Closing the gap for hearing health

Hearing health

Ngarrama Hearing Coordinator Gemma Stevens with Deception Bay North State School Student Hayden Lacey

A new Healthy Hearing Program is helping close the gap for Indigenous students in the Metro North Hospital and Health Service area.

Ngarrama Hearing Coordinator Gemma Stevens has doubled the amount of schools involved in the program since it started two months ago. The aim is to one day have all schools in the Metro North region participating, to ensure Indigenous students have healthy hearing as they grow.

“Originally only four schools were involved in the program; I now have 9 schools out of the 20 in Metro North with the highest population of Indigenous students,” she said. Gemma recently visited Deception Bay North State School to conduct a hearing workshop for the students.

“The program involves visiting the schools and screening the students,” she said. “I also discuss with the students how to look after their ears, why they need to have them checked, to let their parents/ carers know if their ears are sore, and what they should do if they can’t hear the teacher in class.

“The students are reviewed three months after the initial screening and a report is provided to the school for their parents.”

Gemma was raised in Redcliffe and her family comes from the Kuku Yalanji and Yidinji mob in North Queensland. She is particularly passionate about closing the gap between Indigenous and non- Indigenous youth in the region.

“The biggest health issues I see facing Indigenous children is hearing, oral health, hygiene and mental health/ behavioural issues.

“The hearing health program will play a large role in improving the hearing of Indigenous youth and I encourage more schools to jump on board with the initiative.”

For further information, contact Ngarrama Child Health on (07) 3492 1829.

2015-03-16T00:13:12+00:0016 March 2015|
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