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Exclusive Sneak Peek: Meet This Year’s The Sound Exchange ’24 Speakers

Mar 22, 2024

The #1 audiology event of the year, The Sound Exchange ’24, promises unmissable opportunities to put audiology in action and learn skills that you’ll really use in the audiology clinic. This year’s program is designed for success focusing on peer learning and hands-on exercises with Australian subject matter experts and some surprise international guests!

What does this mean for you? With 10+ leaders in each our five masterclass streams (over 60 in total), and even more in our pre-conference workshops, The Sound Exchange ’24 is an unmatched opportunity to get hands-on as you gain new skills and perspectives from audiology experts working in a wide range of settings across the profession.

Curious to see who you could be learning from? Check back every week to meet more of our featured presenters below!

Bernadette Hassett – Community Paediatrics: Behavioural Assessment of Children Aged 8 Months to 6 Years Stream

Bernadette Hassett is an expert when it comes to assessing and treating children for their complex hearing health needs.Bernadette Hassett

As a diagnostic audiologist working for Monash Health – Victoria’s largest public health service – the AudA member works with paediatric clients across a range of ages and cultural backgrounds, supporting families through early diagnosis of hearing loss.

“I love a challenge and have found the paediatric caseload at Monash Health was exactly what I needed,” Bernadette explains.

“No day is predictable when it comes to testing kids. Not knowing what my workday will be like, or what each client will bring, certainly keeps me on my toes and engaged. It’s empowering also knowing that my work is making a positive difference to families by helping them understand the importance of hearing, speech and language development.”

Drawing on her 15 years of paediatric experience from her role at Monash as well as a previous experience at Bernafon, Hearing Australia, and rural and remote settings through the Flying Squad Program, Bernadette is ready to present in The Sound Exchange 24’s “Community Paediatrics: Behavioural Assessment of Children Aged 8 Months to 6 Years” Stream.

Led by Head of Audiology at Monash Health Shaani Graves, the stream will help audiologists brush-up on their paediatric skills, including appropriate tests to assess a child’s hearing considering their developmental age and the clinical sitting, and result follow ups using commercially available equipment.

“In the last 15 years I have learned and developed skills that have helped shape how I approach my appointments and how I engage in a client-led experience. Often a potential challenging referral can run into a smooth appointment with a few simple tricks,” says Bernadette, who hopes to share some of these insights in a panel discussion on Monday 27 May, as detailed in the program grid.

“The challenge of attempting and obtaining a behavioural hearing test when a client may be flagged as requiring a hearing assessment under a general anaesthetic is particularly rewarding.”

With a history of hearing loss diagnosis in her family, Bernadette says that she was always drawn to the path of becoming an audiologist, but it did take some time to find her area of interest. For future and early career audiologists, she recommends gaining experience in as many specialisations as possible to find where their interest lies.

“Give everything a go. You never know where your niche will be. For me it’s been paediatrics!”

→ Read more about the Community Paediatrics: Behavioural Assessment of Children Aged 8 Months to 6 Years Stream

→ Register now for The Sound Exchange ’24, Audiology in Action!

Jack Holman – The 5-Step Plan for Holistic Hearing Rehabilitation Stream

Rising hearing health research leader and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham, Dr Jack Holman is getting ready to hit the Sound Exchange ’24 this May in Melbourne. He is one of the team of experts joining Stream Lead, Dr Barbra Timmer to open up the power of ‘The 5-Step Plan for Holistic Hearing Rehabilitation’.Dr Jack Hol

A much-anticipated stream at this year’s event, designed to equip participants to describe and relate the five steps of holistic rehabilitiation planning to their workplace or practice setting and prepare them to effectively implement their custom plan.

The topic is close to his heart. Research and giving others the tools to make a real impact for their clients is a passion for Jack, who has made a name for himself investigating the socio-emotional outcomes of people who undertake a hearing healthcare journey. He is excited to empower attendees and share his own experience.

“Doing the research is one thing but communicating findings to the people who can make use of it to improve outcomes for individuals is invaluable,” Jack says.

Jack speaks from impressive experience. Cited 355 times (including by the World Health Organization and NHS England) his wide-ranging work aims to identify those who are most in need of help and how to best measure improvement. A passion seeded when he was a research assistant.

“I worked for several years as a research assistant with my main activities being engaging with participants with hearing loss and running them through different types of studies. What became clear to me was that so much more could be done to improve socio-emotional outcomes for people with hearing loss in everyday life,” he says.

“By tapping directly into the UK National Health Service pathway, we have identified a number of ways in which individuals may still experience sub-optimal emotional and social well-being, even after hearing aid fitting,” says Jack.

Beyond research, his role at The Sound Exchange is a chance to bring his expertise to the table while doing the thing he loves most. Igniting new directions for innovation while exchanging insights and disseminating information to the professionals on the front line.

“I love talking to healthcare professionals. I usually find that I leave events with lots of new ideas and new knowledge that improve my work in turn, and I know that The Sound Exchange will be a chance to speak to some of the very best hearing healthcare professionals.”

→ Read more about The 5-Step Plan for Holistic Hearing Rehabilitation Stream

→ Register now for The Sound Exchange ’24, Audiology in Action!

Bianca Charles and Tess Peverill – Vestibular Boot Camp Stream

Many audiologists work closely with physiotherapists to deliver targeted rehabilitation plans to clients who present with vestibular (balance-related) disorders and issues.

To help improve audiologists understandings of what happens when their clients enter a physiotherapy clinic, we’re excited to share that Senior Physiotherapists Bianca Charles and Tess Peverill will be presenting on the topic at The Sound Exchange ’24 as part of the ‘Vestibular Boot Camp’ masterclass stream led by AudA Board Member Dr Jessica Vitkovic.

Tess Peverill and Bianca CharlesBoth joining from Melbourne’s Neurological Rehabilitation Group, the team assess, treat and manage a variety of neurological clients, conduct research into the multi-disciplinary management of concussion in adult and paediatric populations, and upskill other therapists.

To ensure they continue delivering best-practice care, the team have frequently undertaken professional development opportunities, including the 2022 Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy International Conference for Vestibular Rehabilitation in Minneapolis, USA, where they were able to learn from other vestibular clinicians and researchers from around the world.

“When clients present with vestibular conditions we assist with assessment and diagnosis of their presentation, and provide education and treatment based on this,” says Tess.

“This may involve education regarding lifestyle changes, repositioning manoeouvres for BPPV, or vestibular rehabilitation with the aim of reducing their symptoms and assisting them to return to their normal day-to-day activities.”

For the two physiotherapists, collaboration between audiology and physiotherapy is key to improving outcomes for clients, especially when working with audiologists who complete vestibular function testing.

“In our assessment we complete bedside testing to look at vestibular function but often refer on for formal testing to allow to provide more targeted rehabilitation,” Bianca says.

“We would love the attendees to leave our session at The Sound Exchange ‘24 and understand the benefits of vestibular rehabilitation and the role that physiotherapists provide.”

→ Read more about the Vestibular Boot Camp Stream

→ Register now for The Sound Exchange ’24, Audiology in Action!

Dr Claire Iseli – Cochlear Implants: Maximising Auditory Potential Across the Lifespan Stream

Dr Claire Iseli

Joining us from outside the audiology profession for the ‘Cochlear Implants: Maximising Auditory Potential Across the Lifespan’ masterclass stream led by Dr Jamie Leigh is ENT and Cochlear Implant Surgeon Dr Claire Iseli. Claire has 16 years’ experience, including a two-year Otology/Neurotology Fellowship focusing on skull-base tumors, general otology and cochlear implants in both adults and children under the head of the American Cochlear Implant Alliance. She currently works for The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital’s Victorian Cochlear Implant Program.

Claire’s motivation to attend The Sound Exchange ‘24 is closely aligned with the conference’s own goal of sharing skills that audiologists will really use in the clinic, with her ultimate aim to exchange ideas and knowledge more readily between ENT surgeons, audiologists and other hearing healthcare professionals to improve client outcomes.

“My biggest concern is the disparity in opportunity between patients who are in city and rural areas, or even between a patient who has a team of audiologists and health care professionals around them that are aware of all the options versus one that does not,” Claire says.

“I think the greatest way I can address that disparity is to share my experience with the widest possible health audience and answer their concerns honestly and openly. I am hoping attendees will leave my session with a greater understanding of the indications for, benefits and limitations of cochlear implantation and the surgical risks involved so we can all collaborate better on providing streamlined, well-informed, consistent, cohesive health care to our hearing loss clients.”

Aside from a fleeting thought of becoming an astronomer in her pre-teen years, Claire says she was always destined for the life of a surgeon because of her attraction for its combination of rigorous science, research, demanding physical work and teamwork.

“ENT surgery, and particularly otology (ear surgery), suits my personality because it focuses heavily on function and quality of life. My favourite thing about my career is the daily joy of meeting new and established clients and sharing their hearing challenges and triumphs.”

→ Read more about the Cochlear Implants: Maximising Auditory Potential Across the Lifespan Stream

→ Register now for The Sound Exchange ’24, Audiology in Action!

Sandra Lee – Management of Chronic Conductive Hearing Loss in Adults Stream

Sandra Lee has had a diverse audiology career working in both the public hospitals and private sectors.

Specialising in bone conduction programming and cochlear implants, the Victorian Hearing audiologist will be presenting on how to improve an audiologist’s capabilities using nonstandard devices with clients who may not be suited for traditional hearing aids in the ‘Management of Chronic Conductive Hearing Loss in Adults’ masterclass stream led by Dominic Power.

Sandra Lee“I would like attendees to leave my session with the confidence to start a conversation about nonstandard devices, particularly bone conduction hearing aid solutions for candidates that may be suitable,” Sandra says.

Sandra’s love for audiology, education and transforming clients’ lives is infectious, with ‘never a dull moment’ in her day thanks to the variety of work she enjoys, from the technology to the clients, to the locations she’s worked at and her clinical tasks.

“It has been wonderful to be able to travel around Australia and assist communities in hearing better and living better.

“I have always been stretched to give my best during consultations. I love the challenge and providing hope to clients who walk through the doors, reconnecting them with their family and friends. This allows them to remain in the conversation, creating beautiful, shared memories, all because of a well-tailored hearing amplification.”

Learned from her extensive clinical experience and her additional work outside audiology as an employment consultant and a tour guide, Sandra believes that there is one factor above all else that has helped to connect her with her clients and deliver well-tailored hearing care.

“My advice for anyone starting a career in audiology is that the greatest gift you can give someone is your presence. Slow down and be fully attentive to the person in front of you. The more you get to know and listen to them, the better your tailored solution for them will be.”

→ Read more about the Management of Chronic Conductive Hearing Loss in Adults Stream

→ Register now for The Sound Exchange ’24, Audiology in Action!

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