Executive Council

Chessie Egan

President

I started in Audiology in 2003 after completing my Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Auckland.

During my career I have worked in the public sector (Waikato DHB) and also in private practice. I have had the pleasure working with some great people across both sectors and gained valuable experience in leadership, and managing clinics and teams, whilst maintaining a clinical load. I have also enjoyed mentoring and supervising many Audiologists over the years and like seeing their growth as they progress through their career.

Currently, I own my own independent practice in Auckland and work part-time at Waikato DHB. I have been on various sub-committees of the NZAS since 2008/2009 and currently lend my time as an OSCE examiner and Editor for the Bulletin which I find rewarding.

My strengths are diplomacy, being down to earth, fair and approachable. I am interested in a cohesive and collaborative society where our members feel comfortable sharing and working together to keep our patients’ best interests at heart.

Libby Gibbins

Immediate Past President

Libby feels incredibly lucky to work in such a deeply rewarding profession and appreciates the opportunity to guide our society with the support of the Executive Council and Executive Director in her role as NZAS President 2019/2020. 

Libby is a Canterbury graduate who works for Bay Audiology as Area Manager for the Lower North Island. She has worked as a clinical audiologist in NZ and for a short time in the Netherlands. Libby has been fortunate enough to work with NGO’s as well as public and private stakeholders in setting up an initiative to fit donated hearing aids and provide ongoing hearing services in Samoa. 

Her background includes being an NZAS Examiner and being on the 2017 and 2019 conference committees.  

Katrina Light

President Elect

Katrina Light graduated with an MAud from the University of Canterbury in 2010. Since then she has worked in a variety of situations, including the UC Hearing clinic, Hearing Excellence, aboriginal preschool, a private independent practice in Adelaide, and an otoneurological diagnostic centre in Adelaide. Katrina currently works part-time for HearingLife in Te Puke, Bay of Plenty, as she juggles her role as mother to two young sons. Katrina is on the Bulletin subcommittee and 2018 Conference subcommittee. She thoroughly enjoys the diversity of an audiologist’s job and feels privileged to be a part of each person’s life. Prior to studying audiology Katrina completed a BSc (Psychology and Biology), as well as a PhD in Psychological Medicine. She enjoys learning, and this translates into her work through her desire to hear her patient’s stories, work with colleagues to further our knowledge through local Journal Club, as well as collaborate with other audiologists across NZ to have a functional, representative and productive audiological society.

Benjamin (Ben) de Farias

Secretary, Treasurer

I have thoroughly enjoyed being involved with the NZAS as chair of the Conference Committee for 2018/2019 and I now hold the office of Secretary/Treasurer. I have relished the opportunity to manage and organise an event like the NZAS conference in Queenstown, a large part of which is managing costs and expenditure to keep in line with the outlined budget. This carries over well to the role of Secretary/Treasurer and, like previous years, I place great importance on maintaining transparency over NZAS finances – e.g. NZAS budget and membership fees.

As a newcomer to the NZAS Executive Council I will look to maintain the NZAS’s strong financial position as we move into some exciting times ahead – joint conferences etc. It will also give me the opportunity to gain some further insight into our society and industry. I look forward to this challenge and working with the Executive Council 2019/2020.

Erin Keach

Council Member - Audiologists

Erin Keach completed a MAud from the University of Auckland in 2013, and has worked in the public sector in New Zealand and the UK. She is currently working at Bay of Plenty District Health Board as the Professional Lead for Audiology and Newborn Hearing Screening. Erin is a previous CCC Support Person and Examiner, and current Paediatric Certificate Peer Reviewer and Executive Council Member. She cares deeply about Audiology in New Zealand, and as an EC member strives to meaningfully represent and support our society, profession and membership.

Janet Houghton

Council Member - Audiologists

Currently I run a Wellington-based independent private practice, Courtenay Hearing Centre, which I established in 1993. I am very privileged to work with an exceptional team of MNZAS colleagues and support staff. We have clinics in Wellington, Kapiti and Levin (SeeHear).

I am an Auckland/Melbourne graduate and began my career in Auckland working at the National Audiology Centre in a predominantly paediatric role. I was also involved in training occupational nurses and safety officers when the then Health Department took on a greater, New Zealand-wide role in industrial audiology. I have also worked for a major hearing aid manufacturer both here and in the US. 

I have served on the NZAS Executive Council on several occasions, including a stint as President in 2011/2012. I have been involved in the Professional Affairs & Relations (PAR) committee that represents the audiology profession to government agencies funding hearing loss services. 

I enjoy working with colleagues from all our various work places and wish to help maintain our high clinical standards and the viability of our profession. I also have a special interest in the area of tinnitus and hyperacusis treatment.

Joyce Au

Council Member - Audiologists

I started working as an audiologist in 2009 after completing my MAud from the University of Auckland. My first role was at Dilworth Hearing.

Subsequently I worked in the public sector for seven years, starting at Counties Manukau DHB, including a stint as charge audiologist in 2014, then Auckland DHB. I returned to the private sector in 2018 and am currently working for Audika in Auckland. I have supervised many audiology students and a provisional audiologist.

I am a current member of the Overseas Candidate Review Panel. I was also previously an OCSE examiner and OSCE coordinator from 2013-2016, as well as being part of the 2018 Conference Committee.

I am passionate about the profession and enjoy working with clients and their families to achieve great outcomes. I enjoy the challenges and thrive to provide the best hearing care to clients.

Jackie Clemmer

Council Member - Audiologists

I’m one of the large number of overseas trained clinicians who have found themselves settling in this beautiful place. Going on 14 years now and each day I am more grateful than the last to be here. New Zealand has offered a myriad of opportunities to grow both professionally and personally. 

My career has been and continues to be varied, working for both private practices and in public health. I served as Team Leader for Nelson Marlborough Health for five years, resigning the role to open my own private practice. At present I split my time between working at the hospital and in my own clinic. 

I have been active in the NZAS serving on MESC and as an OSCE examiner for many years and more recently on PAR, though for not as long. I am a paediatric specialist and am currently a Peer Reviewer for PTAG. 

In addition to the NZAS, I am a member of a number of other professional organisations including Independent Audiologists New Zealand (IANZ), the International Society of Audiology (ISA), the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and the American Academy of Audiology (AAA). Being a member of all of these organisations helps me to be up to date with the latest research, emerging technology and professional issues. 

Alison Feeney

Council Member - Audiometrists

I moved to NZ after a career in the National Health Service in the UK. I worked in acute care in three health districts, North Manchester, Preston, and Southport and Ormskirk. Over 10 years my roles encompassed New Born Hearing Screening, Vestibular Assessments and Tinnitus Rehabilitation alongside the routine diagnostic testing for ENT Outpatients and Hearing Aid Rehabilitation and Audiology Education and Assessment. 

After managing a large hospital based Audiology Department I moved into a succession of Senior Management Roles with in Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust which included Public Relations Management, Outpatients Management and Quality and Patient Liaison Management. 

A career break twelve years ago, to travel the world with my new husband, finished with an application to move to NZ and provided me the opportunity to return to my clinical roots. This was initially as an Area Sales Manager for GN Resound and from there I moved to a clinical role with Triton Hearing where I am now a Clinic Manager. 

I am passionate about empowering clients in managing their hearing rehabilitation through support and information and have a keen focus on effective communication in the rehabilitation process.

Thomas Muller

Council Member - Audiometrists

Thomas Müller is a qualified Audiometrist (Cert IV Audiometry, Diploma in Hearing Device Prescription&Evaluation, TAFE, NSW, Australia) and has over 30 years of experience in the hearing industry and over 10 years working with musicians and the wider industry.

He originates from Switzerland as a qualified Precision Engineer, and further qualifications in Electronics and Microelectronics provided him with an opportunity to join a leading Swiss hearing aid manufacturer where he could focus on hearing aid manufacturing and repairs.

Thomas travelled widely in his youth and settled in New Zealand in 1989 joining a major audiology clinic to extend his knowledge of all brands and makes of hearing aids.

While in this role, Thomas refined his knowledge of the comparative quality of hearing aid technology through visiting various manufacturers in the USA and Europe.

In recognition of his significant experience in hearing technologies, Thomas was invited to join a leading manufacturer in 1994, Widex NZ, where he established a world-class production and service support which contributed to the company's significant growth in New Zealand during that period.

Acoustix Hearing was founded in 2004 when Thomas had a vision of a hearing clinic that was more than just a retailer of hearing aids. Thomas wanted Acoustix Hearing to be trusted, independent and the supplier of cutting-edge hearing technologies that would solve the diverse needs of his customers. This independence means that Acoustix customers get the hearing solution that is right for them, rather than one that is driven by manufacturer agreements. 

Thomas says:

I help people who are challenged with their hearing; I understand the technology that is necessary to provide solutions to ensure that they can hear clearly in all sorts of listening environments.

I support and assist musicians, sound engineers and audiophiles in their quest for hearing their perfect sound quality, especially for optimum performance on-stage and off-stage.

I provide hearing and ear protection solutions to anyone who requires them – noisy workplaces, sleep-deprived, swimming and surfing, motor racing and motorbikes, aviation, gun & shooting, loud clubs and bars. In my opinion, it is better to prevent and protect than to aid after as there is no cure for premature and permanent hearing loss.