Jody Barney

Jody is a deaf Aboriginal and South-Sea Islander woman who has spent the past 30 years working with communities of Indigenous peoples with disabilities, as a leader, trainer and change agent.

Jody has worked with Indigenous women with hearing loss to help them learn sign language and engage in culturally-safe communication, in order to access maternal health care services, early intervention programs, youth justice services and local community sexual assault services.

As part of the Fellowship, Jody plans to extend her experience and look at how Indigenous women with hearing loss can reach their full potential as the building blocks of their communities and families.

I want to break down the barriers which lead to erroneous judgments and low expectations. Regardless of what form of communication is used, people’s stories need to be heard to find common ground.

In 2011, Jody received an Emerging Leaders Award from the Indigenous Fellowship of Leadership, and in 2014 she received the Brenda Gabe Leadership Award for her work in engaging and working with Indigenous women with disabilities across Victoria and Australia. 

She is an active member of the Australia Sign Language Interpreters Association, Murra Indigenous Business Leadership program, Kinaway Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce and Deaf Victoria