Deterra’s Partnership with Earbus

Earbus Foundation is a WA-based children’s charity that works to reduce the incidence and impact of middle ear disease and hearing loss in Aboriginal and at-risk children in Western Australia.

Earbus mobile ear health clinics offer a model of continuous care to Aboriginal children and young people in schools, daycares, kindergartens and playgroups. The Earbus model provides comprehensive ear screening, surveillance and treatment, with the Earbus employing GPs, Audiologists and ENTs so referral is quick and treatment is seamless.

Bringing together experts from education, health, culture and communities, Earbus outreach services are delivered from a purpose-built mobile audiology and specialist clinic. Working with schools, daycares, kindergartens and playgroups, Earbus goes where the kids are, eliminating access as a barrier to vital ear health care.

An underestimated and under-treated condition, middle ear disease, also known as Otitis media, can affect every aspect of early childhood development, particularly speech and language. Children who can’t hear, can’t learn, leading to life-long barriers in education and employment particularly. Eradicating the impacts of hearing loss gives young people the opportunity to reach their full potential through listening and learning.

With six custom-designed buses in the Earbus fleet, Earbus clinicians visit locations across regional and remote WA in the Goldfields, Esperance-Norseman, Perth Metro, Pilbara East, Pilbara Central, Pilbara South, Peel and South West. Each location is visited up to 11 times a year so the team can ensure continuous surveillance and follow-up. Our clinical buses are designed to be culturally safe and fun environments for children, with local artwork adorning each bus.

Earbus Foundation commenced visiting the region in a custom-built Earbus in 2020. After funding ceased in 2021, the Foundation reduced services to Newman until a generous donation from Deterra Royalties allowed clinical services to recommence in earnest this year.

Deterra Royalties Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Julian Andrews said, “We are pleased to partner with Earbus Foundation on its mobile clinics, a programme that provides access to such important healthcare to children in remote regions and communities.”

“The partnership with Deterra Royalties is a wonderful outcome for us – and for Aboriginal and educationally at-risk children in the region – and we are grateful and excited to be on the road”, Earbus Foundation Executive Director Paul Higginbotham said.

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