Hyundai Help for Kids

Teleschooling and The Art of Marshmallow Toasting

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By September’s end, Hyundai’s inspirational Help for Kids Program had contributed a landmark $4million-plus to the numerous not-for-profit charities it supports. One of the most memorable Help for Kids occasions during that period combined plenty of fun, learning and the serious business of round-the-campfire marshmallow toasting.

Teleschooling has revolutionised education and therapy services for children in regional and remote Australia with hearing or vision loss. It has also brought together parents of children with hearing loss and vision impairment and involved them in their children’s intensive individually tailored education and support programs.

But this invaluable, and admirable, home videoconferencing initiative by the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) – one of many shining lights among the varied not-for-profit charities proudly supported by Hyundai’s Help for Kids – does more than help kids, teachers and parents network on the net, so to speak.

Through regular specialised residential camps at its North Rocks, Sydney, campus the RIDBC also brings Teleschool service kids, their parents and their teachers together, face to face. And fun is definitely on the agenda.

With help from Hyundai Help for Kids the RIDBC’s most recent week-long camp fostered, among other things, learning, socialising and, believe it or not, the fine art of marshmallow toasting.

“The week focused on giving the participants, aged six to 12, strategies to build confidence and resilience in the classroom,” said Head of RIDBC Teleschool, Tracey McCann. “This is particularly important when the children may be the only person with a hearing loss in their local area and they really have to self-advocate.”

RIDBC Teleschool families had the opportunity to socialise with parents and children from RIDBC Garfield Barwick School, which caters for children with hearing loss who listen and speak with the aid of cochlear implants or hearing aids.

“The camps give families the opportunity to interact and socialise with other families on a similar journey,” said Tracey. “The children participate in many interactive educational activities and this year enjoyed a fun night of toasting marshmallows by the campfire.”

As part of its involvement with the RIDBC Teleschool camp this year Hyundai Help for Kids have hosted the parents and children at the camps for lunch, VIP transfers to special events and even ramped up the fun factor by surprising the delighted kids with gifts of sleeping bags, blankets, torches, glow sticks and lollies at the most recent end-of-camp campfire. Yes, there was plenty of laughter – and the delicious smell of those golden toasting marshmallows – in the air.

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Hyundai Help for Kids also supports RIDBC in other ways, including co-ordinating with sporting links and other Hyundai Help for Kids recipients like Make-A-Wish Australia © to host ‘money-can’t-buy’ experiences. Just one example from August involved helping young Oscar and Bryson attend the Round 22 Brisbane Lions vs Carlton AFL match at the famed Gabba, where Oscar was especially over the moon, having met his hero, dynamic Brisbane Lions midfielder, vice-captain and 2016 Club Champion, Dayne Zorko. Oscar and Bryson were there courtesy of Make-A-Wish, while young Joshua and Kiara, from RIDBC, also shared in the excitement of the game, the chance to meet the players and the custom experience of Hyundai Help for Kids iView.

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Click the video below or HERE to see - Hyundai Help for Kids iView hosts RIDBC and Make-A-Wish Australia.

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During August, Hyundai Help for Kids was also instrumental in helping young Amaya and Micah from RIDBC with a special junior mascot experience, running on with their beloved Carlton Football Club for the Round 22 match-up with the Melbourne Demons at the awe-inspiring Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Attending families at the RIDBC Teleschool camp at North Rocks came from far-flung parts of Australia, including brothers Jacob and Robert Kammermann, who both have hearing loss, and their mother, Nicole. The family lives on a 2000ha-plus property, 700km from Adelaide.

“As a family we would be lost without the support of RIDBC,” Nicole Kammermann said. “Jacob, like Robert, has really benefited from the weekly videoconferencing sessions with his RIDBC teacher. He is now 13 years old and likes to communicate independently with his teacher and take control. This is all part of the self-advocacy that is supported through RIDBC Teleschool.

“The residential camp is an opportunity for my sons to meet and network with others like themselves and is the only time they meet their RIDBC Teleschool teacher in person,” she said. “They also enjoy all the camp activities and making new friendships.”

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Apart from the fun Hyundai helped generate round the campfire, there’s been an official side to Hyundai Help for Kids’ involvement in the Teleschool camp. At the Braille camp earlier in the year HMCA’s Public Relations General Manager, Bill Thomas, and Corporate Social Responsibility Specialist, Ellenore Ibrahim, proudly presented a Hyundai Help for Kids grant cheque of $150,000 to support RIDBC’s Teleschool program. That money will go a long way towards helping them acquire additional much-needed equipment to help make the Teleschool even more efficient and effective.

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Hyundai also stepped in with another end-of-camp treat for the Braille Teleschool camp attendees that was something of a surprise, too. On the final day, a fleet of chauffeur-driven Hyundai’s – including the luxurious Genesis and Sonata sedans and iMax people-mover – arrived at the North Rocks campus. They were there to provide VIP transfers for the children and their families to the Sydney Opera House, where they were guests at a performance of the riotous children’s classic ‘Cautionary Tales for Children’, by Hiliare Belloc.

And, yes, there was a lot more excitement, and children’s laughter, in the rarefied harbour side air there, too.

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The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children Teleschool provides education and therapy services to children with hearing or vision loss in regional remote Australia, using high quality videoconferencing technology in the family home or at other local facilities.

Experienced RIDBC therapists and teachers tailor an individual program for each child.

RIDBC Teleschool Services include:

  • Intensive regular individual sessions
  • Group parent sessions
  • Information about hearing and/or vision loss
  • Listening and Spoken Language development
  • Auslan support if needed
  • Braille tuition and vision loss support
  • Parent networking and information
  • A lending library with child and parent resources
  • Transition to school and School Support
  • Visits to RIDBC’s North Rocks Campus, including: early learning groups, preschool/school visits, assessments and planning, face-to-face sessions, on-site accommodation

For further information and an application form contact:

Telephone: 1300 131 923
Fax: (02) 9872 0889



Established in January 2014, Hyundai Help for Kids is a collaborative partnership between Hyundai Motor Company Australia and the 168-strong Hyundai National Dealer Network. The partnership was established to provide grants to a range of organisations focused on delivering assistance to children and the families who support them through sport, culture, education, health, community engagement and social welfare initiatives.

Hyundai Help for Kids is the Australian part of Hyundai Motor Company’s global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, ‘Moving The World Together’. This initiative unites Hyundai’s international subsidiaries with the goal of creating and operating a range of social contribution programs demonstrating Hyundai’s commitment to responsible corporate citizenship.

For further information related to the Hyundai Help for Kids initiative please visit: