Response to Open Letter from Community – 9 May 2014

On 4 April 2014 Vicdeaf received an open letter from members of the community. To read this letter click here.

Christine Mathieson, Vicdeaf CEO, has responded to this letter. This response can be watched in Auslan or read in English.

Response to Open Letter from Community – 9 May 2014 (Auslan version)

Response to Open Letter from Community – 9 May 2014 (English version)

Dear Gavin and Simon,

On behalf of the Vicdeaf Board of Directors I would like to thank you for your open letter dated 4 April 2014 and also for coming to Vicdeaf’s Board meeting held on 29 April 2014. It was great to have an open discussion about the role you see Vicdeaf playing in the Deaf community and to gain a better insight into what some community members are seeking for the future.

I would like to summarise Vicdeaf’s response to the items you raised and invite you to share this with others within the community:

  • Vicdeaf’s responsibilities as a Deaf Society means that it is important that we demonstrate deaf sector leadership
  • Vicdeaf is open to a facilitated community forum with Deaf Children Australia (DCA) at a neutral location in the future, but the two organisations need to undertake some important work before this joint forum is held. For example;
    • Vicdeaf is now in the process of selling the Albert Street building
    • Vicdeaf will begin to develop the next strategic plan to be in place by July 2015
  • Vicdeaf agrees that we should work more closely with DCA to reduce the gaps in services
  • A one-stop shop is important to many people in the Deaf community and Vicdeaf believes this is something worthy of consideration
  • Vicdeaf is open to being located on the one site with DCA – both organisations are currently considering this
  • The Vicdeaf Board has confirmed that we will not move into DCA’s bluestone building – the age and condition of the building does not meet Vicdeaf’s needs to deliver our services
  • The Board also believes that DCA needs to make decisions about the bluestone building independently of Vicdeaf
  • Vicdeaf engaged Ernst and Young (EY) to help us review our property needs and suggested that DCA do the same – we understand this has confused some people, but the two processes are quite separate
  • A community centre and accessible space is important to many community members and Vicdeaf hopes to make this happen in the future
  • Vicdeaf will be having consultations with the community and other stakeholders later on this year – we want to know what people think we should be doing into the future as we develop our next strategic plan.

As discussed, I will be in touch with you again shortly to update you on progress with some of the items listed above and very much look forward to continuing the very positive conversations we have had to date.

Yours sincerely,

Christine Mathieson
Chief Executive Officer

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