From the New Editor

Hi everyone! I am pleased to come on board and work with everyone at Deaf Sports Australia. I have taken up two part-time roles; as a Media and Communications Liaison Officer (Deaf Sports Australia) and as a Sports Development Officer (NSW Deaf Sports).

I've known Sherrie Beaver from a few years ago, and I know her to be a very valuable individual wherever she goes. As an observer, I commend her for all her hard work as a Media and Communications Liaison Officer at Deaf Sports Australia in the last three years. I will now take over the responsibility of distributing Active Hands to all the followers of Deaf Sports Australia. Thank you Sherrie, you are amazing. I wish you all the best in your next adventure.

I have started working at Deaf Sports Australia last week. I found both roles to be fun and challenging. It reminded me of the time when I was a kid learning to ride my bike for the first time. I used to keep crashing into the huge cabbage tree that was in the middle of our front yard. Until I succeeded in riding well, I was rewarded with a pat on the head and some few grazes here and there. I was a happy kid nonetheless!

I have a passion for Touch Football - I first played Touch at a Deaf school and it was not even refereed. We were so sloppy (I mean it in a good way!) My school mates even did the piggy back rides while running around on the field! When I got older and moved to the city, a friend asked me to coach a local Deaf Touch Football team for a social tournament. I told her she was crazy because I didn't know a thing about the sport. She reassured me that I'll be fine. Turned out a lot of people wanted to give the sport a go so we had a good time over that one weekend. It was also the weekend where I was introduced to my husband. He is an amazing guy and a great cook, I'll tell you that!

We are now actively involved with our NSW Deaf Touch Football team. Although we are not biologically related, we are like a family. In my role as a Sports Development Officer, I wish for nothing but the best of each athlete to go through a similar experience; to try out a sport or improve their talent, meet new people and feel right at home with a great sporting community. In saying that, I look forward to working with our DSA community and its networks and I will strive to be a contributing individual in the name of sports.

You can contact me via two email addresses:
  • Sports Development Officer (for NSW only) -
  • Media and Communications Liaison Officer -

We will be sending out Active Hands every two months or so. Keep an eye out for the next one. In the meantime, read below for updated news.

Yours in sports,

Lauren Townsend
Media & Community Liaison Officer
General Manager's Report

This is our first ‘Active Hands’ edition for 2020. We want to wish you all a great 2020 and at this time our thoughts are with those many Australians who are affected by the horrific bushfires and other disasters such as floods and drought.

It is a very difficult time and access to information about this major bushfire emergency is critical for all people. It was great to see the Deaf community advocate for better access to the many government and fire services announcements and updates on television through provision of Auslan interpreters over the past few months.

DSA was pleased to be part of a media release sent out by coalition of Deaf Community advocacy and service agencies, also expressing concern about level of access to emergency information by the broadcast media. Hopefully, any future emergency information sharing practices will include appropriate levels of access for all deaf and hard of hearing Australians.

Back to what’s happening with Deaf Sport Australia - lots. Here’s some important news and developments to share.
Staff at Deaf Sports Australia

New staff

Last year in November, Phil Harper took on the role of full time General Manager. He has been busy learning about DSA’s operations, plans, relationships building and supported with our members and stakeholders. Phil is also working with Sport Australia and 8 other national sport organisations for people with disabilities (eg; Blind Sports Australia, Australian Paralympics Committee and others) on a major collaborative project that could see improved sports programs, support and funding for organisations such as ours.

You can contact Phil on

Lauren Townsend has already introduced herself and is a breath of fresh air. She has a challenging dual role as both our Media and Community Liaison Manager as well as NSW Deaf Sport's Sport Development Officer. Both are part time positions, but she will be full on. Already since joining us late last month, she is finding her away around and having fun learning about common sport acronyms ... What is NCIC ... NSOD ... etc. Welcome Lauren.

Current staff

Just to remind you that we also have three other wonderful staff members.

QLD Sports Development Officer - Julie Lyons
Julie has been a long-time staff member at Deaf Sport Recreation Queensland.

VIC Sports Development Officer - James Hale
James has been with us for a few years at Deaf Sport Recreation Victoria.

Projects Consultant - Garry West-Bail
Garry's work includes the 2022 Australian Deaf Games, supporting the Games Organising Committee and also collaboration work project with Blind Sport Australia and Sports Inclusion Australia.

Deaf Sport Organisations updates
o    Deaf Sport Recreation Queensland
We are thrilled that DSRQ has received ongoing funding from the Queensland State Government to continue its services and programs. Julie Lyons looks forward to working on further developing our programs across Queensland including sport days, regional workshops, working with schools and camps.

o    NSW Deaf Sports
With Lauren Townsend on-board as Sport Development Officer, we are excited to have been successful in receiving a ‘Her Sport, Her way’ project funding from the NSW State Government enabling us to develop a deaf women’s sport participation and leadership program in NSW, with emphasis on helping set up a deaf women cricket program. More news on this project and developments in NSW soon.

o    Deaf Sport Recreation Victoria
DSRV was successful in gaining a governance development program grant from Vicsport which will allow the organisation to review and grow skills and knowledge in governance and operational areas. This is a wonderful opportunity to improve our ability to provide better programs and services in Victoria. We also received ongoing operations funding from Sport Recreation Victoria which will keep James Hale busy over the next 18 months.

o    2019 Asian Pacific Deaf Games
Unfortunately, the Games were cancelled due to protests occurring in Hong Kong which put everyone at risk for their safety. We are still waiting to hear from the Asian Pacific Deaf Sports Confederation about new plans to hold the Games and Congress meeting. Meanwhile we have been working hard to ensure that no one from our Australian team are badly impacted by the cancellation and we are working with our insurance brokers to recover any lost funds.

o    Deaflympics 2021
In December 2019 at the ICSD Congress in Italy, we learned that Brazil was the only country willing to host the 2021 Deaflympics and we are still waiting on confirmation of this. The Brazil Deaf Sports Association is working with their government and sponsors to quickly secure support to host the event sometime late 2021.

We will keep you posted when we receive more information.

Looking forward to seeing many familiar and new faces at our Annual General Meeting and 140 Years of Deaf Sport celebration and DSA Sport Awards event.

Phil Harper
General Manager
140 Years of Deaf Sport celebration
On Saturday 22 nd February, we have a fabulous celebration event at Federation Square, Melbourne where we will proudly acknowledge 140 years of Deaf Sport - can you believe it. The Melbourne Deaf Cricket Club was formed in 1880 and we understand it is possibly the oldest deaf sport club in the world. Other sport and recreation activities were happening in the Deaf community at that time, but the cricket club is the first formal sport organisation established by deaf people in Australia.

So much has happened since then with Deaf Carnivals, national and state Deaf sport organisations being created, national and international championships, Australian Deaf Games, the establishment of Australian Deaf Sports Federation, now known as Deaf Sport Australia and State and local deaf sport clubs / committees. We have a rich and vibrant sport history and we want to celebrate it.

Here’s some examples of what we are celebrating - check out these three photos that are reminders of the past.
First Australian Deaf Cricket team '65 Girls Hockey Team (year unknown)

Combined Tennis teams - National Deaf Carnival '33
We hope you can come and enjoy the experience which will include special guest presentations, video slideshow, posters, showbag giveaways, food / drinks and catch up with your deaf friends from across Australia. Auslan interpreters and real-time captions will be available.

Another feature of the day will be our DSA Sports Awards presentation. This is an opportunity to acknowledge wonderful sporting achievements over the 2018-19 period of our nominees and winners. More news on who has been nominated for the various categories is coming soon.

You can buy your ticket to the event online -
This national celebration event cannot happen without our sponsors and we want to thank them for supporting us on that day but also for their support of deaf sports over many years.
2020 Annual General Meeting

We will be holding our Annual General Meeting for the period 2018 - 2019 before the 140th birthday event. All DSA members and visitors are welcome.

Date: Saturday 22nd February 2020
Time: 10am - 12 noon.
Where: Level 3, Expression Australia office, 340 Albert Street, East Melbourne.

If you want more information or is interested in attending, please email us at  
2020 Deaf Sports events

o    April 2020 - National Deaf 8 Ball Championships - Perth
For more information, contact

o    9-11 October 2020 - National Deaf Touch Football Championships in Melbourne
For more information, contact

o    18-25 July 2020 World Deaf Athletics Championships - Poland
We currently have 3 deaf athletes preparing to form the Australian team for this event. DSA is working with them to provide support

o    7-15 August 2020 - World Deaf Golf Championships - England
Deaf Golf Australia have selected a men’s and women’s team to represent Australia at these championships. Many thanks to Golf Australia for their excellent support in assisting preparation for the team as well as in England. This will be a great preparation for the 2022 Championships to be held on the Gold Coast, Queensland.

o    September 2020 - National Deaf Netball Championships - Canberra
More information to come.

o    9-24 September - 4th World Deaf Football Championships - South Korea
Our Australian Deaf Football team is hoping to gain entry to this championship and meanwhile is preparing after the disappointment of the cancellation of the Asia Pacific Deaf Games in Hong Kong last November.

o    12-19 September 2020 - 2nd World Deaf Sailing Championships - Poland
If anyone is interested in being a participant at this championship, contact our DSA office for more information. For more information on 2020 Deaf World Championship events including table tennis, mountain bike riding, judo, beach volleyball, cycling, you can visit here.

o    January 2020 - N ational Cricket Inclusion Championships
In January, the National Cricket Inclusion Championships (NCIC) were held in Geelong which included the ‘Webby Cup’ Deaf Cricket competition and the new M. Hale competition for deaf women cricketers. The event was affected by bushfire smoke haze and wet weather. In the Webby Cup, we saw teams from WA, SA, VIC, QLD and NSW compete with NSW winning the Cup. In the women’s event, Victoria and a Combined team played against each other with VIC running out winners. Congratulations to both NSW and VIC and well done to all participants.

o    16-22 April 2022 - 18 th Australian Deaf Games - Newcastle/Lake Macquarie, NSW
In April 2020, the Games Organising Committee led by Chairperson Leonie Jackson, will be launching the ‘2 years to go’ event and the Games website and information should be available to everyone to start preparing and registering for another wonderful games event. Meanwhile, you can check out the Australian Deaf Games 2022 Facebook page for more information.