19 December, 2023

Youngster raises the voice for deafness

A 10-year-old Kilcoy boy has made it his mission to raise money in support of deaf kids, as he hopes to increase awareness and understanding of their situation.

Youngster raises the voice for deafness - feature photo

Ollie Tomlinson joined the inaugural Step Up for Deaf Kids Challenge, having almost reached the challenge’s goal of walking 300,000 steps in 30 days.

His efforts have resulted in over $850 being donated to Deaf Children Australia.

Born with bilateral hearing loss, Ollie had hearing aids implanted at three months old.

While having perfect speech and not facing many challenges in his everyday life, Ollie is still the only child at Mount Kilcoy State School with a hearing impairment.

“I think the most important thing I want people to understand is how important it is for deaf kids to connect with other hard of hearing kids,” the young gardening enthusiast explained.

After being diagnosed as a baby, Ollie and his parents attended numerous programs intended to help the kids and their family adjust to their situation.

Through these programs Ollie made many friends, having realised the importance of being in touch with other hearing-impaired kids.

“I was given an opportunity for connection, and it normalised the entire situation,” Ollie said.

The money raised through the Step Up Challenge goes towards investing in such programs for both parents and kids, including parent mentor programs, family camps, swimming classes and many other activities intended to provide this connection and support.

“I am proud to participate in the challenge as I am very fortunate to have some wonderful friends who were born with hearing loss just like me and I want other deaf/hard of hearing kids to have opportunities to meet friends just like themselves too,” Ollie said on his fundraising page.

Mount Kilcoy State School rallied behind Ollie and his cause by creating a Step Up Event during lunchtime, where year 5 and year 6 students helped add almost 2000 steps to Ollie’s overall step count. The school’s student council also donated $250 towards his cause.

“I would like to get the whole Kilcoy community involved in a campaign and bringing awareness to deafness, so please donate,” Ollie said.

If you would like to help Ollie reach his fundraising goal of $1000, you can donate at


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