Ex-WA School for Deaf Children student calls for new school

Former WA School for Deaf Children student Dawn Harrison. Picture: Andrew Ritchie    d475194
Former WA School for Deaf Children student Dawn Harrison. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d475194

A FORMER student of the WA School for Deaf Children in Mosman Park has called for a new specialised school for deaf students, 16 years after the school closed.

Dawn Harrison (62) was a student at the school that overlooked Cottesloe Beach between 1960 and 1970 after attending Cottesloe Primary School.

The deaf school was established in 1986 in East Perth before moving to Mosman Park.

“I always loved coming to school; I would not miss a day of school because of the students – we could communicate using Auslan,” she said.

Dawn Harrison (left) in her school days.

Ms Harrison said one of her fondest memories was when her dog, who followed her to school one day, was thrown out of a train on the way home.

“Once school had finished, I was with a group of other students and we caught the train and that was when the ticket man came and looked a bit grumpy,” she said.

“Because we had a communication breakdown, he saw the dog straight away, grabbed the dog and opened the old moving train doors and threw him out of the train.

“I was crying all the way home. I told Mum what had happened and Mum was shocked.

“We stayed at the station… we gave up because the train was going soon and we saw him running towards us.

“The next day, the students had said the dog had been running around the school.”

She said this week’s National Week of Deaf People (NWDP) was important in promoting sign language, as some people did not realise its existence.

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