Drisana Levitzke-Gray

2015 Young Australian of the Year and deaf advocate

Drisana Levitzke-Gray is a truly inspiring and determined young woman who received the 2015 Young Australian of the Year Award in recognition of her passion and dedication in advocating for the human rights of deaf people, raising awareness about Auslan (Australian Sign Language), and the right of deaf children in Australia to access Auslan from birth. Drisana was born deaf and is the fifth generation in her family to be born deaf.

She promotes the deaf community as one without borders and one of rich language, culture, history and traditions. A graduate of Shenton College in WA, and Frontrunners Deaf Youth Leadership program based in Scandinavia, Drisana has delivered community development and leadership workshops in many European countries, as well as in Samoa, NZ, and Australia.

Currently self-employed as a motivational speaker, consultant, she also works for Woolworths as a Workplace Advocate, as a columnist for PrimoLIFE Magazine, servies voluntarily on a number of committees and recently qualified as a Deaf Interpreter.

Drisana is the embodiment of the concept of ‘deaf gain’, not ‘hearing loss’, inspiring the Deaf community, and encouraging the wider community to accept diversity.

In 2014 Drisana was the first deaf Auslan user to fulfil her civic duty as a juror, and consistently promotes a positive image of deafness, which states loudly and proudly: “It’s OK to be deaf”.

In the words of Occupational Therapy Australia who engaged her as guest speaker for a professional development event in 2015, their early interactions with Drisana “… indicated not only a very intelligent and passionate speaker and advocate for the deaf community as a whole but also Drisana’s intuitive ability to engage with an audience in an informative and thought provoking manner.”

Drisana Levitzke-Gray talks about:

  • What it means to be deaf
  • The culture and identity within the deaf community
  • Challenging assumptions and attitudes towards those in the deaf community
  • Accepting diversity in the community
  • Why it is so important for all Australians to be encouraged to learn the visual language Auslan
  • Leadership
  • Human Rights
  • Young People

Client testimonials

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