First year cultural studies student Anna was born deaf.
"I love it here!" she said. "We have excellent interpreters and excellent lecturers. It's very personal. You can go down to the Plaza and know everyone. It feels like home here."
Anna is now in her second semester at the Lismore campus of SCU and has already won a $1000 scholarship from Lismore’s Quota Club to assist her with her studies. Anna attended mainstream schooling in Lismore with interpreter support. After completing her HSC in 2001, she went adventuring around Europe, including teaching at a deaf school in London, before returning home to the northern rivers.
"I always wanted to go to university. I thought I might go to Brisbane or Melbourne because of the big deaf communities and great deaf support there. But after my travels when I came back home I had one month to make up my mind about where I would go, so I thought I'll go to SCU."
Anna is glad she did. She has been getting distinctions and high distinctions for her work. She has just one complaint.
"We don't have enough deaf people here," she said. "We should encourage more deaf people to come to SCU, because we can show them that we have good support and good interpreters. Most of them would assume, oh, the country, they won't have the services you need, because they think the city is going to be better. I want to tell them that we have great access here."
Anna wants to be a travel writer after she finishes her degree, specialising in travel for deaf people. She is also keen to educate people about deaf identity.
"I want to work internationally and go to conferences," she said. "I'd like
to teach adults in the broader community about Auslan, the Australian sign
language, and the deaf community. I want to tell people about Deaf Pride,
that we are not disabled, we are a linguistic minority with our own language and our own culture."
Many of Anna’s lecturers in Australian Cultural Studies, Eco-Cultural History and the Writing program will be available in D Block of the Lismore campus from 10am-3pm this Saturday, 23 August, during the SCU Open Day. There’ll also be staff to available with information on SCU’s new Media Degree with tours of the Video and Radio studios, Multimedia lab and Journalism room from 10:30.
Media contact: Sara Crowe or Kath Duncan, SCU Media Liaison, Ph: 02 6620 3144, or M: 0439 858 057.