BHP and Ear Science to improve ear health of Indigenous children

(Image source: Serene Bedlam Photography) Selina Moyle (Audiologist), Halen Downs.
(Image source: Serene Bedlam Photography) Selina Moyle (Audiologist), Halen Downs.

BHP (ASX: BHP) and Ear Science Institute Australia have partnered to improve long term health outcomes for Indigenous children living in remote communities.

The Healthy Ears on Country program aims to improve long-term health outcomes within Aboriginal communities across the East Pilbara region.

Over three years, BHP will contribute $825k to help expand the scope of services available and support the purchase of specialist equipment, additional staff and training for local healthcare providers.

BHP head of corporate affairs Meath Hammond commented on the partnership.

“Access to quality health care is an ongoing challenge experienced by regional and remote communities,” he said.

“We are proud to partner with Ear Science to support the amazing work they do in the Pilbara, with a long-term vision to improve the ear health and quality of life for Indigenous Peoples.”

Delivered through the Ear Science Healthy Hearing Outback program, in partnership with Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service (PAMS), Healthy Ears on Country will provide innovative solutions to hearing care challenges in the region.

The program aims to support the Martu and Nyiyaparli Peoples living in Newman, Jigalong, Punmu, Parnngurr and Kunawarritji, and it’s expected to directly impact more than 500 children.

Healthy Ears on Country will support Ear Science’s goals of:

  • Providing onsite and portable ENT and audiological equipment for the region
  • Employing two Martu Community Liaison Officers to guide the project team on service integration into the community
  • Enhancing ear health promotion activities to provide culturally safe education and information to the community
  • Building the skills and knowledge of local healthcare providers, in particular Martu and Nyiyaparli clinicians
  • Reducing barriers for individuals requiring surgery in Port Hedland and Perth
(Image source: Serene Bedlam Photography) Halen Downs, Lucy Mitchell (Ear Health Coordinator).
(Image source: Serene Bedlam Photography) Halen Downs, Lucy Mitchell (Ear Health Coordinator).

Ear Science ear health coordinator Lucy Mitchell says the company is thrilled to have BHP on board.

“With their [BHP] support, we can expand and improve care on Country, boost community involvement and ensure the program’s long-term sustainability for the Martu and Nyiyaparli peoples in the East Pilbara,” she said.