He's a bright-eyed 10-year-old who won't let much get in the way of telling a cracking joke.
Max Harpham, from Thornleigh in Sydney's north-west, has been busily preparing a speech to wow some of Australia's most powerful politicians in Canberra on Wednesday.
He will take the stage with 12 fellow hearing-impaired children from Australia and New Zealand at The Power of Speech event at Parliament House during Hearing Awareness Week to prove deafness is no barrier to education – or even public speaking.
Emma Harpham was told her son was profoundly deaf when he was just 18 days old.
Max began regular early intervention therapy through the Shepherd Centre and had surgery for Cochlear implants before he was six months old.
"As any parent you worry about their future and immediately think 'my gosh is he ever going to speak?'," Mrs Harpham said.
"This is what this whole event is about. People will see these kids, how well they have done and how great Cochlear implants are to enable Max to talk, got to a mainstream school and live life like any other 10-year-old boy."
There isn't too much concern about Max's nerves on the day; the plucky little guy had toyed with the idea of rapping his speech for several weeks.
"He has gone off the idea of rapping now but his speech says a lot about him and has lots of jokes," Mrs Harpham said.
"He is a really funny boy and likes to do impersonations and accents."
Shepherd Centre ACT audiologist Yetta Abrahams helps support 20 Canberra children with Cochlear implants, aged from seven months to teenagers.
She said the event was a challenge for the children involved, a celebration of their remarkable progress and an inspiration to younger families who were working to ensure their children had language and speaking skills on par with their hearing peers.
"They have done all this hard work, as have their families, but at the end of the day the kids see their hearing aids just like someone using glasses to help them see," she said.
"It's a nice concrete example that hearing loss doesn't have to be a barrier."