Hearing Australia sends message for Reconciliation Week
On the eve of National Reconciliation Week, Hearing Australia has announced another step to help try to improve the hearing health of First Nations people.
It has collaborated with three Aboriginal health organisations to redesign the way hearing services are delivered to better meet the needs of communities.
Over the past six months Hearing Australia has worked closely with the Orange Aboriginal Medical Service, the Coonamble Aboriginal Health Service and the Katherine West Health Board on the Shared Hearing Services Partnership.
Jamie Newman, chief executive of the Orange Aboriginal Medical Service, said it's a practical partnership that represents reconciliation - working together to deliver the care First Nations people want and need.
"We're in a period of change and need to lead that change if we're going to see better health outcomes for our mob," he said.
"Our people need consistent healthcare, and through this partnership and our ongoing relationship with Hearing Australia, we have a great opportunity to work closely together to improve access to hearing health that will benefit our people today and future generations."
Wiradjuri woman Chloe Thompson, Aboriginal Health Practitioner Lead at the Orange AMS, knows personally how important hearing checks are for children.
During her upskilling in hearing health, Ms Thompson tested the hearing of her six-year-old son, Beau, who returned a concerning result, which led to an appointment with Hearing Australia.
"The audiologist at Hearing Australia confirmed that he had moderate hearing loss, and he was very quickly fitted with a hearing device, which helped to improve his hearing until getting grommets," she said.
"My son now has normal hearing, and because of the support he received early, developmentally he at least has a chance of catching up to his peers.
"Regardless of whether you think your child is having hearing trouble or not, it's important to get their hearing checked regularly."
As part of Hearing Australia's commitment to continue to make it easier for Indigenous people to access hearing help, the organisation has also launched a First Nations support line, as one of the promises under their Reconciliation Action Plan.
National Reconciliation Week runs from Saturday to June 3.