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Media Release CEO Update 24 May


Hello I’m Shirley, the Acting CEO of Deaf Australia.

This is an important video to provide clear information to the deaf community. As you know, Deaf Australia has worked tirelessly over the last 3 years and we have seen some great achievements through our systemic advocacy, negotiations with government and as a representative with various disability organisations.  We have worked to ensure access to interpreters and have worked with many policy leaders to make sure that deaf people and Auslan is well represented in government discussions and decisions. We want to make sure that deaf community members enjoy a high quality of life.

Over the last 3 years Deaf Australia has been heavily reliant on government funding. Government funding has allowed us to increase our project work alongside our advocacy work. Each year Deaf Australia must apply for government funding. This year, we applied for three separate grants:

  • ILC: SCP – Information Linkages and Capacity Social and Community Participation
  • ILC: ICB – Information Linkages and Capacity Individual Capacity Building; and
  • DRO – Disability Representative Organisation funds for systemic advocacy work

Unfortunately, we have recently been informed that our applications for funding have been unsuccessful. Not receiving this funding leads to some uncertainty about Deaf Australia’s future operations. Unfortunately, we will not be able to retain all of our staff so some staff will be finishing their employment by the end of June this year.

This is a very sad and disappointing situation for our community. The Deaf Australia Board and I are working hard to consider how we can better Deaf Australia’s position into the future and to make sure that we can best support our staff through this difficult time. 

Deaf Australia is a member of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO). AFDO has arranged a consortium of 6 member organisations. Deaf Australia is a consortium member and we are fortunately able to obtain some funding through this consortium which will help us to continue some of our work in a limited way. Unfortunately, it is not enough funding to enable us to maintain all of our staff. 

We will continue working with AFDO to advocate to government about the funding impacts on Deaf Australia and other disability advocacy organisations. The consortium, lead by AFDO, has accepted a 7th disability organisation who has also been impacted by funding cuts into the consortium. We will provide a list of the consortium members which includes other organisations that represent sensory disabilities e.g. deaf, hard of hearing, and vision. All members have been impacted by the loss of government funding.

AFDO will be launching a campaign aimed at increasing government funding to our organisation and to put pressure on government to acknowledge the important work that our organisations do. The campaign will be visible on social media in the coming weeks.

Deaf Australia thanks you for your support and we will continue to keep you updated about the position of Deaf Australia and its operations going forward.

We are very privileged to work with our community and we are committed to continuing Deaf Australia’s operations with the community into the future.

Thank you.

Visual description

A woman is sitting in a chair, dressed in a blue sweater, facing the camera and smiling. She is making a sign language gesture with her left hand, which is the sign for "hello" in Auslan. There is text on the image providing context to the scene, which reads "CEO Update 24 May 2024" on the top left, and "Hello I'm Shirley, the Acting CEO of Deaf Australia" at the bottom of the image. The background is blue with a curtain on one side, and the overall impression is of a warm and personable setting likely intended for an online audience.

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