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Alexandra up for the challenge

Thursday, 7th April, 2011

FLYING AWAY: Alexandra Bearman is excited about the prospect of heading to Sydney. It will be her first flight to the state capital. FLYING AWAY: Alexandra Bearman is excited about the prospect of heading to Sydney. It will be her first flight to the state capital.

Alexandra Bearman will be heading off to Sydney tomorrow to attend the Dr Veronica James Science Challenge, courtesy of the Broken Hill Quota Club.

The 11-year-old North School student has two hearing aids and each year since 1985 the local Quota club has sponsored a hearing-impaired student along with one of their parents to attend the event at the Sydney University.

Quota president Pam Odgers told the BDT that there was more support for people with a disability in the big cities.

"In Broken Hill you're isolated and there isn't the support here that you'll find in the city," she said.

Alexandra said she was "excited" about the trip which will see her mix with a range of children of her age who have similar disabilities.

"At first I couldn't believe it," she told the BDT.

Quota's Val Baxter, who is a strong advocate for the hearing impaired, said the challenge enables children with hearing and speech disabilities to come together for an educational and enjoyable weekend.

"The Science Challenge is particularly beneficial to children from rural and remote communities because it enables them to interact and participate with their peers," Mrs Baxter said.

"It also makes them aware that there are many children and young people in the larger community with hearing and speech disabilities.

"All Quota clubs in the 35th District support this project annually with financial assistance and manual help in supplying morning tea and lunch on both days for students, parents and tutors who give of their time voluntarily."

Mrs Baxter said the program was also supported by City Council which, through their "fly buy" grant scheme pay for the airfares to Sydney.

Alexandra will return to the city on Wednesday.

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