Bionics Institute Ambassador, Suzanne de Pelsenaire, has been a generous supporter of the Institute for many years.

Suzanne was a recipient of a cochlear implant over ten years ago, and it had such a positive impact on her life, she wanted to give back to the Institute whose founder Professor Graeme Clark invented the bionic ear. Initially, Suzanne was involved as a volunteer, and through this involvement, she developed a close relationship with Prof Colette McKay, Leader of our Translational Hearing Research program and Principal Scientist at the Bionics Institute.

Suzanne has always been a keen gardener, and whilst gazing over her beautiful garden a few years back, was sad to think she was the only one who got to enjoy it. This was a light bulb moment for Suzanne, when she realised she could open her beautiful garden to the public to raise money and awareness for the Bionics Institute.

Money raised from Suzanne’s Open Garden provided funding for the BabiLab at the Bionics Institute.  Australia’s first brain imaging lab specifically for hearing research, which is spearheading new methods to improve the quality of life for hearing impaired babies and young children.

“I am now celebrating 11 years since I myself received the gift of hearing with a cochlear implant, which has transformed my life. My gratitude is boundless - my indebtedness never-ending.”