Media Releases


April 11, 2022

Australian kids struggling with hearing loss will have greater access to expert care under a Labor plan to extend a key support service across the nation.

An Albanese Labor Government will provide $1.5 million to fund the development of the digital HearHub platform, run by Shepherd Centres.

Shepherd Centres provide support services including development of speech and communication skills, life skills and emotional resilience – areas where hearing impaired children and teens need intensive clinical support.

HearHub is a national digital service that will deliver hearing tests, educational resources and practical support for families online. This will benefit children with hearing loss and related communication difficulties such as autism spectrum disorder.

HearHub will extend the reach of on-the-ground Shepherd Centres, and will be of particular benefit to children and families in rural and regional areas.

In addition, an Albanese Labor Government will provide funding to establish new on-the-ground Shepherd Centre facilities in areas that have previously gone without. 

Two new Shepherd Centres will be established in Launceston and Hobart, the first in the state, with $2.5 million in funding. $2.5 million in funding will also go to a new Shepherd Centre in Oran Park in Sydney’s south west, to provide services for hearing impaired children and their families in the fast-growing Macarthur region.

Quotes attributable to Anthony Albanese, Leader of the Australian Labor Party: 

“Kids with hearing loss deserve the best possible start in life and the best possible care and support – no matter where they live.

“A Labor Government will ensure our kids are looked after, whether through digital or on-the-ground support services. No child will be left behind.”

Quotes attributable to Mark Butler, Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing:

“Shepherd Centres provide a vital service to kids and their families. For too long, some kids have missed out just because they live in the wrong area. 

"The Morrison Government has ignored these gaps for too long. Labor will listen to families, and we will make sure support is received where it is needed the most.”