Tuesday, 20 August 2019 02:15

Huawei, Canberra Raiders team up for world record attempt

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Canberra Raiders players practice sign-language Canberra Raiders players practice sign-language

Huawei Australia is partnering with NRL club Canberra Raiders and Deaf Australia – the deaf-led peak organisation representing deaf people in Australia – to attempt to break a World Record at the Raiders vs Manly Sea Eagles National Rugby League (NRL) game this coming Sunday (25 August) in Canberra.

Prior to the special Charity Round game the Raiders match day staff will help to facilitate expected 20,000 strong crowd to do a coordinated signing of “We are Huawei Raiders” using Auslan sign-language – thereby breaking the existing World Record of 8,054 for the largest ever public usage of sign-language.

The idea behind the World Record attempt – which will take place just before the famous ‘Viking Clap’ by the Raiders fans - is to help create more understanding around the issues facing the deaf community and to help foster more inclusivity for deaf Australians in their everyday lives around the country.

In the lead up to the game Raiders players will take part in a social media campaign in which they demonstrate in videos how to sign three key Rugby League terms: Try, Goal and Tackle as well as the phrase to be recited in the record-breaking attempt “We are Huawei Raiders.”

On game day itself the on-ground video screens will be used to show the names of the Raiders players being signed into Auslan by members of the local deaf community as the players names are announced shortly before kick-off.

In a further attempt for the day to be as inclusive as possible other content being broadcast from the on-ground video screens will also be interpreted into Auslan.

On game day the Raiders players will wear special Charity Round jerseys which feature the Deaf Australia logo and the entire Auslan Alphabet. The jerseys worn in the match will be auctioned off via www.allbids.com.au with proceeds going to Deaf Australia.

Huawei Australia – the Australian arm of the Chinese telco giant - and Deaf Australia have partnered previously on developing the globally recognised StorySign technology platform, a free mobile app that aims to help deaf children read by translating the text from selected books into sign language. The StorySign app uses both AI and Augmented Reality technology developed by Huawei.

By working together Huawei and Deaf Australia say they hope to raise awareness of deaf child literacy and to empower positive change for the millions of deaf children who are “struggling to enjoy the wonderful world of books”.

As a sign of ongoing commitment to the StorySign initiative, Huawei is investing in local research to support a wider conversation about ensuring equality in every aspect of their lives for people in the deaf community.

StorySign is available on Android smartphones can be downloaded for free from Google Play Store. To watch the film and learn how you can help, visit www.storysign.com

Lisa Connors, Manager Corporate Relations and Programs of Huawei Australia said: “As major sponsors of the Canberra Raiders, Huawei is very proud to be a part of this World Record attempt – it is a wonderful way to bring attention to an important issue and we have a very special day planned which we are sure Raiders fans will love.

“Whilst we are raising funds for Deaf Australia via the special Charity Round jerseys we really want to use this event to create more awareness around the issues facing deaf Australians in their everyday lives.

“This is the 6th season Huawei has given up its front of jersey position for a charitable cause and we are delighted to have this opportunity to work with Deaf Australia, Raiders and the NRL to help build a better community.”

“Our partnership with Huawei continues us to help deliver awareness and raise money for many special causes and we’re proud this year to be supporting Deaf Australia,” said Don Furner, CEO of Canberra Raiders.

“We’ve got a huge crowd expected for Sunday’s match against Manly and we encourage all fans to follow our social media channels this week to learn the signs and help us break a World record on Sunday.”

“The jerseys the players will be wearing look fantastic and we hope it generates lots of discussion and awareness for Deaf Australia.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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