Chris Turner

Aquinian gives voice to hearing loss at Federal Parliament

Aquinas College Year 8 student Chris Turner gave an inspirational speech to federal politicians last month at Parliament House about living with hearing loss.

Chris relished the opportunity to speak directly to politicians including Trent Zimmerman MP, Emma Husar MP and Senator Rachel Siewert at a Q&A style breakfast on the topic “Assuring the Future for People with Hearing Loss”.

Chris was one of a group of six Australian and New Zealand young deaf people invited to speak at the event. Living with hearing loss since he was diagnosed at 17 months of age, Chris spoke of how his life was impacted by hearing loss including day-to-day challenges such as making friends and playing sports.

Chris is enrolled in the Telethon Speech and Hearing School Support (outpost) program at Aquinas College. He spoke about living with cochlear implants, challenges he has faced living with hearing loss and his views on potential challenges in the future.

“Six years ago my family moved to Perth and things changed,” he said.

“I enrolled in a school called Telethon Speech & Hearing and life improved and gradually since then my school days, I have to admit, have started to brighten.”

“Making friends is important, for a long time all I wanted was to understand and talk to friends like everyone else.”

“I’ve always been lacking in this process but now, thanks to hearing technology, I can listen to my friends in class, I can now socialise…with the assistance of my hearing technology, I have been able to unlock my full potential in all aspects of school.”