Sunshine College to host annual Victorian Deaf Festival

The festival will feature a special performance by Deaf Indigenous Dance Group. (Supplied)

Victoria’s only Deaf Festival will land in the west this Saturday.

The festival has been held annually for 30 years, and for the first time this weekend it will be hosted at Sunshine College’s west campus.

Locals are invited to attend the festival in a celebration of Deaf culture – history, language, and community.

The Expression Australia Deaf Festival attracts crowds of more than 500 people and will include a special performance by Deaf Indigenous Dance Group (DIDG).

Dancer and DIDG manager Sue Franksays the group is very excited to be visiting Victoria for the first time.

“We are Deaf and we love to dance. Our DIDG dancers have learned traditional dances from their elders on country, where there is no stigma associated with Deafness, and our ability to dance is celebrated,” she said.

DIDG would love to encourage Deaf children to feel the beat through the floor, or use their “eyes” to see movement and follow it, dancing is lovely.”

The day will also feature a market with Deaf and hard of hearing stall holders including, Adopt a Deaf Dog, baked goods, artworks, SES and more.

Expression Australia chief executive Rebecca Adams says the annual Deaf Festival is a true celebration of Deaf history, culture and language.

“This is the annual festival for the Deaf community. Crafted to uplift the community with exciting activities, games and special guests,” she said.

“And the deaf market with over 35 stalls serves as a platform for deaf businesses to showcase and promote their products. With a diverse gathering of Deaf and hard of hearing entrepreneurs, ranging from small startups to well-established enterprises, all contributing to our local community. We invite all members of the Deaf and wider community to come and enjoy the day.”

The Expression Australia Deaf Festival will run on Saturday, November 25 from 10am-4pm at Sunshine College – West Campus.