Program aims:

The Hearing for Learning Initiative July 2018 – June 2023 is a $7.9m community-based service enhancement program. It aims to integrate locally-based ear health project officers into existing services to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with ear and hearing problems. 

Over a four-year period, the program will work with 20 communities, employ 40 part time ear health facilitators, and screen 5,000 children aged 0-16 years. The goal is to work with communities to establish reliable, sustainable, culturally appropriate services that ensure every ear of every child is healthy and hearing every day.

The Initiative will operate as a Phase III stepped-wedge cluster randomised trial. This means it will assess the effect of a novel innovation (enhanced ear health services) and whether this improves children’s health and education outcomes. The innovation will roll out in ‘clusters’ of communities, selected randomly from a pool of 20. Random allocation makes it fair and removes the bias of factors that are not well-understood, but which may influence outcomes.

Hearing loss is not just about “ears”. Ear disease affects speech and language development, many of life’s enjoyments, and access to culture, education, and employment. Children with ear problems cannot hear properly – they have trouble listening and talking, and may behave badly because they misunderstand their parents, teachers, and friends. If left untreated ear disease can have a significant impact on a child’s development and entire life trajectory.

Program goals:

Work with up to 20 remote, rural or urban communities to establish reliable, sustainable, culturally appropriate services that ensures that every ear of every child is healthy and hearing every day.

  • employment -  40 ear health facilitators
  • certificate II training in ear and hearing clinical and education skills 
  • mentoring and integration of support officers
  • deliver education programs to help identify children with hearing problems
  • 5,000 children aged 0 -16 years to receive ear and hearing assessments during the four year program
Joint Chairs:
Investigators:
Program dates
  • July 2018 - June 2023
Contact us

                    

  1. New multi-platform interactive guidelines for healthy ears

    New multi-platform interactive guidelines for healthy ears

    Date

    The Otitis Media guidelines have been launched today to assist healthcare workers provide comprehensive and appropriate care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with otitis media and hearing problems.

  2. Ear disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

    Ear disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

    Date

    In remote communities across the Northern Territory (NT), only one in 10 Aboriginal children younger than three years have healthy ears, a new report in the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) has found.

  3. Worimi Man Associate Professor Kelvin Kong Takes Menzies Medallion

    Worimi Man Associate Professor Kelvin Kong Takes Menzies Medallion

    Date

    Associate Professor Kong was presented with the Menzies Medallion in recognition of his leadership in Aboriginal health service delivery, advocacy, and research.

  4. University of Newcastle | Aboriginal ear surgeon honoured with Menzies Medallion

    University of Newcastle | Aboriginal ear surgeon honoured with Menzies Medallion

    Date

    Associate Professor Kelvin Kong received the medal on Friday, recognising his leadership in Aboriginal health service delivery, advocacy and research.

  5. NT News | Indigenous trailblazer honoured

    NT News | Indigenous trailblazer honoured

    Date

    Australia's first Aboriginal surgeon, Associate Professor Kelvin Kong has been awarded the Menzies Medallion for excellence in healthcare.

  6. Aboriginal ear surgeon honoured with Menzies Medallion

    Aboriginal ear surgeon honoured with Menzies Medallion

    Date

    Australia’s first Aboriginal surgeon, the highly acclaimed ear, nose and throat surgeon, Associate Professor Kelvin Kong has been awarded the prestigious Menzies Medallion.

  7. The health initiative placing Tiwi ears in Tiwi hands

    The health initiative placing Tiwi ears in Tiwi hands

    Date

    Menzies has celebrated its first graduates of the Hearing for Learning Initiative, a community-based training program focused on the detection and prevention of ear health issues.

  8. NT News | Graduates a boost for ear health

    NT News | Graduates a boost for ear health

    Date

    A group of Tiwi Islanders are working to improve ear health in their communities after becoming the first graduates of a new ear infection prevention program.

  9. Menzies School of Health Research puts Tiwi ears in Tiwi hands

    Menzies School of Health Research puts Tiwi ears in Tiwi hands

    Date

    A community-based ear health training initiative is empowering on the ground health services in the Tiwi Islands.

  10. First Nations Telegraph | Tiwi ears in Tiwi hands

    First Nations Telegraph | Tiwi ears in Tiwi hands

    Date

    Newly graduated ear health facilitators will provide local knowledge and expertise when checking the ears and hearing of children in their community.

  11. Katherine recruits wanted to help with chronic ear health problems

    Katherine recruits wanted to help with chronic ear health problems

    Date

    The community-based solution to the life-long problem of hearing loss among almost all Aboriginal children is also being rolled out in Katherine later this year.

  12. Media release | Tiwi ears in Tiwi hands

    Media release | Tiwi ears in Tiwi hands

    Date

    Newly graduated ear health facilitators will provide local knowledge and expertise when checking the ears and hearing of children in their community.

  13. You can't learn if you can't hear - sign up to become a community ear health helper

    You can't learn if you can't hear - sign up to become a community ear health helper

    Date

    A new community-based solution to the life-long problem of hearing loss among almost all Aboriginal children is going to be rolled out in Katherine.

  14. Hearing for Learning in the Northern Territory

    Hearing for Learning in the Northern Territory

    Date

    A new community-based training initiative is focusing on prevention through early detection of ear issues in young children.

  15. You can't learn if you can't hear - sign up to become a community ear health helper

    You can't learn if you can't hear - sign up to become a community ear health helper

    Date

    A new community-based solution to the life-long problem of hearing loss among almost all Aboriginal children is going to be rolled out in Katherine.

  16. Hearing for Learning on Bathurst Island

    Hearing for Learning on Bathurst Island

    Date

    A new community-based training initiative is focusing on prevention through early detection of ear issues in young children.

  17. Hearing loss impacts school attendance among Australia's aboriginal children

    Hearing loss impacts school attendance among Australia's aboriginal children

    Date

    The study was led by Dr. Jiunn-Yih Su with the Centre for Child Development and Education, Menzies School of Health Research, and the Charles Darwin University.

  18. High levels of hearing loss are linked with absenteeism

    High levels of hearing loss are linked with absenteeism

    Date

    A team of researchers led by Menzies, CDU, recommend better early detection for treatment to support students with hearing difficulties.

  19. Hearing loss linked to poor school attendance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

    Hearing loss linked to poor school attendance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

    Date

    The first study investigating hearing impairment on school attendance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children has been released.

  20. Hearing loss linked to poor school attendance in the Northern Territory

    Hearing loss linked to poor school attendance in the Northern Territory

    Date

    Study investigating the impact of hearing impairment on school attendance for children published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

  21. It’s possible to take a break from science and make a comeback

    It’s possible to take a break from science and make a comeback

    Date

    Overcoming gender bias and structural barriers is a hard task, on top of the research itself. Someone who has achieved both is Prof Amanda Leach.

  22. Severe specialist shortage leaves Aboriginal children at risk of hearing loss

    Severe specialist shortage leaves Aboriginal children at risk of hearing loss

    Date

    Menzies School of Health Research professor Amanda Leach has been working in hearing health in the NT and said Aboriginal communities were becoming frustrated with service delivery.

  23. 'I cried from happiness': Indigenous toddler hears her first words

    'I cried from happiness': Indigenous toddler hears her first words

    Date

    The government has provided funding to the Menzies School of Health Research's Hearing for Learning Initiative, a five-year $7.9m program in which health project officers help Aboriginal children with hearing problems.

  24. Government funded health programs for NT's deaf children

    Government funded health programs for NT's deaf children

    Date

    The government has provided funding to the Menzies School of Health Research's Hearing for Learning Initiative, a five-year $7.9m program in which health project officers help Aboriginal children with hearing problems, NT Health Minister Natasha Fyles said.

  25. Media Release | Improved ear and hearing planned for children in Maningrida

    Media Release | Improved ear and hearing planned for children in Maningrida

    Date

    The Mala’la Health Service Aboriginal Corporation has welcomed Maningrida‘s participation in the Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies) Hearing for Learning Initiative.

  26. Indigenous issues top to-do list as super-rich urged to dig deep

    Indigenous issues top to-do list as super-rich urged to dig deep

    Date

    Supports for a five-year project at the Menzies School of Health Research to address hearing problems among indigenous people in the Northern Territory.

  27. NT News | Big Night for Territorians

    NT News | Big Night for Territorians

    Date

    Report on Professor Amanda Leach and other NT finalists in the 2019 Telstra Businesswomen's Awards .

  28. Indigenous health in limelight at Telstra Business Women’s Awards

    Indigenous health in limelight at Telstra Business Women’s Awards

    Date

    Professor Amanda Leach is a Principal Senior Research Fellow at the Menzies School of Health Research, the institute leading the way in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical research.

  29. COAG Health Council | Communiqué 8 March 2019

    COAG Health Council | Communiqué 8 March 2019

    Date

    The Federal, state and territory Health Ministers met in Adelaide at the COAG Health Council to discuss a range of national health issues.

  30. Menzies researchers’ finalists in the 2019 Telstra Business Women’s Awards

    Menzies researchers’ finalists in the 2019 Telstra Business Women’s Awards

    Date

    Two researchers from Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies) have been named finalists in the 2019 Telstra Business Women’s Awards.

  31. NT News | Our children's hearing crisis

    NT News | Our children's hearing crisis

    Date

    To address chronic hearing problems in the NT's most vulnerable children a $7.9 million community-led program will be rolled out.

  32. New program to tackle ear infection crisis

    New program to tackle ear infection crisis

    Date

    The five-year Hearing for Learning program is based on research by scientists at the Menzies School of Health Research and will employ and train community residents to help spot and treat ear disease and hearing problems.

  33. The Australian | Silence is golden but not when it’s permanent

    The Australian | Silence is golden but not when it’s permanent

    Date

    Meanwhile, in the Northern Territory, dozens of project officers in 20 communities will complement the work of visiting ear specialists under a $7.9m partnership between the commonwealth, the Northern Territory government and the Balnaves Foundation, supported by the Menzies School of Health Research.

  34. Lend me your ear: New program targets hearing problems in NT children

    Lend me your ear: New program targets hearing problems in NT children

    Date

    RACGP report on the Hearing for Learning Initiative.

  35. Hearing loss a serious issue

    Hearing loss a serious issue

    Date

    Announced in August, Hearing for Learning is a five year program of the NT Government, founded on research by scientists at the Darwin-based Menzies School of Health Research.

  36. Daily Mail | How 90 PER CENT of Aboriginal children are born with ear disease and most will end up half-deaf with brain development problems

    Daily Mail | How 90 PER CENT of Aboriginal children are born with ear disease and most will end up half-deaf with brain development problems

    Date

    A shocking 90 per cent of Aboriginal children in remote Northern Territory communities under three years old are born with an ear disease that can lead to significant development problems.

  37. ABC | 'Glue ear' project to fight hearing loss and improve outcomes for Aboriginal children

    ABC | 'Glue ear' project to fight hearing loss and improve outcomes for Aboriginal children

    Date

    Up to nine in every 10 Aboriginal children in some remote Northern Territory communities have a hearing impairment, but a new project aims to tackle that by training locals and reducing fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) specialists.

  38. Ear Health Funding

    Ear Health Funding

    Date

    Coverage of the Hearing for Learning Initiative Launch with the Northern Territory Government and the Balnaves Foundation on ABC TV News.

  39. Investing in Territory Kids and Generational Change – Hearing for Learning

    Investing in Territory Kids and Generational Change – Hearing for Learning

    Date

    A public private partnership between the Northern Territory Government, Australian Government and the Balnaves Foundation is addressing chronic hearing problems in Territory children.

  40. NT News 14 August 2018 OMOZ 2018 coverage and editorial

    NT News 14 August 2018 OMOZ 2018 coverage and editorial

    Date

    5th Australian Otitis media Conference underway in Darwin.

Jenny Jenkins
Phone - (08) 8946 8515
Email - hearingforlearning@menzies.edu.au