Higher-degree research being undertaken by Aaron Payne




Dr Helen Proctor

Thesis title:

The impact and future implications of parental decision making in deaf education from 1970-2010



Project description

Deaf education in Australia has been the subject of limited research despite the growth in academic literature relating to education, disability and minorities. The 1970s was a time of growing social awareness around deafness and coincided with (in the case of NSW), a range of education providers for deaf children from preschools, non-government and Catholic schools as well Opportunity-Deaf (OD) classes in mainstream government schools. This thesis will produce an oral history involving parents of deaf children from the 1970s to the present day. The oral histories will explore how the relationships between family, community and schools have influenced parental decision-making in deaf education. How and to what extent the issues in deaf education (and education more broadly) have influenced parents of deaf children and consequently deaf education in NSW is what this thesis seeks to explore. Interviews conducted so far have revealed the diverse experiences of parents in metropolitan and regional New South Wales in navigating the at-times challenging decisions relating to schooling, technology and identity.

Aaron Payne graduated with a Bachelor of Medical Science degree before deciding to pursue his passion for teaching and education with a Bachelor of Education/Arts degree at the University of Sydney. Aaron is a qualified secondary teacher trained in History and English. Aaron is currently working part-time in a school in Sydney’s southern suburbs. In addition to his research in Education, he is also a keen naturalist and photographer, particularly in connection to Australian frogs, and has contributed to a range of publications in this area.


  • Thomas and Mary Ethel Ewing Scholarship


  • Payne, A. (2014). Observations on the calling behaviour of the Jervis Bay Tree Frog Litoria jervisiensis. Australian Zoologist, 37(2), 263–266. DOI:10.7882/AZ.2014.017
  • Payne, A. (2013). The challenges of producing an oral history of the deaf: Cued speech in New South Wales 1965-1990. Oral History Association of Australia Journal, 35, 3–8.
  • Payne, A. (2012). Some observations on the behaviour of the Moss Froglet Bryobatrachus nimbus. Tasmanian Naturalist, 134, 68–70.

Conference presentations