Dialog Box

Meet Our Ambassadors

Gina Preston

It was just after Gina’s first birthday that she was diagnosed with a hearing loss. A family friend had dropped a saucepan on the kitchen tiles and Gina didn’t react, prompting her family to investigate further.

It was a bit of a shock for my parents as I had been tested previously and passed all three of these tests,” 

However, once they had all the information, they set about ensuring that I would have a hearing listening and speaking future.”

Gina Preston

Hear and Say Alumni

At two years old, Gina received a cochlear implant in her right ear and a hearing aid in her left (the hearing aid would later be replaced with a second cochlear implant).

Today Gina is an ambitious 24-year-old, working in an international engineering project management firm as a multidisciplinary designer. 

“I’m really grateful and passionate about what Hear and Say do as they have made such a profound difference to my life. My world has been opened up and I know I can achieve anything I put my mind to.”

Following her successful 2018 Loud Shirt Day campaign which raised $3,000 through a combination of online fundraising and a morning tea at her workplace, Gina is excited to once again get LOUD once again in 2019 – and would love for you to join her!


Mettle

The project site event was a fantastic opportunity for collaboration between us and the client, and was great for subcontractor engagement,”

Kate Phelan

Mettle Business Coordinator and Loud Shirt Day guru

Construction company, Mettle is passionate about raising critical awareness and funds for families impacted by hearing loss. Mettle Managing Director, Marc Kenney has two young children with hearing loss, and is the driving force behind the company’s generous support of Hear and Say. Marc and the passionate team at Mettle went all out in 2018, doubling their celebrations to maximise their fundraising on the day: one event at their main office in Brisbane, and a second at a project worksite.

Both events included:

  • A “loudest shirt” competition amongst staff
  • Number board raffles, including a $5 and $10 board
  • Ping Pong Championship
  • Snacks, sausage sizzle and music
  • A visit from Hear and Say staff

“We really encouraged everyone to get creative and wacky with their shirts and it was exciting to see everyone get so involved – some staff go all out to try and win the loud shirt competition and even handmade their shirts,” said Kate.  

Last year Mettle smashed their initial fundraising target, hitting a record Loud Shirt Day total of $11,244. In 2019, the team at Mettle are calling on more businesses to take up the challenge and get creative to celebrate Loud Shirt Day. Does your workplace have what it takes to get LOUD for children with hearing loss?

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. This year they have stepped up their incredible efforts to the next level, producing three wacky designs which went to a public vote, resulting in this year’s stunning and vibrant Pink Party creation!

As 2019 Loud Shirt Day ambassadors, The Uniform Edit 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 Pink Party 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.


Joanne and Gun Cooter


“Loud Shirt Day is pivotal to ensuring children who need support to listen and talk get it. That’s it. I had to get involved!”

Joanne Cooter, Loud Shirt Day 2018 fundraiser

Joanne is mum to Gun, an energetic, outgoing six-year-old who has hearing loss.

“Our beautiful boy was undiagnosed as moderate-severely deaf in both ears, and it was not until we adopted him that his hearing loss was discovered. I feel I personally have a responsibility to support Gun, and Loud Shirt Day.”

In 2018, and with the support of her colleagues at Allianz, Joanne ran an amazing Loud Shirt Day campaign, raising almost $2,000 through a combination of online fundraising and a morning tea at her workplace.

For Joanne it was surprising and truly heart-warming to see so many of her colleagues make donations, including the unexpected support of one colleague which she felt truly demonstrated the community spirit intended by the day.

“He told me to just buy raffle tickets for all the staff and not him – such generosity made me cry!”

This year Joanne is aiming to go bigger and better, and encouraging other workplaces throughout Queensland to join her in raising vital funds to support children like Gun and families impacted hearing loss.

Renae Whelan

It was earth-shattering news for Renae when her newborn son, Rome, was diagnosed with hearing loss, as a result of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection. Two years on, Rome has received a cochlear implant and has been opened up to a brand new world of sound.

As well as being a busy full-time mum, Renae runs a popular Instagram page with over 40,000 followers. Her family’s story is an inspiration to many others whose children have faced the challenges of CMV and hearing loss.

Renae approached Hear and Say with a fantastic idea to help make 2019 the LOUDEST year ever. Renae will be hosting a Loud Shirt Family Fun Day at Hear and Say’s Brisbane Centre, as well as aiming to raise $10,000 through her online fundraising page – contributing towards the cost of one year of early intervention for a child with hearing loss like Rome.

Are you looking to get LOUD with Hear and Say? Consider following Renae’s lead by combining an event in your community or at your workplace with the power of social media. Together, we can make 2019 the most successful Loud Shirt Day ever!


Eli Waddell and the town of Tully

North Queensland legend, Eli l is our very own “Postie with a Pun”. Now 23 years old, Eli was born with Down syndrome and diagnosed with hearing loss at the age of nine months. Referred to Hear and Say, Eli initially used hearing aids before receiving middle ear implants known as a Vibrant Soundbridge system at the age of 16.

Three mornings each week, Eli assists a dozen local businesses in the north Queensland town of Tully – working with his carer to collect and deliver mail and run general errands.

Loud Shirt Day sees Eli – who is well known in the town for his great sense of humour – add some extra colour to his mail-run services, ‘charging’ a small donation to Loud Shirt Day in return for jokes.

In 2018 the town’s business owners and residents joined Eli for a Loud Shirt photo shoot in the main street, briefly turning Australia’s wettest town into Australia’s LOUDEST town.

This year Eli and the residents of Tully are challenging regional towns across the state to make lots of noise for children with hearing loss, and provide Tully with some genuine competition for the prestigious title of 2019’s LOUDEST Queensland town.

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