Meet Our People
John holds an Associate Diploma in Securities Management from the University of Technology, Sydney and is an associate fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a fellow of the Corporate Directors' Association of Australia and a Justice of the Peace in New South Wales.
John has been a Director of the Securities Registrars Association of Australia Inc. since 1984, Vice President from 1999 to 2003 and Secretary since 2003.
He has been a Director of the National Club since 1995 and a Director of the Australasian Pioneers' Club since 2001 and was appointed Secretary in June 2004 and Vice President in May 2005. Mr Steel is also the President of Better Hearing Australia (Sydney) Inc., having served as a volunteer for some time.
Prior to his retirement in September 2002, Mr Steel 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, Mr Steel worked for more than 25 years in a number of Senior Management roles covering all facets of the Stockbroking/Securities industry.
Marion joined BHA in 2008 following her retirement from the workforce where she worked as a bookkeeper/office manager for a Diesel engineering firm for 25 years and then with a company involved in the production of colour film separations for the printing industry.
She is the treasurer of her school's ex-students' association. Her hobbies are travelling, reading, philately, cooking and Tai Chi.
Carmen, who is Marion's younger sister, joined BHA in 2009 when she retired from her position as Loans Manager of Comtax Credit Union Ltd, a position she held for 31 years. Carmen is enjoying her retirement with gardening, philately, philumeny (match box collecting), travelling and Tai Chi.
Carmen is the Treasurer for the Strathfield-Burwood Philatelist Society.
Andrew Bush, our immediate past National Secretary, has spent the majority of his working life working with Church and para-Church counselling, social service, and welfare agencies. In 1978, he joined the staff of The Scots’ Church, Melbourne and served as its Missioner, and the Missioner of the Presbyterian and Scots’ Church Joint Mission, a Day Centre for Homeless People based in Drummond Street Carlton, where he served until 1985. Andrew was a Justice of The Peace in NSW for fifty years, and was a Justice of The Peace and a Bail Justice in Victoria for about eight years in the 1980s and 1990s."
Warwick was educated at Fort Street Boys’ High School and then he worked at the Sydney office of the Bank of New South Wales (now Westpac). Since 1988 he spent 15 years as the National Credit Manager at Schwarzkopf until that company was taken over by the Henkel Corp a few years back. He has recently assumed the position of Office Manager at BHA Sydney.
Warwick has had a great interest in sport, playing both rugby and cricket at school and he went on to captain a cricket team to a premiership afterwards. His other interests include philately, history (both modern and ancient), cooking and reading as well as Australian Rules football.
Vijay L Sodhi
Teacher, Bondi Junction and Parramatta 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.
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.
Co-ordinator of Teachers; Teacher, Chatswood and Concord Classes
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.
Roma Wood OAM
Roma brings a wealth of knowledge and experience gained as a person with hearing loss, and as a cochlear implantee. Even a decade later, Roma still finds that there is a whole new world out there.
During her National Presidency in 1982, Roma was awarded a Churchill Fellowship which allowed her the opportunity to study rehabilitation services in Europe and the U.S. The knowledge gained, together with her personal experience has resulted in the production of specialised resource material for hearing impaired clients, including a lip reading handbook widely used by isolated people, in country or rural areas.
Roma was honoured for her work when in 1991 she was awarded the Order of Australia and in 1990 named Quota International’s Woman of the Year in the South Pacific Area. Roma was elected an Honorary Life Member at the 2006 National Annual General Meeting.
Roma continues to heighten community awareness to the issues of hearing loss by her involvement in many speaking engagements, media presentations, seminars and workshops.
Roma was appointed Vice Patron in June 2015.
Sister Judith Barwick LCM
Sister Judith Barwick LCM is a support teacher with BHA Sydney in the Hearing Loss Management Program at Hurstville Sydney. Judith is a member of the Little Company of Mary Sisters – a worldwide congregation of religious sisters, founded by an English woman Mary Potter – in Nottingham England in 1877 to be present with the suffering and the dying people of our world.
Judith’s professional background is in general, midwifery, psychiatric and gerontologcial nursing, in clinical practice and management. She has a moderate neurosensorial hearing loss with bilateral hearing aids. Following her professional retirement in 2011, Judith joined BHA Sydney as a volunteer, completing her training as a teacher in Hearing Loss Management in 2013.
Judith is also a member of the Committee of Management of Better Hearing Australia Sydney Inc.
I was educated at Cheltenham Girls’ High school, then completed a B.A. at the University of Sydney. The major part of my working career was spent in a number of different administrative roles at Macquarie University.
My introduction to the issues and challenges presented by hearing loss began when our first son was born with severe to profound bilateral deafness, 38 years ago. We joined the Shepherd Centre programme when he was about 9 months old, and were very actively involved from then on with his speech acquisition, social development and education. About 20 years ago, my husband acquired a moderate to severe hearing loss, so I have an understanding of the effects of hearing loss on both children and adults.
Following my retirement in 2007, I decided to undertake voluntary work. After finding out about BHA, I completed the Teachers’ Training Course, and have since lead classes at Pennant Hills and Chatswood. I have enjoyed helping BHA members develop and improve their skills to cope with and manage hearing loss, in a supportive and friendly setting.
For relaxation I enjoy gardening, reading, and going to the theatre and I have a life-long interest in nature, conservation and the environment.
Lorna Clayton, Pennant Hills Class (sharing the class with Kerrin Parry). . . trained as a primary school teacher and ended up teaching English as a Second Language. I have been wearing hearing aids since I was forty (long enough to discover how much they can improve over the years) and wouldn’t be without them. I have been a U3A group leader in various subjects for about 20 years and am still leading a creative writing group. I love to write - both prose and poetry.