Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan encouraged the WA community to “reach new levels of loud” last Friday as he continued his support of children with hearing loss for Telethon Speech and Hearing’s popular annual fundraiser, Loud Shirt Day.
Over 25 parliamentarians joined the Premier this year in wearing their boldest shirts at Parliament House, where Mr McGowan presented a cheque on behalf of the WA Government to Loud Shirt Day ambassadors and Telethon Speech & Hearing Outpost students Kyden and Jemma Robertson.
“In recognition of the support that Telethon Speech and Hearing provides to thousands of children and their families every year, I encourage all of my colleagues, and the wider WA community to get behind this worthy cause,” Mr McGowan said.
Telethon Speech & Hearing ambassadors and siblings Kyden (aged 9) and Jemma (7) Robertson have benefited from the organisation’s Outpost school support program since kindergarten. The program provided both students with a dedicated Teacher of the Deaf at their school to help supported them with their language and listening skills and a specialist Education Assistant to help them in the classroom. Additionally, they see a Speech Pathologist and Occupational Therapist at school every week, all provided by Telethon Speech & Hearing.
The Outpost program, which is only available in WA, has been invaluable in helping Kyden and Jemma develop their skills, abilities and confidence and help them thrive in school and navigate life with a hearing loss.
Telethon Speech & Hearing Chief Executive Mark Fitzpatrick commented that ongoing endorsement from the WA Government and other strategic partners was important in ensuring all Western Australians across the state could access supports within their local communities.
“It’s great to see the Premier in his loud shirt once again,” he said. “With the Outpost program available in 15 mainstream schools and successful community ear health and speech programs running across the Wheatbelt, Pilbara and Kimberley regions, every chance to create visibility and awareness for what we do is fantastic.”
“We believe that every child has the right to live a happy and healthy life, and through initiatives like Loud Shirt Day, we can continue to provide vital hearing and speech services to all children, regardless of where they live.”
Loud Shirt Day, which was on Friday 21 October, encouraged corporates, schools, families and individuals to don their loudest, most colourful shirts and outfits to raise awareness of hearing loss in children and share the message that, through early detection, children with hearing loss can learn to hear and speak.
Donate to Loud Shirt Day online at www.tsh.org.au/loud-shirt-day.