Australian TV presenter and podcaster Osher Günsberg has signed on as an ambassador for children’s charity The Shepherd Centre just in time for Hearing Awareness Week.
Having personally lived with Tinnitus (a form of hearing loss) since his late teens, the host of Ten’s The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise said he was proud to get behind an organisation that provides crucial early intervention support for children experiencing hearing loss.
“I know firsthand what it’s like to be in a room full of people but still feel alone because you can’t hear what they are saying,” Günsberg said.
“It can be isolating to have hearing loss as an adult, and I can’t imagine what that would be like for a small child.
“The Shepherd Centre helps kids with hearing loss learn how to listen and speak, and I’m really proud to be supporting their work.
“Living with hearing loss, I’ve also seen how much it impacts the people around me, including family.
“When I don’t have my hearing aids in, either I can’t hear what they are saying at all or my brain makes up the words which, as you can imagine, really throws off our communication.”
Günsberg’s role as ambassador will include supporting various initiatives in 2018 hosted by The Shepherd Centre, including Hearing Awareness Week (25 February to 3 March) and Loud Shirt Day in October.
For Hearing Awareness Week 2018, Günsberg and The Shepherd Centre are encouraging parents to be aware of the signs of hearing loss and to take an easy online quiz if they think their child might be showing symptoms.
“Because of a place like The Shepherd Centre, Australian children born with hearing loss can live rich, fulfilling lives where they contribute to the community,” Günsberg said.
“With early intervention support, these children are able to enter mainstream schools with speech and language skills as good as their hearing classmates. These are remarkable, world-leading outcomes, and I’m really grateful to play a part in supporting these children and their families.”
Jim Hungerford, CEO of The Shepherd Centre, said Günsberg’s firsthand experience with hearing loss make him a fantastic and passionate advocate for charity.
“Given Osher’s personal experience with hearing loss he is truly a remarkable role model for children with hearing loss and we are excited to have him on board,” Hungerford said.
“He is a stellar example of what can be achieved by someone with hearing loss in a career where speech and language skills are crucial.