Daily Themes

We adopt the World Federation of the Deaf’s daily themes for the International Week of Deaf People.

Monday, 18 September 2023 | Declaration of the Rights of the Deaf Child

Tuesday, 19 September 2023 | Building Capacity Across the Globe

Wednesday, 20 September 2023 | Realising “Nothing Without Us”

Thursday, 21 September 2023 | Putting Deaf People on the Agenda

Friday, 22 September 2023 | Achieving Sign Language Rights for All

Saturday, 23 September 2023 | International Day of Sign Languages: A World Where Deaf People Everywhere Can Sign Anywhere

Sunday, 24 September 2023 | Building Inclusive Deaf Communities


Deaf Australia will organise some exciting events and participate in others, you are welcome to join us or share information with your networks.

18 SEPT. 2023

Declaration of the Rights of the Deaf Child

Online Webinar: “Unpacking the new Declaration of the Rights of the Deaf Child” with Rachelle Stevens and Liz Reed and facilitator Catherine Miller

A presentation by two deaf teachers who attended WFD Jeju 2023 at the time that their Declaration on the Rights of Deaf Children was announced. This newly historical document will be unpacked in its significance and potential impact on the future of deaf education.

Time: 6:30pm – 7:30pm AEST.

Rachelle Stevens' bio

Rachelle Stevens is an experienced deaf teacher with a passion of teaching Early Years and working closely with families.  She sees potential in each and every child to thrive emotionally, socially and academically. 

Liz Reed's bio

Elizabeth (sign name: lizard) is a teacher of the Deaf currently working at Victorian College for the Deaf. Elizabeth is passionate about deaf education, evidence based research and data collection on top of contemporary art focusing on social issues.

19 SEPT. 2023

Building Capacity Across the Globe

Online Webinar: “My Journey from Iraq to Australia as a Refugee” with Khishkok Abdo and facilitator Shirley Liu

Khishkok Abdo, originally from the Kurdistan region in northern Iraq, now lives in Australia. She’s a determined individual who loves embracing new experiences and doesn’t let her deafness hold her back from pursuing her dreams. She is currently working as a support worker and Education Support Officer (ESO) at TAFE.

Time: 6:30pm – 7:30pm AEST.

20 SEPT. 2023

Realising “Nothing Without Us”

Online Webinar: “An example of a State based advocacy for deaf and hard of hearing people in Australia” with Philip Waters, General Manager of Deaf Victoria and facilitator Debra Swann

Philip Waters is the General Manager for Deaf Victoria, the peak advocacy organisation for deaf and hard of hearing people in Victoria. He was previously a Senior Consultant at the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission as well as a Senior Policy Officer at the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing. Advocacy and representation of deaf people is his passion.

Time: 6:30pm – 7:30pm AEST.

21 SEPT. 2023

Putting Deaf People on the Agenda

Online Webinar: “Putting Deaf People on the Agenda” with Jen Blyth, CEO of Deaf Australia and facilitator Paula Thornton
Join us for a lecture with Deaf Australia’s CEO, Jen Blyth, for an update on our activities for the year so far and our plans for the rest of 2023.
Time: 6:30pm – 7:30pm AEST.

22 SEPT. 2023

Achieving Sign Language Rights for All

Online Webinar: “Indigenous Sign Languages and Mental Health” with Rodney Adams and facilitator Susan Bates

Rodney will discuss the implications of ISL and why they are so important to Indigneous populations and the correlation between mental health and language revitalisation for deaf Indigenous people.

Time: 6:30pm – 7:30pm AEST.

23 SEPT. 2023

International Day of Sign Languages: A World Where Deaf People Everywhere Can Sign Anywhere

In-person and online: “The Voice to parliament, a journey of enlightenment and human rights” with Jody Barney

Location: Wayi Djerring Room, Queen Victoria Women’s Centre – 210 Lonsdale Street Melbourne VIC 3000
In-person time: 6pm – 9pm
Online time: 6:30pm AEST – 8pm AEST

Jody Barney believes that working with First Nations Deaf individuals and their extended family and communities in improve their access and equity to services and community. By using Aboriginal sign languages has proven to be significantly important to support First Nations Deaf people to understand in their first language.

Re-watch the event coming soon!

Read more about Jody Barney

Jody Barney believes that working with First Nations Deaf individuals and their extended family and communities in improve their access and equity to services and community. By using Aboriginal sign languages has proven to be significantly important to support First Nations Deaf people to understand in their first language. Her work also is to increase the knowledge of working more effectively within these communities using their cultural appropriate sign language systems. Jody Barney has been one of the leading Aboriginal disability communications consultants with over 35 years’ experience in delivering training, as a senior advocate and research investigator. Jody Barney has a Bachelor of Applied Management Studies from the University of Ballarat; she is an alumni and inaugural Senior Fellow for Social Equity (AFSE) within the Atlantic Fellows Program. Her other passion is creating space to grow leadership in the Deaf First Nations space. Jody Barney was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2022 and was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll for Women in 2021 for her long service within the disability sector. She was also awarded the National Disability Awards 2020 for her work in the justice space. Also, that same year she was the recipient of the National Independent Aspire Award 2020 for her outstanding advocacy work.

©Deaf Indigenous Community Consultancy. All Rights Reserved 2023

24 SEPT. 2023

Happy NWDP! Let's close the week with a celebration from Deaf people all around Australia.
Day 7 Theme: Building Inclusive Deaf Communities


I'm excited to be part of the Deaf community, where we interact seamlessly, free from accessibility barriers. We share common life experiences as a close-knit community, and this mutual support empowers us to strengthen our community bonds.

 What is the Deaf community? It's akin to coming home, where everyone uses the same language to communicate fluently with each other. It's a place where you feel inclusivity, where everyone shares the same expressions—much like at home, where you feel comfortable expressing yourself using the beautiful language of Auslan.

When I engage in conversations with hearing people, there are often barriers. However, when I converse with deaf people, there are no barriers thanks to sign language, allowing for smooth and effortless communication.

I love being Deaf because of the community, Auslan, and the language. Through this language, I feel connected with everyone, regardless of their age. I feel truly privileged to be Deaf when I think about how beautiful Auslan is.

I love Auslan because it's unique, and I find the Deaf community lovely.

Reasons why the Deaf community is truly amazing include the fact that when I meet Deaf or hard of hearing individuals, we share similar life experiences, which allows us to connect and express ourselves with one another through Auslan.

Why do I love being Deaf? I love its community and the language, which allows me to communicate with a wide range of people, and that's incredibly amazing.

Why is it so good to be Deaf? 'Cause you can sign with people, and that's super fun!

What does 'inclusive' mean? It means that Deaf or hard of hearing individuals, regardless of their background, are all connected because they share the same culture, understand the frustrations of barriers, and feel involved in the community.

As a Deaf person, I embrace my identity as a member of the Deaf community. This connection grants me access to Auslan, a beautiful language. The provision of Auslan interpreters ensures that I have access to various places beyond the Deaf community.

Being a deaf person makes me truly unique. What makes it unique? Well, when I had friends come over to my home during my school years, they were amazed by the things we did, like stomping on the floor and having flashing lights, among many others. All of these experiences set us apart and hold a special place in my heart. They would go home and tell their families all about it.

Sign language is awesome because I can sign even when my mouth is full.

I love being Deaf because there's a community where sign language is our way of communication, making it easy for everyone to socialise. I enjoy catching up with people I haven't seen in a while, which gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling.

Being Deaf is awesome because I love Auslan and the ability to have long, enjoyable conversations and recollection about our pasts, which is so much fun.

I love Auslan. Coming to the Deaf Festival is an absolute blast! Do you enjoy it too? Yes, I enjoy it!

What does being Deaf mean to me? It's as essential as drinking water; just like you need water, I need the Deaf community because it's a part of me.

I love Auslan. I love the Deaf Festival because it's so much fun!

Why do I think being Deaf is just fabulous and the best? It gives me a boost and charges up my battery. Because I'm able to sign away in this rich Deaf culture, surrounded by my people, my world all around me. Without them, I'm nothing. I need and love using Auslan to communicate and mingle with people. I'm just so excited; oh, I have to go now. There are so many people out there. I need to say hello to some people I haven't seen for ages. Bye, sending kisses. I love you.

Visual descriptions

Visual description video: The opening slide has title "Building Inclusive Deaf Communities at Brisbane Deaf Festival 2023" in white text on a blue background. There are various yellow, green and purple shapes dancing around the title. The video has many diverse peoples signing about why they love Auslan, sign language and being Deaf. They are all standing in front of the new Deaf Flag. At the end, another slide with the blue background and dancing shapes appears again with Deaf Australia and National Week of Deaf People logos.

Visual description closing slides: First slide is same as opening slide with Jody Barney's headshot. The second is Deaf Australia informational closing slide. Graphic features white Deaf Australia logo on a green and blue gradient background. Text reads “Deaf Australia is a Deaf-leg advocacy and information organisation in Australia representing all Deaf, Deafblind, and hard-of-hearing people and others who use Auslan (Australian Sign Language) as their language of preference. Contact us: [email icon] [email protected], [website icon] www.deafaustralia.org.au, [Instagram and Twitter icons] @deafaustralia, [Facebook icon] DeafAustraliaInc”

Deaf Ecosystem Events & Resources

This section’s contents add from businesses and organisations that organise National Week of Deaf People related events
for their Deaf Community and/or create some fantastic resources.

Deaf Victoria

MyAuslan Resources Pack for 2023

Auslan MCG Tours

Flow Festival at Darebin Arts Centre

Information on events happening in Adelaide SA for NWDP 2023 thanks to Deaf.Gain:

  • Wednesday 20th September:
    6pm – 9pm – Relaxed Art Workshop with Luke King at Rewind Studios 7a Barrpowell Street, Welland 5007.
  • Thursday 21st September:
    10am – 2pm – TAFE SA NWDP Celebrations at TAFE SA City Campus.
    10:30am – 11:30am – TAFE Special Guest Presentations at TAFE SA City Campus.
    6pm – 8pm – Nice to Meet You: Luke King Artist Talk at ACE Art Gallery Lion Arts Centre North Terrace.
  • Friday 22nd September:
    6pm – 7pm – Ravi Vasavan: Deaf Power Artist Talk at Nexus Arts Lion Arts Centre, North Terrace.
  • Saturday 23rd September:
    2pm – 5pm – Deaf Gain Celebration Day at Allan Scott Auditorium (enter via Kerry Packer Civic Gallery) Level 3, Hawke Building, UniSA City West Campus, 55 North Terrace.
    5pm – 9pm – Voices Off Auslan Social Group  at West Oak Hotel 208 Hindley Street.
  • Sunday 24th September:
    11am – 3pm – Deaf Festival at Light Square Adelaide CBD West End. Park Square bordered by Morphett Street, Waymouth Street, Currie Street.

Werribee Open Range Zoo with Expression Australia

SA Deaf Festival 2023

Echuca and Moama BBQ with Expression Australia

Newcastle NSW Auslan Only Day:

  • When: 23rd September 2023
  • What time: 11am to 4pm
  • Why: Celebrate International Day of Sign Languages
  • Where: Newcastle Foreshore Park, Wharf Rd, Newcastle
  • Cost: Free
  • Who: Everyone
  • Contact: [email protected]

Deaf Connect

Deaf Hub Bendigo have a couple of things on:

  • The Deaf flag will be raised for the duration of the week in Bendigo’s CBD. You can join them to see it go up Monday 18th September 9am at Lyttleton Terrace end of library lawn.
  • We have a video featuring local Bendigo people being played on the big screen televisions in Bendigo’s Hargreaves Mall. It will be played repeatedly throughout the week.
  • On International Day of Sign Languages (23 September) the Conservatory will be lit up in blue lighting at night.

Deaf Festival Brisbane 2023

Auslan Interpreted Performance of Monty Phyton’s Spamalot:

  • When: 15th September 2023
  • Time: 7pm
  • Where: Union House Theatre, University of Melbourne Arts & Cultural, 761 Swanston St, Parkville VIC 3052
  • Cost: Adult: $32
    Concession / Student: $28
    UMMTA Member: $25
  • Discount: 20% discount on any tickets purchased using the discount code ‘AUSLAN’
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