I was lucky enough to attend the 35th Anniversary Fundraiser for The Shepherd Centre last night.

The Shepherd Centre is a charity which began in 1970 helping deaf and hearing impaired children learn to listen and speak so they can reach their individual potential. We receive limited government funding and provide our vital services free of charge to families. Over 30% of children attending our early intervention program have additional disabilities to hearing loss.

What an amazing group of people! All of the speakers had profound hearing loss but through the work of the Centre and hearing implants, are now in ‘normal’ classes at University or school. The auctions went well, and I found out that a lot of the behind the scenes staff had donated their time, like Peter in charge of AV and the North Shore Butterflies (great name and logo šŸ™‚ )

In September 1987 the first Butterflies group was formed. They were named the Butterflies because Lepidoptra, the species to which butterflies belong, have, instead of ears, organs on the abdomen sensitive to vibration.

While moseying on through The Shepherd Centre website, I noticed that although the back engine appeared to be a blogger, the ability to leave comments had been turned off. You know what I’d love to do? Set up an internet network – one where parents, teachers, carers can gather in cyberspace to ask and answer questions and support each other. Well if I find someone who can donate forum space, I’ll go to the Centre and ask them how they feel about an online community. We’ll see. There is a Distance Program – an Annual Residential Workshop and a Correspondence Program – but surely a forum and blogs and photos and stuff would assist this fine community/family even further? Maybe Vodafone Australia Foundation will step in as they already support The Shepherd Centre Annual Residential Workshop … hmmm. Leave it with me.