Our Stories

Deaf Aboriginal Cultural Family Camp

Deaf Children Australia (DCA) partnered with Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc. (VAEAI) for a Deaf Aboriginal Cultural Family Camp at Gariwerd (Grampians) National Park from 26 – 28 October. We ran fun cultural, social and recreation activities that aimed to strengthen participants’ sense of identity as proud young deaf indigenous people. Desiree attended the camp […]

Youth Grants: World Deaf Basketball Championships

This year, for the first time the ‘Dingoes’ – the men’s under 21 Deaf Australian basketball team – was invited to attend the Deaf Basketball World Championships hosted in Washington DC. Deaf Children Australia was able to offer Ben Robins, Bailey McNicholl, Bradley Walton, Bryce Younger, Connor Reynolds, Jarred van der Merwe, Kit Stephen and […]

Ziggy and Hussein’s story: Vital Support along the journey

Ten year old Ziggy and five year old Hussein are both profoundly deaf. Their nineteen year old brother is hard of hearing. Their family is very supportive and loving but they experienced significant communication barriers. Thankfully, the situation started to improve after Ziggy and Hussein connected up with Deaf Children Australia’s (DCA’s) youth support worker […]

Youth Grants: Lenny’s AFL Inclusion Carnival

Our 2018 Youth Grant recipients are starting to undertake their projects! We were thrilled to receive our first report recently from Lenny, whose Youth Grant enabled him to fly from far east Arnhem Land to Darwin and then onto Tasmania for the AFL National Inclusion Carnival. The AFL Inclusion Carnival supports men aged 16 and […]

Youth Grants: Jayesh’s Antipodeans Trip to India

Jayesh received a 2017 Youth Grant to join the 2018 Antipodeans trip to India, a three week trip including one week doing community work. He returned home with lots of new skills – including how to make momos!  Youth Grant applicants for 2018 have now been notified. We look forward to sharing Youth Grant recipients’ […]

Jethro’s Story: “I stopped feeling isolated and alone”

“My son Jethro is four years old now. His hearing loss was identified when he was a newborn. Further testing confirmed that he had a bilateral moderate-severe sensorineural hearing loss. At around eight weeks old, he was fitted with hearing aids. My husband Aurelien and I kept plodding along from one specialist to the next… […]

Amaya’s Story: “I am deaf and I’m proud of it”

Eight year old Amaya recently told us about her dreams: “I would like to be a vet at wildlife hospitals and travel around the world saving animals. I would love to go to France and to Africa to help the giraffes, lions and cheetahs.” Amaya also wants to be a professional sportsperson – maybe in […]

Arden’s Story: “Arden will always be deaf. Implants certainly aren’t a cure.”

Seven year old Arden attended DCA’s Family Camp in October with her mum Tanya, step-dad Billy and ten year old brother DJ, along with 21 other families.  Tanya said, “There were so many children and families from all walks of life. We found it really brilliant and reassuring in so many ways. When the wonderful […]

Youth Grants: Maddison’s Audiology Work Experience

Maddison applied for a DCA Youth Grant to do a week of work experience at the Cochlear Implant Clinic and Cochlear Care Centre in East Melbourne, observing speech pathology and audiology sessions as well as pre- and post- cochlear implant surgery patients! She shared with us her experiences each day, and intends to pursue a […]

Cate’s Story: “This has shaped the course of my life”

Cate Dunn grew up in a farming community in the Wimmera. As a pre-schooler, Cate would regularly set off with her mum in the early hours of the morning to drive to a Melbourne based Early Intervention program. Her parents were determined to give her every opportunity they could and those resources just weren’t available […]

Youth Grants: Alex’s Swimming Success

Alex Kirchner recently received a DCA Youth Grant to attend the 2017 Deaflympics in Samsun, Turkey, representing Australia in swimming. He received brilliant results, placing fourth in the 50 and 100m backstroke and 6th in the 200m backstroke – an incredible result against many older competitors! He says:  “At only 12 years old I was […]

Janith’s Story: “My goal is to be a doctor”

When we met twelve year old Janith, his family was in crisis and Janith was suffering from trauma. When he was referred to DCA, the family were about to be evicted from their home. Janith’s teacher was very concerned about Janith’s emotional wellbeing and indeed, the whole family’s wellbeing after everything they had already been […]

Eva’s Story: “Nicollette is someone that I have never had before”

Sixteen year old Eva was feeling lonely, troubled and uncertain about her future. Her mum Shamiran told us, “Eva was born three months premature and only weighed 800 grams. She had to stay in hospital for two months and when we were finally able to bring her home, they told us to check her hearing […]

Youth Grants: Dannielle’s Story

Dannielle is a university student undertaking a degree at the University of Melbourne. She was successful in applying for a Youth Grant to help her stay at International House during the course of her school year, which helped her conquer her fear of accents and discover her passion for sociology.  “When I initially applied for […]

Youth Grants: VCD Magnetic Island Camp

Each year, DCA awards Youth Grants to deaf and hard of hearing young people aiming to pursue a goal or achievement for themselves or for the community. The senior students from Victorian College for the Deaf headed up North to Magnetic Island, off the coast of Townsville, to test their independence and learn new skills. […]

Hayley and Kaitlyn – “The future can still be bright with the right help”

We met ten year old Hayley, seven year old Kaitlyn and their mum Kerryn on DCA’s Deaf Aboriginal Cultural Youth Camp in May 2016. As Kerryn told us, “The camp literally changed my girls’ lives for the better. It has shown all of us that the future can still be bright with the right help. […]

Youth Grants: Joshua’s Story

Each year, DCA Youth Grants are awarded to young deaf and hard of hearing people to achieve a specific project or goal. On 22nd July, DCA held the 2016 Youth Grants Presentation Night, where we presented grant recipients with their awards and heard about their experiences as young deaf and hard of hearing people and […]

Youth Grants: Sarah’s Equestrian Dreams

Sarah, one of our 2016 Youth Grant recipients, is a talented equestrian and aims to compete in the 2019 Special Olympics, as well as inspiring other young deaf people with additional needs to chase their dreams. We wish Sarah all the best in achieving her goals and look forward to bringing you more Youth Grant […]

Georgia’s Story: “It’s okay to be different”

Georgia was diagnosed with hearing loss in both ears at 11 weeks of age. As her mum Stacey explains, the nerves that connect the cochlear to the brain don’t work properly. Georgia has frequent painful ear infections, bleeding and fluid build-up, leaving her with more severe hearing loss a lot of the time. She has […]

A Youth Grant Can Take You on an Adventure of a Lifetime like Sarah’s Borneo World Challenge!

If you are deaf or hard of hearing and 15 – 23 years old, you can apply now for a grant of up to $2,500 to help you achieve a personal goal or project. Deaf Children Australia wants to help you dream big! Applications for 2016 Youth Grants are now closed. All applicants will be […]

Casper’s Story: Adjusting to His Loss of Hearing after Chemotherapy

‘We wanted him to not only survive but to thrive’ Fiona Cullen shares the story of her six year old son Casper’s experience of losing his hearing through the side effects of chemotherapy. As Fiona said, “I would love it if our experience could help others coming off treatment with chemotherapy induced hearing loss to […]

Farnia’s Story: “I can see her strong personality now”

At the age of six, Farnia, who is profoundly deaf, was struggling to communicate with her family and everyone around her. She had just come to Australia after being invited to settle here with her parents as refugees. We can only imagine what she had been through. Thankfully, Farnia’s life was about to change in […]

Auslan Auskick Players Show Off their Talent at MCG

The NAB AFL Auskick program encourages everyone to get involved in a great community minded sport, and prides itself on being inclusive of children with disabilities. South Melbourne District Sports Club’s Auslan Auskick program highlighted this commitment when they took to the MCG at half time during the recent Swans Hawks match with their teams […]

“Deaf role models are so important for our children”

Shannon Fox, whose ten year old daughter Olivia is deaf, went to Vicdeaf’s fantastic Gaslight Festival in Wodonga from 7 – 8 March 2015 with their family and friends – all the way from Tasmania. Shannon explained why: “Deaf culture exists for all deaf people and it exists for us too as hearing parents of […]

VCD Students’ Life Changing Journey to Indigenous Community

A group of five Year 10 Victorian College for the Deaf students applied to DCA for our Youth Grants to help them visit a Bunuba indigenous community in Yiramalay, the Kimberleys in Western Australia. The amazing three week experience, run in conjunction with Wesley College, had a profound impact on all the VCD students and […]

Alexandria’s Story

“Alexandria is going blind as well as deaf” Eight year old Alexandria was born deaf and in November 2013, her family were devastated to learn she was also starting to lose her vision. Alexandria was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder which causes deafblindness. There is currently no cure and the doctors can’t […]

Max’s UK Football Tour

  Sixteen year old Maxwell Muscat applied to Deaf Children Australia’s Youth Grants to help fund his dream of attending the twelve day West Ham United Oceania Academy UK Tour in December 2014. We were happy to be able to contribute. Max wrote, “My dream since I was a little boy has been to play […]

Jono Lancaster’s Story: Overcoming Discrimination

Thirty year old British activist Jono Lancaster visited Deaf Children Australia recently as part of his tour to spend time with Australian children who live with Treacher Collins Syndrome like himself. Treacher Collins Syndrome prevents the skull, cheek and jawbones from developing properly. Symptoms range from barely noticeable to severe and disabling but typically include […]

Sara’s World Challenge

Sara Weir applied for a Deaf Children Australia youth grant for her World Challenge experience to Cambodia and Vietnam. DCA funded an interpreter for the five week school trip, allowing Sara to participate like any other student. Below she shares her write-up and what she learned along the way. “World Challenge provides educational school trips […]

Lachlan’s Story and the New Connections Parent Support Group

Sandra Rosenberger started the New Connections Parent Support Group in 2012 with the support of Deaf Children Australia because, as she says, “I noticed a big lack of connections for families, particularly when they left Early Intervention services to move into school”. Sandra was happy to share the story of why she started New Connections […]

Serena’s Story – “I have been given a gift”

“My twin daughters, Serena and Kiya, were born at 27 weeks gestation and Serena was born breech. They each weighed only 910 grams at birth. While they were both tiny, Kiya was healthy while Serena had complications from the beginning. She was on a ventilator and I was told she probably wouldn’t survive. I was […]

Hunter’s Story – “We have learnt together”

Hunter lost his hearing as he started Prep. This is his story, told by his mum Amelia. “Hunter was always a really happy, outgoing little boy. He just couldn’t wait to start Prep last year. He loved his first days and weeks. He would run into the classroom so enthusiastic. Hunter wanted to start reading… […]

Davie’s Story – “I am in a much better space now”

Like most new parents, Carol and her husband Henry were so proud when their first child Davie was born. They immediately fell in love with their gorgeous little boy yet their happiness was tinged with fear and anxiety over what lies ahead for Davie. When he was just three days old, Davie was diagnosed with […]

Kaitlyn’s Story – ‘I had to learn to be very assertive for my child’

Sandi Walters shares her story of her experiences with her first daughter Kaitlyn and why she has started the Parent Support Group ‘Hear Together Mornington Peninsula’ with support and encouragement from Deaf Children Australia. When Kaitlyn was almost four, I was getting cross with her because she didn’t seem to be listening to me. Then […]

Youth Grants: Natasha’s Laos and Thailand Trip

Natasha Ockenden received a Youth Grant in 2013 to participate in a World Challenge expedition to Laos and Thailand last December. Her story is inspiring. In Natasha’s application, she wrote: “I have always had the urge to prove that deaf people can do anything hearing people can. We are just as capable of achievements and […]

Youth Grants: Izaac’s Riding School for the Disabled

Izaac applied for a Youth Grant from Deaf Children Australia to help him realise his dream of opening a school for children with disabilities to learn riding and horsemanship. Izaac is inspiring in his determination to help other children who have similar experiences to his own. Izaac Brindley was born with a multitude of disabilities. […]

Gabriel’s Story: From Primary to Secondary School

“The transition from primary to secondary schooling was always going to be a big step for everyone, not just children like me with a hearing loss. I had already been in to see the staff while I had been in primary schooling to talk about how the school worked and how I could best start […]

Youth Grants: Chelsea’s Dance Grand Prix

We were so pleased to hear many inspiring presentations from our Youth Grant recipients at Deaf Children Australia’s Youth Grants Award Night on 22 July. Below, one of our Youth Grant recipients, Chelsea shares her story about her trip to Montenegro to dance at the Montenegro Dance Festival. We look forward to sharing more of […]

Youth Grants: Aimee’s Teaching Goals

Aimee Williams is one of Deaf Children Australia’s 2014 Youth Grant recipients and Youth Ambassadors. The grant Aimee received will go towards helping her complete two TAFE courses and then progress to university so she can achieve her goal of working with deaf and hard of hearing children. Below she shares her story. As a […]

Alice’s Story

Alice Brennan joined Deaf Children Australia to help promote our Safe and CommuniCate resources and build understanding of how these programs can assist infants, children and young people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Alice has now become a Family Support Worker for DCA. She has an Honours in Psychology and a wealth of […]

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