Shawn’s Impact with Maple Scholarship 2023
Shawn Phua, the recent winner of the 2023 Maple Scholarship Program, has dedicated his studies towards making a lasting impact on the community through his education. He is currently pursuing a Certificate 4 Training Assessment and Education (TAE) course, which provides specialised skills and knowledge to design, develop, deliver and assess vocational training courses relating to Auslan.
Shawn’s passion for teaching Australian Sign Language to hearing people started 13 years ago, where he taught and tutored Auslan for Deafness Awareness. He also worked as a disability advocate for Deaf, Deaf Plus (Deafness and additional disabilities), Hard of Hearing, DeafBlind, and Disability groups. He was urged by many Deaf and Hearing people, accredited Auslan interpreters, and Deaf Connect staff to undertake this course to train more hearing people to become qualified Auslan interpreters, support workers, comm-guides for the DeafBlind, and NDIS service providers.
Shawn’s past experiences with studying include studying at Universities, TAFE, Colleges, and Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) in different onsite and online courses to up-skill himself with diverse skills to become job-ready and compete in the hearing world (not Deaf-friendly).
Although Shawn is very passionate about his studies, he is facing a major challenge in grasping the difficult English words/TAE technical content or jargon, which are not commonly used in the signing Deaf Auslan community. However, he is determined to overcome this challenge to achieve his hopes and goals in completing the course.
Shawn’s hopes in completing this course is to become a fully equipped vocational teacher in the TAFE sector or RTOs to deliver basic Auslan professional development workshops and increase more future Auslan interpreters with NAATI accreditation licences for interpreting in both Auslan and English. His goal is to find a full-time job in a stable environment with disability-friendly/Deaf-aware employers as a trainer/learning developer.
Shawn’s ultimate dream is to become a public servant in the corporate sector with local councils, state, and federal government agencies. Completing this course will help him achieve his dream by increasing mainstream communities’ Deafness Awareness and acceptance of Deaf people who use Auslan to communicate in the wider society with full inclusion.
Shawn hopes to graduate in July 2023, and his commitment to making a positive impact on the community through his education is inspiring. His dedication and passion for teaching Auslan to hearing people will undoubtedly lead to a more inclusive society for Deaf individuals.