Earbus WA hears their calling as celebrations for NAIDOC week get underway

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As celebrations for this year's NAIDOC week kick-off, we would like to acknowledge the achievements of our community partner, the Earbus Foundation of WA. As a children's charity that works with experts from education, health, culture and communities to reduce the incidence and impact of middle-ear disease in Aboriginal children across Western Australia, Earbus Foundation's ultimate aim is to bridge "the health-gap" and achieve equal opportunities for all.

In 2012-13, the proportion of Indigenous children with ear health problems was twice that of non-Indigenous children, with WA recording the highest rates at 11%*. Without functional hearing these children are at a disadvantage when it comes to social development and access to education. 

Our funding has enabled Earbus Foundation to employ an Enrolled Nurse to work alongside the Earbus Clinical Team during their tours of remote communities in the Goldfields and Pilbara regions.The nurse's role is to identify and develop youth Ear Health Ambassadors in each community.

We are thrilled to see the project is off to a flying start with nearly 70 youth ambassadors from 16 remote communities already signed up and beginning their work to raise awareness of the impact of middle-ear disease and champion good ear health practises at a local level.

This project is helping the Earbus team to build on the trust and respect they have fostered during their regular visits to remote communities. The aim is to build community capacity and empower young people to play a part in  breaking the intergenerational cycle of indigenous ear disease.

Earbus Foundation's ultimate goal is to eradicate the impact of hearing loss in all communities across Australia so that every young person can reach their full potential through listening and learning, and we think this is a pretty worthy goal to celebrate this NAIDOC week. To find  out more about the program visit, www.earbus.org  

* The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2014 Report