Save the Mosman Park (Glyde Memorial Hall) for the Deaf
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The Glyde Memorial Hall, home to WA Deaf Arts and the Foundation for Deaf Children is up for sale, one day to be demolished merely to help recuperate 0.001% of the state’s debt.
For 120 years the WA Institure for Deaf Education and the WA Foundation for Deaf Children have used the old "House on the Hill” at 53 Curtin Avenue in Cottesloe. In 1957 a gymnasium/hall was made for the Deaf boarding school that has been used for the last 60 years as a gymnasium, a meeting hall, classrooms and a theatrette. Shortly before WAIDE moved to Padbury, WA Deaf Arts began to use the Hall for the state’s first inclusive Deaf Theatre and Arts organisation, for rehearsing, performing, creating and exhibiting, whilst continuing to educate Deaf and Hearing together and create Deaf Awareness for all who participate. It has also been utilised by the Foundation for Deaf Children’s many Family Network Group events. Although the WA Deaf Community is relatively small to others, we pride ourselves on having provided essential Community services, such as a safe place for Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing and Hearing people to meet and learn new skills, whilst sharing what other skills they possess, a venue that helps to bring together people who are otherwise often very isolated, misunderstood and who do not feel like they have a voice. It enables them to feel wanted and useful and allows them to tell their stories in creative ways. These are people who are at risk of suffering depression brought on by their isolation and lack of services to help them realise their dreams and achieve their goals. The venue is loved by the Deaf Community here. The floors are wood, often a rarity now, which allows vibrations to be felt through the floor and the stage area, so that the Deaf can feel the beat of music and learn the meaning of rhythm. It is located a short walking distance to and from the Mosman Park train station, which is the Deaf’s preferred mode of travel. With Deaf Societies around the country closing down, we may find this is one of the few viable spaces left for the WA Deaf Community to meet. Whilst the new NDIS system allows for individuals to receive more funding to be able to receive crucial services, it also reduces funding for Deaf Societies and Community Centres. The places where the Community meets, exchanges ideas and supports each other are disappearing.
In 2014, The Barnett government wanted to make a pre-election bandaid effort to hide some of their $40 million debt they created to appear less inadequate in money management, so they began to sell-off to (not necessarily Australian) investors as many older hospital and school sites as possible. Although the “The House on the Hill” at the front of the property will continue to stand, as it is heritage-listed, the Glyde Memorial Hall, along with the rest of the land is still down to be sold, most likely to some foreign investor.
PLEASE DO NOT SELL OUR HALL! WA Deaf Arts and the WA Deaf Community will lose a home and a treasure that has been with many of them all their lives and is, in many ways, irreplaceable.
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