PODC is a non-profit organisation with a voluntary management committee. PODC employs a Coordinator and an Administration Assistant, who are responsible for overseeing and implementing the organisation’s services and plans. Office bearers are elected at our Annual General Meeting each November.
Our Management Committee
Anna Messariti – President
Anna is a parent of Xavier, who is 9 years old and who has a moderate-moderately severe hearing loss. He wears hearing aids and attends a mainstream school. She has been on the Management Committee of PODC for 5 years and is currently the President.
Mark Burfield – Vice President
Mark is the father of four children. The first was born profoundly deaf in 1999, received a cochlear implant in 2001 and a second in 2010, and is currently in a public secondary school hearing support unit. Mark’s primary concern is the maintenance and improvement of services for the hearing impaired at all stages. He is employed by Settlement Services International as an "Ability Linker" (community development and capacity building for people with disabilities and their families and carers). His voluntary roles include: Secretary of Universal Peace Federation Australia, State Commissioner for Scouts with Special Needs, Co-Chair of the Children's Festival in Sydney city, and Secretary of the Burwood Public School P&C Association.
Linda Brady – Ordinary Committee Member
Linda lives on the Central Coast with her husband Barney and two children, Eoin, aged 10 years, and Anna, aged 8 years. Both Eoin and Anna attend a local independent school. Eoin has auditory neuropathy and a moderate to profound hearing loss. He was fitted with hearing aids at 4 months and subsequently implanted unilaterally at age 6.
Carmen Rice – Ordinary Committee Member
Carmen is a primary school teacher and mother of four children aged 3, 5, 7 and 9. Bentley, aged 5, was born with microtia and atresia on the right side. Microtia is the malformation or absence of the external ear and atresia is the absence of the ear canal. Bentley has a unilateral hearing loss and wears a BAHA on a softband. He started kindergarten in 2017 at his local school. Carmen is interested in supporting families so they may support their children.
Katie Shammas - Ordinary Committee Member
Katie is the mother of two daughters, Hanan and Maysa. Maysa has a mild to moderately-severe hearing loss and attends a mainstream public school. Katie's main areas of interest and concern are the impact on siblings and the social/emotional development of deaf children in hearing families. Katie is married to Paul and works as an environmental professional for the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.
Fleur Henderson – Executive Officer
Fleur is the mother of an eight year old daughter and the sister of two siblings with Usher Syndrome. Prior to taking on the role of Executive Officer at PODC, Fleur had been a mentor with the Deaf Society’s Parent to Parent Mentoring Program. Professionally, Fleur has worked for the past 20 years in various roles globally for both Government and private companies specialising in Project Management. Fleur is passionate about helping families of deaf and hearing impaired children reach their full potential.