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  • 17 Nov 2023 4:25 PM | IAA CEO (Administrator)


    Paediatric Certification not fit-for-purpose, AHPRA registration of audiologists urgently needed

    November 17th, 2023 –

    Independent Audiologists Australia (IAA) has welcomed the report released by the Townsville Hospital and Health Services (THHS) following the investigation of the Townsville University Hospital's (TUA) Audiology department. IAA believes that THHS should take action on all 25 of the recommendations in the report. The investigation was initiated by THHS's internal audit process after a cluster of "unexpected outcomes" was discovered in the follow-up testing of newborns from the hearing screening program. THHS voluntarily expanded the review to include cochlear implant mapping outcomes after becoming aware of reported adverse outcomes at South Australia's Women's and Children's Health Network (WCHN). THHS should be commended for initiating a timely, transparent, and comprehensive investigation.

    IAA was saddened to see these issues surface in hospitals across multiple states. We raise concerns that audits are not routinely performed in all states, and recommend that this be considered with urgency. The reviews of both TUH and WCHN highlight the challenges encountered by audiology departments in hospitals—over-scheduling, understaffing, and audiologists often working in isolation. The THHHS recommendations included collaborative models of care, and engagement with external providers. Where possible, IAA strongly believes that patients should be informed of community-based, private, and not-for-profit cochlear implant and audiology services.

    Click here for more

  • 10 Nov 2023 3:30 PM | IAA CEO (Administrator)

    From Deafness Forum Australia's November 2023 'One in Six' magazine:

    Calls for National Regulation of Audiologists: Townsville hospital audiology failures prompt millions in compensation.

    Reported in this article by Andrew Messenger for The Guardian, The Queensland government will pay more than $2.2m to families of 97 child patients of a hospital’s audiology unit.

    Townsville University hospital’s audiology unit programmed cochlear implants in some children incorrectly, misdiagnosed others, and even conducted hearing tests on an infant who was asleep*, a damning independent review has found.

    The clinic is the only public option for many patients in northern Queensland, who would otherwise be forced to travel to Brisbane for specialised care.

    The clinic was poorly organised, staff were overworked, and key protocols did not appear to be followed, leading to poor outcomes, monitoring, measurement, and reporting.

    An investigation was conducted and last week a report was published. Read the report. The Queensland government has promised to spend more than $2.2m compensating the families of 97 patients who required additional testing and follow-up care as a result of the errors.

    Read the full article here

    *A clarification from IAA: Most infant hearing tests such as ABR and OAEs are appropriately performed while the infant is asleep or in a quiet, restful state. Cortical testing (the test flagged in the report) is a specific verification measure requiring that the infant be awake.

  • 07 Jul 2023 10:05 PM | IAA CEO (Administrator)

    A woman with a hearing aid

    ‘The Australian government funds the Hearing Services Program to a tune of more than $531m dollars but, established in 1997, it still has no statement of purpose or specific objectives.’ Photograph: Rawpixel/Getty Images/iStockphoto


    Why Australia must break the conspiracy of silence and restore hearing to the most vulnerable

    Ranjana Srivastava

    Ranjana Srivastava

    It is time the government listened to the experts and reined in misleading providers

    Wed 5 Jul 2023 12.01 AEST


    “If I don’t do something about my hearing, I fear I could lose my mind.”

    While hearing loss is indeed a strongly modifiable risk factor for dementia, it shouldn’t have taken this pronouncement for me to pay attention.

    For some years, my mother has observed that her hearing isn’t as good as it used to be, which describes nearly three-quarters of people like her over age 70. But she seemed to get by in social settings and sometimes at home we just shouted a little louder.

    Attracted by an ad for free hearing aids at a mall, she met an obliging man who, after perfunctory testing, declared that she needed hearing aids. She demurred due to the stigma but the man kept calling and texting every week. Eventually, the combination of “wasting the poor man’s time” and her own concern led her back to the shop where she was fitted with a pair of hearing aids. To her mind, their being “free” reasonably mitigated any downside. “If they work, that’s good; if not, they are free.”

    Read the full article...

  • 24 Mar 2023 5:42 PM | IAA CEO (Administrator)


     IAA member flags incorrectly mapped paediatric cochlear implants  

    “We welcome the announcement that an independent and external review will be conducted by the South Australian government, of the cochlear implant program at the Women's and Children's Hospital in Adelaide, in light of their recent public apology for incorrectly programming the cochlear implants of one in four children in its program” - Dr Tegan Keogh, President, Independent Audiologists Australia (IAA). 

    IAA supports the call for an extensive and independent review of the Hospital’s cochlear implant mapping program, in addition to the diagnostic Audiology program.  Read more...

  • 14 Sep 2021 5:04 PM | IAA CEO (Administrator)

    IAA  talks with former member James Roxburgh  who  has carried influences from audiology to the writing and  publication of his first novel, The Banksia House Breakout,  released today by Ventura Press.

    Play the video  below  for the full  conversation between  IAA CEO Louise Collingridge and James  Roxburgh. 

  • 18 Mar 2020 8:33 PM | IAA CEO (Administrator)

    IAA members adopt best health practice to minimise the spread of infectious diseases in their clinics.  Audiology is low risk for spreading disease and where possible consultations can be conducted via the telephone or internet.

    Any member of the public with concerns about attending an audiology clinic can contact IAA as well as their clinic,  to discuss.

  • 01 Feb 2020 3:53 PM | IAA CEO (Administrator)

    CapTel's US operation has stepped in to temporarily keep their text-captioned telephone service running for Australia's deaf community despite the Federal Government cancelling its deal with the service provider.

    Read the full article from the ABC here...

  • 05 Jun 2019 5:00 PM | IAA CEO (Administrator)

    IAA is pleased to announce that Emma Quigley, audiology student at Flinders University is the recipient of the 2019 Judith Boswell Scholarship.

    Emma's reflection on her clinical placement, assisted by the scholarship is as follows:

    I feel very fortunate to have received the Judith Boswell Scholarship, which allowed me to take part in a rural placement. Block placements provide an opportunity to develop clinical skills through observation, discussion with professionals, and hands on experience, and I believe having the opportunity to experience this in a rural setting truly enhanced my learning. This was my first of two block placements for my degree. My placement consisted of time spent alongside audiologists at Australian Hearing as well as attending interprofessional education sessions and conducting school hearing screenings alongside other professionals through the University Department of Rural Health, both located within Broken Hill.

    Upon arriving in Broken Hill I discovered that within rural settings often an audiologist’s role involves more than one specialty, covering both paediatric and complex client caseloads as well as requiring a solid understanding of different cultures within their community. As a student this was highly beneficial as it meant I was exposed to a wider range of clients all with differing needs.

    I feel that through having placement in Broken hill I have become more open to working in a rural location, knowing both what a difference it makes to the lives of those who live in rural communities as well as the advantages it could have on my own learning as a professional. I was amazed at the cooperation between organisations within the community, in particular the measures put in place to provide access to services for those in smaller surrounding communities where often resources were limited.

    Through the University Department of Rural Health, I was also able to meet and interact with students from other disciplines. This enhanced my understanding of the roles of other disciplines as well as being able to share with them our role as audiologists. Building this relationship between disciplines and learning how our roles overlap in a rural setting is important for ensuring each client gets the care they need through the correct referral pathways.

    I would highly recommend rural placements for anyone looking to challenge themselves and expand their clinical skills. It is a chance to become more familiar with other cultures, new environments and to gain a better understanding about the barriers to accessing health services in a rural setting, of which I believe is an integral part of anyone’s professional development. I am therefore very grateful to Independent Audiologists Australia for their contribution which allowed me to be part of such an enriching experience.

    Emma Quigley

  • 02 Nov 2018 8:10 AM | IAA CEO (Administrator)

    1 November 2018

    The Federal Court has ordered hearing aid retailers Oticon Australia Pty Ltd (Oticon) and Sonic Innovations Pty Ltd (Sonic) to pay penalties totalling $2.5 million for misleading pensioners through newspaper advertisements for hearing aids sold by AudioClinic and HearingLife clinics.

    Oticon and Sonic admitted that the advertisements contained three false and misleading representations about hearing aids available to pensioners under the Australian Government Hearing Services Program. The misleading representations were that:

    • in order to obtain a free hearing aid pensioners had to book a free hearing test at an AudioClinic or HearingLife hearing clinic before the deadline in the advertisement, where there was no time limit;
    • the free hearing aids included wireless technology that would allow users to connect them to digital devices like televisions and mobile phones, when in fact these were additional accessories which were sold separately at an extra cost; and
    • any user of the advertised hearing aid would no longer miss any conversations, when in fact this may depend on a person’s individual circumstances and the nature of his or her hearing impairment.

    “Many of the pensioners targeted by the advertisements were vulnerable due to their age and hearing loss. The misleading representations by Sonic and Oticon created a false sense of urgency for these consumers to book a hearing test and led them into a sales process based on incorrect information,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

    “This conduct is unacceptable particularly because it targeted vulnerable pensioners. The decision from the Federal Court sends a strong message to the hearing aid industry about the importance of ensuring all representations to consumers are accurate and not misleading.”

    In addition to paying penalties of $2.5 million, the Court ordered by consent that Sonic and Oticon offer refunds to customers who purchased ConnectLine and SoundGate3 accessories, publish a corrective notice in a nationally circulated newspaper, and establish an Australian Consumer Law compliance program.


    The ACCC instituted proceedings against Sonic and Oticon on 6 September 2018: ACCC takes action against hearing aid retailers for misleading pensioners.

    Oticon and Sonic, owned and operated by William Demant Holding A/S, operate over 200 hearing clinics across Australia, including under the AudioClinic, HearingLife, Western Hearing Services, and Adelaide Digital Hearing Solutions brands.

    The misleading ads were published on 85 occasions in newspapers around Australia from June to November 2017 under the AudioClinic and HearingLife brands. Oticon and Sonic sold more than 10 000 of the advertised Oticon Ria2 and Sonic Cheer20 hearing aids.

    Australian Government Hearing Services Program

    Around 80 per cent of hearing aids supplied in Australia are provided under the Australian Government Hearing Services Program (the Hearing Program).

    The Hearing Program provides access to subsidised hearing services and devices to eligible persons, such as pensioner concession card holders, veterans, and defence force personnel. Vouchers can be used to obtain fully-subsidised hearing devices, or to cover some of the cost of partially-subsided hearing devices, with the consumer paying the remainder of the cost directly to hearing clinics.

    The Hearing Program is administered by the Department of Health. Around 300 providers, including Oticon and Sonic, are accredited by the Department of Health to provide hearing devices to voucher holders under the Hearing Program.

    Release number: 


  • 06 Aug 2018 12:20 PM | Deleted user

    In 2018 Independent Audiologists Australia was pleased to be able to offer the Dr Judith Boswell Scholarship for the first time. 

    We are pleased to announce that Flinder University Master of Audiology student Sally Jane Walz was the inaugural winner of the Dr Judith Boswell Scholarship (2018). 

    You can read Sally's reflection on her remote clinical placement here.

    About Dr Judith Boswell

    Dr Judith Boswell was a pioneering audiologist who was a long-standing member of Independent Audiologists Australia (IAA) and who had close ties to Flinders University. Judith operated her own audiology practice in the Adelaide area for many years, whilst at the same time continuing to work in remote Aboriginal communities to provide hearing services in appropriate and culturally sensitive ways. 

    Over the course of her career, Judith gained an extensive specialist knowledge of working with remote communities, which she was generous in sharing with colleagues. Judith passed away in 2017, after a long illness.

    What is the Dr Judith Boswell Scholarship?

    Independent Audiologists Australia is offering a scholarship to a student at Flinders University to the value of $500.00 to help gain clinical experience in remote and regional Australia. This scholarship honours the work and commitment Judith showed for audiological services to remote and indigenous communities. The scholarship was first awarded in 2018 and it is anticipated that the scholarship will be offered on a yearly basis.

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