Ear Science Implant Clinic team expands again

Established in 2001, the Ear Science Implant Clinic team has grown to be one of the largest in Australia.

With a highly skilled team of audiologists in Perth working alongside experienced fellowship-trained surgeons, our team cares for over 1,400 hearing implant recipients.

In 2023 the multidisciplinary team of specialists implanted over 120 cochlear and bone conduction implants.

With national and international collaborators, we publish our research in leading peer-reviewed journals.

Evidence of our impact are the strong links that Ear Science has to the major manufacturers, Cochlear, MEDEL and Oticon, who support our research in various ways.

Further evidence that Ear Science places a priority on hearing implants, is the growth in the implant team at Ear Science.

“Ear Science leads the country in ensuring that those that need a hearing implant are referred, assessed and cared for in a timely and professional way Ear Science Institute CEO Sandra Bellekom said.

“Access to implantable solutions is the responsibility of our entire profession – Ear Science is leading the way!”

Congratulations to the new Implant and Surgical Facility team

Ronel Chester-Browne has been appointed as Manager, Ear Science Clinic. Ronel joined Ear Science Institute since 2010 and has been deeply involved in cochlear implantation for nearly 30 years, ever since the third cochlear implant candidate was implanted in Pretoria, South Africa. Ronel was the coordinator for the Pretoria Cochlear Implant Program for 10 years, training undergraduate and postgraduate audiologists in cochlear implants and mapping, in addition to collaborating with surgical and audiology colleagues both nationally and internationally. Ronel has most recently had her long history and expertise in cochlear implants recognised through Audiology Australia, obtaining her qualified practitioner credentials.

Dr Christo Bester has been appointed as Head of Implant Innovation. Christo is an auditory neuroscientist and a leading cochlear implant researcher, who joined Ear Science Institute in 2022. He has a growing track record of innovation in cochlear implants, including leading major interventional trials. He has worked with implant manufacturers, surgeons, audiologists, and scientists. We are delighted that in this newly created role he is pioneering our research efforts at Ear Science toward improving implant diagnostics and outcomes for our patients.

Dr Barbara Heinze is our new Implant Innovation Research Lead. Barbara joined Ear Science in 2021 as a clinical specialist in vestibular audiology and neurotology. Prior to joining Ear Science, Barbara worked at the University of Pretoria performing a multi-functional role inclusive of lecturing, clinical work and research. She has authored various publications and has presented internationally.

•  Jimmy Bank is our new Implant Technician. Jimmy joined Ear Science in October 2023 and brings over a decade of experience to his work. This includes over 10 years working in the hearing industry, having previously worked for Newsound Hearing focusing on hearing devices and technologies.

Ms. Jody French has lived experience of hearing loss and is a cochlear implant recipient and our dedicated Hearing Implant Client Support officer.

The team also includes surgeons and audiologists, a team of technical staff, and support officers and are joined by researchers, Adjunct Associate Professor Dr David Sly, Adjunct Associate Professor Rob Eikelboom, Emma Chaffey PhD candidate.

Pictured (L, from top): Ronel Chester-Browne, Dr Karen Heinze, Jody French.
Pictured (Centre): Dr Christo Bester.
Pictured (R, from top): Adjunct Associate Professor Dr David Sly, Adjunct Associate Professor Rob Eikelboom, Emma Chaffey.

Keep updated about the newly expanded implant team’s work by following Ear Science on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Want to find out more about Dr Christo and the team? Contact the team.