Innovative partnership proposes new arrangements for the future of Australian Hearing

12/02/16
Consortium Partners RIDBC, Macquarie University and Cochlear Limited

Today, a consortium comprising non-profit service provider, Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC), Macquarie University and the iconic Australian company, Cochlear Limited, confirmed that a proposal for the future governance and ownership of Australian Hearing has been put to Government.

The Consortium has proposed a unique partnership model that will honour Australian Hearing’s original intent; safeguard clients of the Community Service Obligation (CSO) program; address areas of service growth and unmet need; and ultimately provide an enhanced service and improved hearing health outcomes for all Australians.

RIDBC Chief Executive, Chris Rehn, emphasised that “the driver of the Consortium is the well-being of people with hearing loss, especially those most in need, and ensuring they continue to receive world-class services that dramatically improve their lives.”

“Preserving, protecting and extending services for all Australians – especially vulnerable CSO clients including children; the elderly; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; returned soldiers/veterans; and adults with complex hearing health needs – is the Consortium’s priority,” said Mr Rehn.

The Consortium approach seeks to extend upon Australia’s already world-leading hearing services, providing a total end-to-end service for people with hearing loss, including access to integrated assessment, diagnostics, hearing aids, cochlear implantation, therapy, education and additional rehabilitation and support services.

By leveraging this full-service model, and the research capabilities of the Consortium partners, the Consortium also aims to support and further develop the work of Australian Hearing’s research division, the National Acoustic Laboratories.

Mr Rehn recognised Australia’s leading role in the field of hearing health, saying that, “we have an opportunity to continue to improve services and minimise the significant health and social impacts for all Australians with hearing loss, by working together with, and building upon, the significant achievements of Australian Hearing.

“Maintaining and building Australia’s global leadership role in technical and service innovation, ground breaking research, professional education and innovation in the hearing health field, is key.” 

The Consortium proposes to undertake a comprehensive due diligence process and consult with Australian Hearing, key stakeholder groups, partner organisations and Government to ensure the future of Australian Hearing stays focussed on world class hearing outcomes, not profit. In addition, the Consortium model will keep Australian Hearing in trusted Australian hands.

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Linda Berrigan, RIDBC Director Marketing & Communications on (02) 9872 0304 or 0478 119 066

Nicole Smith, RIDBC Communications Manager on (02) 9872 0792 or 0412 922 832

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CONSORTIUM PARTNERS

Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC)

RIDBC provides services to over 6,000 people across Australia, including early intervention and education programs for children with hearing and vision loss, as well as operating Australia’s largest cochlear implant service for children and adults.

Macquarie University

Macquarie University is renowned for teaching and research excellence in speech and hearing sciences, cognitive science and psychology. It has a significant focus on medical and health sciences and is host to the Australian Hearing Hub, located on the University’s main campus. The Hub gives organisations and students the unique opportunity to work alongside experts in the industry providing an unrivalled learning and service delivery experience. Its focus is on enabling graduates and researchers to drive innovation and improve the lives of people with hearing and language disorders around the world.

Cochlear Limited

Cochlear Limited is the world’s leading producer of cochlear implants and an icon of innovation in Australian advanced manufacturing. Today Cochlear supplies hearing devices and products in more than 100 countries. Cochlear’s commitment to world leading technology includes research and development, links with the service industry and strong leadership within the Australian Hearing Hub at Macquarie University. In 2014/15 Cochlear invested $128million (13% of revenue) in research and development.

Read the media release issued by Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance, here.