Little Arthur Olsson and his two older siblings.
Little Arthur Olsson and his two older siblings.

Touching reason behind CQ town’s huge fundraising efforts

LITTLE Arthur Olsson has faced his fair share of challenges during his two-and-a-half years of life.

However, despite being diagnosed with a hearing disability at birth, the brave youngster has never allowed the condition to slow him down – just ask proud mum Lysandra.

“Initially [the diagnosis] was very overwhelming. In post-partum you’re already dealing with a lot of things, but to have that thrown in on top was a bit tricky.”

“From there he was diagnosed with a bilateral mild to moderate sensory neural hearing loss, which means there isn’t really anything they can do to fix it,” she explained.

Leo and Lysandra Olsson with their three young children. 
Leo and Lysandra Olsson with their three young children. 

Instead, the then-infant was fitted with hearing aids at just five months old.

Fortunately, Mrs Olsson and her partner Leo were promptly recommended to Queensland not-for-profit Hear and Say, enrolling Arthur in fortnightly speech therapy lessons.

As lessons proved more crucial to her little one’s development, Mrs Olsson has now chosen to show her gratitude in the most heartwarming of ways – raising over $10,000 in the process.

Enlisting the help of fellow Wowan residents, the town is now vying for the title of Queensland’s Loudest Small Town in honour of its annual Loud Shirt Day fundraiser.

“We normally have people comment that they wouldn’t have guessed Arthur had hearing loss with the way he speaks, which I guess shows the impact of the lessons.”

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Arthur with his older siblings.
Arthur with his older siblings.

“Everyone knows Arthur and everyone loves him, but I think it was more so just to help raise awareness that hearing loss is a normal thing in today’s society.”

“These guys do such a great job at working with kids from the get-go, and to help them be able to keep them up with their friends and siblings.”

The much-needed funds were able to be raised through a variety of methods.

“Most of the money has come through sponsorship. We had about seven major sponsors come on board.”

“In this day and age, I wasn’t really expected too much with COVID, but we’ve also had a multi-draw raffle that we raised money through.

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The custom designed shirt made in honour of Loud Shirt Day.
The custom designed shirt made in honour of Loud Shirt Day.

Another notable contributor, Mrs Olsson revealed, were the custom designed fishing shirts in honour of the event.

“A lot of our family live in fishing shirts; we’d also bought the Drought Angels ones, so I contacted the designer who made them, and he was more than happy to work something out.”

She estimated that over 200 orders for the eye-catching garment had been place in recent months.

Fortunately, their dedicated efforts appear to have put the town in good stead as they lead marginally against rival town Aramac.

The winner of Queensland’s Loudest Small Town is set to be revealed on Friday.