About NZAS


NZAS 2018/2019 Executive Council

Lucy Cochrane, President 

After studying at Auckland University, Lucy started working as an Audiologist in 2009 with Bay Audiology. Since that time she has enjoyed being a part of the audiology community, working with clients to achieve great outcomes, supervising and developing other Audiologists, and having the chance to be an OSCE examiner back in 2014 before heading overseas for a short time. Lucy recently returned to NZ after a secondment to the Amplifon Group HQ in Milan. Currently she is an Area Manager at Bay Audiology, responsible for the Central and Lower North Island.

Sarah Neilson, Past President

Sarah has served on the Executive Council since 2015, initially in the Secretary/Treasurer role and most recently as President Elect. Currently based in Auckland, working as Sales Director for Dilworth Hearing, she has been working as an Audiologist since 2007, with time in both public and private work in NZ and overseas. Sarah is interested in ensuring that the NZAS is run in a manner that focuses on helping New Zealanders with hearing loss, that benefits the entire membership, and that aligns to NZAS' strategic goals. Sarah is also keen to ensure that communication to NZAS membership is clear and easy to understand. 

Libby Gibbins, President Elect

Libby is a Canterbury graduate who has been working clinically since 2012, mostly in NZ and for a short time in the Netherlands. During this time, she 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.  Libby believes that the NZAS executive should consist of a diverse group that accurately represents its society members, including people from the public and private sectors and those with both fresh and experienced eyes. She feels incredibly lucky to work in such a deeply rewarding profession and appreciates the opportunity to help guide our society in its future direction.

Michael Severn, Secretary/Treasurer

This is Michael's 6th consecutive year on the EC, after serving in the President Elect/President/Past President role and then secretary last year. Throughout this time he has learned a huge amount about the NZAS and plans to put this knowledge to good use in the Secretary/Treasurer role for a second time and ensure that money is well spent in a manner that benefits the entire membership. Michael wants to ensure continued transparency of the NZAS budget, justification of membership fees, costs and expenditure. As a member of the EC he has been involved in the Education Liaison Committee (ELC), Professional Affairs Representation (PAR), Scope of Practice (SoP) Committee, Conference Committee and the Hearing Aid and Technical Advisory team within the NFD. He was an examiner for the NZAS from 2009-2011. Michael is the Regional Manager BOP – HearingLife Clinics.


 Council Members - Audiologists

Karen Pullar has worked as an Audiologist in both the public and the private sector in New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, France, America and the United Kingdom, since 1981. After retiring from Oticon New Zealand Limited in 2014 where she held a number of audiology, marketing and management positions over 26 years and developed a broad international commercial acumen, Karen is using her extensive knowledge, experience and passion for audiology to make a positive difference to the Society and give back to the profession.  As well as serving on the Council from 1990-1992 as Secretary/Treasurer, giving her time as an examiner, a member of the Standards, PAR and Wellington Conference Committees; Karen has also been active in other professional and community organisations including the Hearing Instrument and Manufactures Distributors Association (HIMADA) where she served as Chairperson for 14 years, the National Foundation for the Deaf, and the Hearing Association. Karen is currently: working part time as an Audiologist with Courtenay Hearing Centre; the Secretary of the Oticon Foundation in New Zealand, a Board Member of Hearing Auckland; and Honorary Consul-General for the Royal Danish Consulate-General, Wellington. 

Bridget Bethell is passionate and driven about audiology.  She originally trained as a speech and language therapist and completed her audiology qualification in 2012. She has been based at Gisborne Hospital for the last 3 years in the role of sole charge Audiologist and co-ordinator of the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme.  Her particular passion is paediatric audiology.  She feels that being on the Executive Council could be an effective way to enure that public audiologists are supported, and that high quality paediatric and adult audiology services are provided in all regions throughout New Zealand, especially those regions that are small and isolated.

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.

Erin Keach completed a MAud from the University of Auckland in 2013, and has worked in the public sector for a number of years at Waikato DHB. Recently she worked a short stint in the UK, and is currently working as a locum throughout DHBs in New Zealand to assist with workforce gaps in the public sector. This wide range of work experience has highlighted the strengths of Audiology in New Zealand, but has also given her a fresh perspective and ideas for improvement.  Erin is a previous CCC Support person, a current Examiner and a Paediatric Certificate Peer Reviewer. She cares deeply about Audiology in New Zealand, and as an EC member strives to meaningfully represent and support our membership.

Council Members - Audiometrists

Fabian Straube works in the Sales and Audiology team at Phonak New Zealand. He joined Phonak in November 2016 after working for over 13 years as a Hearing Healthcare Practitioner (HCP) in Germany, Spain and New Zealand. Fabian received is Diploma in Prosthetic Audiology at Escuela El Clot – Barcelona, Spain in 2007 after doing an Apprenticeship under the guidance of the German Hoerakustik Meister. Following this he completed further studies in Business Management and Educational theory as part of the German Acoustician Masters program. In 2007 Fabian became the Clinical lead and Regional Manager for a German Audiology business Hoergeraete Reichel. Between 2012 and 2013 Fabian participated in a project revamping southern Spain’s oldest hearing clinic founded in 1977, Centro Auditivo Jose Luis Dominguez. Working as a Audiometrist for Triton Hearing late 2013 I became a audiometrist member of the NZAS in June 2016. Fabian is passionate about people and technology and how both can merge together. Living in an era where technology is shaping our lives, he strongly believes that the role of the clinician is key for a successful future of our profession.

Steve Foster
qualified as a Hearing Aid Dispenser in the UK in 1998 and worked for Hidden Hearing until moving to New Zealand in 2006. He was employed by Bay Audiology as their Training and Development Manager from 2006 to 2010, working in both Hamilton and Auckland. He moved to Hearing Technology as their Auckland Area Manager from 2010 until being approached by National Hearing Care in 2012 to become their Clinical Training Manager. When NHC was closed in 2013, Steve set up his own company: Hear Again Limited, in Whangaparaoa. Steve was heavily involved with the introduction of Audiometrist Membership into NZAS and helped to create the Scope of Practice and Supervision requirements for Audiometrist members. Steve is passionate about the provision of excellent customer service to the hearing impaired and have always striven in all the roles he has held to pass this onto the Audiologists and Audiometrists he have trained and coached.

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