Move over Julie Bishop, there’s a new Fashion King in town – Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan MLA retired his suit and tie for the day in support of children with hearing loss for Telethon Speech and Hearing’s (TSH) annual fundraiser Loud Shirt Day.
The Premier outshone fellow MPs in his loudest, brightest shirt during a morning tea at Parliament House where presented a generous cheque on behalf of the State Government to Loud Shirt Day ambassador and Telethon Speech and Hearing Outpost student, Emily Siew, aged 7.
Smiles and laughter continued throughout the morning tea as the year 2 student delivered a humorous speech entitled “My Dream Home” – a 13 storey-tall turquoise coloured home fully equipped the latest voice-activated tech, a bubbly spa, aquarium to challenge AQWA, and ‘do your homework’ robot that never complains.
Diagnosed with asymmetrical mild to moderate hearing loss at birth, Emily has been supported by Telethon Speech and Hearing’s Outpost school support program since she was eight years old. The only program of its kind in Australia, Outpost provides students with hearing loss the opportunity to access the same education options as their mainstream peers while being supported in areas such as language, speech, listening and social and emotional development.
“The support Emily has had from all the amazing staff including audiologists, occupational therapists, and speech pathologists at Telethon Speech & Hearing has helped her tremendously in her overall development that people find it hard to believe she has a hearing loss,” said Emily’s mum Eileen.
“The Outpost program has made integration into school seamless and worry-free for our entire family.”
Loud Shirt Day is a fun annual event across Australia, encouraging schools, businesses, families and individuals to wear their loudest outfits to raise awareness of hearing loss in children and spread the message that through early detection, children with hearing loss can learn to hear and speak. Funds raised support Telethon Speech and Hearing in Western Australia, and similar organisations nationally. Loud Shirt Day 2021 is Friday, 22 October.