This is the inaugural Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) national report on the ear and hearing health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and adults.

Indigenous Australians experience excessive rates of ear and hearing problems which can have profound impacts on overall health and quality of life. These problems may limit opportunities for education, work, personal relationships and wider community engagement. Problems affecting children can have ongoing impacts, affecting speech, language, cognitive and behavioural development. Importantly, ear and hearing problems affect the passing of Indigenous cultural knowledge and immersion in culture. Much ear disease and hearing loss affecting Indigenous Australians, particularly children and younger adults, is preventable.

This report brings together information on the prevalence of ear and hearing problems among Indigenous Australians along with insights on key protective and risk factors. It presents information on accessibility and use of ear and hearing health-care services by Indigenous Australians, from screening to treatment to rehabilitation and includes on-the-ground experiences of Indigenous specific primary health-care service providers. The report identifies key data gaps and potential areas for data development.