Fifteen organisations in the hearing health sector met with parliamentarians in Sydney at the inaugural gathering of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Hearing Health & Deafness at the NSW Parliament building.
Felicity Wilson MP, member for North Sydney is the Chair of the Parliamentary Friends group. Her deputy chair is Trish Doyle MP, who is the member for the Blue Mountains.
The hearing health and deafness sector was represented by the RIDBC, Deaf Society, Shepherd Centre, Hear for You, Catherine Sullivan Centre, Macquarie University, Cochlear, Ehpheta Centre, Sound Scouts, deafblind NSW, Deafness Council of NSW and Deafness Forum of Australia.
Chair of the Parliamentary Friends group, Felicity Wilson MP is an enthusiastic supporter of improving accessibility for people in NSW living with deafness. “I think that we are improving as a society and we’re definitely improving as a government, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t more to do,” Ms Wilson said. “So by working with David Brady and forming the Friends of Hearing Health and Deafness, we can shine a light on some of these challenges, work with our colleagues, ministers and shadow ministers, and across the parliament.”
Chair of Deafness Forum of Australia David Brady explained that there are 1.2 million New South Wales residents who are deaf, have a hearing loss, or a balance or chronic ear disorder. Among them are close to 4,000 school aged children who have a hearing loss ranging from mild to profound.
“Hearing loss, deafness and ear disorders don’t discriminate. They affect individuals, families, every school, every hospital, every age care facility, every workplace, and every single one of us here today,” he said. “I’m confident with the support of all of us here this morning New South Wales can be the leader to show the rest of Australia how it can be done – because we care.”