Meet the PODC Team

PODC is a non-profit organisation with a voluntary management committee. PODC employs an Administration and Communications Officer and Project Manager, who are responsible for overseeing and implementing the organisation's services and plans. Committee office bearers are elected at our Annual General Meeting. 

Our Management Committee 

Suzie Robertson - President 

Suzie is a mum of twin boys, Alec and Oliver, who were born at 32 weeks’ gestation and survivors of twin-to-twin transfusion. Upon being discharged, Ollie received a refer on his hearing test, before being diagnosed as profoundly deaf with complex auditory neurotherapy. He has bilateral cochlear implants since he was 3 years old and has been learning Auslan since birth, with fluency in Auslan and English. Suzie is passionate about mentoring families to gain confidence in advocating for themselves, with the philosophy that parents are the biggest experts on their children. She’s currently working on a submission for the disability royal commission, making sure families voices are heard, particularly those who speak English as their second language. She has been a
full-time member of the PODC committee for two years and also co-facilitates a Facebook community forum called ‘Little Auslaners’.
 

Vacant - Vice President

Vacant - Secretary 

Maria Fresta - Treasurer 

Maria first became a member of PODC in 2006 after her son, Jack, was born with a moderate hearing loss. His hearing deteriorated, and he received a Cochlear Implant in 2010 and in 2014. Jack has two older sisters who are hearing. Maria initially made contact with PODC as the family had no understanding of hearing loss and what this would mean for Jack. Having this support was very helpful as they could learn from the experiences of other families.
Maria was appointed treasurer in 2019, after Mark emailed the membership for assistance in filling Committee positions. Given her accounting background, she decided to join the committee and use her business and administration skills as a way of assisting PODC. She has worked in her family-owned business for over 25 years, and loves cooking, reading and enjoying the outdoors with her family.
 

Mark Burfield - Ordinary Committee Member

Mark is the father of four children. The first was born profoundly deaf in 1999 and received a Cochlear Implant in 2001 and a second in 2010. Mark’s primary concern through PODC is ensuring the maintenance and improvement of services for deaf and hard of hearing children at all stages. Mark is employed by SSI (Settlement Services International) as an ILC (Information, Linkages and Capacity Building) Consultant in the LAC (Local Area Coordination) Program of the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme). His voluntary roles include State Commissioner, Inclusion for Scouts NSW, and a Vice President of the Children's Festival Organisation.  

Dr Chi Yhun Lo Ordinary Committee Member 

Chi has been with PODC since 2018 and is a Research Fellow at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation and an Adjunct Fellow at Macquarie University. His research interests are deafness, music, and health (and sometimes all three combined!). As a former audio engineer that used to work with the iconic Australian children’s band “The Hooley Dooleys”, his experience and skillset have turned from entertainment to health. A champion for open access and open learning, Chi is an award-winning educator and noted communicator - a NSW Fresh Scientist, a 3 Minute Thesis finalist, the co-creator of a workshop: "Breaking down the invisible barriers between the deaf and the hearing", and a speaker for organisations such as Cochlear Limited, NextSense, The Shepherd Centre/Hear For You, and Sydney Science Festival. Chi delivered the PODC initiative of a Science Camp for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children in collaboration with Macquarie University and the Junior Science Academy which was a Finalist at the Engagement Australia 2021 Excellence Awards.

Vacant - Ordinary Committee Member 

Our Staff 

Kellyanne Rosalion – Administration and Communications Officer 

Kellyanne is the mum of a bilaterally implanted Deaf daughter, and a hearing son. Kellyanne is Deaf, has bilateral cochlear implants and lives in a bilingual, bimodal family. Kellyanne has always had a passion for working with deaf children and families, and has worked as a Teacher of the Deaf in Melbourne and in other roles supporting deaf children in the education setting. Her experiences as both a Deaf individual and the mother of a Deaf child, have developed into a desire to help deaf children make connections with others like them. Since moving to the ACT in 2016, she has worked to try and build these connections for her own family, and has now joined PODC to help build this community in the ACT to support other families. 


Roxi David - Project Manager

Roxi is a proud mum to Christian, a wonderful six year old boy. He was born with a severe bilateral sensorineural hearing loss, which is due to an inherited connexin-26 recessive gene mutation on chromosome 13. Christian makes good use of his Phonak hearing aids, which he has been wearing since he was an infant. The available technology, coupled with sheer dedication from his family and support team of allied specialists, means Christian is now expressing himself verbally in English, and attending mainstream school in Year 1. His family have raised him to be bilingual, with Romanian as his second language, and now they’d like to focus on learning Auslan to make connections with families that communicate in diverse ways. When Roxi started her journey as a parent to a child with hearing loss, she contacted PODC and was mentored by Fleur. Roxi has now joined PODC as Project Manager out of the desire to apply her academic knowledge in psychology and her skills in support of people with disability, their family and carers, and to help them realise there are a plethora of possibilities for them to live their best life. She believes that with timely and adequate support, respect and genuine connections between people, anything is possible.

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