HearingAID-East Java logo


June 2020

HearingAID-East Java longtime committee member Marie Kormendy, a pioneering teacher of the deaf in Australia, has been awarded the Order of Australia. Marie has devoted her life to supporting children with hearing loss, their families and their teachers, both in Western Australia and East Java.

Syahani at her Graduation Ceremony UWA 2019
Marie gifted with bouquet of flowers from HAEJ committee for her award of AM

After training as a teacher of the deaf Marie co-established and was founding principal of the Wembley Speech & Hearing Centre for Children (now Telethon Speech & Hearing Centre), focusing on early intervention for children and their parents. More than 50 years on, TSH is a leading WA institution

Marie went on to also establish and run the first WA Teacher of the Deaf course at Edith Cowan University, WA. She has worked with children with hearing loss in the State’s remote north, also making her mark in the area of vision impairment. Until her recent retirement Marie worked with the Education Department of Western Australia – School of Special Education Needs - Sensory (SSENS).

Investigations by Marie with Ian Henderson of Australian Hearing in 1996 looking at the services for children with hearing loss in East Java, led to a major Rotary project to assist deaf children there, centering around Karya Mulia School for Deaf Children and Dr Soetomo General Hospital, Surabaya. The Rotary East Java Hearing Project provided hearing testing equipment for newborn babies at the hospital and material support to the school.

When WA and East Java established a Sister State Relationship in 1990, the Patricia O’Sullivan Humanitarian Project commenced (now known as HearingAID-East Java), and Marie has been an active member for 25 years.

Marie has led major initiatives for hearing education in East Java, including establishing the new Svara Library at Karya Mulia School, and a Teacher Exchange Program, providing valuable upskilling opportunities for teachers of the deaf at the school. Her commitment, integrity and warmth are evident to all whose lives she has enriched.

Among many achievements over her working life, Marie has been awarded a Churchill Fellowship, Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship, chaired the WA School Volunteers Program (Ed Connect), is an Australian Centenary Medal recipient, active Rotarian, Past President and Paul Harris Fellow.

Marie Kormendy, AM, the quiet achiever – still making a huge impact.