It’s been a long time since 25-year-old, Natasha was one of the small children running around Hear and Say’s LEAP Group Social Skills program.

When Natasha first began listening and spoken language therapy in the mid-1990s, Hear and Say was based from a small building in the Brisbane suburb of Taringa, known fondly as the Mouse House.

“I have lots of memories of Mum and I travelling down each week for my listening and spoken language therapy session with Dimity from where we were living outside of Toowoomba, and then we’d stay overnight with family and return to Hear and Say the next day for playgroup at the Mouse House,” recalled Natasha.

Natasha was four years old when she received her first cochlear implant, only 12 years after the first child in Australia underwent the same surgery. When Natasha was 18, she received her second implant – an experience she described as “life changing”.

Fast forward to present times, and Natasha has been giving back to the community who helped teach her to listen and speak, by returning to LEAP – this time as a volunteer.

“Having cochlear implants has changed my life for the better, and it’s been great to give back because without Hear and Say, I wouldn’t have accomplished so many achievements,” said Natasha.

“I can play sports, talk on the phone for hours without any trouble, and I have even travelled to Thailand and Japan by myself to visit friends. From attending regular schools to getting my driver licence, I can do what everyone else does in their day-to-day life.”

Having studied a Certificate IV in Leisure and Health at TAFE on the Gold Coast, Natasha is now a community support worker, and in her spare time enjoys being at the beach, playing volleyball and hanging out with family and friends. Natasha continues to visit Hear and Say twice a year for audiology appointments, through the Adult program.

“I am very thankful to Dimity and the Hear and Say team who put so much hard work in during those early days to help my mother in applying different strategies of working with me as I learnt to hear and speak.”

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.

On demand

Professional development and parenting webinars are available any time; from the benefits of music, to mealtimes for fussy eaters, explore the wide range of topics.

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.”

Changing Lives Together

2022 is our 30th birthday and we're inviting you to be part of our story by participating in our Giving Day.

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.