Thank you for your interest and ongoing support for First Voice and children with hearing loss and their families during the past year – and particularly to Cochlear Ltd for their support and leadership in this sector and to the many Ministers, Shadow Ministers, backbenchers, cross-benchers and government officers for their willingness to work with us to strengthen and improve services and funding for our client families and children.

2021 was a Landmark year in advocacy, planning and provision of services and supports for children and adults with hearing loss across the globe. It will be remembered as the year of the WHO World Hearing Report and the beginning of a new era of coordinated and effective global advocacy, information-sharing and networking through new and established mechanisms and forums.

Over the past 3 years, First Voice has been increasingly active on the world scene and 2021 saw this consolidated through formal revision of our Strategic Plan and Objectives and memberships of the World Hearing Forum and the Cochlear Implant International Community of Action (CIICA). At home in Australia First Voice has worked hard with government and government agencies on issues of concern including access, funding and referral pathways in the NDIS, Medicare funding for telehealth appointments for cochlear implant recipients, and increased financial support for cochlear implant upgrades.

This year’s Year in Review provides a broad overview of the key activities of First Voice and its member organizations in 2021. Much has been accomplished; children’s speech and language outcomes continue to be exceptional (read our 2021 newsletters here) we remain steadfastly committed to inspiring, leading, advocating and continuously improving hearing services for deaf children and the outcomes they can and will achieve through evidence-based early intervention if given the opportunity.

If you are interested in knowing more about First Voice and the important work we do, please do not hesitate to contact us direct or to access our website and those of our member centres.