International Women’s Day | Telethon Speech & Hearing
International Women's Day 2020

International Women’s Day Feature: Natasha Penny’s Contributions to the Disability Community

March 8 marks International Women’s Day, a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women, who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.

The world has made unprecedented advances, but no country has achieved gender equality.

The IWD 2020 campaign theme is drawn from a notion of ‘Collective Individualism’:

We are all parts of a whole. Our individual actions, conversations, behaviours and mindsets can have an impact on our larger society. Collectively, we can make change happen. Collectively, we can each help to create a gender equal world. We can all choose to be #EachforEqual.

With a majority of our staff being female, Telethon Speech & Hearing is proud to help bring light on this important occasion and draw attention to a number of International Women’s Day MISSIONS including celebrating women’s achievements, and working to forge more positive action towards #EachforEqual and #EachforEquity.

This week Telethon Speech & Hearing will highlight a number of incredible women in our organisation who bring compassion, wisdom and strength to their roles and make our centre such a delightful place for our families and children.


Natasha Penny International Women's Day
Education Assistant Natasha Penny (left).

Today’s highlighted staff member is our long-time Education Assistant, Natasha Penny:

I have been a member of staff since 2001, so 19 years this year! However, I first became involved with the centre through my family – my sister is profoundly deaf and attended early intervention at TSH while my mum was a Teacher of the Deaf so I have known and been here since I was only 6 months old!

I also attended kindy at TSH. My sister and I then went to Newman College, as it is one of our Outpost schools, and she could receive further support for her hearing loss.

I’ve worked in many areas during my time at TSH, including Chatterbox, Talkabout, the Occupational Therapy gym, the library and now currently as an Education Assistant in the Outpost program back at Newman College! Here I support children with hearing loss in their early and mid-primary school years, making sure every student is able to integrate smoothly within their mainstream classroom and have confidence in taking an active role at school.

The most common question I get asked about my job is what do I actually do – I think people envision that I get to play all day! I explain how I support children with different hearing, social-emotional and academic needs in varying classes on any day, my workdays are never boring!

In 2020, I’m looking forward to seeing how much progress the kids are going to make. There’s nothing better than seeing an “a-ha moment” on a student’s face, when you see that they understand what you’ve been working on! I also love being an advocate for our families in their school setting.

One of my favourite words is why, even though a thousand ‘why’ questions can drive you crazy, I love that it shows such an interest in learning!

I truly love my job, I can’t imagine doing anything else or working anywhere else, I’ve spent pretty much my whole life involved with TSH!

With regards to International Women’s Day, I think it’s part of my role as an educator to help teach gender equality to the next generations, in the classroom, in the playground or on the sporting field, so they can have a better and more gender-equal future. #EachforEqual


Continue to visit our website from March 8-13 for more amazing stories and insights from women at Telethon Speech & Hearing. Visit the International Women’s Day website for more information about how you can help forge a gender equal world. #IWD2020 #EachforEqual #EachforEquity