BIG SMILES: Wayne Orley volunteers at Brigalow State School once a week to teach students Auslan. Front: Emily Iverson, Wayne Orley and Charleigh Andrews. Back: Adam Carroll, Aidan Ray, Xander Woods and Rhys Horrocks.
BIG SMILES: Wayne Orley volunteers at Brigalow State School once a week to teach students Auslan. Front: Emily Iverson, Wayne Orley and Charleigh Andrews. Back: Adam Carroll, Aidan Ray, Xander Woods and Rhys Horrocks. Madison Watt

Community connects through sign language

BRIGALOW State School students have formed an incredible bond with volunteer Wayne Orley, who has been helping to teach the children Auslan since the beginning of the year.

Mr Orley, who was born deaf and mute, has been visiting the small school once a week to teach students how to sign their names, simple greetings and even the Australian anthem.

Principal Trudi Eather had been wanting to incorporate Auslan into the curriculum ever since it was recognised as a second language and wrote to Wayne asking for his help.

"I approached him and said "Would you be happy to do it?” and he was excited by it all,” she said.

Ms Eather said the students had been very receptive and quick to learn Auslan.

"They love Wayne,” she said.

"They're really excited when he comes in, they're obviously really enjoying their lessons,”

"I think it's such a good skill for the kids to learn because I think they'll come across more people that are deaf than other second languages.”

Mr Orley communicated he felt it was important for children to learn Auslan and hoped more children could have the opportunity to learn.

Wanting to be able to create learning materials for students from home, Mr Orley recently expressed a wish to Ms Eather of wanting to learn how to type.

"When we were doing one of the lessons, we were using little cards and he wanted to go home and make some,”

"He's keen to do something for the school.”

As a way to give back to Mr Orley, Ms Eather set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to purchase a computer for Mr Orley.

"The students would love to help Wayne, so that we can give back for the support he has given us.”

Donations can be made at www.gofundme.com/support -local-auslan-volunteer.


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