Vanessa Adzaip’s NT Disability Services Awards Highlight Need for Vital Program to Continue


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    Vanessa (centre, pictured with Raphael and Angel) always connects so well with the children and young people she works with. Her ability to help them build their confidence and their communication skills is fantastic.

    DeafNT Auslan Officer Vanessa Adzaip recently won two 2015 NT Disability Services Awards in recognition of her fantastic work for DeafNT and Deaf Children Australia. Around the same time, we received a small grant from the Department of Education NT, to help support a partial continuation of the work that Vanessa was doing through the VidKids program. We are continuing to look for other ways to resource this very valuable work in the Northern Territory and hope that the recognition tied up with the awards will help us source more funding.

    Adam Giles, Chief Minister, Northern Territory Government, wrote to Vanessa: “It is a pleasure to congratulate you on your outstanding success at the 2015 NT Disability Services Awards as the winner of the Overall Award for Excellence and the Award for Excellence in lmproving Learning and Development.

    “The awards recognise and commend the amazing work you do as an Auslan teacher for Deaf Children Australia and DeafNT where you strive to improve the learning and development skills of children who are hearing-impaired. The awards also recognise your work on the VidKids program and the valuable role the program plays in providing services to children with hearing or vision loss who live in remote areas of the Territory.

    These important awards celebrate your work with hearing-impaired Territorians; work highly valued by this Government, your students, your colleagues and the families of those you strive so hard to assist.”

    “Vanessa is gifted with compassion and care”

    The Hasas family’s nomination letter really highlighted Vanessa’s very special contribution:

    “I would like to nominate Vanessa Adzaip for the Excellence in Improving Learning and Development award as I strongly believe she inspired and made a difference in our lives as hearing parents who had a deaf baby boy as our first children ( my deaf boy has a twin brother who has hearing).

    We first met Vanessa at the time when we heard that the MRI of my son’s ear doesn’t show any positive signs to go ahead with cochlear implant. That time he was nearly eight months and we had a lot of hopes on implanting him and giving him the access to hearing world and we were actually getting ready for implant surgery. All collapsed when we heard this sad news.

    We had no idea about Auslan, we had no idea whether my deaf son can have the same education that his twin brother will get in the future, we basically didn’t know how we are going to communicate with our son. We had no idea how a disabled child future would be.

    One day a lady from department of education that I know rang me and said she is coming to see my son with a deaf girl. And it was Vanessa. Vanessa’s appearance gave all positive answers to my questions that I was worrying for days and days. She herself was a live example which I can see and believe in rather than hearing the positive side of my son’s future from other professionals.

    I confidently believe Vanessa is gifted with compassion and care towards deaf children and has wonderful communication skills that my son started to communicate with her from the first day he saw Vanessa. Day by day our connection with Vanessa built us the confidence in our family about my son’s future education.

    Then we got the opportunity to join the VidKids program and again we were lucky to meet Vanessa via video conferencing specially to learn Auslan for us as we live in Jabiru. Her way of teaching was fun, practical, examples were real. We lost our fear of learning AUSLAN when with Vanessa.

    Vanessa Disability Services Awards

    Congratulations Vanessa!

    Both myself and my wife are professionals and we really wanted to introduce reading to our twin boys at very young age. It was a big challenge for me read a book in sign language and voice with all the expressions to my deaf boy. I still can remember how Vanessa read the book via video conferencing and how my little deaf boy was enjoying it, copying all the signs exactly the same way Vanessa does and he concentrated until the book finishes. She read the book to my son with a passion. Even through video conferencing my boy would have felt her caring touch, her beautiful and appropriate expressions, of course the great Auslan skills made a difference in reading books to my deaf boy.

    Now we don’t think our son is deaf but we think we the whole family are lucky to learn another beautiful language which is Auslan. We are confident in learning Auslan and using it at home and Vanessa is a practical example for our family. Yes Vanessa made a big difference in my deaf boy’s life, his hearing brother’s life and our lives as hearing parents. Thanks Vanessa.”

    Vanessa was interviewed with an interpreter on ABC Darwin’s Breakfast program. Click here if you would like to listen.

    Can you help us continue support programs in the NT?

    If you would like to contribute to enable Vanessa to keep providing support services through DeafNT, please contact DCA’s Fundraising Manager Noel Henderson at or on (03) 9539 5362.

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