Julia Anderson Allen was born deaf in Sydney to deaf parents, Alfred ‘Alf’ Allen and Margaret ‘Margo’ Allen, nee Cropley. She has a Deaf brother, Colin Allen, who is currently the President of the World Federation of the Deaf. Julia attended the Deaf School at Darlington from 1958 to 1962, and then at its new site at North Rocks from 1962 until 1971.
Julia was 15 years old when she first played for the Deaf Women’s Basketball Club. After the Club changed its name to the Deaf Netball Association in 1971, Julia continued to play throughout the 1970s and 1980s, including at the Australian Deaf Games in Sydney in 1979/1980. Her involvement with Deaf Netball (NSW) continued until 2005 when she was awarded Life Membership of Deaf Netball Australia.
Aside from netball, Julia has been very much connected to the Deaf Community. She participated in the Miss Deaf NSW pageant where she won the title in 1979 and placed third in the Miss Deaf Australia contest during the 1979/80 Australian Deaf Games. In 1991 she joined the Stanmore Deaf Recreation Club as Bar Manager, a position in which she continued till the late 1990s. In the early 1990s she was the Editor of The Silent Messenger. She joined the NSW Association of the Deaf (now Deaf Australia NSW) in 1998 where she served as a committee member until 2004. She then became their President and represented NSWAD at Australian Association of the Deaf (now Deaf Australia) meetings in Perth and Hobart. Julia was also involved with the Deaf Amateur Drama Group. In 2004, she was awarded AAD’s Deaf Achiever Award (in memory of Dorothy Shaw).
Julia’s professional work includes involvement in the making of Auslan Signbank and the Auslan Corpus. More recently, she has been a Research Assistant for the ‘Increasing the Resilience of the Deaf Community in NSW to Natural Hazards and Disasters’ project with the University of NSW and the Deaf Society.
Personal information from Julia Allen