Dialog Box

Meet Our Ambassadors

Andrew Tuppen

You may recognise Andrew as a recent runner-up on Channel Nine’s LEGO Masters, but it’s his love of a loud shirt that has scored him the title of ambassador for Hear and Say’s Loud Shirt Day in 2020.

Andrew has had a whirlwind past 12 months, living out his childhood dream of “having access to a LEGO brick pit with over three million pieces to choose from” on LEGO Masters, while juggling a busy family life and his role at Emmanuel College on the Gold Coast.

Looking ahead to Loud Shirt Day, Andrew said he understood how meaningful it was for children to have optimal access to sound, having been a music teacher working with young students for over 25 years.

To me, hearing is as important as having my arm or leg, and as a musician I rely on my hearing in ways that are crucial to my profession. More than that, hearing for me brings so much joy and happiness, and my love of music is really what has guided my career”

Andrew Tuppen

Lego Masters Grand Finalist

Andrew felt Loud Shirt Day was a perfect extension of his lifelong love of bright colours, coupled with a deep appreciation for Hear and Say’s work delivering the gifts of speech and sound to children impacted by hearing loss.

“I am very excited to be involved in Loud Shirt Day this year – Hear and Say’s cause is already an excellent reason to participate having seen the impact of their support with some of my students, but an excuse to wear a loud shirt is a really great bonus!”


Mettle


Mettle is a privately-owned commercial construction company, and passionate corporate supporter of Hear and Say. Managing Director, Marc Kenney, and his wife Tash have been personally affected by the impacts of hearing loss, since both of their two children, Amelie and Xavier were born deaf.

"Having two children born deaf was certainly a shock to both Tash and me. Our initial goal for Amelie and Xavier was to ensure our children could hear and speak and interact with their peers – it was our new definition of “normal lives” for our children." said Marc.

Today both Amelie and Xavier are flourishing – they can speak, hear, interact with their peers and go to mainstream school. The use of their cochlear implants coupled with Hear and Say’s Early Intervention program have been instrumental in helping our children access the gift of hearing and speech. Without Cochlear technology and Hear and Say, the outcomes for our whole family would be vastly different.”

Marc Kenney

Managing Director

Marc and his team at Mettle are longstanding Loud Shirt Day supporters, coming up with creative ways to raise vital funds, and to spread awareness for more families impacted by hearing loss. Loud Shirt Day annual events have included the Loudest Shirt competitions, raffle boards, an Annual Ping Pong Championship, combined with sausage sizzles on Mettle construction sites.

In 2019 Mettle took it to the next level by creating what is believed to be Queensland’s largest Loud Shirt hanging off the largest metal coat hanger. “Big Loud Shirt” measured five metres by four metres, and was designed and sewn by a Mettle staff member. Marc and Tash’s daughter Amelie’s school community got behind the decoration of the shirt, including hand-painting the design. Mettle also created a hand-decorated miniature mascot named “Little Loud Shirt” to launch future Loud Shirt Day events.

“Mettle is honoured to be an Ambassador for Hear and Say’s Loud Shirt Day. From a business owner’s perspective nothing gives me greater joy than seeing how our ‘Mettleurgains’ get behind this cause. I see creativity, ingenuity and a drive to support a charity that believes in better,” said Marc.

“If you want to see just how many hidden talents your staff have and have some fun doing it – get involved in Loud Shirt Day! The funds raised make a measurable difference to the lives of children who have a hearing loss and the families that care for them.”

The Uniform Edit

The passionate team at Brisbane-based corporate clothing company, The Uniform Edit joined the Loud Shirt Day family in 2018 when they designed Hear and Say’s first ever custom-made LOUD shirt. In 2019 they stepped up their incredible efforts to the next level, producing three wacky designs which went to a public vote, resulting in the stunning and vibrant Pink Party creation!

As 2020 Loud Shirt Day Ambassadors, The Uniform Edit have generously supplied their latest wacky and wonderful creation and are calling on more businesses to join them in making lots of noise (and fundraising!) for Hear and Say – with the added bonus that if your fundraising reaches the magical $1,000 mark, you will become the proud owner of your very own limited edition LOUD shirt!

Anoop Anchal, CEO of The Uniform Edit, has found Loud Shirt Day to be an effective platform for deepening staff engagement and broadening brand awareness, as well as the obvious “feel good” factor associated with raising much needed funds to support children with hearing loss.


Katie Douglass

Having spent the past three years working for online fashion mecca, THE ICONIC and interning for the likes of Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire and InStyle, 24-year-old Katie knows her way around a wardrobe.

She’ll be digging deep through her wildest attire come October, as one of the ambassadors announced for Loud Shirt Day in 2020.

Katie was only a few months old when her family first brought her to Hear and Say, looking for answers to support their daughter in her journey learning to hear, listen and speak. Katie received her first cochlear implant at the age of four, which she credits to changing the trajectory of her life.

Despite being born deaf, I live in a world of sound where I can hear my family and friends talk and laugh, listen to music and podcasts and other everyday sounds that people with hearing can take for granted,”

Katie Douglass

Hear and Say Alumni

“Sound gives me the freedom to follow my dreams and not be limited by my hearing loss (except I can’t sing but that one’s on me). This is all thanks to Hear and Say and their incredible team who gave me the gift of learning to hear and speak.”

Katie’s first foray into Loud Shirt Day was in 2019 – particularly fitting as it marked 20 years since she first heard sound through her cochlear implant. Through online fundraising and hosting a Loud Shirt Day at work, Katie beat her personal target to raise over $2,100 for Hear and Say.

“Across three ICONIC offices, my colleagues wore their brightest shirts, not only raising money for Hear and Say but also vying for the ‘Loudest Outfit’ prize. There was also pizza and photoshoots involved, so it was a big hit!” said Katie.

Having recently relocated back to her hometown of Brisbane, Katie is excited to get settled into a new job and rally together even more people to get loud in support of children with hearing loss.

“It’s more important than ever this year to show our support for Hear and Say, and all donations, no matter how small or big, will help deaf children to live in a world full of possibilities, just like me. I know it works first-hand and without the early intervention I received from Hear and Say, I wouldn’t have the freedom to follow my dreams and be as independent as I am now.”

Rocco Ryan

Hear and Say first began supporting Rocco when he was six years old, after he had undergone major surgery for a cholesteatoma. This abnormal ear growth had resulted in Rocco being unable to hear in one ear, and his family had sought out Hear and Say to help Rocco feel more confident with hearing at school.

Now age nine, Rocco has been named an ambassador for Hear and Say’s 2020 Loud Shirt Day. He is busily making plans as to what his third year of raising funds will look like, with the enthusiastic support of his family, friends and school community.

“I think it would be cool to have a sports day for Loud Shirt Day, and bring a gold coin – especially because sometimes it can be hard to be in team sports if you can’t hear instructions,” said Rocco, who raised an extraordinary $1,135 through last year’s efforts.

“Kids with hearing impairments can find it hard to work properly at school and just have fun. Hear and Say helps build their confidence, and make it easier to just be a kid.”

Rocco Ryan

Nine year old Ashgrove State School student

Last year, Rocco and a group of friends also presented at their school assembly about Loud Shirt Day. In his speech, Rocco said: “Disadvantage from hearing loss shouldn’t happen because we have amazing technology to prevent it from happening.”


Emily Geltch and the town of Aramac

Although our area is suffering from this horrific drought, businesses and individuals were still willing to dig deep into their pockets and donate cash and other items – it really showed how resilient little outback towns are, and the size of their truly kind hearts.”

Kerryn Elliott

Mum to seven year old Emily 

Amongst the most dedicated Loud Shirt Day supporters is Kerryn and her family, who live in the drought-stricken Western Queensland town of Aramac. With a recorded population of just 299 people, Aramac is located over 120km west of Longreach and punches well above its weight when it comes to rallying behind its local families.

Kerryn’s seven-year-old daughter, Emmy inspired Aramac’s entry into the 2019 Loud Shirt Day challenge to find Queensland’s Loudest Town, after she was diagnosed with a permanent hearing loss in both ears shortly after birth.

Aramac’s Loud Shirt Day celebrations included a highly successful barbecue fundraising breakfast, which saw attendees travelling upwards of 50km to take part in the event, and show their support for Emmy and other Queensland children with hearing loss.

The tremendous financial and emotional toll of the relentless lack of rain in 2019 still could not dampen the incredible spirit and generosity of this mighty little town, with $9,337 raised and the runner-up crown for Queensland’s Loudest Town ultimately earned – a title Aramac will be battling it out for again in 2020.


Jimmy Worrell

Jimmy was only two weeks old when his parents first came to Hear and Say – coincidentally located only two kilometres from their home – after a hearing loss was picked up in both ears through the universal newborn hearing screening in hospital.

His hearing aids were fitted only a few weeks later, followed by cochlear implants when Jimmy was 10 months old – with the special moment his implants were switched onto sound for the first time even making national news.

Jimmy’s dad, James recalls those early days which involved over 100 appointments with various specialists in the lead-up to Jimmy’s surgery – but said it was a journey that was absolutely worth it.

“The thing is, you wouldn’t know Jimmy is deaf to talk with him – and that is precisely the point.”

James Worrell

Dad to seven year old Jimmy

Now aged seven and currently sporting skull and bone pirate covers on his cochlear implant processors, Jimmy is excited to have been named an Ambassador for Loud Shirt Day in 2020.

Jimmy remembers having lots of fun at playgroup at the Hear and Say Brisbane Centre – and now wants to help the next generation of children growing up with hearing loss, too.

“I would love to have a Loud Shirt Day at my school or maybe my soccer club,” said Jimmy, whose family now live on the Sunshine Coast.

“I really like helping other boys and girls who also need ‘ears’, and it is nice to help people.”


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