Deaf Australia wish acknowledge the contribution from Dr Jan Branson who recently passed away after long battle with her health.
Dr. Jan Branson (and Emeritus Professor Des Power AM who passed away few years ago) were instrumental member of the Australian Association of the Deaf’s (now known as Deaf Australia) Auslan Advisory Board (AUSLAB) whose role was to persuade government in 1991 to recognise Auslan as a Community Language.
Several deaf members (Dr. Breda Carty, Dr. Donovan Cresdee, Dr. Robert Adam) of this advisory board have gone on to receive doctorate degrees (linguistics and history) and are currently involved the deaf community.
I had a great pleasure working with Dr Jan Branson and the members of the AUSLAB in advocating for inclusion of Auslan as a community language, said former President of Australian Association of the Deaf and current president of World Federation of the Deaf, Mr. Colin Allen, ‘Through Jan and others, I have been inspired to promote Auslan (and sign language) in Australia and globally’.
Dr Jan Branson is one of the founders in establishing the National Institute of Deaf Studies (NDIS) at LaTrobe University which saw hundreds of deaf people obtaining Auslan as Language other than English (LOTE) in their Bachelor of Education.
As Jan’s health was deteriorating she left LaTrobe University in its peak, unfortunately, the funding for NDIS has ceased and the program has since been closed.
Dr Jan Branson is a staunch supporter of Auslan and deaf education and is evident through her involvement with Deaf Australia, LaTrobe Univeristy and the deaf community. Deaf Australia take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation for Jan’s support in realising the rights of deaf people to use Auslan.
Jan, thank you. You have left a legacy in the Australian Deaf Community. We extend our deepest sympathy to her family.
Funeral Details: Family and friends are invited to attend a Service to Celebrate the Life of Dr Jan Branson being held at Tuckers Chapel, 68-74 Hope Street, Geelong West on Wednesday 10 January at 1pm prior to a private cremation.
(Image source: VicDeaf website)