Answering the call of Country

On 5 August, we will have the pleasure of hosting the following First Nations storytellers at our monthly Yarn Night event:

1. Ms Jody Barney

Mob: Deaf Birri-Gubba/Urangan ( Woppburra ) South Sea Islander

As a dedicated cultural disability trainer and advocate for over 30 years, Jody has developed a very strong relationship with many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with a disability. Jody brings a wealth of knowledge to the various service sectors. Her representation on many boards has provided her with excellent representative and governance skills. Jody’s interests are within the disability, LGBTIQA, Women, Children, Justice, Education, Health and Leadership development sectors. Jody’s work has extended not only local and state but also national and international programs. Her philanthropy work in building communication for Deaf and non-verbal community members is well known and respected. Jody is also a Senior Fellow with Atlantic Fellows Social Equity Australia and as the first Deaf Aboriginal woman Senior Fellow in Australia. Globally, her work continues to strive for social equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to be included in their communities.

2. Anne-Marie Banfield

Anne-Marie is the national manager of Engagement and Awareness HAPEE Program. As a qualified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioner, she has worked in many different fields, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye and ear health, education, and training. She is the mother of 10 children aged 19 to 33 years old and 5 beautiful grandchildren. All of her children have experienced and lived with significant ear disease and her daughter is deaf in her left ear. On 5 August, Anne-Marie is going to share her daughter’s journey through school and earlier motherhood and how living with a hearing loss has impacted on her live and ability to interactive with the mob and community.

3. Sherilee McManus

Sherilee is a Community Engagement Officer for NSW for the HAP-EE program with Hearing Australia. Over her career with Hearing Australia she has been lucky enough to grow from working as a Clinical Assistant to a Community Hearing Advisor before becoming a HAP-EE Engagement Officer. She is currently working on building otitis media awareness and prevention in communities, building capacity in health services as well as conducting hearing assessments on the children. Throughout her growth in her career she has learnt many things about her culture, and has also seen the many ways that Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people are effected by things throughout many stages in life. She is hoping that HAPEE will give her a chance to make a huge difference in a lot of the mob’s lives across Australia.

4. Emma Sparrow

Emma is a community engagement officer for the HAP-EE Program operated by Hearing Australia. She has spent her whole career life-time submersed into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Care. She had previously worked in Aged Care and Disability and stepped into a Community Engagement Officer role for the HAP-EE Team in early 2021. Emma was in her early 20’s when she learnt she had a hearing loss, and was 26 when her hearing loss was diagnosed as permanent. She has since raised her four children to understand the importance of their ears and looking after their ears. All of her children have experienced otitis media causing temporary hearing loss at least two times in their childhood. Her journey has made her a passionate HAP-EE member and Mother, with the main mission being to inspire others to prevent our next generation from facing the issues we have faced.

The event is held online and lasts an hour and a half. Live captioning and Auslan interpretation is provided. Tickets can be purchased via EventBrite

All funds raised will support Soundfair’s hearing equality programs.