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BHP backs Pilbara ear health initiative

BHP has partnered with Ear Science Institute Australia to better improve long-term health outcomes for Indigenous children living across the East Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The Big Australian will provide $825,000 in funding to Ear Science Institute Australia’s Healthy Ears on Country program over a three-year period to expand the scope of ear and hearing health services available.

The money will also be used to purchase specialist equipment, pay additional staff and provide training for local healthcare providers.

“Access to quality health care is an ongoing challenge experienced by regional and remote communities,” BHP head of corporate affairs Meath Hammond said.

“We are proud to partner with Ear Science to support the amazing work they do in the Pilbara, with a long-term vision to improve the ear health and quality of life for Indigenous Peoples.”

The Healthy Ears on Country initiative will be delivered via the Ear Science Healthy Hearing Outback program in partnership with Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medial Service. The initiative will reach WA regions such as Newman, Jigalong, Punmu, Parnngurr and Kunawarritji.

Goals of the initiative include providing on-site and portable ENT (ear, nose, and throat) and audiological equipment, enhancing ear health promotion activities to provide culturally safe education and information to the community, and building skills and knowledge of local healthcare providers.

“We are thrilled to have BHP on board,” Ear Science ear health coordinator Lucy Mitchell said.

“With their support, we can expand and improve care on Country, boost community involvement and ensure the program’s long-term sustainability for the Martu and Nyiyaparli peoples in the East Pilbara.”

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