United for better hearing: Vice-Chancellor Professor S Bruce Dowton together with (L-R) Professor Greg Leigh AO, Director of NextSense Institute and Conjoint Professor of Education at Macquarie University; Member for Bennelong Jerome Laxale MP; the Hon Mark Butler MP; and NextSense client Sofia Spillane and her mother, Michelle.
Vice-Chancellor Professor S Bruce Dowton and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Sakkie Pretorius were joined by Macquarie’s partners in the Australian Hearing Hub on 24 October to welcome the Hon Mark Butler MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care, and Member for Bennelong Jerome Laxale MP to the University.
Their visit was in honour of the 10th anniversary of the Hub, which was established in 2013 as a unique partnership uniting academic, industry, government and not-for-profit partners to improve the lives of people with hearing loss. The project was funded with $40 million from the Federal Government’s Education Investment Fund (EIF), together with an $80 million investment from Macquarie University.
Addressing the Minister and Macquarie’s partners in the Hub, the Vice-Chancellor thanked them for helping the University realise its mission to serve.
“This building is a representation if what can happen when you unite research, business and service provision for the benefit of our community,” he said. “This service is at the heart of our founding vision as a university.”
Professor Sakkie Pretorius: Celebrating 10 years of impactful hearing health research and collaboration (This Week, 21 August 2023)
The Hon Mark Butler MP and Jerome Laxale MP with representatives of Australian Hearing Hub partners: Macquarie University, Hearing Australia, Cochlear Australia, National Acoustic Laboratories, NextSense and The Shepherd Centre.
Having visited the Hub shortly after its opening, Minister Butler said he was delighted to see how the collaborative partnership has thrived in the decade since.
“To see the sophistication that has developed in the Australian Hearing Hub over this time is wonderful. There is no better example in Australia, or in the health sector, of something that offers this depth and breadth of services, education, clinical care and research innovation and commercialisation,” the Minister said.
After meeting representatives of the Hub’s members – including Macquarie University Hearing Professors Catherine McMahon and David McAlpine – and hearing about successful projects such as the Indigenous audiometrist training initiative, the Minister toured the anechoic chamber to experience first-hand some of the challenges experienced by people with hearing loss.
Four million Australians – one in six – live with some form of hearing loss. That number is expected to rise to one in four by 2050.