Helping others its own reward for volunteer

Judith Tyler with her nephew Paul Davey.
Judith Tyler with her nephew Paul Davey.

A volunteer with St John Ambulance for 46 years, Mrs Tyler has helped with first-aid, and for 32 years has supported and mentored people with mental illness through the Samaritan Crisis Line.

She has also worked with the chaplaincy team at Osborne Park Hospital for 15 years.

While helping others, Mrs Tyler has had her own personal challenges, with her hearing deteriorating from when she was a young child.

But it was not until high school that her teachers noticed that she was experiencing hearing problems.

She had her first hearing test at 14 and while a hearing aid was recommended, she did not use one until she was 28.

‘I learned to not be ashamed of having a hearing disability,’ she said.

‘I was very upfront with people, and would tell them before they asked me that yes, I’m deaf, so you need to face me when you speak to me.’

Eventually, one of Mrs Tyler’s audiologists recommended she see a specialist about a cochlear implant and referred her to Professor Marcus Atlas at the Ear Science Institute Australia Hearing Implant Clinic.

Her cochlear implant was fitted in April 2011 and since then, her hearing has improved dramatically.

‘I sincerely thank Professor Marcus Atlas and his team at the Ear Science Institute in Subiaco for making this possible,’ she said.

‘If I could say one thing to people who are thinking about getting treatment for their hearing loss, I would say don’t wait, go for it.

‘You won’t regret it, it just opened up a new world for me.’

Mrs Tyler said she was overwhelmed to receive the honour.

‘I have never expected recognition for voluntary work ” it is something that has given back to me far more than I have given out with being able to be there for someone in need,’ she said.

‘The people you meet and the friendships you make along the way has been the greatest reward.’