New Neighbours cast member Nathan Borg is the first actor on Australian television with a cochlear implant.
Today marks International Day of People with Disability, a United Nations observed day celebrating people living with disabilities.
Nathan Borg, 24, was born six weeks premature and contacted meningitis at the age of three months old leaving him profoundly deaf. He received a cochlear implant in his right ear at the age of two and started to learn and hear for the first time.
Following school’s theatre production he went on to complete various performing arts courses and workshops where he met Neighbours’ Executive Producer Jason Herbison and casting director Thea McLeod.
“Growing up I never saw anyone like me on television, so I knew it was time to have a hard of hearing actor on our Australian screens. I think it’s important in this industry that people with all disabilities of all ages get to tell their stories,” he said.
Borg began filming the role of Curtis Perkins last month, described as an easy-going guy starting his teaching career at Erinsborough High under the eye of Susan Kennedy (Jackie Woodburne) and Jane Harris (Annie Jones).
“Each time I film scenes with Jackie and Annie I am constantly growing as an actor. It is such a privilege to work with such inspiring icons. Jackie has taught me to take direction and Annie has taught me to let loose on set which has been a great balance,” he added Nathan.
Jason Herbison said: “Nathan’s passion for acting was clearly evident when I met him nearly a year ago and I’m delighted he is joining the cast in a recurring guest role as a young teacher fresh out of uni who isn’t defined by his hard of hearing status. He is independent and working in the community, and like everyone on Ramsay Street, we soon discover a link with one of our residents which is going to be a lot fun.”
His episodes will start airing on 10Peach from January 28.