House debates

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Statements by Members

Power of Speech Awards

1:56 pm

Photo of Steve IronsSteve Irons (Swan, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I would like to bring to the attention of the chamber the Power of Speech Awards that took place as a part of Hearing Awareness Week yesterday in the theatre in Parliament House. I know a number of my colleagues, including the Prime Minister, were able to attend, and I think I speak for all of them when I say that it was a truly inspiring event.

The Power of Speech event allowed 12 young people from across Australia and New Zealand, all of whom have cochlear implants, to deliver speeches about the challenges they have faced as a result of being deaf, and how they have worked to overcome them.

I would particularly like to congratulate the two participants from my electorate of Swan, sisters Sophie and Hailey Ardagh, for their contributions. And special congratulations to Sophie, who was also the recipient of the courage award. Both girls attend the Telethon Speech & Hearing Centre WA, an independent not-for-profit body that was established in 1966 with the aim of assisting those born with speech and hearing impediments to participate independently in society through the acquisition of good spoken language. To Sophie, Hailey and all the participants yesterday, thank you for highlighting, to a group of people who—I think it is fair to say—think they know a thing or two about speaking, just how powerful the gift of speech really is. Congratulations, also, to their parents, Damien and Jo, for guiding these young girls through life.

Also, as it is Hearing Awareness Week, I would like to mention that I had the privilege of meeting Jack Besley from Melbourne, who is the world deaf champion golfer for 2014. (Time expired)