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Nov 2017 The Gladstone Observer

INSPIRATIONAL. Definition: Making you feel full of hope or encouraged.

That's exactly what each and every nominee made you feel at the 2018 Queensland Australian of the Year ceremony held in Brisbane's grand Old Museum Building. In particular, Seniors News was there to report on the Senior of the Year category. The four nominees came from areas ranging from science to humanity, but they all shared an overwhelming desire to make people's everyday life better. These people did not need awards, notoriety or headlines, but gained satisfaction from bettering the lives of their fellow human beings.

Dr Dimity Dornan AO claimed the Queensland Australian Senior of the Year award for her work helping deaf children learn to listen and speak. She founded the Hear and Say Centres more than 25 years ago and has since championed the advancement of bionics, including extraordinary creations such as bionic eyes, limbs, nerves and more. Dr Dornan said the Hear and Say Centre for children who are deaf/hearing impaired and their families was born on July 6, 1992. She explained the impetus came after a private group of ear, nose and throat surgeons, and a group of audiologists wanted to start a cochlear implant program in Brisbane and she was asked to join with them to take care of pre-implant preparation and post-implant habilitation. In her own words, Dr Dornan wrote: "It was about this time, the point of no return, when I chanced upon my future motivating words, those of pioneer aviator Amelia Earhardt: 'Courage is the price that life extracts for granting peace’. "I took courage and set up a charity board consisting of about twenty representatives including hearing professionals, business, finance, education and medical personnel."

Dr Dornan has gone on to establish Hear and Say WorldWide, to expand the opportunities for deaf children in developing countries as well as several national and global research collaborations. As a past chair and co-founder of First Voice, she has played a significant role in raising the global profile of hearing health. Recognised internationally for her work, Dr Dornan is now building Human Bionics Interface, a global network of bionics thought leaders, researchers, clinicians, businesses, start-ups and investors to accelerate the delivery of bionic solutions that will address previously untreatable medical conditions.

 
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