For over 50 years, Qantas Pathfinders have been organising fundraising events to support children with hearing or vision loss.
During this time, Qudos Bank has been a proud sponsorship partner of the Qantas Pathfinders Crew Revue, helping to raise over $8 million for NextSense (formerly RIDBC) to support children with hearing and vision loss across Australia.
In March 2021, the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) and its group of services including, Taralye, SCIC, Renwick Centre, and schools, rebranded as a single, unified organisation NextSense to better reflect who they are and continue to support the people that need it most.
NextSense has helped thousands of children reach their full potential. Caleb was one of those children, he was born deaf and had the opportunity to attend multiple Joy Flights from 1989 to 1991 as a student at NextSense School (then as RIDBC Thomas Pattison School). Through this special experience, Caleb developed a passion for all things aeronautical. Three decades on and Caleb is now an aeronautical cartographer with Airservices Australia, working in the industry which he is most passionate about with thanks to the kindness of Qantas staff.
Caleb said, “Without participating in Joy Flights, I might not have been inspired and motivated to join the aviation field after university. I’m so proud to be a volunteer for the Jumbo Joy Flights and have tried my best to encourage and inspire other children who are disabled to see new dimensions and possibilities by flying into the skies like magic.”
Caleb believes the Joy Flights he attended helped not just inspire a future career but also build his self-esteem and help him make new friends.
“When I was at school, I felt lonely and had difficulties making friends because I did not have words to tell my friends about myself. After I returned from my first Pathfinders Joy Flight, I had so many stories to tell and a Qantas goodie bag to show off, all my friends wanted to hear and see.” Caleb felt like he was a VIP on the flights and back at school.
Thanks to the support of Qantas Pathfinders and partners like Qudos Bank, Caleb is just one of many children who have received support from NextSense since 1967 to today, and for generations to come. Learn more about NextSense at https://www.nextsense.org.au/get-involved/committees.