Robyn Phillips, Claire Harris, and Esther Pakura were the 2014 recipients of the Quota South Pacific Area Scholarships for Work in the Field of Hearing & Speech. Each recipient provided excellent reports on their Scholarship experiences, and expressed their gratitude to Quota for the opportunity to further their professional careers by attending international conferences in their field of work.
In June, 2014, Robyn and Claire, from the Cora Barclay Centre for Deaf Children in South Australia, received $10,000 to attend the ‘Hearing Across the Lifespan’ (HEAL) Conference in Cernobbio, Italy and the Family Centred Early Intervention (FCEI) Conference in Bad Ischl, Austria. Their attendance at ‘HEAL’ enabled them to spread the word about WHISPA, the Youth Peer Support and Mentoring Program at the Cora Barclay Centre, as well as to network with passionate international professionals from the field of paediatric deafness intervention. The main goal of the conference was to find new ways to help children born deaf or hearing impaired to enter school with age-appropriate speech, language and social emotional skills.
In Austria, the FCEI Conference theme was ‘Forging Global Collaboration’ and included a diverse range of presentations, panels and meetings featuring medical professionals, early intervention specialists, researchers and a strong group of culturally Deaf adults. Robyn and Claire had an exciting opportunity to attend a one day workshop on LENA, a learning tool developed in the USA in 2006 that uses highly sophisticated technology to analyse how parents talk to their hearing-impaired children in the home. LENA is now receiving greater attention all over Europe and Australia. Both Robyn and Claire are hoping that their follow-up use of this technology will be a first in Australia, allowing parents to optimise their children’s hearing and speech outcomes.
Esther Pakura, from The Hearing House in Auckland, New Zealand received the Sheila Drummond Bursary of $4,800 to attend the July, 2014 AG Bell Convention, “Magic Made Real: Celebrating our Heritage *Transforming our Future” in Florida, USA. This convention was aimed at parents, families and professionals with time allowed for networking and socialising between presentations. Esther’s focus was on the use of audiology information to ensure best outcomes for children with Cochlear implants and she was especially focussed on the varying requirements of children whose developmental pathways do not follow the “norm” – an important consideration for a number of children receiving support at The Hearing House. This Bursary provided many “firsts” for Esther – visiting America, attending an AG Bell Convention, and travelling overseas alone. The Scholarship has given her significant benefits personally and also vicariously to her study peers, the families she works with and the community she serves.
The Quota South Pacific Area Scholarship for Work in the Field of Hearing & Speech is an independent trust fund governed by three trustees and a small committee of Quota volunteers and has been operating and providing scholarships to professionals working in the field of hearing and speech for over thirty years. It is funded solely by donations from Quota Clubs in Australia and New Zealand. Members interested, may receive a copy of the full report from each recipient from Beris Pritchard email@example.com or Karen Morrison firstname.lastname@example.org