our history

Hear and Say is one of the leading Paediatric Auditory-Verbal and cochlear implant centres in the world, teaching children who are deaf to listen and speak since 1992.

The birth of Hear and Say

Hear and Say was founded by Dr Dimity Dornan AO. The Centre officially opened on 6 July, 1992. The title, Hear and Say, was chosen specifically to emphasise that children who are hearing impaired can learn to listen and to speak. The butterfly, which is unable to hear, was eventually chosen as the symbol for Hear and Say and six initial families were offered Auditory-Verbal services without charge.


Click here to read Dimity's Story. Dimity also shares her thoughts regarding the steps in establishing the Hear and Say Centre and success factors


Provided below is a summary of Hear and Say major events/milestones


6 July 2017


Hear and Say celebrates 25 years since opening
2 May 2017

Hear and Say announces purchase of new building in Toowoomba for its new centre to open in July 2017.


3 March 2016


Hear and Say School Hearing Screening Program officially launched
23 June 2015

Hear and Say Townsville Centre is officially opened


3 March 2015

Hear and Say Brisbane Centre and Head Office is officially opened by His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland and patron of Hear and Say


5 January 2015

Hear and Say opens in it new location in Ashgrove


16-17 December 2014

Bags are packed for our move to the new Brisbane Centre and Head Office in Ashgrove


10 December 2014

After 16 special years - we say a fond farewell to Munro Street as we prepare to move to our new Brisbane Centre and State Office in Ashgrove


7 July 2014

Cairns Centre moves to larger premises to meet increasing demand in the region


6 July 2014

Hear and Say celebrates 22 years at the site of  the new building at Ashgrove with Premier Campbell Newman, Lisa Newman and local Hear and Say families


June 2014

Hear and Say child and family numbers grow to 64


25 March 2014

The Hear and Say eAVT program receives the Disability Queensland Technology and Innovation Award


21 March 2014

The Darling Downs Centre in Toowoomba celebrates its move to a larger space as the number of children continues to grow


10 February 2014

Preliminary work on our new centre in Ashgrove, Brisbane commenced. It is a 36 week construction timeline with a projected completion date in the last quarter of 2014


26 January 2014

Dr Dimity Dornan receives an Order of Australia (AO) in the 2014 Australia Day Honours


15 January 2014

The design and construction contract for Hear and Say's new home in Ashgrove was signed


November 2013

Ruby is the first child with unilateral or single-sided deafness  in Queensland to receive a cochlear implant opening up new opportunities for Queensland families


October 2013

Hear and Say numbers reach 603 children and families across Queensland including parts of Northern NSW, Northern Territory and families liviing in Singapore, Papua New Guinea and Qatar



3 October 2013

Project Possibility is officially launched at EY offices in Brisbane CBD. A number of corporate, government and individual donors and supporters attend the event


13 September 2013

Hear and Say conducts a media launch of the public phase of Project Possibility. At the launch the Premier, Campbell Newman announces a Queensland Government injection of $2M across two years toward Hear and Say's new building bringing the total amount of funds raised to $10M


September 2013

Hear and Say secures a gift of $4M from a current donor toward its new Centre in Brisbane, Ashgrove


19 July 2013

The HQ Hub is officially launched in Townsville representing the three giants in hearing health services incuding the Qld Hearing Loss and Family Support Services, Deaf Services Qld and Hear and Say 


8 July 2013

The Spacescram Project which is an initiative of UQ is announced at a media launch. The rocket is displayed including the inclusion of the Hear and Say logo on its tail 


July 2013

Hear and Say child numbers reach 570 children and families


4 October 2012

The Toowoomba Centre celebrates the expansion into slightly larger premises at a Loud Shirt Day event with local families and supporters.
A very small 'mini' centre opens one day a fortnight in Townsville to help meet local demand for Auditory-Verbal Therapy and audiology


25 September 2012 

Hear and Say holds its first group tour of the site at Ashgrove. This is a major milestone for Hear and Say as it provided the first opportunity to present the vision for the future to over 50 donors and supporters

September 2012

Charlie is the first child in Australia to receive a waterproof cochlear implant 

August 2012 

Chris McCarthy is announced as Chief Executive Officer of Hear and Say and Dimity takes the role of Executive Director and Founder

Dimity retains her role on the Hear and Say Board.

6 July 2012

Hear and Say celebrates 20 years at an event at Government House Queensland hosted by Her Excellency Penelope Wensley, Queensland Governor and Hear and Say Patron


This was followed by a series of events during the month at each Hear and Say Centre with families, graduates, supporters and employees

March 2012

Hear and Say officially owns the land and a run-down set of buildings at Nathan Avenue Ashgrove (Ithaca)

A new home for Hear and Say's Global Headquarters and a new future for deaf children made possible with a grant of $2M from the State Government

October 2011

Li Cunxin, author of Mao’s Last Dancer officially launches the Hear and Say  Foundation Committee that will assist Hear and Say to raise the $10 million needed for the purchase and development of Hear and Say's new Global Headquarters

August 2011

Hear and Say announces plans to build a new global headquarters in inner Brisbane. Her Excellency Penelope Wensley, Queensland Governor and Hear and Say Patron officially announces Hear and Say plans to build a new Global Headquarters in inner Brisbane


July 2011

Hear and Say obtains a grant of $2 million from the Qld Government towards purchase of a new home

Numbers of children continue to grow, reaching in excess of 500 

October 2010

Hear and Say becomes a member of First Voice 

A small Toowoomba centre opens to meet local demand in the Darling Downs region

5 November 2008 

Hear and Say IHear Innovation (later to change to Research & Innovation) launches as a non-profit medical research organisation specialising in innovative hearing research with a neuroscience, paediatric and biotechnology focus. Total child numbers across all centres has grown to over 200

24 October 2007

Hear and Say WorldWide launches - a world-first Hearing Health Team Education Program for establishing multi-disciplinary healthcare teams and a clinical professional training program to prevent, identify and treat hearing loss in babies and young children nationally and in selected international destinations


Dimity Dornan becomes Managing Director of Hear and Say         


Due to lack of room at the Auchenflower Centre staff move administrative and some clinical services to rooms at Rivercity (down the road from the Auchenflower main centre).

Hear and Say now supports 169 children and families throughout Queensland

By December of this year Newborn Hearing Screening is completely rolled out across all Queensland


St Gabriels is assimilated into Hear and Say so that the deaf children in this program have greater access to the Hear and Say Auditory-Verbal Therapy program


Hear and Say now supports 125 children and families throughout Queensland           


June 2005

A purpose built Gold Coast centre opens thanks to support of local businesses           


6 May 2004 

Sunshine Coast centre opens with support from local organisations many of whom will remain partners of Hear and Say Sunshine Coast activities for years to come


Newborn Hearing Screening program commences across Queensland (with regional hospitals rolling the program out progressively).           


First Social Worker appointed and Professional Training program commences

Claudia is our first six month old cochlear implantee at 6 months (this is now accepted as the norm)


3 April 2001

Auchenflower renovated premises officially open thanks to the support of Thiess and Suncorp



Cairns centre opens to meet demand in North Queensland



Darling Downs program commences and regular monthly Parent Education program starts for parents across both the Brisbane and Gold Coast Centre


 7 July 1999

Gold Coast program commences on 7 July 1999 in a donated room           



Hear and Say moves to its current home in Auchenflower although the necessary renovation required to accommodate increasing demand for its services is still in the planning stages


The first video teleconference to North Queensland commences – starting what will become a very successful Outreach Program. 

In this same year Hear and Say joins the Cooperative Research Centre



The 'Mouse House' - original name for the Centre opens in Toowong.
Shortly after this the name Hear and Say is made official



Move to larger premises in Kelvin Grove to accommodate additional children           


In this year the first overseas family from Nepal visit the Centre seeking help for their deaf child


6 July 1992

Operations commence in a small room for six children