Board Members, 2022

About BHA.wa

  • The BHA.wa Board is a volunteer Board helping adults on their Hearing Loss Journey to achieve better hearing. We rely upon the generosity of our membership base to ensure our rich development and continued relevance to the community we serve, namely those on their Hearing Loss Journey.

  • Hearing loss IS NOT a single issue. We know that hearing loss, untreated, is strongly associated with dementia, withdrawal from social situations, reduced brain function and even Alzheimer’s Disease and increased falls! By focussing on our brains’ plasticity, training our brains to hear better with lipreading skills and by using and adjusting hearing aids, learning new skills to use captioning and sub-titles AND by supporting families and friends too, we help our brains and our communities. Please join us, as we ease the problems and find more joy in all our journeys.

  • We have a prime focus on adults with age-related hearing loss, adapting to their personal hearing loss journey. But we serve all groups of the d/Deaf community, from those who identify with the community of people with profound hearing loss (hence the capitalised ‘Deaf’) and their families; to we even feel a responsibility to those 60% of older Australians prescribed hearing aids, who leave them in the bedside drawer! Of course we cant help them YET, but the other 40%, who are learning NOT to leave them, and are still adding joy to their new life on the long, slow, hearing loss journey with friends.

  • Board members are appointed by members voting at each AGM. Under our Constitution rules there are limits to how long a member can occupy various positions, to ensure the renewal of the organisation over time. On the other hand the stability of Boards can be most helpful to ensure follow through on longer-term policy and projects.

  • In WA we have been lucky to attract a high calibre group of individuals who are enjoying offering their skills to help BHA.wa remain relevant and pro-active as a member of Better Hearing Australia (Inc.), one of Australia’s largest volunteer-based support groups for those of us on their hearing loss journey.

  • And if you have suggestions for Projects or ideas to help our community, please get in touch and get us excited about your idea!

Barbara Alcock, Chair

Barbara has been a contributor and member at BHA.wa since 2014, and Chair since 2020. Her energy, leadership and experience are invaluable to us. She writes:.
I became friends with a Deaf lady before my own hearing started to decline, so I knew straight away where I could get help and support. Today, helping others also helps me reinforce my own learning regarding hearing loss but also the classes we teach, ie lipreading and Auslan.

We are a tightknit but very friendly group, maybe because we understand each other’s situations so well. It’s been very growthful being on the BHA.wa Board and I hope to see YOU at classes one day!

Pic of Sarah brown, Treasurer of BHA.wa

Sarah Brown, Treasurer

As my hearing decreases learning to lip read is important for me. In my 70s and I started to wear hearing aids. I joined BHA(WA) in 2020 and our lip reading classes are a joy. It is so affirming to be with others who understand the problems of hearing loss. I progress slowly!

I have been treasurer to 2 smaller organisations, luckily now I have the help of other board members… I am on a steep learning curve, keeping all on a computer!

Shelley London, Memberships

Shelley has severe hearing loss and joined BHA WA in order to learn lipreading. She has found being involved with BHA.wa a great way to connect with others with hearing loss and we are very pleased she has agreed to join the committee as Membership Secretary.

Frances Carlton, Secretary

Frances grew up on the edge of London and later moved to the Surrey countryside, so is at ease with cows or corporate situations.

I watched my grandmother, aunt and mother struggle with hearing loss; a genetic trait. So when I began to experience my own hearing loss, I promptly acquired hearing aids.  I joined BHA classes to learn lipreading, and later began facilitating the BHA interactive lipreading sessions, a fun social event, where hearing difficulties are understood and supported. 

I have had an interesting professional life as a senior underwriter (London), a teacher and later qualified as a hypnotherapist. Relaxation is time spent on beach walks with my dog, and playing mah-jong.

John Harvey, Tech Projects

John is a retired engineer who has noise induced hearing loss from many years working in power generation, hard rock mining and energy.  He has 3 adult children and he and his wife are extremely proud of their infant granddaughter.  

Outside family, John’s passions are golf, renewable energy and is an avid football and baseball fan.  His major tasks are managing projects to keep BHA.wa solvent!

Peter Alcock, Board member

Peter has been on the Board since 2015, and his stable influence, skills in accounting, attention to detail and inspired decision making has helped keep BHA.wa on target and on budget ever since! We suspect his skills stem from more than previous experiences as a farmer , but that probably helped…

(Real words on their way!)

Dr Barnard Clarkson, ViceChair

Barnard is a proud grandfather, dad and husband; and still works as an honorary ECU researcher. He often brings research-based stories and news to classes. As vice-chair at BHA.wa since 2015 he has contributed to many projects, from helping run the 2015 National Conference in Freo, to encouraging our Lipreading WebApp (since 2016, the first Australian-accented lipreading app), through to Barbara’s Qsign Project (2020) — assisting care staff by teaching them just 20 Auslan signs to help communicate with their residential clients. Do YOU have an idea for a project? Please contact us!