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Auslan (Australian Sign Language) is the language of the Deaf community of Australia. It is a visual-gestural language which has, like other signed languages around the world, been recognised as a legitimate language. Auslan can be traced back to the arrival of Europeans in Australia in the late 1700s and early 1800s, with British Sign Language (BSL) users arriving in Australia as convicts and as free settlers.

Although now considered a relatively young language in its own right, the ancestral link Auslan shares with BSL and other related sign languages means it is a member of one of the oldest continuing signed language families in the world.

Auslan as part of the Australian Curriculum recognises the place and significance of Auslan and of the culture of the Deaf community in the Australian community.

The second language learner pathway provides hearing children who have had no exposure to the language with the opportunity to learn to communicate using Auslan.

Adapted from the Draft Australian Curriculum: Auslan                www.consultation.australiancurriculum.edu.au

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