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Innovative Auslan training for Gippsland learners

15 Mar 2016

An innovative training program will allow people in the Gippsland region to learn Auslan, or Australian Sign Language, via flexible distance learning.

Starting on 19 April 2016, Melbourne Polytechnic (formerly NMIT) is delivering the Certificate II and Certificate III in Auslan in Gippsland, equipping local graduates to communicate using Auslan and providing a pathway to further study to become a qualified interpreter or a teacher of the Deaf.

“The Deaf community in regional areas such as Gippsland lack the sort of support that is available to people in the metropolitan areas,” says Cathy Clark, Manager of deafConnectEd and Contract Manager for the Victorian Auslan Training Consortium.

“Our unique delivery model of Auslan training means people in regional communities can get the training they need to improve their ability to communicate with members of the Deaf community, and also help Deaf people participate within the broader local community.”

Auslan is the language of the deaf community in Australia, and is used by Deaf and hard of hearing people, their friends, immediate and extended family, co-workers and professionals such as Auslan interpreters. It is a visual, spatial language with its own grammar and syntax quite distinct from English.

From 19 April 2016 in Yallourn and Bairnsdale, the Certificate II and Certificate III in Auslan will be delivered via a combination of two-hour videoconferencing classes at Federation Training every Tuesday and Thursday evening, and home study using Moodle, an online learning management system.

Students will also work with a local deaf tutor who will lead activities that enable them to engage with the local deaf community and practice their new skills. The real life activities help students develop a deeper understanding of the challenges facing the deaf community in their day-to-day life.

“The flexible delivery means students receive the critical face-to-face signing training in real time, with a local deaf person working as Auslan tutor and providing a critical pathway for people to meet local member of the Deaf community,” says Ms Clark. “It enables students to do the training within their own community, without having to travel for hours to access equivalent classroom training.”

“This training will benefit so many in the Deaf and hard of hearing communities. It provides a pathway to a range of fulfilling careers such as Auslan interpreting, which is an essential service that supports the inclusion of Deaf people into society.”

For people in Gippsland who are considering Auslan training, Melbourne Polytechnic is running a FREE taster session in Sale on Saturday 9 April.

  • Date: Saturday 9 April
  • Time: 1:00 – 5:00pm
  • Venue: Sale Neighbourhood House, 19-21 Leslie Street, Sale
  • Bookings: Gina Auciello, Ph: 03 9269 8304, email

Certificate II and III in Auslan course details:

  • Start date:  19 April 2016
  • Runs for:  Twelve months
  • Videoconferencing sessions run Tuesday and Thursdays, 6:00-8:00pm, at Federation Training.

To find out more about the Certificate II or III in Auslan in Yallourn or Bairnsdale, or to enrol, please call Neil Ray in our Auslan team on 03 9269 1776. Please ask to speak to or email

deafConnectED champions and coordinates the Auslan program for Melbourne Polytechnic and is part of the Victorian Auslan Training Consortium (VATC). The consortium formed in response to Victorians who successfully advocated for the continuation of Auslan training.

It includes Melbourne Polytechnic, deafConnectED, VicDeaf and LaTrobe University. VATC’s mission is to increase Auslan fluency in Victoria, and support the educational, social and economic inclusion of Victorians who use Auslan as their primary language.


Media enquiries should be directed to Melbourne Polytechnic Communications Officer, Anita Coia, on 03 9269 1251 or ua.ud1477324496e.cin1477324496hcety1477324496lopen1477324496ruobl1477324496em@ai1477324496deM1477324496

Melbourne Polytechnic operates across six campuses and five specialist training centres throughout Melbourne. The institute delivers high quality vocational education in industry-standard facilities.