Telethon Speech & Hearing’s Deputy Principal, Geoff Reader, has been awarded the prestigious Dr Harry Blackmore award at the Deafness Council WA’s Hearing Awareness Week launch.
Mr Reece Whitby MLA presented Mr Reader with the award at the event on February 26.
Working as a tutor, note taker, teacher of the deaf and now deputy principal, Mr Reader has had an astonishing 35-year work history dedicated to ensuring every child affected by hearing loss is given the best education and learning foundation for later success in life.
Passionate about ensuring the development of good mental health and wellbeing in students, Mr Reader is a central figure in TSH’s school support program (known as Outpost) for primary and secondary school-aged children with hearing loss.
“I started in the early ‘80s with some volunteer work,” said Mr Reader.
“It’s been a real honour for me to work at the centre for so many years. I’ve worked with amazing people – it’s all about people,” he added.
“We have done remarkable work for a long time and the programs that we’ve developed have been fantastic.”
Such work includes championing TSH’s “Power of Speech” events, which began in 1989 and is now a national event where deaf or hard of hearing children are given a platform to speak on issues concerning their future at Parliament House in Canberra.
Mr Reader has also contributed to teaching, innovation and research over the years to help provide significant information for many professionals across the sector improve the way we teach and support deaf and hard of hearing children, and their families.
Named after Dr Harry Blackmore OAM, the Award recognises the contribution made by an individual or organisation that has enhanced the quality of life of people who are deaf or hearing impaired or who have raised the level of awareness in the broader community of issues that affect deaf and hearing impaired people.
“One of my first experiences at the centre was to represent us on the Deafness Council and I had the pleasure of working alongside Dr Harry Blackmore,” said Mr Reader.
“He was an awesome leader and advocate for the deaf community and did remarkable work so this is indeed a fantastic honour.”
Click here to learn more about TSH’s School Support (Outpost) program for students with hearing loss.