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Welcome to Deadly Ears


What is the Deadly Ears Program?

The Deadly Ears Program aims to reduce the high rates of conductive hearing loss attributable to otitis media in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children by;
  • Working with elders, families, councils, local health centres, schools and community organisations within 12 partner rural and remote communities; and
  • Collaborating with health, early years and education sectors state-wide to enhance policy and practice so that the hearing health needs of all Indigenous children across Qld can be optimised.

'Deadly' is a word used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to mean 'great' or 'cool'.

Deadly Ears

Deadly Ears, Deadly Kids, Deadly Communities

It is easy to think that the high rate of middle ear disease among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids is solely a health issue. It is not. Conductive hearing loss attributable to otitis media can effect a child's development, their relationship with their families and friends, their education, and their future.

In 2009, a comprehensive framework was launched to address middle ear disease in Queensland's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. 

Deadly Ears, Deadly Kids, Deadly Communities  

Deadly Ears, Deadly Kids, Deadly Communities: 2009-2013.

This framework describes the actions needed to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families, and to reduce the burden of the disease. The actions target specific improvements to health, education and family services to communities, and the embedding of essential changes to some important “systems” that govern health, education and family service delivery and policy.

These actions are the responsibility of a number of agencies. The Deadly Ears Program chairs a steering committee made up of the following: 

Agency Division / Unit within Agency
Queensland Health Deadly Ears Program
  Child and Youth Community Health Services
  Division of Chief Health Officer
  Child Health and Safety Unit
  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Branch
Queensland Department of Education and Training Student Services Branch and Disability Services Support Unit 
  Indigenous Education
  The Office for Early Childhood Education and Care 
Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (Canberra) 
Australian Hearing Indigenous Services 
This steering committee prepares an annual Action Plan, describing what each agency is doing to achieve the targets described in the Deadly Ears, Deadly Kids and Deadly Communities framework. Examples of this work are below. 
Deadly ears system changes   Changes to the Personal Health Record Deadly Ears, Deadly Kids, Deadly Communities   Deadly Kids can Listen and Learn

This website may contain images and voice/video recordings of those who have passed away.


Last Updated: 01 October 2012
Last Reviewed: 01 October 2012