Australian Hearing hosts a picnic in the Bendigo Library gardens

CHILDREN with hearing loss had the opportunity to have a little fun in the city this month.

The nation’s largest provider of government-funded hearing services, Australian Hearing, held a party for its primary-school-aged clients at the Bendigo Library gardens. 

Behind the jumping castle and the free activities was the intention to provide children with hearing loss, and children without hearing loss, with an opportunity to socialise. 

“It is really important to bring children with hearing loss together,” community hearing advisor Natalie Martin said. 

She said it was vital for children with hearing loss to know they were not alone. 

In addition to promoting inclusion, Miss Martin was hopeful the event had helped to raise hearing health awareness. 

One in six Australians are affected by hearing loss, according to the Australian Network on Disability.

That figure is projected to rise to one in four by 2050. 

Ninety per cent of people born with hearing impairment are born into hearing families.

More than a dozen Australian Hearing clients attended the event in Bendigo on April 7 with their families and friends, alongside members of the broader community.

Miss Martin said the picnic in the park was a new initiative for Australian Hearing.

She was hopeful it would not be the last.

Australian Hearing has been in Bendigo for more than 30 years and helps children and young people from birth to the age of 26, veterans, pensioners, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders over 50, and adults with complex hearing needs.

Miss Martin encouraged parents of primary-school-aged children, who were concerned about hearing loss, to download the new Sound Scouts application by the National Acoustic Laboratories.

The tablet-based hearing test game is designed to give parents an insight into their child’s hearing health.

Alternatively, she encouraged people to contact Australian Hearing with their queries by calling 1300 412 512 or by visiting the Australian Hearing website.