Minister for Disability Issues congratulates NZSL Award winners

Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni has praised the winners of this year’s New Zealand Sign Language Awards saying their outstanding efforts have created greater recognition and access for NZSL users and the Deaf Community.

“Congratulations to all the winners, and a big thank you to everyone who contributes to sustaining a language community,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

The NZSL Awards were held at Parliament attended by about two hundred members of the Deaf community and NZSL champions - individuals, businesses, government and non-government organisations committed to the promotion of NZSL and Deaf culture.

Carmel Sepuloni spoke at the event and presented an award.

“I understand not everyone can take home an award, so I’d like to acknowledge the effort of all those working to address the language needs of NZSL users and the Deaf community.

“Language is integral to developing identity and culture and to maintaining wellbeing. It allows people to connect with others and to access all that society has to offer, including education and employment.

“As an official language of New Zealand, the government is in full support of promoting NZSL.

“The NZSL Board has contributed significantly to developing a strong foundation for providing strategic direction and expert advice to government and the community on NZSL,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

Editors notes:

The NZSL Awards ceremony were held in NZSL Week, during which leaders, including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister Sepuloni, took up the challenge to learn some NZSL and share NZSL video messages on social media.

Minister Sepuloni congratulated and acknowledged all organisations, businesses and individuals who contributed to making NZSL Week 2018 a success and who continue to work to promote NZSL long after NZSL Week finishes each year. Deaf Aoteaora was acknowledged for all the work it has done in organising NZSL Week.

The NZSL Award categories and winners were:  

NZSL in the Media:  Sara Pivac Alexander ( LearnNZSL)

NZSL in Health:  Natasha Jumelet (Deaf Wellbeing Society)

NZSL in Early Childhood Education:  Joint winners, Bridget Warmouth and Casa Nova Kindergarten

NZSL in Schools – Redwood Primary School

NZSL Employer – Andy Firth (Paul Kelly Motors)

NZSL in Teaching – Susie Ovens

NZSL Accessible Service – Coffee Educators

Interpreter of the Year – Angela Murray

NZSL in Sports – Clive Morgan

NZSL in the Arts – Laura Haughey (Equal Voices Arts)

NZSL in Government Agencies – Nick Linton (NZ Fire Service)

Supreme Long-standing Service Award – Lesley Carmichael

Supreme Long-standing Service Award – Lynette Pivac

Youth Champion – Katherine Hickson

Maori Champion – Jared Flitcroft

NZSL Champion – Josje Lelijveld

Watch NZSL video below:

 https://www.odi.govt.nz/nzsl/news/nzsl-award-winners-announced/