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Meet Our People


Management Committee

John Steel



John holds an Associate Diploma in Securities Management from the University of Technology, Sydney, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders.

He was a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors from 2001 to 2019 and a former fellow of the Corporate Directors' Association of Australia.

He is a Justice of the Peace in New South Wales and has been a member of the NSW Justices Association since 2001.


John has been an active Rotarian since 2004 and has undertaken numerous volunteer projects in Vanuatu and East Timor.  


John was a Director of the Securities Registrars Association of Australia Inc. from 1984, Vice President from 1999 to 2003, and Secretary from 2003 until 2020.


He was a former Director of the National Club from 1995 to 2021 and a Director of the Australasian Pioneers' Club from 2001 to 2015 and was appointed Secretary in June 2004 and Vice President in May 2005. 


John has been President of Better Hearing Australia (Sydney) Inc., since 2010, having joined the organisation as a volunteer in 2005.


Prior to his retirement in September 2002, John spent 11 years with State Street Australia Limited as Senior Manager of the organisation's Corporate Trustee and Registry Services division. He was a member representative Trustee of the State Street Superannuation Fund from 1992 to 2002 and Chairman from 1997 to 2001.


Before joining State Street Australia Limited in 1991, John worked for more than 25 years in a number of Senior Management roles covering all facets of the Stockbroking/Securities industry.”

Trish Wetton.png

Patricia Wetton OAM 

Hon Secretary 


Patricia (Trish) Wetton OAM joined BHA in 2019 following her retirement as CEO of Foresight Australia in 2018.

Trish is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a MSpEd (SensDis) Renwick Centre, RIDBC, Newcastle University 2006 and GrDipFinAdm UTS 1990.


She joined DeafBlind Australia (NSW) in 1996 and was elected to the Board in 2018 and became Public Officer from 1 October 2018 and Secretary in 2020.

Trish was Financial Administrator and CEO of Inala from 1976-1996, working with children and adults with disabilities.


She was CEO of Forsight Australia from 1996-2018, working with adults and deafblindness living in community group homes. 


During 2014-2017, Trish led Forsight Australia to transition 30 adults with deafblindness from FACS large residences to 6 new FACS Foresight purpose-built homes.


Bradley (Brad) Cooper

Hon Treasurer 


I came to BHA in 2017 after many years in the community sector in a variety of roles. These included Volunteer Coordinator at Josephite Community Aid, Case Worker at Mary MacKillop Outreach and Recreation Officer at Tuesday Night Club Disability Service.


In 2013 I completed a Diploma in Leisure and Lifestyle qualifying as a Diversional Therapist.


Prior to this my unconventional career path has included stints as a ladies’ shoe salesman, tour guide, bingo caller, barman, bus driver, pool lifeguard, and children’s entertainer.


Some other interesting facts: my favourite food is chocolate; I was once a contestant on The Price Is Right (I lost), and it would be an understatement to say that I am quite a big fan of Doctor Who.

Gina Carovigno

Committee Member

Office Staff

Bradley (Brad) Cooper

Office Manager



Vijay L Sodhi

Teacher, Concord Classes


Vijay is our very devoted and committed teacher. Originally from India, Vijay came to Australia in 1982 with her husband and two little children. She worked with Centrelink for more than 22 years before retiring in 2008. She has a long history of volunteering, working with The Smith Family as a volunteer English Teacher during her full time employment.


After retiring, her quest for helping her community got bigger and bigger. She started BHA as a Trainee Teacher and has since completed her training. Having studied as a teacher in India, she absolutely loves teaching. She is also involved in other volunteer work with Meals on Wheels and Vision Australia.

Sunny Stuart

Teacher, Hurstville Class


Sunny suffered gradual loss of hearing from early adulthood and was fitted with hearing aids in the late 1980s. In 2001, she heard of Better Hearing Australia and joined a local hearing loss management class to interact with other people facing similar issues.


During 2002 Sunny completed the required training to become a tutor and since 2003 has been leading her class as they support and encourage each other in living in the “real world” with a hearing loss. In 2005 she featured in the Hurstville Council’s annual Community Service Awards in acknowledgement of her contribution to the hearing impaired of that community.

Margaret Dengate

Co-ordinator of Teachers


Margaret is one of our few teachers who is not hearing impaired. In her early life she lived in Kogarah Bay, attending Carlton South and Blakehurst High schools. She qualified at Sydney University in Arts and Education, the latter covering languages and Mathematics. Her first teaching appointment was at Leichhardt Girls' Junior High. After spending six months in Europe, she worked in a primary school as an ESL teacher (English as a Second Language).


After marrying her husband, Doug, they lived in Concord for three years before settling in Frenchs Forest where they have been ever since. She left teaching once the family started and, in the many years since then, she has been involved in a variety of voluntary work including helping people with their shopping and teaching French to seniors. After joining BHA in 2006, she completed the Teachers’ Training Course and has already conducted several short courses on Hearing Loss Management.


Her hobbies include reading, cryptic crosswords and tennis.

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