Tuesday, 1 December 2020
I wish to take the time today to raise awareness for deaf people in Chisholm and all over Australia. I will use Auslan to deliver my speech today. As many of you will know, we celebrated the National Week of Deaf People in September. Deaf people have challenges because of this pandemic. Face masks make it impossible to lip-read and see facial expressions. Doing ordinary things like visiting the shops or chatting to neighbours becomes harder. More than 10 per cent of Australians have some degree of deafness, whether it is complete or partial. In a population of 25 million people, only 10,000 are Auslan users. To help promote the National Week of Deaf People this year, I met with staff at Deaf Children Australia and recorded a video message in Auslan. I've been learning Auslan for just over a month, and the lovely people at Deaf Children Australia tell me I'm getting better. I encourage many of you to join me in learning Auslan too. Let's give it a go. I hope that, by using Auslan to give my speech today, I can encourage some of you to think about learning Auslan, learning sign language, in the future. This action may seem small, not a big deal, to many people, but it means the whole world to people with deafness. So I'm very excited to be able to do this.