The recently rebranded Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children will relocate to a new $74 million Centre of Excellence in Macquarie University, already home to the Australian Hearing Hub and Cochlear Australia.
Now known as NextSense, the peak organisation for hearing and vision loss has had plans for a $74.5 million state of the art facility approved by the NSW government and expects to move in by 2023.
The new headquarters and Centre of Excellence will provide support to people with hearing or vision loss, while also collaborating with some of Australia’s best hearing and vision researchers.
NextSense already operates a centre for research and professional education in affiliation with Macquarie University.
“This move will bolster the strong partnership and collaborative relationship that exists between NextSense and Macquarie University,” Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes, who announced the facility’s approval on Wednesday, said.
“Locating the new headquarters on campus will mean better research and collaboration, more resources and world-leading care and community services for those living with hearing and vision loss.”
Macquarie University houses the The Australian Hearing Hub, a federal government supported initiative to unite researchers, educators, clinicians and innovators with expertise in linguistics, audiology, speech pathology, cognitive and language sciences, psychology, nanofabrication and engineering sciences.
Hearing technology giant Cochlear also has its global headquarters within Macquarie University, a location it says is vital to its research and collaboration.
NextSense chief executive Chris Rehn said the new purpose-built facility will improve service delivery and research outcomes.
“Our combined expertise and voice will be a formidable force for good, for people with hearing and vision loss, and for knowledge sharing and influence,” Mr Rehn said.
The NSW government expects the facility will eventually house 300 employees and create 250 construction jobs.
“The sharing of resources and the opening of a new specialist pre-school and primary school and clinical services for children and adults will ensure families can reap the benefits of strong support and early intervention,” Member for Ryde Victor Dominello said.
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