Olivia Andersen, Founder and volunteer
Diagnosed as profoundly deaf at 8 months of age, Olivia Andersen (nee Gemmell) underwent speech therapy in her early years, before achieving academic and sporting success at Loreto Kirribilli – surprising doctors who said she’d never be able to speak or go to a mainstream school.
After graduating from the University of NSW with a BA in Design and working for Marie Claire magazine, Olivia spent time working in London and travelling the globe, before returning to study Business at RMIT University in Melbourne. As a recipient of the Churchill Fellowship award, Olivia then had the opportunity to spend six weeks overseas attending and researching established mentoring organisations in the USA, United Kingdom and Scandinavia. Here she gained valuable insight into overseas mentoring and leadership programs for deaf and hard of hearing adolescents – and came back inspired to start Hear For You.
Since then, Olivia has won many awards for her work, including the 2010 National AAMI / NEIS Small Business Award, 2013 National Disability Award for Community and Personal Development and the 2017 Peter Howson Medal. Olivia is currently on the Editorial Advisory Board for Hearing HQ Magazine, providing guidance and expertise on a voluntary basis.
Having worked as the Managing Director and Director she now remains involved as a volunteer – and of course, an integral part of the Hear For You family.