UWA student Kayla Elieff has used her marketing expertise to support people in the community experiencing hearing loss and help raise awareness for World Hearing Day through a McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship at Telethon Speech and Hearing.
Kayla, a Quinns Rock resident who is studying a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Marketing and Business Management, assisted Telethon Speech and Hearing with the development of a webinar for World Hearing Day to help raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss, with an emphasis on the importance of early intervention.
In addition to working alongside staff from Telethon Speech and Hearing, the project required Kayla to engage with professionals and advocates from the Deafness Council of Western Australia.
“The most rewarding element of my internship was not only working with multiple individuals from organisations to develop the final video presented at the webinar, but also seeing how individuals affected by hearing loss appreciated that their concerns are being addressed,” said Kayla.
Kayla was exposed to a range of stories from people with lived experience of hearing loss, from parents of children with hearing loss to older members of the community.
“Hearing loss is truly life changing and it is not something we all consider until ourselves or someone we love suffers from hearing loss themselves,” said Kayla.
“My internship opened my eyes to how easy hearing loss can occur. It is not only with age, but also your exposure to loud music, machinery in the work environment, etc. Hearing loss is a prevalent issue in today’s world that should be addressed more than it is,” said Kayla.
With the goal to create a conversation about hearing loss and how it impacts different parts of our community, the webinar launched on World Hearing Day on 3 March 2022, titled “You Can Ask That”. A recording can be accessed through the Deafness Council of WA’s website.
“Having Kayla undertake such a key role in the “You Can Ask That” initiative was a heaven-send for us,” said Telethon Speech and Hearing CEO, Mark Fitzpatrick. “The initiative was a new venture and to have Kayla come through the McCusker Centre for Citizenship meant that we had someone with the necessary underlying skills coupled with the maturity, inquisitiveness, and dedication to make a difference.”
“We are glad that we could help Kayla build on her skills while she helped us engage with the community in a way we hadn’t before,” said Mr Fitzpatrick.
Kayla is thankful for her internship experience, which has helped her to give back to the community and gain meaningful professional experience.
“I would recommend a McCusker Centre internship to other students because it is a way to gain real life experience with support from the McCusker Centre and their team. I gained a job in my field of study through my internship which is a major step in my career,” said Kayla.