Contact: Dan Turkel
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Downtown Auckland (Inc)
The Northern Club
19 Princes Street
Auckland Central ,  1010
New Zealand

Rotary Club of Downtown Auckland, Inc.

Weekly meeting – Tuesday 21/05/2019


Jaime Brown

Co-director of Merge NZ

“The mission to normalise NZ sign language”


Merge NZ is a social enterprise with a vision to normalise New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Following a 100 year ban on the language in the New Zealand education system, the impacts on the Deaf community are still being felt. As NZSL has been an official language of New Zealand since 2006, Merge NZ wants to ensure that awareness is raised and that the Deaf community have the access they need and deserve. There are still misconceptions about NZSL, and the Deaf community and Merge NZ are working hard to promote, teach, and create resources that provide the opportunity for NZSL to become normalised in society.


Jaime’s NZSL journey began over 12 years ago. Learning NZSL out of interest, she has been involved in a number of Deaf activities such as being the communicator for the NZ Deaf Men's Cricket Team and secretary for the NZ Deaf Rugby Football union. She has completed a Victoria University of Wellington "Deaf Studies & Teaching NZSL" course and has over 6 years of experience with NZSL teaching in adult community education courses. She also worked for Geneva-Elevator for 3 years on the Deaf team in a supported employment role for the Deaf.

Jaime says “But my NZSL journey is more than just a list of achievements: it's relationships, connections, friendships, and a passion – an absolute passion – for the Deaf community and NZSL as a language.”


Please note:

Breakfast meeting registrations close at 11 a.m. on the Monday. For a short time after this, it may be possible to request changes via President Lucy.

Failure to register your attendance can cause problems for Northern Club catering.


Introducer/host: Frankie Crellin

Thanker: Liz Thomson


5-minute speaker: Tony Gardner – “Stumps”


Reception: Daniel Turkel, Mark Jenkins, Gill Johnston


Upcoming meetings:



Club planning day



No meeting (Day after Queen’s Birthday)



Dr Ann Hood

Refugee immigration and assimilation