House debates

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Statements by Members

Speech Pathology Services

1:33 pm

Photo of Luke GoslingLuke Gosling (Solomon, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Speech pathology is crucial to helping people communicate more effectively, particularly those with speech impairments or swallowing difficulties. But, unfortunately, in the Northern Territory there is still significant difficulty in accessing speech pathology services. Even though these services help people optimise their health, educational and social outcomes, there are waiting times frequently in excess of 12 months. Speech pathologists are most vital in early intervention, and there are well-established social and economic benefits to the people receiving the interventions, as well as to the community as a whole.

I want to acknowledge a really passionate speechie in my electorate, Thalia Hewitt, who has opened up a new business in Darwin. Thalia and her partner, Luke, are a great example of the opportunities that the Northern Territory offers. I welcome any allied health professionals to the north. I also want to acknowledge Claudia Whitcombe, a speech pathologist at Early Bird Therapy here in Canberra, and the great work that she does to help kids with autism, disabilities and mental health issues communicate better with the world. Thanks, Claudia, for improving the lives of those that you work with.

I want to recognise the outstanding work that speech pathologists do. I would like to thank all of them for their continued dedication to helping people with speech impediments, as they do improve the wellbeing of our brothers and sisters.