Power of Speech

The Power of Speech Awards is an annual public speaking event traditionally held at Australian Parliament House in Canberra each year. The event showcases the exceptional language skills of children who are enrolled in First Voice member centre’s early intervention programs across Australia and New Zealand.

This year’s event – which was attended by the Prime Minister the Hon Malcolm Turnball MP – was held at in the Parliament House Theatre on 21 March 2017.

Participating in one of two age categories (6-8 years or 9-12 years), all children deliver a three-minute prepared speech on a topic of their choice to an audience of parliamentarians, distinguished guests, families and friends.

There are three special awards presented on the day: two age category winners and a special “Courage Award”. All children are also recognised and presented with a special participation award.

The event is well attended by Australian parliamentarians and other dignitaries, who join children and families for a special morning tea at Parliament House following the event.

First Voice extends a very special thanks to its event sponsor Cochlear, whose generous support enables this important event to take place each year.

The event challenges common perceptions around what children who are deaf can achieve.

Loud Shirt Day

In Australia
Loud Shirt Day is an annual fundraising day celebrated in October of each year to support the work of First Voice member centres across Australia. It’s celebrated each year by schools, small and large businesses, cafes, government departments – any many other different types of organisations – to support children who are deaf or hearing impaired. Many organisations nominate their own date in October to recognise the day – and tie this into a staff event, general fundraiser or other team building opportunity. Loud Shirt Day is a day to wear your brightest clothes and raise money to help give the gift of sound and speech to deaf children.

You can find out more or register to participate by visiting the Australian Loud Shirt Day website.

In New Zealand
New Zealand schools, workplaces and other organisations also go crazy over Loud Shirt Day each year. This year’s event will be celebrated on 29 September 2017. Stay tuned for more details on this year’s event and theme. All money raised will go towards providing essential listening and spoken language services to young New Zealand children born deaf or hearing impaired.

You can find out more about the campaign by visiting the New Zealand Loud Shirt Day website.

Why support Loud Shirt Day
All First Voice member and affiliate centres receive only a portion of their funding from state and federal governments, and rely heavily on corporate and community support and fundraising to raise the funds necessary to deliver intensive therapy services to those families that need them.