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Welcome to "Deaf in New South Wales:
A Community History"

This website has been created to help celebrate the Centenary of the Deaf Society of New South Wales in 2013 – but it’s about much more. The information here explores the experiences of deaf people in New South Wales since the late 18th Century.

If you click on the tabs above, you will find information about deaf people in NSW in different time periods; you can read about the history of the Deaf Society itself; you will see descriptions of some of the many other organisations that have developed by or for deaf people; you will find short biographies of 100 significant people in our history; and you can see where to go for further information and research.

The website is a living resource and will be updated from time to time.


This website has been developed by a team of volunteers and staff working with the History Sub-Committee of the DSNSW Board. These dedicated people have trawled through archival collections, built databases, identified people and places in old photographs, filmed interviews with key people, and worked to make this into an exciting, visual and long-lasting record of our history.

Deaf In NSW was created with the assistance of: 

Centenary History Sub-Committee:

Breda Carty, Brian Johnston, Darlene Thornton, Dennis Johnston, Susannah Macready, Alice Ansara, Leyla Craig.

Alice Ansara, Kylie Scott, Susannah Macready, Sheena Walters, Colin Allen 

Nola Colefax, Marcia Girke-Boyle, Shirley Liu, Diane Urlich-Smith, David Parker

Our thanks also to the many Deaf Community members who donated historic materials, identified photographs, and shared their memories of the Deaf Community in times past. 





We acknowledge the support of: