The Deaf Sports Australia Board of Directors and the Games Organising Committee are excited and proud to announce we have two Co-Patrons for the Games – Cindy-Lu Bailey-Fitzpatrick OAM and Katie Kelly OAM PLY.
Both Co-Patrons have agreed to continue their roles for the Games that have been postponed to 2024. You can learn more about them below.
A message from Co-Patron Katie Kelly OAM
I will never forget the moment I walked alongside fellow Deaf and Hard of Hearing athletes for the 2005 Deaflympics as a Member of the Australian Deaflympic Team. I was part of that Team’s management. I had goosebumps as we walked onto Olympic Park in Melbourne. The feeling I had was one of belonging and connection. My hearing loss didn’t matter. I wasn’t concerned about what I could or couldn’t hear. There was a great sense of comfort and camaraderie with being surrounded by many young and older who have had the same experiences as I had, with navigating a hearing loss in this busy, fast paced hearing world.
The Australian Deaf Games to be held 10 months from now is about so much more than the sports and competition that we will all get to enjoy and support. It is also about connection and belonging for those in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. It is for some a once in a lifetime opportunity to be among those during these Games who you can lean into, talk to and know your experiences are valid. It is about forging lifelong friendships. Friendships that will be so critical in your well-being and giving you a great sense of comfort knowing you have this community that is always there when you find yourself needing support as you navigate through your life with a hearing loss or Deafness.
I am honoured to be a part of these games as Co – Patron alongside sporting legend, and one of our most esteemed members in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, Cindy-Lu Fitzpatrick. I can’t wait to be with you all in January 2024, and to feel those goosebumps once again I had all those years ago.
Thank you to the NSW Government, Lake Macquarie, and Newcastle City Councils and all our major partners, for hosting the ADG. By hosting this event you are showing your commitment to embrace all your community, and ensuring your communities, our communities know that they matter. Your actions as major partners demonstrate your leadership and commitment to providing inclusive programs and events. Thank you.