House debates

Monday, 30 November 2020

Statements by Members

Dolejsi, Ms Amanda

4:24 pm

Photo of David SmithDavid Smith (Bean, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Throughout this year we've repeatedly heard the term 'essential workers'. Today I would like to add my congratulations to a Bean constituent who's firmly in that category, communicating life-saving information to members of our community. Amanda Dolejsi was one of the finalists for the 2021 ACT Local Hero, a category within the Australian of the Year Awards, for her work as an Auslan interpreter. This recognition demonstrates the depth of Amanda's work in this field and her commitment to it. She is the ACT's only fully certified Auslan interpreter.

She began her Auslan journey early, as a result of having a childhood friend who was deaf. The past year has been fraught, with disasters, bushfires and a global pandemic. Throughout it all, Amanda has stood next to local and national government officials and ministers, ensuring that all citizens of the ACT and more broadly receive the vital and life-saving information that is being broadcast. She's a champion for those who speak Auslan and she's passionate about ensuring that they receive exactly the same message that the hearing community receives.

At our morning tea with Amanda, she spoke candidly about the fact that there's a shortage of qualified Auslan interpreters and not enough support for training or career paths, despite the need for interpreters across emergency services and the need for fair access to our health and justice systems. Governments at all levels need to do more for all our interpreting services. Congratulations again Amanda. You're an amazing constituent of Bean.