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Tasman Councillor, and BMG Family member Judene Edgar Among Leaders For Silent Leadership 2013

On Friday 2 August 2013 local Tasman councillor, and wife of the Bowater Motor Group's CFO, Judene Edgar, will be taking part in the inaugural Silent Leadership Challenge; a hearing loss challenge for corporate and community leaders to raise awareness and funds for The National Foundation for the Deaf.

Throughout the day Judene will undertake four challenges – one-to-one meeting, team meeting, social get-together and watching TV at home – while wearing ear protectors to simulate deafness, robbing her of her full ability to communicate.

This is a daily reality for one in six New Zealanders who are deaf or hearing impaired.

By experiencing hearing impairment on Friday 2 August, participants will be at the cutting edge of vital campaigns to change attitudes and improve the quality of life for deaf and hearing impaired New Zealanders.

Participants in the Silent Leadership Challenge will be raising funds to support the National Foundation for the Deaf’s current priority projects:

  • Protecting the hearing of our children and grandchildren through our Safe Sound Indicator project.
  • Supporting families with children who have Auditory Processing Disorder and are denied funding for special hearing aids. They’re left to choose between paying themselves, or seeing their children’s learning suffer.
  • Advocating for the fair funding of hearing aids for a generation of older people who lost their hearing at work
  • Supporting hundreds of people each month through our support service, responding to calls and emails for help, information and empathy.


Other influential leaders from around New Zealand are also going deaf for the day for the Silent Leadership Challenge to raise awareness around hearing impairment.

42 high profile leaders have signed up for the challenge on Friday 2 August, with Councillor, Judene Edgar of the Tasman District Council participating from the Nelson area. All participants will tackle three communication challenges in their workplace and one at home while wearing bright yellow hearing protectors to simulate deafness.

Judene Edgar was inspired to take part and raise money by The National Foundation for the Deaf‘s work on behalf of deaf and hearing impaired New Zealanders.

“Accessibility is about our ability to engage with, use, participate in, and belong to, the world around us. It's something that you mightn't even consider on a day-today-day basis, however for many of us, access to education, employment, and the community can be difficult and limited,” said Edgar.

“I consider it important to undertake such challenges, to walk a mile in someone else's shoes.”

With over $23,000 raised to-date, The Foundation is seeking others to get involved to meet their target of $100,000 in donations.  All funds raised will go towards The National Foundation for the Deaf to fund its advocacy and support work on behalf of deaf and hearing impaired New Zealanders, and its work to raise awareness of the need to prevent noise-induced loss hearing loss.

“We are absolutely delighted with the tremendous support to-date from a diverse range of leaders throughout New Zealand,” said The National Foundation for the Deaf CEO, Louise Carroll.

“But we’d love to see many more corporate and community leaders on board.”

To join the Challenge, leaders need to register online at and aim to raise funds by seeking sponsorship donations from people in their professional and social networks.

On the day of the Challenge, participants will be posting photos and personal stories online via the Foundation’s Facebook and Twitter pages, using the hash tag #silentleadershipchallenge.

Registrations close on Wednesday 31 July at 5:00pm.

All information on the event and cause can be found at

For more information about the Silent Leadership Challenge go to:

Or to sponsor Judene and help raise money for the National Foundation for the Deaf go to:

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