The Shepherd Centre provides a range of services to over 500 families across five centres in New South Wales and the ACT, as well as outreach support to Tasmania and rural and remote Australia. Since 1970 the Shepherd Centre has assisted more than 2½ thousand children who are deaf or hearing impaired to improve their quality of life.
The Shepherd Centre in Casula, in my electorate of Werriwa, runs a community preschool where one-third of the cohort have hearing loss and the other two-thirds have normal hearing abilities. It's a great example of a model that represents the power of early intervention. It allows deaf children to get the best possible start to their education while navigating the challenge that hearing loss presents. Graduates of the early intervention program have better than average language outcomes compared to their normal hearing children. My niece Kelly was one who graduated some decades ago and now leads a fulfilling life because of what they provided. I congratulate Dr Jim Hungerford, CEO of the Shepherd Centre, and his team for creating and maintaining a long history in improving education and social outcomes for children who are deaf or who have hearing loss.