Article Feature image - Hames Sharley Architecture, Urban Design, Planning and Interior Design

On September 18, Hames Sharley Managing Director, Caillin Howard undertook one of the biggest challenges of his career to date – staying silent for the day!

Caillin joined a list of leaders in business, community, and government in giving up their voices, and spending the day in silence to help change the lives of kids living with communication challenges.

As well as staying silent for the day, participants raised funds to go towards enriching the lives of kids who are sick, disadvantaged or living with disability – including kids with communication difficulties through the children’s charity, Variety. The charity provides support to children through assistive technology grants and their Variety Motor Mouth Program, a holiday camp aimed at assisting children who have limited speech and rely on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) aids to give them a voice.

“For me, the experience was both an interesting and timely one” said Caillin. “The most thought-provoking part was to witness first-hand just how not being able to speak created a sense of isolation. In fact my needs completely changed for the day. Losing my ability to speak truly challenged my ability to participate, be noticed or communicate at a speed that didn’t slow or impact others. I discovered that for me to be included, everyone else around me needed to enable change: they needed to create an environment of inclusion”.

“I also learned that if people didn’t give me eye contact, I couldn’t be recognised and therefore couldn’t communicate on another platform.” Caillin continued.

“I had to really slow down and have patience; I just couldn’t maintain a normal pace in conversation. I found myself further reducing both the complexity and depth of my communication in an attempt to keep up!”

As the day drew to a close, Caillin’s efforts were recognised by topping the leader board of money raisers, with the three thousand dollars of sponsorship that he earned being enough for the charity to purchase a portable mobility scooter for a child in need.

We’d like to congratulate Caillin and thank everyone of his colleagues, friends and family that contributed with donations to this worthy cause.