2020 Heywire Winners Announced – Congratulations to Katherine Butler

24 January, 2020

Congratulations to all the 2020 Heywire Winners, in particular Katherine Butler from our very own Glenlee.

Check out some words from Katherine here:

Heywire winner Katherine Butler, Glenlee, Queensland

My world is without sound when I wake; I only feel the warmth of my blankets, or the swirling cool wind of the air-con when summer brings its heat.

I do not hear the magpies warble or hear the footsteps of my family making their way to the breakfast table.

Even with the assistance of hearing aids I live in a world of silence.

Unless a sound is loud enough, I can’t make out what I’m hearing.

All noise is just noise.

When I was born, my parents weren’t aware that I couldn’t hear them.

They found out I was deaf when I was eighteen months old, but there was no answer as to why.

I’m still going for tests as we search for the cause.

Growing up, I was often met with annoyance when I asked someone to repeat their words.

A harsh truth I learnt when I was young was that some people are ignorant towards what they do not understand.

Most nights the cold hand of depression clutches me tightly in its grasp.

It’s been a battle to stay positive, and at times, I have felt like I do not like to live.

But in one seemingly small and insignificant moment I learned to love to live.

When I was volunteering in an op shop I met someone who was compassionate and kind to me.

He was there with his younger, hearing-impaired sister and had started learning sign language so that they could communicate.

We communicated in what little sign language we knew.

He said to me: “Sign language is beautiful, for the deaf know the language of love far better than we do.”

That moment did so much for me.

I often remember the words of that man and they will always remain in my heart, because in the little time we spoke, he taught me the courage of living.

He taught me that that this world is a classroom.

I am still here, learning to live and love with the challenges I face.

I’m learning to be larger than life, to give hope to others, to show kindness …

And I want the world to learn that disability is not something to be feared or shunned.


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