The Big Ear and Nose (BEN)
Closing the gap in ear and hearing health for Indigenous people is critical in reducing education and social disadvantage. In the Northern Territory, approximately 90 per cent of Indigenous children suffer from middle ear infections (otitis media). In this population otitis media develops in the first weeks of life and commonly progresses to a chronic disease, affecting language development and educational outcomes, and social disadvantage in adulthood.
Approximately the length of a stretch limousine, BEN is a larger than life learning aid made from parachute material by South Australian artists, John Davis and Evelyn Roth. Children are able to walk through BEN’s ear canal, and learn about the various components and functionality of the ear with interactive hands-on activities.
BEN was officially launched at Menzies’ 2013 Close The Gap charity breakfast. Since then, BEN and Menzies’ ear health team have been able to visit schools throughout the Territory.
Most importantly, the funds raised during the charity breakfast have enable BEN to travel to remote Indigenous communities including the Tiwi Islands, Wadeye and Nauiyi, to promote good ear health and its importance for educational and developmental outcomes.
For booking inquiries regarding school and community visits and other events, please contact the ear health team.