The Shepherd Centre’s CEO Dr. Jim Hungerford embarked on a meaningful trip to the Northern Territory where he spent five gruelling days trekking the Larapinta Trail. Starting off with an initial fundraising goal of $20,000, Jim had already surpassed this target before setting foot on the plane to Alice Springs. But the journey held further purpose, and presented an opportunity to enrich The Shepherd Centre’s understanding of hearing loss, culture and the ways both intersect one another.
The trek was preceded by a Welcome to Country hosted by Aboriginal elders in the Alice Springs Botanic Garden. This poignantly reinforced the broader significance of Jim’s journey, taking place on Aboriginal land and stretching into National Reconciliation Week (NRW). And so, the venture was even more than an opportunity to raise awareness and funding for children with hearing loss. It was a time to reflect, listen and learn from the voices of First Nations people conveying their history, expressing their identity, and intimating the contemporary challenges that they continue to face.
The Shepherd Centre is committed to action to support reconciliation, including our involvement in research projects supporting the delivery of Early Intervention support in communities, incorporating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in our children’s groups and resources, and our ongoing acknowledgement and deepest respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures, languages, communities and custodianship of Country.