A teenager with a vision to make a difference in his community has been awarded the runner-up prize for this year’s Cochlear™ Graeme Clark Scholarship for Australia and New Zealand, an accolade awarded to an outstanding person who has received a Cochlear™ implantable hearing solution.
The scholarship honours Professor Graeme Clark, Australian inventor and pioneer of the world's first multichannel cochlear implant.
Currently studying towards a double degree of Law and Criminal Justice at New Zealand’s University of Canterbury, Lachlan Bartlett, 19, has a dream to one day become a judge.
“Being a leader in both the college and the community, I have discovered that there are a lot of people in society who don’t have a voice and that there are areas in the justice system which need enhancing,” he says. “By choosing the career path of a lawyer there are endless opportunities to make a difference in both the society and community in which I live.”
Lachlan credits much of his academic, social and sporting success to the Cochlear implant he received when he was eight years old.
“Socially it has been a great conversation starter,” he says. “I can attend parties, concerts and events and have the same level of appreciation as people with normal hearing.
“Being able to hear has also enabled me to work well in a team-sporting environment. From football, cricket and tennis it is essential to hear those around you and to communicate. All of these things would have been impossible without my implant.”
This eloquent young man was invited to speak at a Cochlear Asia Pacific Conference in Sydney in 2013, an experience he remembers with great pride.
“It was a privilege to share my life-changing experiences with those who develop the technology,” he says.
College and community leader
Lachlan has been nominated for and successfully won the Year 10, 11 and 12 New Zealand Federation for Deaf Children scholarship, and was Head Boy at St Bede’s College in Christchurch.
“As a leader in many communities, it is crucial that I give back to those around me,” he says. “I now have a part-time job in the Learning Assistance team at St Bede’s helping boys who have learning difficulties.
“It is an incredibly humbling feeling being able to help others the way you were once helped. As Head Boy I came to the realisation that a true leader does not stand above others but serves those who need help the most.”
Having recently joined the Marist Leaders Network, a nationwide organisation that helps the Head Students and Prefects of Catholics schools in New Zealand, Lachlan is developing the skills that will one day come in handy in his chosen vocation as a lawyer.
“Being deaf, I have seen many examples in society where people have been discriminated and it would be an honour to stand and give then the support and empathy they need,” he says. “Graeme Clark helped and continues to help those who were disadvantaged and I believe that with this scholarship, I too can continue to follow, to the best of my ability, the example he has set.
“Whatever your challenges are, whether it is hearing or learning difficulties, don’t ever use it as an excuse,” Lachie says. “Consider it an opportunity to prove people who doubt you wrong. Realise that your deafness is a gift that will present opportunities and challenges to you that would never have happened without it. It is a part of who you are. Be proud of it. Own it.”
Professor Graeme Clark says Lachlan is a worthy runner-up placegetter.
“I am proud to recognise this remarkable university student and reward him with this rare and prestigious accolade,” he says. “Like so many of our past award winning recipients, Lachlan has overcome life-long challenges and has already achieved so much in his young life. I am excited to see what the future brings for this inspiring young man.”
About the Cochlear Graeme Clark Scholarship Australia & New Zealand
The Graeme Clark Scholarship is a unique award established to help recipients of Cochlear hearing solutions to further themselves by undertaking university studies.
The Scholarship consists of financial assistance towards a degree at an accredited university and is paid in annual instalments on the successful completion of each year of study for a period of up to three years. It is available to Cochlear Implant and Cochlear Baha Bone Conduction Implant recipients who have been accepted into a university course or who are currently studying at university. This includes mature age students.
The Scholarship is awarded on the basis of academic achievement and a demonstrated commitment to the Cochlear ideals of leadership and humanity. The Australia and New Zealand Cochlear Scholarship honours Professor Graeme Clark, the inventor and pioneer of the multi-channel cochlear implant.
About Cochlear Limited
Cochlear is the global leader in implantable hearing solutions. The company has a global workforce of 2,800 people and invests more than AUS$100 million a year in research and development. Products include hearing systems for cochlear, bone conduction and acoustic implants. Over 450,000 people of all ages, across more than 100 countries, now hear because of Cochlear.
For further information:
Jenny Westdorp Lisa Llewellyn
Llewellyn Communications Llewellyn Communications
t: +612 9970 5313 t: +612 9970 5312
m: +614 1333 4425 m: +614 1940 1362