Long term club member, Lion Christine Hunter, was recently presented with the Lions Helen Keller Fellowship in recognition of her committment to improving the lives of those with hearing difficulties.
If you ask her, Chis Hunter would tell you that she doesn't do much. But you don't have to dig very deep to find that the truth is very different from her perception.
Chris, an advocate for those with hearing difficulties, incurred hearing loss of her own as a result of a childhood illness, the severity of which was not immediately noticed. It held her back until she was pushed by a relative to obtain a hearing aid when in her early 30s. She then went on to have a very successful teaching career, and also become involved in a group known as Self Help for Hard of Hearing People (SHHH). She joined the board after 10 years and eventually was appointed President. And she, together with husband Colin, continues to prepare the groups quarterly magazine.
She continues to do presentations to community groups, government agencies and private companies; provides peer support and counselling to people with hearing loss; writes and presents submissions and advice to several parliamentary inquiries into hearing loss issues, and to the NDIS in relation to their treatment of hearing loss.
Chris led the move to rename and rebrand SHHH to become Hearing Matters Australia (HMA), believing that it was more relevant to the times. She represents HMA on the NSW peak hearing advocacy body Deafness Forum, represents Deafness Forum on the Transport for NSW Advisory Committee on Accessible Transport, and has advised other NSW government agencies such as Elections NSW on hearing accessibility issues.
Several years ago she was elected to the Board of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO), again representing Deafness Forum. This role was taking her to Melbourne on a regular basis before COVID-19 arrived.
She has partnered HMA with a Danish research body called the Ida Institute which specialises in hearing loss, and she is part of an international project to try to change the provision of hearing aids from a sales-led commercial business to a patient-centred health service around the world. She has travelled to Denmark twice in this role, most recently in 2019.
The Lions Club of Berowra is extremely proud of her achievements and is very pleased to be able to present her with this award.Thursday 18th June 2020