Cherraya is the first Indigenous toddler to receive a cochlear implant in the Northern Territory

Two-year-old Cherraya is already showing an artistic side, loves to draw and, like most children her age, is keenly exploring the world around her. Now, thanks to bilateral cochlear implants, the Darwin-based toddler has access to a world of sound too.

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Mitchell grew up on a cattle property in Northern NSW, which he says was an idyllic childhood

Nineteen-year-old Mitchell Pitman received his first cochlear implant at age two and his second at age eight. He also has cerebral palsy, but he is not held back in any way, and says the key for him has been in accepting who he is and learning to find the humour in everyday life.

Multilingual playgroups help families build networks

For parents of children with hearing or vision loss who speak a language other than English at home, navigating the health system and the services available can be daunting. Cultural background can impact on a family's expectations for their child and when and how they seek advice but seeking support at the earliest possible time is critical to give children with hearing or vision loss the best start in life.

Left to right: Professor Greg Leigh; Master of Disability Studies graduates, Sharyn Fyvie and Cassandra Holmes; Graeme Innes

The last three years have seen an enormous amount of effort by RIDBC Renwick Centre staff to bring a new affiliation agreement with Macquarie University to fruition.   A new higher degree program (the Master of Disability Studies) has been developed with enrolments commencing in 2017, whilst continuing to teach the last remaining students in the Master of Special Education program at the University of Newcastle.

2018 Graeme Clark Scholarship was awarded to Zoe Dunn

In honour of the inventor and pioneer of the modern-day cochlear implant, Professor Graeme Clark, Cochlear awards financial assistance towards a university degree to a high-achieving cochlear implant recipient each year. Awarded on the basis of academic achievement and commitment to humanity and leadership values, the Graeme Clark Scholarship has helped young people to realise their dreams in fields as diverse as mathematics, fashion, law, sports and healthcare. 


For children with hearing loss, early intervention is crucial to speech development, but for children based in regional and remote communities, access to services can prove a challenge. But for two-year-old cochlear implant recipient, Tayte, access to face-to-face and video sessions in his Alice Springs home has him talking up a storm.