"For every child we see, one child is not getting our services.”
That’s the message from the Shepherd Centre’s senior communications manager Jo Wallace as the organisation moves into Macarthur.
The centre, which teaches children born deaf or hearing impaired how to develop their spoken language, has set up a temporary home at Minto’s Ron Moore Community Centre.
Ms Wallace said residents could learn more about the Shepherd Centre and check out the Minto facility at an open day next Wednesday, November 14.
“We’re hoping the general public will come and see what we have to offer,” she said.
The Shepherd Centre announced plans to build a centre in Macarthur in 2015.
A block of land was acquired on Moore Street, Campbelltown. However, close to $4 million needs to be raised before construction begins.
The nearest centre is based in Casula, but Ms Wallace said Macarthur was identified as a region that needed more support.
“Our services haven’t been available in Macarthur and the population is growing in western Sydney,” she said.
“We hope to start building in the next two to three years.”
The Shepherd Centre covers NSW, ACT and Tasmania. More than 500 children attend the centre each year.
However, Ms Wallace said the centre only assisted about 50 per cent of children who needed support.
The Shepherd Centre’s Minto open day will take place on November 14 from 10am to noon.
Plans for the Campbelltown building will be on display while locals can meet the centre’s clinical team and families who use Shepherd’s services.
Special guests will include Macarthur-based ear, nose and throat surgeon Dr Simon Greenberg.
Dr Greenberg has been a hearing loss specialist at Campbelltown and Liverpool hospitals for close to 10 years.
He said he was “ecstatic” about Shepherd Centre setting up a base in Macarthur.
“It’s wonderful news that these services can be provided to kids locally,” Dr Greenberg said.
“In my time here, there has been a massive population growth and families moving into the area.”
Dr Greenberg said the centre provided ongoing support for children in need.
“For example, a child may require speech therapy support each week or even daily,” he said.
“With the right support, these kids can thrive.”
For more details, visit the Shepherd Centre website or call 1800 020 030.