Page 3698 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 23 August 2011

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He was always generous with his time. He was much loved in music circles and he enjoyed a vast variety of music. He had a capacity to tolerate and review a wide variety of music, both classical and popular. He had a particular love for musical comedy. I understand from those who knew him as a critic that he was much admired for his capacity to write clean copy. He filed reviews that very rarely needed any editing. It is a great testament to Bill’s forbearance and love of music that he continued well into his 80s to review music for the Canberra Times and in other places. It has been said to me that he only gave up when his knees gave up. He said jokingly to friends recently that he never had an operation on his knee because he did not think that he would go on for so long.

The community of Canberra has lost a great patron and lover of the arts. His contribution to the music life of Canberra is enormous and the music community in Canberra will mourn his passing. Canberra has been richer for his contribution to music communities in the ACT. I hope that in future we can perhaps see some substantial commemoration of Bill Hoffmann’s contribution to music in the ACT through, perhaps, some award or scholarship for the continuation of fine music in Canberra. Vale, Bill Hoffmann.

Hearing Awareness Week

MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (5.12): I would like to bring to the attention of our Assembly that the national Hearing Awareness Week is being staged around Australia from Sunday, 21 August to Saturday, 27 August this year as a key event for the Deafness Forum, the national coordinating body. The week is designed to promote community awareness of hearing impairment and also provides an opportunity for the 22 per cent of Australians aged 15 years and over who have a hearing impairment to share their experience and knowledge and help to create a greater understanding of their needs and aspirations.

Yesterday, 22 August, in conjunction with Hearing Awareness Week, I was pleased to attend the launch at Parliament House by First Voice of a cost-benefit analysis on the impact of early intervention programs for children with a hearing impairment. The launch included a welcome by Dr Dimity Dornan, chair of First Voice. There were opening remarks by the Hon Jenny Macklin, minister for families, housing and community services. Mr Jim Hungerford, CEO of the Shepherd Centre, gave a very detailed explanation of the work of First Voice centres and of the Shepherd Centre’s role in Hearing Awareness Week.

There was also a personal impact statement about early intervention. A very moving presentation was made by Melanie Cairns. Melanie and her husband, Chris, had a young baby in the last several months, baby Isabel, who, through the early intervention program, was diagnosed at birth as being profoundly hearing impaired. Through the Shepherd Centre in Canberra, Isabel has been tested as suitable for a double cochlear ear implant; that will occur next month, well before Isabel’s six-month milestone. Isabel is expected to lead a normal life because of this early intervention and should suffer no setback as a result of her disability at birth.

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