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DAN's achievements


  • DAN produces Cultural Program (opening and closing ceremonies) for 2012 Australian Deaf Games in Geelong, including Strange Fruit performance of new work Three Belles featuring deaf dancers; Smash Hop performance by participants in the Deaf Can Dance @ School workshops and a performance by Australian Theatre of the Deaf (ATOD), directed by Medina Sumovic.
  • Four public performances of Collisions as work in progress, Performance Studio, Deakin University, and establishment of The Delta Project, a new company of deaf and hearing dancers arising from this project.
  • Public participation performance of original Auslan poem, Butterfly Hands, to an audience of more than 2,000 learning to sign the poem as part of Robyn Archer’s 2012 Light in Winter Festival in Federation Square. The poem was also performed as a song by Massive Choir and interpreted as dance by Deaf can Dance in partnership with the Anti Racism Action Band (A.R.A.B.)
  • Through Deaf Eyes - Deaf writing workshops (8), led by Arnold Zable, ending with two performances by deaf writers using Auslan as part of main program of 2012 Melbourne Writers Festival
  • Australian Theatre of the Deaf presents Silent Monologues with the 2012 Melbourne Fringe Festival on 4 October and 23 November to full house!
  • Artists Walter Kadiki & Jodee Mundy with Brandon Niekerk & Loz Sorono, lead the Butterfly Hands Poem & Dance at Streets Are Alive Festival in Geelong, while Liz Reed led the Lantern Making workshop for its Lantern Parade. Photos are on Deaf Arts Network’s Facebook. Report will be online soon!
  • Deaf Arts Network Artists were invited to present Butterfly Hands to two events for celebrating International Day of People with Disability (IDPWD) 2012 in Canberra on 3 December 2012, and at City of Stonnington on 8 December 2012.


  • Collisions– partnership project with Deakin University School of Dance to create new dancework involving deaf and hearing dancers.
  • Deaf Can Dance @ School dance workshops for 85 deaf youth in metro and regional schools delivered in partnership with Anti Racism Action Band (A.R.A.B.)


  • Deaf program developed for The Other Film Festival and first deaf selection panel appointed – resulted in sell-out sessions with high levels of attendance by a community who had not previously attended in great numbers. The Deaf Program has been expanded for the 2012 Festival.
  • Deaf Can Dance continues hip hop and contemporary dance workshops for deaf youth (Melbourne, South Australia, Gippsland); performs Resonance at Gasworks Arts Park and new work, Barriers, in South Australia and Gippsland.
  • Deaf writing workshops, facilitated by acclaimed author, Arnold Zable, delivered in partnership with City of Port Phillip and deaf writing workshop and Auslan-interpreted sessions introduced at Melbourne Writers Festival.


  • Stencilling Arts project for Victorian College of the Deaf students to produce public mural in St Kilda
  • Deaf Can Dance develops new work, Resonance, performed at Gala Dinner for 4thWorld Congress on Mental Health and Deafness in Brisbane, and at Victorian Arts Centre for the International Day for People with a Disability.
  • Deaf Can Dance commences school hip hop workshops in Melbourne and regional Victoria (Shepparton, St Albans, Melbourne, Warragul, Traralgon, Sale).
  • DAN Coordinator, Ross Onley-Zerkel, receives Vodafone Foundation World of Difference Program award enabling him to work full-time with DAN/Deaf Can Dance for a year.


  • Deaf Can Dance develops new work, Sound of Silence. Four sold-out performances at 2008 Melbourne Fringe Festival and featured performance in Melbourne at World Health Organisation conference, From Margins to Mainstream


  • Funding obtained to develop a DAN Business Plan
  • Deaf Can Dance troupe established by DAN


  • DAN organizes Auslan & Assisted Listening program for 2004 Melbourne International Arts Festival featuring deaf artists and performers, Digital Storytelling Workshop at Australian Centre for the moving Image (ACMI) and Creative writing workshop for deaf writers2000
  • DAN established at North Richmond Community Health Centre
  • DAN runs Circus Skills & Sign-Singing workshops


  • DAN relocates to Arts Access Victoria
  • Ross Onley-Zerkel appointed first Coordinator for DAN
  • DAN runs Visual Arts and Circus Skills workshops