FORMER Gympie woman Lisa Mills has embraced the challenges that come with a life of being deaf to excel in the fields of teaching and performing while also devoting her life to promoting deaf awareness.
The recent launch of her educational and interactive music DVD for children entitled 'Sing and Sign with Lisa' is a testament to the passion and dedication of Lisa in combining her love of teaching with performing to help others.
Growing up in the Gympie and Imbil region, Lisa attended Jones Hill Primary School and Gympie State High School. Her parents were well known members of the Gympie community, her mother as a school teacher in various schools in the community and her father as a farmer in Imbil.
Lisa attributes her speech and drama teacher in Gympie, Elizabeth Reid as being the woman who changed her outlook on life by developing her speaking skills as well as igniting her interest in drama and performance.
"She changed my life and taught me how to speak well, like no other deaf person," Lisa says.
Lisa already has a long list of achievements, ranging from being a former international theatre director, published author, qualified yoga teacher, early childhood teacher and to add to this she is currently pregnant with her first child.
She is the managing director and founder of Honeybee Creations on the Sunshine Coast, which is an organisation which teaches sign language, creative arts and yoga training to adults and children.
Lisa explains that her DVD 'Sing and Sign with Lisa' was a project to teach sign language in a fun and bright environment to children up to seven years of age.
"I teach sign language to people of all ages, but young children absorb sign language like sponges, and it's wonderful to see," she says.
The DVD incorporates Lisa performing sign language to well known children's songs such as Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes and Mulberry Bush to captioned lyrics and colourful pictures and backgrounds.
It is not only aimed strictly at deaf children, Lisa explains that sign singing has been shown to benefit brain development in young children while encouraging creativity and stimulating the development of speech and language and the coordination of fine motor skills.
Promoting deaf awareness is something that Lisa is very passionate about and her recent DVD is just another way that she has tried to encourage children to learn sign language in a fun and interactive way.