Mathew’s Life in a Hearing World
I was born natural with hearing, unfortunately lost it at 18 months old after the vaccination that got caught Meningitis which is a common factor for people becoming hard of hearing.
My life started communicating with Auslan because I was always around with many deaf people. I started to speak after age of 4 through speech therapy. I persisted this throughout schooling years into mainstream high school. I had an interpreter/teach aide during high school. I graduated high school in year of 2008 with a nomination of Teachers’ Choice Award.
In 2009 I moved out of my home to start studying at university. I was connected with student support services where I get interpreters, note taker and transcript. I finished my Bachelor of Science degree in 2012 at James Cook University in Townsville.
I traveled to United States of America and Canada in 2012/2013 for first time being overseas. I became more independent person those years. I moved back to home after this trip. I started to work on my career despite lack of employment acceptance due to poor hearing awareness. I had qualifications and experiences.
In 2015 I moved to Brisbane and decided to take a coursework and Masters thesis in Sustainable Development at University of Queensland. In July 2016 I graduated with a Dean’s Commendation Award for being a top 10% student of performance due to my high grade for my thesis paper.
Now I am starting to develop strong connection and network with community organisations, advocacy work in Sustainable Development and Diversity Inclusion. I have traveled places to take on research, attended conferences and community meetings to raise awareness.
Think of someone with a hearing loss, they should never give up their awareness because of something they want to do. I had lecturers and professors in early academic years told me I wouldn’t excel in my courses. But I hold two degrees, 2 scholarships, Dean Commendation Award and a thesis paper.