Meet our Audiology team - TSH

Meet our Audiology team

Azadeh Ebrahimi-Madiseh

Trude Hallaraker

Position: Head of Hearing Services  

Length of tenure: 15 months 

What is your favourite part of the job? 
Creating better services to meet the needs of children and their families.  

What does your day look like, either on location or seeing children at the centre?  
Lots of meetings, planning, agreeing, disagreeing, negotiating, reading... (all the boring but important stuff!) and taking care of our cochlear implant program, where I get to see some of the most amazing young human beings! 

What is your most memorable moment?  
I sometimes do school duty at Talkabout during recess or lunch breaks. I cannot forget the joy of one of the little girls building connection with me, holding hands, wanting me to walk her to the classroom and stay with her. What is more rewarding than that? 

What do you like the most about your role at TSH?  
Bringing healthcare and education together to better meet the needs of children with hearing, speech and language difficulty.   

What is one piece of advice for parents / caregivers when it comes to Ear and Hearing care? You know your child better than anyone else. If you feel they need help, seek it immediately and do not settle for the second best. You are an important part of care. 

Position: Community Outreach Lead – Ear Health 

Length of tenure: 9 years 

What is the favourite part of the job? 
The people. The amazing children, families and communities I work with. I love connecting and working with them to ensure they get the services they need, and watching them reach their potential.   

What does your day look like, either on location or seeing children at the centre? 
It is different every day it incorporates travel, ear health and audiology clinics, training, engaging with families, communities and other organisations… and so many things in between. 

What is your most memorable moment? 
There are too many! Watching a child overcome their phobia of hearing tests, watching a client able to take a phone call, connecting families with resources, information or services that make a difference are just a few. 

What do you like the most about your role within TSH? 
All of the above. It is such a varied and interesting role and a great organisation to work with. 

What is one piece of advice for parents / caregivers when it comes to ear and hearing care? 
If in doubt about yours or your family members hearing, get it checked! 

Judy Rothaker

Louise Pannek

Position: Outreach Admin Clinic Coordinator  
Length of tenure: 7 years  
What is the favourite part of the job?  
Making a difference to indigenous families, helping them to get access to audiology services for their children. 
What does your day look like, either on location or seeing children at the centre?  
Busy; at my computer emailing, setting up clinic appointments, contacting families and allied health teams in the Wheatbelt and Pilbara as well as in meetings or lots of data entry. 
What is your most memorable moment?  
Working with a family who had several children who had ear health/hearing issues, mum had disengaged with services, but we managed to get her to attend a clinic where her child was diagnosed with a hearing loss and then went to AH, where she was fitted with a hearing device. Even better, she was wearing it at school and at home. One day at home the child called out, “Mum I can hear the TV!”   
Mum was so impressed she continued coming regularly to appointments with her subsequent children (others also had hearing health issues) and around town would promote the benefits to her families and kin. This clinic is now one of our busiest Wheatbelt clinics, having a great attendance rate and we know that, as a consequence, more children in this town are accessing services that will make a difference to their learning. From little things, big things grow in a great, longlasting ripple effect.  
What do you like the most about your role within TSH? 
Supporting families.  
What is one piece of advice for parents / caregivers when it comes to Ear and Hearing care?  
If in doubt check it out! Trust your instincts.  

Position: Ear Health Program Officer 

Length of tenure: 4 years. 

What is your favourite part of the job? 

My favourite part of the job is screening children and young people of all ages from all over WA and even some from outback Northern Territory and South Australia, who are boarding at Clontarf Aboriginal College. I love chatting with them all and hearing their stories. 

What does your day look like, either on location or seeing children at the centre? 

On a typical day, I load up the TSH bus with screening equipment and head down the freeway to a school (or a health centre if we are screening very little kids). Then I greet the school staff and unload everything into a quiet room. Someone will bring the kids to see me who need screening. Each screen usually takes around 10 to 15 minutes. I leave the results with the school when I leave, so that the parents can have them the same day or the next day. I also let the teachers know whose hearing isn’t very good that day. 

Then it’s back to the office to enter all the data and to organise follow ups for the kids who need to see our audiologist or an ENT specialist. 

What do you like the most about your role within TSH? 

In my role, I get to interact with many different people – audiologists, other staff members, teachers, parents, nurses, Aboriginal liaison officers and, of course, the kids. Everyone is working together to get the best outcomes for the kids. And I get to meet a lot of interesting ears!! 

What is one piece of advice for parents / caregivers when it comes to Ear and Hearing care?  
Don’t forget about your child’s hearing after they have passed the newborn hearing screen. Remember their ear health can change quickly when they are unwell.  Keep checking the hearing milestones and follow up with your nurse or doctor if you think something has changed with their hearing. 

Marian Brandreth

Position: Senior Audiologist 

Length of tenure: 2 years 5 months, plus 2 years from 2013-2015 

What is your favourite part of the job? 

Having my ears enthusiastically examined with otoscopy and tympanometry by some of our enrolled early intervention ‘Chatterbox’ students. They may be younger than five years of age, but I can see there should be no shortage of our next generation of audiologists! 

What does your day look like, either on location or seeing children at the centre? 

I have the privilege of regularly performing audiological care in some of the most remote indigenous communities in the Kimberley. An ENT, Nurse, Ear Health Coordinator and I fly early each day from Halls Creek or Fitzroy Crossing in a tiny plane (with or without air conditioning), and land on dirt runways, dodging birdlife on our descent. We are welcomed by the elders and nursing staff to care for the communities’ ear health. Its allhands-ondeck to set up our equipment on our arrival, as groups of children and their families are brought into the clinic. Testing can be challenging amid the red dirt, heat and the noise of excited children, but it is a great feeling at the end of the day when we have seen everyone who wanted to attend, and we are being waved off by the children to fly to the next welcoming community. 

What is your most memorable moment? 

Having diagnosed a newborn baby less than one week of age with an unexpected bilateral profound hearing loss, it was a delight to observe her hearing sound for the very first time when ‘switching on’ her cochlear implants. To share the smiles and widening eyes of the baby hearing her parent’s voices for the first time is one of the most special aspects of my career.  

What do you like the most about your role within TSH? 

I have the privilege of supporting our families of children with permanent and temporary hearing loss and/or speech difficulties. I monitor their hearing and middle ear function and help them navigate and problemsolve the world of amplification. I work with incredibly committed families and feel very emotional as our students graduate into the big wide world as confident and happy children with excellent communication skills. 

What is one piece of advice for parents / caregivers when it comes to ear and hearing care? 

If you have any concerns regarding your child’s hearing, speech development or ear health, don’t hesitate to seek advice from a specialised paediatric audiologist. Glue ear is a silent condition which can significantly impact a child’s ability to hear the clarity of speech. It is often only diagnosed when a child’s speech is not reaching their age matched milestones and children who attend daycare are particularly at risk. Never delay, book in today!