a Deaf Achiever award. Dorothy Shaw is the first winner.


Dorothy Shaw receives OAM award

Founding President Dorothy Shaw is awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM).


WFD RS Asia Pacific Congress

AAD hosts the WFD Regional Secretariat Asia Pacific Congress in Melbourne.


AAD incorporated in South Australia

Australian Association of the Deaf (AAD) is incorporated in South Australia.


AAD forms

Australian Association of the Deaf (AAD) forms with its inaugural general meeting on 1st June with a Board of Directors elected from all over Australia.

Late 1930

AAAD collapses


New Motto

Australian Association for the Advancement of the Deaf (AAAD) is established, with the motto ‘Of the Deaf, by the Deaf, for the Deaf.’


ADDA founded

Australasian Deaf and Dumb Association (ADDA) is founded, with a publication called The Gesture.

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