Hearing Health Sector Committee Roadmap for Hearing Health Communiqué 25 July 2018

The Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health, has established a Hearing Health Sector Committee of representative stakeholders to progress the development of a Roadmap for Hearing Health. The Roadmap will set out future reform directions and priorities for the hearing sector that will lead to short, medium and long-term improvements in hearing health for all Australians.

Page last updated: 03 August 2018

Hearing Health Sector Committee Roadmap for Hearing Health Communiqué 25 July 2018 (PDF 203 KB)

The Committee is chaired by Professor Cindy Shannon and met for the first time on Wednesday 25 July 2018. Other members are:

    Mr Steve Williamson - Deafness Forum Australia
    Mr Kyle Miers - Deaf Australia
    Mrs Ann Porter - Aussie Deaf Kids
    Ms Donna Edman - Hearing Care Industry Association
    Mr Stephen Logan - Hearing Business Alliance
    Ms Samantha Harkus - Australian Hearing
    Prof Catherine McMahon - Hearing CRC
    Dr Tony Coles - Audiology Australia Limited
    A/Prof Kelvin Kong - Australian Society for Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery
    Prof Harvey Coates - Paediatric ENT Services
    Mr James Battersby - Hearing Aid Manufacturers and Distributors Association of Australia
    Ms Fiona Buffinton - Department of Health
The Committee will also include a representative of National Hearing Care.

At its first meeting, the Committee accepted the Terms of Reference proposed by the Minister (attached). The members also committed to consulting widely within their networks and to hosting a larger stakeholder forum in early September 2018 in order to consider a broad range of views and experiences.

The Committee commenced discussions on the organising principles for the Roadmap.

The Chair challenged the members to outline what hearing health in Australia would look like in 2025, and the potential ways of grouping issues and actions thematically into a series of domains.

The Department of Health is supporting the work of the Committee and will continue to work with the broader industry and consumer partners to develop the Roadmap for Hearing Health.

Hearing Health Sector Committee Terms of Reference


The Hearing Health Sector Committee (the Committee) brings together key stakeholders in the hearing sector to develop a Roadmap that sets out future reform directions and priorities for hearing health in Australia.


The primary function of the Committee is to advise on the design and development of a Roadmap that will set out short, medium and long-term actions to address hearing health issues that have been identified.

The Committee will consider the recommendations made in a number of recent reports on hearing health in agreeing on the domains to explore further and include in the Roadmap.

In their deliberations the Committee should have regard to consumer choice, access, quality, financial sustainability and sector capacity.

In providing advice, the Committee members should ensure that the issues addressed are discussed within their networks to the fullest degree possible, where appropriate.

To facilitate this it is proposed that the Committee host a Roadmap stakeholder forum as an opportunity to involve a wider group to settle the domains for the Roadmap.

The Committee will report to the Minister for Aged Care (the Minister) through the Chair.

Working Groups

The Committee may establish Working Groups for each of the key domains. Their terms of reference will be agreed by the Committee Chair. Working Groups will report to the Committee.

External Support

The Committee and the Working Groups may be supported through the commissioning of external advice if required.


The Committee will be chaired by an Independent Chair, and comprise representatives from: peak/advocacy bodies representing consumers; peak bodies representing hearing health practitioners; peak bodies representing hearing health care providers; peak body representing hearing device manufacturers; representatives from medical colleges/societies; representatives with expertise in Indigenous ear and hearing health; and a representative from the Department of Health.

With the Government’s approval, membership of the Committee may be augmented by other ex officio members from time to time who have specific knowledge, expertise or experience to bring to the Committee deliberations.

With the Chair’s prior approval, individuals and organisations may be invited to participate in Committee discussions where they have particular knowledge, expertise or experience.


Membership will be through to 30 June 2019.

Frequency of Meetings and Deliverables

It is expected the Committee will meet four times in 2018 and up to twice in 2019 and will report to the Minister for Aged Care. Members may also undertake ongoing work on Working Groups for key domains.

It is likely that some decisions and consideration of issues will need to be made out of session by the Committee, including by teleconference or videoconference.

The Committee will prepare a report to the Minister on the outcomes of the Committee deliberations.


The Department of Health will provide the required level of secretariat support for the Chair, the Committee and Working Groups.

Performance and Reviews

The Department will undertake a review of the Committee, if required by the Minister.

Proposed by the Minister and accepted by the Committee on 25 July 2018.