Helping children to reach their full potential.

Setting the Scene for Success

From the bustle of a filmset to watching playbacks in an editing room, young filmmaker Zoe Seitz couldn’t imagine a world without sound.

Having graduated from a Bachelor of Film Production in 2016, the 23-year-old currently works as an audio-visual technician and freelance videographer from her home on the Gold Coast – a career she’s aspired to since childhood.

“My passion for filmmaking initially came from watching a variety of TV shows and films growing up,” Zoe said.

“In addition to my current jobs, hopefully this year I will also get to work on my first big-scale film production – that’s the dream I’ve been working towards for so long. It’s hard to get into when it’s such a competitive industry, but I am excited by the many creative opportunities to come.”

It was in fact a high-profile media personality who first put Hear and Say on the radar for Zoe’s family over 20 years ago, seeking support for Zoe’s profound hearing loss.

“I believe it was through rugby league legend, Wally Lewis that my parents found out about Hear and Say, as we learnt that Wally’s daughter, Jamie-Lee was also profoundly deaf in both ears.”

Zoe said she had memories of attending the official opening of the Hear and Say Gold Coast Centre in 2005, and recalled the exciting feeling of it being a “great milestone for everyone, including families”.

Having received her first cochlear implant in her right ear at around two years of age, it was in June 2020 that Zoe received left-sided implant. In addition to the audiology appointments that Zoe had been coming to twice-yearly for most of her life, she also then began fortnightly specialised speech therapy known as auditory learning.

“Currently I am working with my listening and spoken language specialist, Monica to improve my listening experience with my new implant. This is combined with incremental MAPping [programming] of both the new and old implant with my audiologist, Greer which ensures I’m getting the best access to speech sounds,” Zoe said.

“If it wasn’t for Hear and Say’s support and the amazing technology I use, I would not have been able to thrive in this world as I am now. I would not have found my passion for film if I wasn’t able to listen to the staggering emotion in the stories I watch. Even though I have moments of craving peace in total silence, hearing my family and friends’ voices is bliss.

Upkeep with my hearing takes a lot of work, but it’s worth the effort.”

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Maia’s Story

At 9.10pm on 24 October 2013 our beautiful daughter Maia was born. 

The moment of elation was short-lived as we immediately noticed her left ear was missing. I frantically looked to the medical team around me for answers but received none.

Panic set in as we waited 4 days in hospital for an ENT to explain her condition, by which point we already had all the answers from Simone, who runs the Microtia and Atresia Program at Hear and Say.

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