Judges 2013

The winner for each prize will be announced at the Awards evening. 

Victoria-LessingVictoria Lessing


‘Born and bred in Europe, Victoria knew from young age that creativity, teaching and people’s person was her forte; as soon she became a young adult, she has been successfully organised and involved in Deaf Short Film Festival in Auckland (2007), Wallace Williams Comedy Night, Miss & Mr Deaf NZ, etc. She enjoys being involved in arts, movies and drama and Victoria has no fear of acting, teaching, presenting to large audience and still today, Victoria goes out to entertain people from all walks of life.’


CharlieCharlie Grimsdale


B.Sc (Hons.), Cert. Hearing Therapy , P.G.C.E. / Teacher of Deaf Children, M.A. (Arts Education and Cultural Studies)

Charlie has worked with Deaf people for over thirty years in the UK and New Zealand. Much of this has centred around the arts. In particular he was involved with setting up the first BTEC (UK tertiary vocational level) Certificate and Diploma courses with specific curriculum for Deaf and hearing performers to train together. He also created various professional performances and events featuring Deaf and hearing performers with an emphasis on being accessible to both audiences. He was a full member of British Equity. He worked with Music and the Deaf on various workshops and projects. Research included work for the UK Department of Health into models of well-being for Deaf people.

On arrival in New Zealand he worked with Auckland Deaf Society to create DeaFine Theatre  producing a theatre in education piece “Forest Man”, followed by “King Lear” at the Maidment Theatre.

He went on to work with a Deaf student at the University of Auckland as communicator and tutor on the Masters in Performing Arts. Work with Catherine Chapell and Touch Compass involved making spoken works accessible to Deaf audience through signing, and incorporating a Deaf dancer into some works. He founded the Giant Leap Foundation and produced “Giant Leap” International Disability Arts Festival as part of AK05. He went on to do an internship for the Department of Internal Affairs with Spark Studio, moving the organisation from a voluntary run organisation to a sustainable funded model.

He has continued to work within many community arts projects and was recently on the Auckland Council Senior Community Artists’ course – Community Cultural Development.

Giant Leap Foundation has continued to work with Deaf artists including supporting a Deaf Arts Network project and a Community Circus Cultural Bridging Project – Circolina’s Leap.

Charlie Grimsdale’s qualifications include a Masters in Arts Education and Cultural Studies and a Postgraduate Certificate – Teacher of Deaf students. He has also worked as a Hearing Therapist counselling people with acquired hearing loss in the National Health Service in the UK. Other experience includes Residential Social Working and Social Service Management.


Paul WolfgramPaul Wolffgram


Paul Wolffram is a film producer and director who has worked with the Deaf community for several years. His films focus on communities in New Zealand and the Pacific region. Paul currently teaches film production at Victoria University of Wellington.


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