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
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.
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