Drisana Levitzke-Gray is the recipient of the 2015 Young Australian of the Year Award in recognition of her passion and dedication in advocating for the human rights of deaf people, raising awareness about Auslan (Australian Sign Language), and the right of deaf children in Australia to access Auslan.
She promotes the Deaf community as one without borders and one of rich language, culture, history and traditions. A graduate of Shenton College in WA, and Frontrunners Deaf Youth Leadership program based in Scandinavia, Drisana has delivered community development and leadership workshops in many European countries, as well as in Samoa, NZ, and Australia.
Currently working as the Deaf Sector Community Networking Officer for the National Relay Service, serving voluntarily on a number of committees, and studying a Diploma of Interpreting qualification, Drisana is the embodiment of the concept of ‘deaf gain’, not ‘hearing loss’, inspiring the Deaf community, and encouraging the wider community to accept diversity. Drisana was the first Deaf Auslan user to fulfil her civic duty as a juror, and consistently promotes a positive image of deafness, which states loudly and proudly: “It’s OK to be deaf”.