USyd SignSoc

Ferran at the SignSoc stall


USyd SignSoc is the University of Sydney Sign Language Society. 

We run Auslan (Australian Sign Language) events on campus during semester time. Our events include classes, conversation groups, voice off board games, movie screenings and workshops.  We aim to encourage the learning of Auslan and understanding of the Deaf community and culture and provide a space for communication in Auslan at the University of Sydney. 

USyd logo

USyd society


SignSoc logo


Sign Language?

There are hundreds of sign languages around the world. Our society focuses on Auslan, the most widely used sign language in the Australian Deaf community.

Auslan is a natural language, which means it was not invented and instead continually develops over time. There are two dialects of Auslan: northern and southern. Sydney uses the northern dialect.

Together with British Sign Language (BSL) and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL), Auslan belongs to the BANZSL language family. Not all sign languages used in majority English-speaking countries share the same origin; American Sign Language (ASL) is mutually unintelligible with Auslan and is instead part of the French Sign Language family. Likewise, there are many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sign languages that are unrelated to Auslan.

If you are interested in reading about the history and linguistics of Auslan, you can read more in the book Johnston, T., & Schembri, A. (2007). Australian Sign Language: An introduction to sign language linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Where to find us

Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, or hang out with fellow signers on Discord!

USyd SignSoc acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Australia and the Cadigal people of the Eora Nation, it is upon their lands that the University of Sydney is built. We pay our respects to Elders past and present. We recognise the many sign languages that were and are used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people along side spoken langauge. Languages play an important role in identity, community and working towards decolonisation.