Dimity Dornan
Dimity Dornan
11 October 2010

Founder of the Hear and Say Centre and 2010 Queenslander of the Year Dimity Dornan wants others to share her passion for helping deaf children to communicate.

Mrs Dornan will share her inspirational story at the Hearing is Believing networking event on Wednesday, October 13 at 10am in the Prentice Building on UQ’s St Lucia campus.

Sponsored by the UQ Student Alumni Program, the presentation will see Mrs Dornan urge staff, students and graduates to volunteer at one of the Hear and Say Centre’s six locations across Queensland.

A UQ speech pathology graduate, Mrs Dornan founded the Hear and Say Centre in 1992 and Hear and Say Worldwide in 2007.

The Centre teaches deaf and hearing-impaired children to listen and speak, aiming for children to be in the normal range for speech and language by the age of six.

Throughout her career, Mrs Dornan has strived to quash traditional and entrenched beliefs that deaf children can not learn to hear, listen and speak well enough to be clearly understood.

"Deaf is not deaf anymore," she said.

"When you consider that hearing loss is the most common disability in newborns worldwide, and that we know how to treat it, we really are standing at the point where the treatment of polio was 20 years ago."

Mrs Dornan's concept has come a long way over the past 18 years: the Centre began with six children working around a card table in her private office.

It now has services for 400 children in six centres across Queensland, as well as a telemedicine program for families living in regional and remote locations.

"Hear and Say has and will continue to be driven by child need," Mrs Dornan said.

The centre needs volunteers to help with administration and provide extra manpower for fundraising events.

There will be a volunteer sign-up opportunity available after the presentation, as well as a free morning tea.

The event has been organised by a group of UQ Master of Communication students, who are currently completing the subject Communication Campaigns.

The event starts at 10am and will be held in room 212 of the Prentice Building.

All are welcome to attend.

Media: Stephanie Chu (0425 068 076, csh_920@hotmail.com) or Penny Robinson at UQ Communications (07 3365 9723, penny.robinson@uq.edu.au)