Aug 2018 Campbelltown Macarthur Advertiser
Hearing is something that most of us take for granted. For Camden child Elliott Grech, it can be an everyday battle. Elliott, 2, was born with moderate hearing loss and started wearing two hearing aids when she was just six-weeks-old. The Grech family have been supported by the Shepherd Centre as they continue to support Elliott with her condition. However the nearest centre in Casula is an hour-round trip away. Soon that driving time will be slashed significantly. The Shepherd Centre is inching closer to building a facility in Campbelltown.
The centre was founded in 1970 to teach children born deaf or hearing impaired how to develop their spoken language. Elliott’s father Brendon Grech said the centre had provided invaluable support and encouragement for his daughter. “Elliott has done amazingly well and her need [for help] has dropped off considerably,” he said.
Kye, Elliott and Brendon Grech relax in their Camden home
“Elliott needed early intervention at the Shepherd Centre and now she is speaking so well.
“My wife Kye and I were both carriers of the hearing loss gene, so Elliott was a one in four chance of being affected.”
The organisation announced the plans to build a centre locally in 2015 and organisers received a major boost the following year when Sargents Pies made a $950,000 donation. A block of land has been acquired in Moore Street, Campbelltown but close to $4 million needs to be raised before construction begins. The local centre will support families in the Campbelltown, Camden, Wollondilly and Southern Highlands. Mr Grech said the Campbelltown construction would benefit many local families. “I would recommend the Shepherd Centre to anyone who needs that would kind of support,” he said.
The Shepherd Centre provides support for people who have hearing issues
Fundraising efforts will again ramp up next month when a dinner dance is held in Leumeah.
Macarthur’s Quota clubs have teamed up to organise the event at Wests Leagues Club. Ingleburn Quota club incumbent president Julie Percival said she was proud to fundraiser for the Shepherd Centre. Ms Pervival said Quota’s mandate included supporting people who were deaf or had hearing issues. “The Shepherd Centre does a great job working with babies and pre-school aged children to equip them to enter mainstream school,” she said.