Auslan was brought to Australia with Deaf convict, Betty Steele, who used British Sign Language (BSL). Over time, and with separation from England, our sign language has evolved to be a separate, but similar language. Presumably it was Betty Steele or one of her friends who made up the sign for ‘Australia’ – you can think of the sign as picking up people in England and disposing of them by dropping them down in Australia.
This video shows signs for the name of our country, Australia, and our states. Notice that several of them are simply letters of the alphabet.
* New South Wales
* Northern Territory
* South Australia
* Western Australia
My apologies, but the video omits a few places. Here’s a description for how to sign them:
* Tasmania – fingerspell T A S
* Hobart – fingerspell H and point down
* Australia Capitol Territory – fingerspell A C T
* Canberra – With your non-dominant hand, form a ’1’ with the pointer finger. With your dominant hand, create the letter C. Rest the letter C on top of the pointer finger.