Dubbo's Hear our Heart Ear Bus project receives $750,000 over five years from Walter and Eliza Hall Charitable Foundation

Hear our Heart: Audiologist Jana Fogarty tests Cooper O'Neill during one of the school based clinics. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE
Hear our Heart: Audiologist Jana Fogarty tests Cooper O'Neill during one of the school based clinics. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Dubbo’s not-for-profit Hear our Heart Ear Bus project has received $750,000 over the next five years from the Sydney based Walter and Eliza Hall Charitable Foundation.

“We have been looking for a special organisation to partner with for some time that has a genuine focus on Indigenous health,” Walter and Eliza Hall Charitable Foundation Chief Executive Officer Helen Cook said. 

The Dubbo founded Hear our Heart ear bus project provides free ear health education, targeted hearing testing and free access to ear specialists to children in Dubbo and Districts. 

Currently Hear our Heart services 34 sites within the region. 

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The funding will allow for more administration staff and audiologists to be employed to effectively manage the planned expansion and with the $750,000 over the next five years, the group hopes to expand their services to include 70 sites. 

“Parents are more confident” with the support Hear our Heart provides them, Hear our Heart volunteer director Donna Rees said. 

“Hear our Heart will still need donations and support from the community in order to continue making a difference for hearing health of children in the region,” Ms Reed said.  

Hear our Heart is committed to promoting ear health prevention strategies and provide age appropriate ear health education for students, staff and community members.

They travel to local schools to teach prevention and awareness of otitis media which is an an ongoing, serous condition that left untreated results in significant hearing disability.   

Volunteer audiologists provide hearing tests at schools for children whose parents and teachers have identified as having possible hearing problems.

The not-for-profit group began in late 2011 to improve ear health services in Western NSW and in 2014 held their first hearing testing clinic at St Lawrences school. 

The Walter and Eliza Hall Charitable Foundation was established by Eliza Hall in 1912, when she created a £1,000,000 trust in memory of her late husband Walter Hall.