Who was Cora Barclay?

Drawing of older lady with white hair, wearing glasses

Cora Barclay was a pioneer, a trailblazer and an inspiration. 

From our beginnings during the Rubella outbreak in 1945, the Cora Barclay Centre has prided itself on hiring the best staff and providing the best services to children who are deaf or hearing impaired. 

In 1952, Mrs Cora Barclay, a trained school teacher, commenced as Principal of the SA Oral School (now the Cora Barclay Centre).

Cora had been involved with the school as a parent since 1946 and undertook significant overseas training to become Principal. This was an extremely progressive move by a mother in that era; she left 2 young children with her husband, in Adelaide, to travel and study. This was a testament to her dedication and commitment to the School and its purpose. Cora remained at the Centre for 40 years, 37 years as Principal.

Cora was totally dedicated to the Auditory-Verbal Therapy (AVT) approach to the education of deaf and hearing impaired children. 

The SA Oral School weathered many changes, however the guiding philosophies of excellence in delivering the best outcomes for children who were deaf, remained, driven by the untiring efforts of Mrs Cora Barclay. She laid the foundation of principles which are still relevant today. Her efforts were rewarded with an OBE in 1969 as well as being made a Life Member of the Australian Association for Teachers of the Deaf in 1986

In February 1990, to honour Mrs Barclay’s work, the SA Oral School was renamed the Cora Barclay Centre for Children with Hearing Impairment Inc., now known today as the Cora Barclay Centre.

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