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Jody Barney – 

“Give the community a voice and make it happen!!”

Jody is the founder of Deaf Indigenous Community Consultancy Pty Ltd. She is a proud Deaf woman from Queensland. 

Since 1986 Jody has been working with Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander peoples who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing or have disabilities.  Jody first started advocating in this area voluntarily interpreting Aboriginal sign systems to Signed English, Auslan and English for Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander peoples. Jody has a lived experience of disability (Deaf) and has a history of disability in her family across many disabilities.

Over the last 35 years Jody has worked intensively with Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander people who are Deaf/hard of hearing or have disabilities. She is a strong and committed advocate. 

Her work has included:

  • Interpreting and translating of idiosyncratic signing systems.
  • Specialised communication and cultural services focusing on around 20 sign language systems
  • Networking with and supporting over 200 Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander communities around Australia.
  • Advocating and escalating the needs of Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Peoples who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing or have disabilities.
  • Supporting Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander peoples with severe communication disabilities across the court system in Australia
  • Supporting Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander peoples who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing or have disabilities to access Government support systems such as Centrelink and the NDIS.
  • Researching and assisting with complex research around issues impacting Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander peoples who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing or have disabilities.

Jody has been part of several important committees and advisory groups advising State and Federal Governments. The list below is far from comprehensive but includes some of the more current important groups:

  • Current Chair of Koondee Woogna-gat Toor-rong, a First Nations led philanthropy organisation in Victoria.
  • Current member of Victorian NDIS Community Advisory Council
  • Current member of the First Nations Strategic Advisory group for the Disability Royal Commission
  • Current Member Victoria based Fellowship of Indigenous Leadership Advisory Committee
  • Current First Nations Disability advisor to Australia Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO)
  • Current First Nations advisor to Australian Disability & Indigenous Peoples Fund (ADIPEF)
  • Previous member of the Stolen Generation Repatriation Scheme (Victoria advisory committee)
  • Previous member of Women with Disabilities Australia Board

Jody has several academic qualifications including:

  • Bachelor of Applied Business Studies from University of Ballarat
  • Diploma of Community Development
  • Diploma of Social Welfare
  • Diploma of Youth Work and Disability
  • Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessing
  • First Nations Mental Health First Aid 

Jody is an Alumni to University of Melbourne, University of Ballarat. Fellowship of Indigenous Leadership, Murra Business School and the Atlantic Fellow Senior Fellow for Social Equity (Atlantic Institute).

Jody was also inducted into the Victorian Women's Honour Roll 2021: