Christine is president of Hearing Matters Australia (HMA). She has moderately severe hearing loss, with which she has lived since early childhood. After obtaining her first hearing aid in her early 30’s she trained as a secondary school teacher and taught in the NSW public and private education sectors for 22 years, including 7 years as Head of Faculty.
Upon retiring in 2012, Christine became actively involved as a volunteer with SHHH (Self Help for Hard of Hearing people) which is now HMA. As a SHHH volunteer she was able to draw on her own lived experience of hearing loss to provide assistance and support to clients seeking advice. She also learned much more about hearing loss and its effects on people’s lives. In early 2015 she was nominated to join the SHHH Board and was elected President in 2016.
In her role as president, Christine has actively promoted the twin missions of Hearing Matters Australia of providing advice and support, and advocacy for consumers who experience hearing loss. She has also given outreach presentations on hearing management to a wide range of interest groups.
Christine has represented HMA at the Ida Institute in Denmark in collaboration with international hearing health professionals and consumer group representatives. She also represents the interests of those with hearing loss on the Accessible Transport Advisory Committee for Transport for NSW and as a Director on the board of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO).
Outside of her volunteering activities Christine is a member of her local Lions Club and Quilting group. She enjoys the company of her family and friends, travelling and dabbling in textile arts and crafts.
Simone was born severely deaf and her experiences growing up wearing hearing aids and accessing hearing services has informed her work in the field of audiology and her personal passion for advocacy and inclusion.
Simone holds postgraduate qualifications in audiology and public health management. She has more than 20 years of experience in the field Audiology both in Australia and the UK. Simone has experience in adult and paediatric hearing aid fitting and rehabilitation and clinical leadership. She has a particular interest in infant fitting and paediatric audiology and has presented on topics in this area at national and international audiology conferences and seminars.
She is currently a Clinical Coach and Paediatric Audiologist at Hearing Australia. In addition to this role Simone is an adjunct lecturer for the Masters of Disabilty Studies degree at Macquarie University, and a member of Parents of Deaf Children (PODC)’s professional advisory panel.
For the last 5 years Simone has regularly travelled to Samoa as part of a team providing volunteer audiology services to children. In her free time outside of work Simone enjoys the company of friends and family, travel, and exploring the vibrant food, visual arts, and cultural offerings within her home city of Sydney.
Colin is a retired Mechanical Engineer and NSW railway transport planner, with a background in engineering and systems design, infrastructure maintenance, development planning and rail operations. He is married to HMA President Christine, and while he does not have hearing loss, he has many years of experience living with and supporting someone who has. Colin has been HMA’s Treasurer for 2 years, as well as assisting with Christine’s outreach activities and the quarterly Hearing Matters magazine.
Colin has many years of experience as a volunteer in community organisations, having been a Cub Scout and Rover Scout leader when his children were younger, a volunteer helping to restore boats for the Sydney Heritage Fleet, and has held many executive roles in his local Apex and Lions Clubs since the middle 1980s. He is also a volunteer coordinator with TAD NSW, for whom he uses his engineering experience to develop technical solutions for people living with disabilities.
Colin is an active grandfather, a home handyman, a hobbyist woodturner and boxmaker, and a member of his local Men’s Shed.
Louise qualified as a speech pathologist and audiologist in South Africa, where she spent the first half of her career developing audiology services in disadvantaged communities whilst holding a position at the University of Cape Town. Amongst the projects she undertook were to establish audiology services in schools for the deaf in very disadvantaged areas, an adult literacy program in the Deaf community and establishing an audiology clinic that was owned and managed by the Deaf community.
On coming to Australia, Louise worked as a specialist audiologist at Australian Hearing and then as the audiology clinic manager at Macquarie University, where she completed a PhD. She has 35 years of experience in the audiology field, which serves her well in her current role as the contracted CEO for Independent Audiologists Australia. She also takes on contractual work as a qualitative researcher in health. Louise is deeply committed to improving both professional recognition for the audiology field and appropriate funding models for those who are Deaf or hard of hearing.
In her free time outside of work Louise enjoys reading, the arts, and travel. She particularly loves exploring the variety and beauty of the Australian countryside.
Bec was born into a hearing-impaired family with a hearing-impaired father, older brother and extended family members. She was diagnosed with a mild hearing loss at 3 and received hearing aids at 5 years old. Due to the progressive nature of Bec’s hearing loss she received a cochlear implant at 25 years old and continues to wear a hearing aid in the other ear.
Growing up with so many hearing-impaired role models Bec developed a passion for social justice and the power of self-education in managing hearing loss. Bec was featured in an episode about deafness on the ABC TV show ‘You Can’t Ask That’ and was interviewed on Triple J about her experiences.
Bec has been working and volunteering with Hear For You in various roles since 2013, helping teenagers with hearing loss to build their confidence and develop skills to thrive in a hearing world. She currently works as the Online Programs Coordinator for Hear For You, helping to facilitate programs to connect teenagers and build a community online.
Bec also assists her dad, Andrew Stewart, in his company Hearing Connections as the Communications Officer. Bec has a talent for writing about the struggles that can come with hearing loss, and recently started a blog to provide a resource for people to learn more about the challenges navigated by deaf or hearing impaired people living in a hearing world.