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Queensland Deafness Foundation.

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I was pleased today to launch the new Queensland Deafness Foundation, and to announce that the Commonwealth will make a donation of $50,000 towards the Foundation’s initial fundraising efforts.

The Foundation has been established as the fundraising body to support the work and services of the Queensland Deaf Society.

The Society provides both professional and social services for deaf and hearing impaired people throughout Queensland including interpreting and employment placement services. These services reach around 3,500 Queenslanders who are either deaf or have a hearing impairment.

The Queensland Deaf Society is currently celebrating its centenary year. I congratulate everyone involved with the organisation on this great milestone, and on their commitment over the last century to helping people who are deaf or have a hearing impairment to participate fully in our community.

A number of businesses have generously supported the establishment of the Foundation and I thank them for their contribution. In this way the Queensland Deafness Foundation stands as an example of the social coalition in action.

I encourage Australians in Queensland to support the Foundation and through it the work of the Queensland Deaf Society.

7 April 2003