Why is April 13 'Auslan Day'?

13 April 2021

Why today? On this day in 1989, the first Auslan dictionary was published by Professor Trevor Johnston. You may have seen this iconic red dictionary before and it has become a treasured piece of Australian Deaf history.

Auslan Dictionary First Edition
Auslan Dictionary First Edition

This day has only recently become a day of celebration when the Deaf Society New South Wales made a video to celebrate 30 years since the first publication. Last year several Deaf community members suggested through social media posts that this date should become an annual celebration, giving the name 'Auslan Day'.

Deaf Australia is currently collecting feedback about making this celebration a permanent official fixture in the Deaf Community’s calendar. They will be discussing and vote on this at their next AGM, which will be later this year.

Watch below as Professor Trevor Johnston explains how the name of Australia's Sign Language became known as 'Auslan'.

Thank you Deaf Australia and Trevor Johnston for this amazing resource and insight.