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Shine Winter 2023

There are many exciting achievements and fresh ambitions to share—which you have helped make possible.
Leon in his mother Jennifer's arms, both looking up and smiling. Photo has a pink background with a white wavy line.

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Welcome to Shine 2023. We bring you stories about the incredible students we support at NextSense.

Three success stories you helped write

You’ve helped Callum tell his own story

Callum can dream big because he has the right support, thanks to you.

Thanks for your incredible support during our last appeal featuring young Callum. He first came to the school when he was just five years old and, in just one year, he’s made astonishing progress. He’s now contributing and able to tell his story thanks to you.

For children like Callum to be successful and have a fulfilled life, they need ongoing support for years to come. With your kind assistance, Callum has made amazing progress. Today he’s a happy, creative boy with a big imagination. His parents, Rachel and Stuart, were so grateful they said: ‘Thank you so much for donating to NextSense. We know firsthand where the funding goes. You have made a difference to lots of lives.

Leon puts his Auslan skills in the spotlight

You’re helping our students achieve wonderful things.

You may remember Leon—thanks to your support he went to a NextSense bilingual preschool. He’s now six years old and achieving incredible things! Thanks to the kind support NextSense supporters like you have given Leon and his family over the years, his Auslan skills have improved a lot in the past 12 months.

Recently, Leon alongside 10 other NextSense students participated in a competition in recognition of Auslan and to celebrate the anniversary publication of the Auslan dictionary. The competition encourages creativity and originality in the use of Auslan, and fosters a sense of pride in Auslan among the Deaf community. It also creates awareness of Auslan in the wider community. Students were asked to include both the ‘jaw-dropping’ sign and the ‘hooked-two’ handshape in their videos. Congratulations to all who entered and were finalists.

Your kindness helps give children the skills that enable these wonderful achievements, thank you.

Thanks to you, Joshua has a brilliant teacher

You’ve given Joshua access to incredible specialists.

Thanks to your amazing support, teachers like Tricia d’Apice can go above and beyond to help kids like young Joshua Wood. You give her the right equipment and resources required to achieve outstanding results.

Tricia has taught braille to many children over the years. One of her clients, Joshua (who you may remember from our last newsletter), has been working with Tricia since he was four. Now he’s 16 years old and has developed such a strong bond with Tricia that he successfully nominated her for the Medal of the Order of Australia.

Thanks for helping make Tricia— as Joshua’s mum Jenny says—“like a part of the family.”

Centre for innovation powers ahead

External shot of the new NextSense building at Macquarie under construction

Work on our new centre in the Macquarie University precinct is advancing well. We’re excited about the highly specialised design of our new school spaces. Our outdoor learning area includes a sensory garden and sensory and retreat play spaces. This will ensure all students, regardless of their learning needs, can enjoy the outdoors, where so much learning can happen.

The new building has strong environmental credentials, using shade, ventilation and insulation to minimise energy consumption. We’re using recycled brick, storing and re-using water, and including non-toxic finishes to improve environmental air quality.

This new space, along with your support, will help NextSense specialists deliver incredible hearing and vision services.

Thank you for helping give the gift of reading

NextSense team holding the book "Tassie Rhymes for Little Tigers"

Your generous support helped bring new independence and joy to more than 10,000 children with hearing and vision loss. Did you know your support helps NextSense make our world more inclusive for people with hearing or vision loss? Our team of specialists have helped to create Australia’s first children’s book with a braille and low vision version.

The book was created to encourage Tasmanian parents of newborn babies, who are blind or have low vision, to read aloud to their child every day. Parents now have the opportunity to get a free accessible version of Narelda Joy’s book Tassie Rhymes for Little Tigers.

It’s available at select Tasmanian bookstores, with the braille version available directly through Toast for Kids Charity Inc.

Noel is creating a world of possibility

Portrait of Noel

Noel chose to leave a gift in his Will to NextSense.

At 86, Noel is determined to make an impact for children with hearing and vision loss for generations to come. He’s also going through hearing loss. He’s considering the option of cochlear implant surgery in the near future.

“I’ve decided to include NextSense in my Will. I now understand hearing loss even better especially as my own hearing’s declining. I’m glad to know, with my decision already made, that researchers in the future will be able to carry on their work to change more lives and I’ll be able to leave a lasting legacy.” – Noel.

Did you know, even 1% of your estate can make a big difference? If you’d like to learn more about leaving a gift in your Will, just like Noel, please contact Supporter Care on 1800 043 411 or email:

Your kindness helps children like Callum, Leon, and Joshua achieve their goals. Thanks for making their success stories possible.

Donate now