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February 2022
Dear Friends,

As the new year begins, we are excited to see what amazing stories this year may bring.

We have continued to offer new services in line with the feedback we have received from families, and we are excited to announce our partnership with the National Deaf Children's Society in the UK as part of their international pen pal project.

Connecting young people across the globe, this project helps to build international friendships and create social connections. We encourage you to look out for for future announcements to express your interest in taking part in this program.

This year, our team is continuing to create opportunities for young people. We're excited to announce that we will be holding a ceremony on the 5th of April to share the results of our inaugural Art Competition. This Art Competition is a tremendous opportunity to showcase the talents of deaf and hard of hearing young people - thank you to all the judges, staff, and participants involved. 

We love receiving feedback from the people who take part in our events and programs, it helps us to continue to evolve and broaden the experiences we deliver for you. It is also great to learn about the difference the events we run make to families, children and young people. 

This year, we are delivering and building on our selection of events, programs, and services to support deaf and hard of hearing young people. From the return of our successful StepUp2HighSchool program, to our new and improved Ready Set Drive - Getting your Ls program - building on our successful 2021 program.  

We also have new events, programs, and activities to come. Stay tuned - and enjoy this edition of Flying Kites.

Best Wishes,



David Wilson
CEO, Deaf Children Australia

Events and Activities
 
StepUp2HighSchool
54% of parents of a deaf or hard of hearing child are concerned they will be bullied, this is what our national survey highlighted. We are addressing this topic and more with our StepUp2HighSchool online workshop, taking place on the 15th of Feb, from 5.30-7.30pm (AEST).

This unique workshop will arm participants with the skills, tools, and confidence to successfully navigate their way through high school. It is great for young people entering or who are already in High School.

Our young deaf and hard of hearing mentors have lived experience and are eager to share their tips and knowledge to help your child enjoy this new exciting chapter in their lives. Find more information here.

 
Get Connected 12-15 Years
Our popular online program is back from the 3rd of March, 2022!  Your child will learn to self-advocate, discover ways to build their confidence and identity, meet their peers, and be guided through the workshop by our friendly deaf and hard of hearing mentors. 

Get Connected welcomes participants from around Australia. Join the Get Connected community now!
This is Me - Art Exhibit
Come and celebrate young deaf and hard of hearing artists at this inaugural Art exhibit on the 5th of April! Deaf and hard of hearing artists aged 12-23 years have submitted some incredible artwork in response to the theme This is Me. Join us for an evening of art, light refreshments and drinks, and discover who the esteemed judges selected as the winners, runners up and who won the People's Choice Award.

We will be hosting the event at our iconic Bluestone building and will live stream the event to welcome people from around Australia to join us. We look forward to welcoming you to this exciting event. You can register here.
Ready Set Drive - Getting your Ls
We are excited to bring back this interactive workshop, unique in Australia. Participants will learn driving theory, test their skills on the driving simulator, and learn about car safety and maintenance. As previous participants will tell you, it's also a great way to connect with other young deaf and hard of hearing people.

Ready Set Drive is taking place at the Bluestone on the 12th of April. Experienced driving instructor, Courtenay Rufus from CRUDE Ultimate Driving Education will lead the one day workshop. A participant told us last year, "I wish Courtney had been my driving instructor". 
Register a spot for your child here.
Venture Day
We welcome deaf and hard of hearing secondary school students to join us on this day of fun, adventure, and friendships. It all kicks off on the 22nd of April. We will leave from DCA in a bus and head to PGL Campaspe Downs in Kyneton. Young people will get to take part in fun physical challenges, hang out with their peers, and enjoy the fun rides the park has to offer. 

Spots are limited, so save yours now!

 
Various DCA Events
Stay in touch with the events we are running via our events page on our website. We have many more events taking place. We also have events taking expressions of interest, we will schedule them once we have enough people signing up.

So put your name down and tell us what you want! Find out more.

News and Updates
 
Pen Pal Project
Deaf Children Australia is incredibly excited to announce we are partnering with the National Deaf Children's Society in the UK as part of their pen pal project!

This exciting project will pair deaf and hard of hearing young people from Australia with pen pals of the same age in the UK. It's a great way to build confidence and communication skills. This great project will launch on the 15th March.
Connect with us on our social platforms to know when we are accepting applications. In the meantime, you can email communciations@deafchildren.org.au for further information.

We look forward to further collaboration with other international and national organisations, and we have commenced this program to help deliver exciting opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing young people.
Escape to the Farm
Deaf Children Australia had a fun day out last month at Collingwood Children’s Farm! We got to enjoy a much-deserved morning out in nature, got acquainted with cute friends such as guinea pigs, goats, chooks and sheep, and took part in a fun Auslan activity led by one of our deaf mentors Tayla.

Thank you to all the families who came along, we hope to see you all again soon at another fun animal activity we are planning in April. Visit Events on our website to know what we are planning for you next - Events
Good News
Our Parent Mentor Program is a free service to help families navigate a new world with their deaf or hard of hearing child. Each mentor has lived experience, which makes a huge difference to the people they support. Queensland Parent Mentor Stacey, recently received an amazing response after she supported Leanna and her son. Please see below. To learn more about the Parent Mentor Program, click here.
 
"Thanks so much for reaching out and taking the time to speak with me. I've been scouring the resources you sent and it's opened me up to so much I didn't realise! And so much support I didn't realise was out there!
 
I just wanted to thank you once again for your support and I wanted to let you know that I got home yesterday after our chat and had a good discussion with my husband about changing our expectations regarding 'hearing aides every waking moment'. We decided to try him (son) aided over dinner and he donned his pilot cap (they arrived yesterday!) And aides. He wore them for 2 whole hours! Then this morning he wore the pilot cap and his aides ALL MORNING and then for another two hours in the afternoon!
 
He was babbling twice his usual amount. He was laughing. He was smiling. And for the very first time in a long long long long time.. he babbled mum. He babbled mum all afternoon.
 
So thank you. It might not have seemed like much but you made me feel a little less hopeless."
 
Nathan Borg
We are sad to hear of the announced cancellation of Neighbours. Nathan Borg, who identifies as profoundly deaf and plays Curtis Perkins on Neighbours, is an amazing role model for the deaf and hard of hearing community. 

We are privileged to have interviewed Nathan for our Flying Colours resource, which you can read here.  Stay tuned, Nathan has many other great projects in the pipeline.
If you'd like to support Nathan Borg and the Neighbours team, please join the discussion by clicking here
Rove's Auslan Greeting
We're excited to share this wonderful Auslan message from Rove McManus!
We received great feedback from the deaf and hard of hearing community  - take a look by clicking here!

Meet the Team
 
Meet Tayla
Meet Tayla, DCA’s wonderful Support Worker, Auslan Tutor and deaf mentor. Tayla will be leading our upcoming StepUp2HighSchool workshop with Josh on 15th of February. Tayla shares some of her high school experience with us - take a look by clicking here!

Sign for Work News
 
Deaf Awareness Training
Deaf Awareness Training allows staff to gain an understanding of the deaf and hard of hearing world. This will educate the team on how to work positively and collaboratively together. 

Find out more about Deaf Awareness Training on the Sign for Work website!
Have some advice for the next edition of Flying Kites?
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DEAF CHILDREN AUSTRALIA
597 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, Victoria 3004. PO BOX 6466, Melbourne, Victoria 3004
Helpline 1800 645 916 (free call) ACN 108 025 207 ABN 57 108 025 207
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Deaf Children Australia · 597 St Kilda Road · Melbourne, Victoria 3004 · Australia