Reflections of 2017

02 January 2018

2017 was another busy year at the Cora Barclay Centre. We’ve done thousands of Ling Sounds, we’ve made kilos of play dough, our teachers have travelled thousands of kilometres between schools, they’ve played hundreds of games and we have been able to fundraise significant amounts to support our work.

But these aren’t the things that we will remember into the future. They are not the things that will define 2017 for the Centre.

We asked some of our board and staff, what are their defining moments and reflections of 2017.


I’ve loved getting to know the WHISPA kids – each of them is so unique and contributes something wonderful to the group.

I also love seeing the development of the little ones in Tiny Tots – a few of them have had / are experiencing big developmental leaps and I really love seeing them trying out new skills independently (whilst multitasking and still trying to pay attention to the singing component of the group ��).

Belinda, Child & Family Counsellor

The amazing fundraising done by the families through the Trivia Night. It was awesome having them rally together to achieve such a fantastic outcome.

Rachael, Early Intervention Manager

For me it was the amazing changes to the NDIS Michael has been able to achieve with his lobbying. The recent change that if a child meets some basic criteria they will be accepted into NDIS without the need for additional assessment.

Natalie, NDIS Administrator and mum to Lexi, 6 years and Zara, 9 years

Since starting work at the Cora Barclay Centre I have learnt about the impact that hearing impairment can have on a family and potentially on a child’s future. Discovering the range of technologies and methodologies that is available to ensure that being born with different abilities does not hamper the children’s future has been quite astonishing. But even more, I feel privileged to work in an organisation that assists children to not only function on an equal footing, but to succeed and excel. The clear speech, the confidence in public speaking and the achievements of the young people who spoke at the recent function “In Our Own Words” was an enjoyable and uplifting experience.

Sue, Database Administrator

My reflection of the year is one of grit. From everyone. 

Parents in what they are experiencing. Donors in our current economic environment. Clinicians in terms of the strive for client outcomes. Kids in terms of everyday life. Management and back office in terms of NDIS. Board in terms of weathering the landscape and making decisions in the best interest of the Centre. It’s been a year of everyone needing to dig deep and stand up when the going gets tough. 

Amanda Haskard, General Manager

I have really enjoyed watching the reception students that I work with learn, adjust and grow during their first year of school. Since having met Aleara, Steel, Ole and Crystyl at the beginning of this year, they have come along in leaps and bounds with their listening and language skills. Even better still – they have all transferred these skills into their respective classrooms and are wow-ing everyone at school with what they are capable of! It is incredible to be a part of their journey’s.

Kristina, Teacher of the Deaf (Intern)


Every family I come into contact with at the Centre has their own challenges and every one of them stands out in their own way but what is one thing that is consistent is that they are all so happy with the overarching support and services that our team provides. I also loved In Our Own Words, this is a truly amazing experience, year after year.

John, Board Chair

I heard a speaker at the Ladies Long Lunch. She told us of how she was in the US at the time her son was diagnosed as deaf, and how her mother read an article about the amazing work being done at the Cora Barclay Centre in the Australian Women’s Weekly. Her mother contacted her, and she got on to the Centre straight away.

The thing that I found most interesting and compelling was how so many years ago (her child is now an adult), the Centre was able provide therapy and family support to them across the seas, even without the modern communication systems and technology we have now. It just goes to show how important the parents and families are in hearing impaired children being able to learn to listen and speak, and how flexible our service delivery often needs to be.

Jacqui, Deputy Chair

By far the most significant change in 2017 has been the board members collectively transitioning to a new level of effectiveness through a much stronger emphasis on policy and strategy and the associated longer term future of the Cora Barclay Centre.

Neil, Board Member

The highlight for me (& Jayden) was the Bright Start program. Jayden never missed a session and looked forward to it each week. All week he would talk about Bright Start and couldn’t wait for Friday to come. This transition to school program is such a great idea and prepares the children with hearing loss to start mainstream school.

Gavin, Board Member & Dad to Jayden, 5yrs 


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