Sisters put their case for being heard
Gorgeous girls: Sisters Sophie and Hailey Ardagh and their speech pathologist Melissa Modica. Picture: Steve Ferrier/The West Australian.

In a packed hall in Canberra last week, 10-year-old Sophie Ardagh stood and did something most adults, let alone children, would be too terrified to do.

Like a seasoned pro, the Ferndale girl delivered a presentation to a room at Federal Parliament full of influential figures, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

The topic was mining in WA and, according to Sophie's speech pathologist Melissa Modica, the presentation was quite a success and earned the Prime Minister's courage award.

That Sophie could deliver the speech at all is a marvel.

She was born profoundly deaf and, but for the intervention of her parents and modern medicine, would have lived her life largely in silence.

But thanks to her parents, cochlear implants and people such as Ms Modica, she is flourishing.

With her younger sister Hailey, who also presented at Parliament despite also being born profoundly deaf, Sophie benefits from the groundbreaking work of Telethon Speech and Hearing.

Ms Modica, who works with Sophie and Hailey in her role with TSH, said the girls were now confident talkers, so confident they could speak in front of the Prime Minister and not miss a beat.

"They were quite nervous the night before but when I saw them on Tuesday morning you would never have known that," she said.

"They're two very gorgeous girls to work with. It's an absolute pleasure, to be honest."

The West Australian

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