“It was a great honour receiving the Young Disability Challenge Award. I would like to take this opportunity to recognise the support that I have received from the deaf community in NSW and nationally, particularly the Deaf Society of NSW. Without their support, this award would not have been possible. I would also like to recognise the hard working individuals and organisations we have within the deaf community such as Deaf Australia. Thank you everyone!” said Ms Lancaster.
Katrina was the recipient of the 2011 Parramatta Lord Mayor’s Youth Award, completed a Bachelor of Community Welfare, and was named Deaf Australia’s 2009 Deaf Youth of the Year for her work and volunteer commitments with the deaf community.
“This is the first time a deaf person has won this award, and is a testament to Katrina’s many achievements,” said Ann Darwin, Deaf Australia President, “Congratulations Katrina, for showing that deaf people can achieve great things!”
Speaking at the special gala dinner in Canberra, the Prime Minister said the awards recognised outstanding Australians who have made a real difference to the lives of people with disabilities.
Nominations for the awards more than doubled this year, with more than 400 received from community and not-for-profit organisations, businesses and local governments and disability advocates across the country.
“We are very proud that such a dedicated young deaf Australian has been recognised at this level,” said Ms Darwin. “Deaf Australia also congratulates the other nominees for their efforts.”
Katrina’s achievements and contributions to the community as a youth leader include volunteering for six months in Samoa providing information and ideas to SENESE and the Samoa Deaf Club; running youth empowerment projects including working with schools to build a network of deaf young people to share information to students and families so they are equipped for life as deaf adults; and developing a series of videos on sexual health information in Auslan for young deaf people. She is also Vice-President of Deaf Australia (NSW).
Deaf Australia is Australia's peak advocacy organisation run by and for deaf people. It represents the views of Deaf people who use Auslan (Australian Sign Language). We represent and promote the advancement of human rights and equality for deaf people by collaborating with members and stakeholders, and influencing governments to implement the United Nations Conventions on human rights and disability.