Deaf Australia and Deaf Connect Parliament House Breakfast

Published on: 12th September 2023

Deaf Australia and Deaf Connect Youth Representatives take the stage in Parliament House to advocate for change in lead up to of National Week of Deaf People.

Deaf Australia and Deaf Connect have partnered to host a breakfast at Parliament House, Canberra on Wednesday 13 September 2023. The event, to celebrate National Week of Deaf People (18 – 24 September), aims to acknowledge the Australian Deaf community, culture and language – Auslan – while highlighting critical issues related to Deaf Australians.

The breakfast will host members of parliament, Deaf sector representatives, and future Deaf Leaders, including keynote speaker Hon. Bill Shorten MP, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Minister for Government Services.

Brett Casey, CEO of Deaf Connect emphasised that the event is a powerful opportunity for young Deaf leaders to engage directly with policymakers.

“To ignite policy change we needed to come to parliament with our future leaders; the Deaf youth to engage in Government process.” Mr Casey says.

“The event brings together Deaf community representatives from each State and Territory, sponsored by Deaf Connect, along with invited future young leaders from Deaf organisations nationwide.

“Deaf Australia and Deaf Connect are proud to host the first event of its kind – supporting Deaf leaders to attend and to providing them with the not only the networking opportunity, but the tools to self-advocate and the evidence and research to support their efforts.”

Shirley Liu, acting CEO of Deaf Australia says that Deaf Australia is focusing on the epidemic of language deprivation and advocating for the right to use Auslan, not just access it.

“The breakfast is an opportunity to share a series of research papers into the social and economic impact of Australian Sign Language – Auslan”, Ms Liu says.

“The research, commissioned by Deaf Australia and Deaf Connect – ‘A Culturally Affirming Way Forward’ was a catalyst for the event, and provides Government at all levels with an evidenced base for the critical language access needs of the Deaf community.

“The event will be fully accessible for all involved and designed to be fully bilingually appropriate; with both Auslan and English represented.

“Our young leaders are excited for the opportunity to lead a Q&A session with the Hon. Bill Shorten MP.”

Drisana, a Deaf youth Participant invited to the event says, “We are Deaf, we are proud, and there is so much that needs to change. Auslan isn’t just access; it’s a lifeline for young Deaf Australians. It empowers us to connect with our community and participate in our everyday lives 24/7 as equal citizens with benefits to our self-esteem, mental health and well-being.”

Following the breakfast event, and throughout National Week of Deaf People, Deaf Connect has organised various events that promote education, awareness, and community engagement. These include workshops on sign language, office and class open days, inclusive education, and employment opportunities for Deaf individuals.

As National Week of Deaf People unfolds, Deaf Australia and Deaf Connect invites everyone to participate, learn, and celebrate the rich culture of Deaf Australians and the immense potential of Deaf youth in Australia.

Deaf Connect will be releasing content on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and our website.

More information about National Week of Deaf People, Auslan, Deaf Australia and Deaf Connect is listed below.



Media Opportunities:

We implore and encourage media outlets to engage with Deaf Connect during National Week of Deaf People and to utilise our interpreting services across their channels, signalling their support for Deaf Australians.

Deaf Connect provide interpreting services for Auslan representation across all media.

Interviews and comment are available from Mr Brett Casey, CEO Deaf Connect and Shirley Liu, acting CEO Deaf Australia. For all media enquiries contact: Ian Harvey Ross, Head of Marketing and Sales 0407 180 710 or [email protected]

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