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Dr Brent Edwards at Hearing Business Alliance Seminar

Our talented Guest Speakers will discuss a wide range
of business issues and answer your questions

Lizette Fourie HBA Chair

LIZETTE FOURIE

HBA Chair

Stephen Logan HBA Business Manager

STEPHEN LOGAN

HBA Business Manager

Our Guests

Dr Cliff Olson

DR CLIFF OLSON, AuD

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Founder, Applied Hearing Solutions

Dr Cliff is an Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix, Arizona, and an adjunct lecturer for the Department of Speech & Hearing Science at his alma mater. He served two tours of duty in Iraq and, after leaving the Marine Corps in 2006, started a medical massage therapy clinic where he worked while earning his undergraduate degree in Exercise Science from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. In 2017, Dr. Olson opened Applied Hearing Solutions. Around the same time, he started his YouTube channel, Doctor Cliff, AuD, to educate consumers on their hearing loss treatment options and the importance of Hearing Aid Best Practices. His goal is to ensure that everyone with hearing loss has access to high-quality information so they can make better informed decisions about their hearing healthcare. Today, he is internationally recognized as Dr. Cliff AuD, and his popular YouTube channel has over 1,000 videos about hearing loss and hearing treatment.

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TONY McGEOUGH

Sales Director, Hearing and Balance, ANZ, Natus Medical

Tony is Sales Director for the Hearing and Balance portfolio for Australia and New Zealand region at Natus Medical, where he leverages his extensive experience in the field of audiology to drive forward the company's mission of enhancing hearing healthcare across Australia and New Zealand. With a distinguished career spanning over 30 years in the field of audiology, his journey into audiology began with a deep-seated passion for understanding the intricacies of hearing loss and finding innovative ways to address them. Tony's commitment to excellence, reflected in forging strong relationships with healthcare professionals, clinics, and institutions, has been pivotal in introducing Natus's advanced audiology products and technologies to the ANZ market. Throughout his career, Tony has been instrumental in implementing cutting-edge hearing assessment techniques and introducing advanced technologies to aid individuals with hearing difficulties. His work extends beyond clinical practice, encompassing research, education regularly contributing to workshops, seminars, and conferences, to raise awareness about the importance of best practice and the most beneficial outcomes for patient hearing health. As a lifelong learner, Tony continues to stay abreast of the latest developments in audiology, striving for excellence in his practice and remaining at the forefront of advancements in hearing healthcare.

Brent Edwards NAL

DR BRENT EDWARDS, PhD

Director, National Acoustic Laboratories

Brent is the Director of the National Acoustic Laboratories where he leads research and innovation initiatives that focus on transforming hearing healthcare. For over twenty years he headed research at major hearing aid companies (GN ReSound, Starkey) and at Silicon Valley startups that have developed innovative technologies and clinical tools used worldwide. He is a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, a Fellow and current President of the International Collegium of Rehabilitative Audiology (ICRA) and an Adjunct Professor at Macquarie University.

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REBECCA WOOD, BA, MCIAud, AAudA

Audiologist and Head of Audiology, Bernafon Australia

Rebecca is a qualified Audiologist with over twenty years’ experience. She finished her Masters of Audiology degree at Melbourne University in 2003, and has worked in a variety of clinical settings, including the public and private sectors as well as wholesale and manufacturing. Rebecca’s areas of passion are aural rehabilitation, neural plasticity, and hearing aids. She has been a guest lecturer at numerous universities around Australia, particularly lecturing on auditory neural plasticity, and matching hearing aid technology to client needs. Rebecca has been with Bernafon Australia for over thirteen years in a variety of roles and, five years ago, became the Head of Audiology.

Claire Hewat ERC

CLAIR HEWAT

Independent Chair, Ethics Review Committees for AudA, ACAud and HAASA

Claire qualified as a Dietitian at the University of Sydney and has had a long career in the profession, achieving the status of Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian. For over twenty years she has been in senior executive roles as a Director of Community and Allied Health in south-western Sydney, and CEO of Dietitians Australia for fourteen years, and Allied Health Professions Australia for four years. Clair has served as a director on four national and one international board, including the National Alliance of Self-Regulating Health Professions. She has extensive experience in professional recognition and accreditation practices and is currently an Association Advisor with Associations Forum.

Chris Carlile

CHRIS CARLILE

Assistant Secretary, Hearing Services Branch, Department of Health and Aged Care

Since joining the Commonwealth Department of Health in 2012, Chris has led several portfolio responsibilities including Primary Healthcare Policy, Medicare Benefits and Portfolio Strategy. He is currently responsible for the Hearing Services Program and managing funded measures under the Roadmap for Hearing Health. Chris previously served as a Senior Advisor in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and also led several programs of work in what is now the Department of Social Services. Before joining the public service, Chris was Director of a torture and trauma rehabilitation service for humanitarian entrants. His long-term interest in overseas aid and development saw him working in Philippines and Bougainville for four years. His voluntary work includes over ten years’ service on the National Council for Caritas Australia and then on the National Advisory Council for Australian Catholic Earthcare. He is currently a voluntary State and Territory Coordinator for ANCOP Australia, a small non-profit overseas aid and development organisation working in the Philippines and Oceania. Formal studies include Bachelor of Theology, Graduate Diploma in Psychology, Master of Science in Guidance and Counselling, Master of Arts in Human Service Management and a Master of Arts in Social Policy and Social Planning.

Gabriela Luksza

GABRIELA (GABBY) LUKSZA

Director, Hearing Policy and Compliance, Hearing Services and Chronic Health Conditions, Dept of Health and Aged Care

Gabby commenced work at the Department of Health and Aged Care in 2011 and worked at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs in 2019 and 2020, before returning to Health. She has a broad range of experience in health policy and program roles. These include management of a telehealth pilot program, Indigenous health funding model policy, GP training program, the Veteran’s home care program, Dust disease (silicosis), anti- microbial resistance policy and the vaccine role out in the COVID-19 taskforce. Prior to joining the public service Gabby was a private practice Podiatrist, specialising in sport medicine and paediatric care. Her work included multiple voluntary aid trips to Vietnam with a surgical team diagnosing, treating and educating on paediatric lower leg conditions. Currently Gabby is the Director of the Hearing Policy and Compliance section and has responsible and oversees hearing health policy, stakeholder engagement, the Hearing Services Program (HSP) policy and improvement projects. She also oversees activities under the HSP compliance and monitoring framework, as well as HSP data analysis.

Rob Aked

ROB AKED

Director, Hearing Voucher Operations, Hearing Services and Chronic Health Conditions, Dept of Health and Aged Care

Rob joined the Commonwealth Department of Health in 2010 and has led work on issues ranging from how the Australian Public Service uses data to respond to a crisis, developing a strategic policy environment for the Department of Health, and centralising and consolidating key data and reporting activities across all agencies involved in the initial response to Covid-19. He is currently responsible for the management of the Hearing Services Voucher Operations Program and developing a new IT Portal to support the Program. Rob has been a public servant since 1989. Prior to joining Health, Rob’s service was predominantly as an aviation policy advisor focusing on aviation safety, aircraft noise and airport operations. He led key elements of the policy and legislative response to the Lockhart River disaster, and he led the research, development and implementation of the national aviation alcohol and other drugs policy following the 2002 Hamilton Island crash. Rob also contributed to a paper exploring new ways to describe and assess aircraft noise in 2000 as part of a broader response to understanding and addressing aircraft noise issues around major airports. Rob holds a Bachelor of Science degree from ANU.

Chuck Sabin Bluetooth

CHUCK SABIN

Market Development and Research, Bluetooth SIG

Chuck is responsible for Market Development and Research at the Bluetooth SIG, where he leads and drives emerging use cases and strategic priorities for market research, planning, and evangelism. Chuck currently leads the delivery of emerging use cases like Auracast™ broadcast audio for public spaces, electronic shelf labels, Bluetooth networked lighting control, digital key, and wireless IoT connectivity for almost anything, through the Ambient IoT. He helps to expose insight, trends and projections to influence and drive the development of strategic business priorities. He has been a proud member of the Bluetooth SIG team for ten years, and has an extensive background in marketing, product management, planning, and business development for mobile wireless networks, enterprise servers, mobile operating systems, mobile devices, client software and services.

Dr Jorge Mejia NAL

DR JORGE MEJIA, PhD

Head of Signal Processing Department, National Acoustic Laboratories

Jorge is Head of the NAL Signal Processing Department in Sydney, and also heads the technology area overseeing research and development of hearing health-related technologies. He has several years' research and development experience, working with industry in algorithm development for hearing aids and assistive listening technologies. In 2010, he was nominated finalist for the Early Career Research Scientist of the Year, awarded by the CRC, and in 2013 was appointed finalist for BUPA's Emerging Health Researcher of the Year. His current interest is in the areas of psychoacoustics of hearing and evaluation of advanced signal processing strategies for hearing aids. Jorge has a PhD (2010), University of Sydney, Department of Medical Science, and a Master of Engineering Science (2004), Diploma of Engineering (2002), and Bachelor of Engineering (2001), Queensland University of Technology.

Christo Fourie Value Hearing

CHRISTO FOURIE

Founder and Digital Alchemist, Value Hearing

With a passion for technology and automation, Christo has been at the forefront of integrating AI into audiology services. Without formal qualifications in technology, he has self-taught programming and automation skills since 2014. His journey with AI started with initial explorations in 2019 and has evolved significantly with the advent of advanced AI technologies like GPT-3.5 and GPT-4. Under Christo's guidance, Value Hearing has become a pioneer in employing AI to improve clinical practices and client experiences in audiology.

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STEVEN LE, BSci, BAppSci, MClinAud (CCP), AudA

Consumer Support Specialist and Trainer, Starkey

Steven joined the Starkey team in 2022. Before joining the team, he worked as a clinician across Victoria and New South Wales. Besides working in a clinical setting, Steven has also assisted the La Trobe University Audiology faculty in delivering education through workshops, and lecturing in 2020. Steven holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Audiological Sciences, and a Master of Clinical Audiology degree, La Trobe University.

Sandra Bellekom

SANDRA BELLEKOM

CEO, Ear Science Institute Australia

Sandra is the CEO and Executive Board Member of Ear Science Institute Australia, a West Australian-based medical research institute dedicated to enhancing the lives of those with ear and hearing disorders through research, treatment and education. Sandra leads a dedicated team of over 150, including researchers, scientists, and clinicians. Sandra’s career spans almost three decades of audiological experience in Australia and leadership roles in Australia and the US. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor and Director of the Ear Sciences Centre in the School of Medicine at UWA and Associate Adjunct Professor in the School of Health Sciences at Curtin University, a Professional Board Member of Lions Hearing Foundation. She was the first Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Ear and Hearing Care for the West Pacific region, a Founding Member of the HHSA, a Fellow of Audiology Australia, and one of The Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence and winner of the Telstra Best of Business Awards in Championing Health for Australia.

Jacine Greenwood

JACINE GREENWOOD

Founder and CEO, Roccoco Botanicals

Jacine is an entrepreneur and multi-award-winning cosmetic chemist, and the CEO and founder of Roccoco Botanicals. She understands business and is the recipient of multiple business awards, including the International Allē award and the inaugural Women Changing the World Awards in the Women in Business category. In 2021, she was named in the Australian Financial Review Fast 100, and was also anointed as one of the Financial Times' High Growth Companies of 2022/23, despite not having spent money on traditional advertising or social media.

Stacey Tonkin Aon

STACEY TONKIN

Partnership and Growth Manager, Affinity - Health & Professions, Aon

Stacey has a Diploma of Financial Services (Insurance Broking). As the Partnership & Growth Manager, Affinity – Health & Professions, Stacey’s role is within the Aon Affinity business in Australia in the Health Sector which covers the needs of over 50,000 health professionals. Stacey’s experience in the insurance sector spans more than thirty years. She has gained strong technical skills during her years in insurance broking with roles with a number of international brokers, including managing various schemes and commercial portfolios.

Phung La Signia

PHUNG LA

National Sales Manager for Independents, Signia

Phung is Signia’s National Sales Manager for Independents. Graduating as an audiologist from the University of Melbourne’s Masters of Clinical Audiology program, Phung has worked in a variety of roles, including adult hearing aid fitting and rehabilitation, ENT support, pediatric testing/hearing aid fitting, as well as a Clinical Educator for a retail chain. Phung has been with Signia for over five years and is a fully accredited member of Audiology Australia.

Paul Jones GN Hearing

PAUL JONES

Country Director, Australia, GN Hearing

Paul is Country Director, Australia for GN Hearing. He started his career as a business analyst in New Zealand, and since then, for the past 24 years, he has led commercial teams across various medical industries throughout Australia and the Asia Pacific region. Throughout his entire career, Paul has worked with organisations focused on strengthening ‘B2B’ customer partnerships via solutions-based sales methodologies, ultimately designed to improve customer outcomes via partnerships that strengthen both businesses.

Dr Bec Bennett National Acoustic Laboratories

DR BEC BENNETT, PhD

Senior Research Audiologist, National Acoustic Laboratories

Bec’s research focuses on adult audiological rehabilitation, the social and emotional impacts of hearing loss, and eHealth service delivery. She is a 2022 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Investigator Fellow and a Director of the Board, Audiology Australia. Bec has a Bachelor of Science (Honours in Microbiology and Parasitology), 2002, a Masters of Audiology, 2004, University of Queensland, a Masters of Business, University of Newcastle, a Graduate Diploma of Counselling, and a PhD (School of Medicine), University of Western Australia, 2019. Bec worked as a Research Lead at the Ear Science Institute Australia from 2019 to 2023. During this time, she was awarded two competitive post-doctoral research fellowships: a Raine Medical Research Foundation Priming Fellowship 2020-2021, and a NHMRC Investigator Fellowship 2023-2028.

Sam Whiteley Widex

SAM WHITELEY

Account and Product Manager, Widex

Sam has over fifteen years of experience in the Australian audiology industry. He has worked in a variety of wholesale, large and independent retail Audiology clinics. He is passionate about utilising hearing technology to benefit and empower end-users to maximise their lifestyle and communication outcomes. Sam enjoys working in the audiology industry, networking and collaborating with his peers.

Jade Meredith

JADE MEREDITH

Employment Relations Advisor, Employsure

Jade is an Employsure Employment Relations Advisor, based in Queensland. She has gained human resources experience by working in generalist roles across diverse industries, including aviation, sporting and hospitality. Jade's experience has assisted her to provide timely, practical and commercial advice to employers on day-to-day employment relations issues, and especially in relation to the mandatory compliance required for the recent changes to the legislation - the most significant reforms to the Fair Work Act 2009 since it was introduced.

Charles Vorath VorOtek

CHARLES VORATH

Director, VorOtek Pty Ltd

Charles is a Director of VorOtek, a leading developer and manufacturer of fully integrated optical scopes with LED illumination, used by specialists such as ENT surgeons, audiologists, dermatologists, plastic surgeons, dentists, GPs, and vets. Charles has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) Business Administration and Management General, Melbourne Business School, and his B2B marketing strategy skills have included positions as a Marketing Director, National Sales Manager, and Product Manager.

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