28 June, 2018
Mrs PRENTICE (Ryan—Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services) (10:44): I take this opportunity to raise awareness about a local Brisbane organisation, Bionics Queensland. BQ has been established to advance research and commercial endeavours across the broad spectrum of human bionics in Queensland. The organisation promotes and advances the use of human bionics in the treatment of disease, disability and disorders for the benefit of the community. BQ is looking for intersections in diverse fields by acting as a conduit to identify synergies and to help unlock commercial opportunities. Fundamentally, Bionics Queensland will link people, science, technology and resources that have not been connected before. Without BQ's interests, these individuals may have continued working in silos. This is true innovation using an innovative approach. Through a strategy of connecting, creating, collaborating and commercialising, BQ will build the human bionics industry in Queensland to deliver beneficial outcomes for so many people: from advanced bionic ears—think cochlear implants—bionic eyes, artificial organs and implantable sensors and diagnostics. The future of human bionics will result in greater health outcomes for illnesses and ailments once considered untreatable.
BQ was established by my good friend and 2018 Queensland Senior Australian of the Year, Dr Dimity Dornan AO, and is yet another example of the world-leading, high-quality work being undertaken in Queensland. There is no-one better to lead BQ than Dr Dornan, who some may also know is an international leader in paediatric hearing impairment. Dr Dornan's vision is for the human bionics interface network to become a globally recognised driver of human bionics research and start-ups—opening the door to a global pipeline of research and development, translation and commercial enterprise; fast-tracking new technologies, products and services; and enabling millions of children and adults with previously untreatable medical conditions to lead fulfilling lives.
I recently met with Dr Dornan and Chris McCarthy, the chair of First Voice Australia, to further discuss the cohesion within the sector as well as the unique collaborations. First Voice is an alliance of six world-leading early childhood intervention centres across Australia and New Zealand which provide life-changing support for more than a thousand children who are deaf or hearing impaired. As champions for deaf people's rights to listen and speak, the collaboration between Hear and Say and First Voice Australia is integral in part to the human bionics movement we're currently experiencing.
Dimity Dornan is a true inspiration, a leader and role model. Her work with the Hear and Say centre is invaluable, and I look forward to hearing of Bionics Queensland's many successes. Thanks must also go to Chris McCarthy and his team at First Voice. Without such organisations the world of silence would be a reality for many young Australians.
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