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Experience & Expertise: Meet Our Team

Alison Claire France (Swannack / nee Hillier)

Founder and Creative Director

Alison France nee Hillier (previously Swannack) was born to British parents in Australia and first came to the UK at the age of 3 before moving to South Africa at eight years old. Having grown up in three different countries; Australia, the UK and South Africa, she uses her talents to find solutions to and fight for equality as an educator, artist, activist, and passionate advocate for the Deaf community.

Alison's professional life has been involved in managing, coordinating and teaching, ranging from administrative and financial management, coordinating, developing and project management workshops, venue management, stage management, publicity and marketing. Thirty years of experience in tertiary education and curriculum planning, development, and instructional design experience.

Alison presented 'The Fake Interpreter - A Curse or a Gift'' at the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters Conference in Istanbul, Turkey, in July 2015. She volunteered at the Clin d'Oeil Festival, Reims, France at Reception in July 2022, an Art Gallery manager in July 2017 and a Street Theatre manager in July 2015. Before this, she founded the first-ever Deaf theatre festival in South Africa in 2012, where she was the director of the festival; she also was the playwright and director of one of her plays 'Listen With your Eyes' who were invited to Clin d'oiel Festival, France in July 2013 and Deaffest, the UK in May 2015. She was the Exhibition convenor at the World Federation of Deaf Congress 2011, Durban, South Africa. She also worked on various portfolios at Catalina UnLtd – a South African theatre company located in Durban. She worked at the Wits Language School, the University of the Witwatersrand as an Academic Programme Coordinator and Curriculum Developer. Her contract was not renewed because of amalgamation, and she decided to explore further opportunities in the UK in 2016.

Alison is currently studying for her BA (Hons) degree in Fine Arts, graduating in June 2023. She has a Diploma in Art Therapy. Her love of art and teaching are her driving force. She has three grown-up daughters and lives in the 1066 county, East Sussex, England, with her husband, Richard, surrounded by the sea and countryside.

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Robyn Danielle Swannack

Content Producer and Social Media Coordinator

Robyn Swannack was born in South Africa. She grew up living in two countries: South Africa and Australia. Robyn uses her talents to advocate, research and provide access to information for Deaf women and children in South Africa. 

Robyn is a PhD student at the University of the Witwatersrand in collaboration with the University of Manchester. Her PhD is on gender-based violence, mental and emotional well-being as well as the safeguarding of Deaf women and children in South Africa. She holds a Masters degree in Social Sciences specialising in anthropology from the University of Cape Town. 

Robyn’s professional life has been involved in lecturing and tutoring, social media coordinating, content writing, video producing and editing, and managing and developing various projects. 

Robyn currently resides in Johannesburg, South Africa with her partner and two cats.

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