Meet the PODC Team
PODC is a non-profit organisation with a voluntary management committee. PODC employs two staff members, who are responsible for overseeing and implementing the organisation's services and plans. Our Management Committee 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 is passionate about 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 group called ‘Little Auslaners’.
Dr Chi Yhun Lo - Vice President
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 - 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.
Jess Lamont - Ordinary Committee Member