Rayan was a recipient of a Youth grant and Tye Recreation fund in 2018.
“I’m almost always in the hearing community because I am the only deaf girl in my school in country Victoria.”
Rayan is from a country town in Victoria. She attends a mainstream school and has had limited opportunities to meet deaf people her age.
In January 2018 Rayan joined the deaf netball team for the Australian Deaf Games. This was the first time Rayan had played with a deaf netball team. Rayan valued the experience because, “it was really good to see deaf people having strong communication with each other and it helped me to gain confidence when around other deaf people.”
When Rayan learnt of the National Deaf Netball Club Championships in Queensland, she really wanted to join in. Rayan is very passionate about netball.
Rayan also shared in her application that she has felt isolated from not knowing other deaf people her age. She wanted to attend the netball championships to be able to practice her Auslan, learn about other people’s experiences being deaf and to make friends with deaf people her age.
Rayan applied for the Youth Grant to support her in being able to play in the championships. Rayan was grateful for the support of Marnie and her teacher Janice for organising flights and accommodation and for Marnie accompanying her.
Rayan said of the championship, “There were about 100 Deaf people from all over Australia. Some of them played and and some only watched. At the start of the game I felt shy and nervous but while playing netball I started to feel more confident and it felt good. I was very determined to win the games but unfortunately my Victorian team lost all games for the women team and only won one game for the mixed team. I met other Deaf people and it was really good to communicate with them. It really helps me to gain my confidence and be able to recognise new signs that I haven’t learn before.”
With additional funding from Tye Recreation Fund, Rayan was able to extend her trip to Queensland by three days to stay with Marnie and her new friends Tamara and Jess. This was Rayan’s first holiday and a great opportunity to bond with other deaf people.
Of this friendship, Rayan said, “Marnie, Tamara and Jess made me feel like I belong to the Deaf community like as a family. I felt great because I enjoyed laughing with them when they do silly things and I really had a great time.”
“They helped me to think deeply how I feel about being Deaf. “
“I’m almost always in the hearing community because I am the only deaf girl in my school in country Victoria. I decided I will join the Deaf community activities to get more experience when I am older. Thank you DCA for allowing me this wonderful opportunity to be with Deaf people and be able to have more experience in the Deaf Community.”