Dec 2020 Australian Hearing Hub
The Shepherd Centre will receive $2.5million in funding from the NSW Government to secure the future of the organisation’s new facility in Macarthur in Sydney’s South West. One in every 300 Australian children will be diagnosed with hearing loss by school age, however, many of these families – including those in South-Western Sydney – have difficulty accessing specialised early intervention services due to their location.
Dr Jim Hungerford, Chief Executive Officer of The Shepherd Centre says that this commitment is an exciting step forward that minimises the risk of children with hearing loss being left behind.
“This funding means that The Shepherd Centre is able to support families in Sydney’s South West, and continues its efforts to close that gap. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it even harder for some to access our early intervention services. A new local centre will make it much easier for families who could only access our sessions online or have had to travel great distances.”
Dr Mike Freelander with Jen and Jack, a mother and son from Gledswood Hills who will benefit from the new facility
Dr Simon Greenberg, an Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon at Campbelltown and Liverpool Hospitals, praised the funding decision. “It is such wonderful news for the children of the Macarthur region and their families that the new centre can proceed. If not treated early, hearing loss in children can have a life-long impact on educational and social outcomes. The services provided by The Shepherd Centre hub in the Macarthur area will make a huge difference to the lives of these children. This announcement is truly wonderful,” said Dr Greenberg.
The Shepherd Centre’s world leading program gives parents the skills and confidence to help their children enter mainstream schools with speech and listening abilities on par with – and sometimes above – their hearing peers. A new centre in Macarthur will expand the reach of these services to an area where the need for these crucial services is significant.