Auslan Access at the 2017 AFL Grand Final
Everyone in Melbourne could feel the roar of jubilation that errupted from Richmond on Saturday 30 September and feel the streets shaking as the Richmond Tigers faithful celebrated conquering the pinacle of the AFL mountain after a brilliant season and finals campaign, just one year after uncertainty rocked the club at the end of the 2016 season. Maybe even more so thanks to the amazing Auslan access made possible by the AFL and Auslan Stage Left.
Last year, Ramas McRae and Alex McDonald lobbied the AFL with a petition campaign requesting to have an Auslan interpreter on display during the singing of the national anthem, (Read more here). As a result, the AFL engaged and worked with Auslan Stage Left to not only have the national anthem but also the grand final parade stage, pregame entertainment and the post game awards ceremony Auslan interpreted.
Auslan Access was on display at Grand Final Parade where the stage was fully interpreted by Susan Emerson, including Mike Brady's performance where he sang his iconic anthems 'Up There Cazaly' and 'One Day in September'.
For those who were lucky enough to get a ticket to big dance in the MCG on Saturday, they were able to see Auslan interpreters on the big screens in the MCG. Also, the interpreters were on display in all of the MCG televisions in the corporate boxes and locations scattered around the MCG.
You may have noticed that a new version of the national anthem was signed on the day by Julia Murphy (See video at the top of the page). This was the result of the hard work by a group of experienced Auslan consultants to perfect the interpretation of the anthem from English to Auslan but to give Auslan version more natural flow and fluidity rather than being a very structured and rigid interpretation as the anthem has been interpreted in the past. See below for some updates by Auslan Stage Left on the progress of perfecting the new national anthem into Auslan.
Also see below for snippets recorded by a spectator accessing the Auslan interpreting during the national anthem and the post game award ceremony:
It is great to see the rise in Auslan interpreted events and it is because of the collaborative efforts of all that the AFL Grand Final and the Grand Final Parade were made accessible for Deaf and hard of hearing people.
Grand Final Parade Photo Gallery: Click on the image to enlarge...