From studying a Bachelor of Design and a Bachelor of Business, to working as a marketing assistant – it’s fair to say that Maria’s weeks are full of activity.

“I have recently done an internship at a marketing agency, giving me skills in copywriting, campaigns and social media marketing. When I graduate, I aim to land a fulltime role in digital marketing, working for a health organisation,” said Maria.

Born with profound hearing loss in both ears, Maria wears two cochlear implants.

“I received my first cochlear implant at 13 months old, and my second when I was 11. Without being able to hear, my social life, study and work opportunities would be limited,” said Maria.

Maria said she was “beyond grateful” for the many opportunities her hearing technology had opened up.


“Being able to hear, listen and speak means my job opportunities aren’t limited, and I feel connected to the world. It is hard to imagine a different life,” said Maria.

“I can even stream music to both my ears, and if my phone rings, it will switch to my implants and I can have an easy, clear conversation regardless of the noise around me,” she said.

By chance, Maria’s parents first discovered Hear and Say at a barbecue – somewhat symbolically surrounded by the chatter and chaotic noise of children running around and having fun.

Maria went on to do years of specialised speech therapy at Hear and Say, and participated in peer group and life skills workshops.

“The early intervention provided by Hear and Say audiologists and speech therapists was extremely crucial in my development,” said Maria.

“Hear and Say knows how to engage with young children and create a positive learning environment. At a young age I remember playing games and actively enjoying my speech therapy and cochlear implant programming sessions. It excited me, I looked forward to them,” she said.

Reflecting on ability to hear and speak, Maria shares insights into her childhood and expresses gratitude for the support that was available.

“As a kid, I went to a local school and was involved in a variety of activities. I took dance classes, learnt the flute, violin and played school sports,” said Maria.

“At school I had a support plan which ensured that my classes were appropriate for my hearing needs. At university I have the option to use captions and note-takers where necessary,” she said.

In light of her own experience, Maria shares her advice to families who have just found that their child has hearing loss.

“Intervene early and you will maximise their life opportunities. Learning to listen and speak is a journey that is rewarding and has unlimited benefits for your child’s future” Maria said.

“Even as a baby before I could understand speech and language, my parents constantly read books to me and engaged me in their conversations. Be consistent, patient and never give up.”

Hi Ue Illustration Bg


Get the latest updates...

Keep up-to-date with our latest news, information, events and more.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Online learning

From tinnitus, to cytomegalovirus, to teaching kids with hearing loss – further your knowledge with our on demand webinars.

2020-21 Annual Report

Read about the 300 babies born with hearing loss in Australia each year, and how Hear and Say continued to change lives this year.

Changing lives, together

Your gift will help deliver critical services, so babies born deaf can hear their parents say, “I love you.”

Workplace giving

“The program gives our staff a sense of pride in the company and for the work they do at Sci-Fleet." – Allison Scifleet, Guest Experience Manager, Sci-Fleet Motors.

Spotlight on single-sided deafness

“This research project is very exciting because it helps to show that children who receive a cochlear implant for single-sided deafness saw significant improvements in their day-to-day hearing abilities, which are maintained over time."

Cycling and hearing loss: staying safe on the roads

“People kept mentioning to me that I was missing parts of conversations, and in crowded environments I was finding it very difficult to hear and engage with others."

Share This

Select your desired option below to share a direct link to this page.
Your friends or family will thank you later.