Meet Our Board
Mr Matthew Ames – Chair
Matthew has a unique mix of professional and personal experience, with an in-depth understanding of strategy, risk and cultural change. With a grounding of almost 20 years in the energy and resources industry, he has found innovative ways to apply his knowledge after what started as a sore throat resulted in the loss of all four of his limbs in 2012. Through collaboration across numerous sectors, both domestically and internationally, he has found new ways to achieve independence, including as a member of steering committees for Queensland Health, the Australian Digital Health Agency and Bionics Queensland. Matthew was elected Chair of the Hear and Say Board as of June 2020.
Dr Jane Black – Deputy Chairman
Jane is a clinical specialist social worker with extensive experience in paediatric deafness, parent support and parental relationships. After 20 years supervising a specialist otological surgical practice, Jane graduated from The University of Queensland with first class honours. She is currently undertaking doctoral studies examining prognostic factors in paediatric cochlear implantation. Jane was previously the Chairperson of Hear and Say from 1996 to 2008, and continues to Chair Hear and Say’s Medical and Education Committee, as well as lead surgical coordination for the Queensland Cochlear Implant Program and Hear and Say’s Paediatric Cochlear Implant Program. Jane was also a Director of Attune Hearing, a leading Queensland medical audiology company from 2006 to 2008 and has acted in many capacities in both for-profit and not-for profit organisations.
Dr Dimity Dornan AO – Board Director, Exective Director and Founder
Dimity is a speech pathologist, entrepreneur, bionics activist and researcher. In 1992 she established Hear and Say as a leading not-for-profit for deaf children learning to listen and speak, particularly with surgically implantable hearing technology like the bionic ear. She is currently sharing her experience for the benefit of the stakeholders in the bionics industry. She has created an alliance called Human Bionics Interface which seeks to bring new bionics solutions to market to help patients with formerly untreatable medical problems. These include visual, neurological, limb and organ conditions. Dimity is now working to bring the legendary outcomes for people for the bionic ear to other new spinoff devices, such as the bionic eye, deep brain stimulation and bionic organ and limb replacements.
Mr Paul Laxon OAM – Board Director
Paul is the former Managing Partner of EY in Queensland and their former Oceania Energy and Infrastructure Tax Leader. Paul retired from EY at 30 June 2018.
Paul was also a former member of the EY Board of Partners in Oceania and a former member of the EY Asia Pacific Board of Partners. Paul joined the Board of Hear and Say in 1999 and held the position of Chair from 2010 to June 2020.
Mr Andrew Fraser – Board Director
After a career in public office in which he held the position of Treasurer of Queensland from 2007-2012, Andrew now serves on diverse a range of boards. He is an independent Director of Sunsuper, a top ten Australian superannuation fund with more than one million members. He serves as the Chair of the Investment Committee for the fund’s $45 billion portfolio. After serving in a full-time executive role at the NRL as Head of Strategy and Investment, Andrew now serves on a range of boards in rugby league. He is a director of the Rugby League World Cup 2017 Ltd, New Zealand Rugby League and the Gold Coast Titans. Previously he served on the Australian Sports Commission. Andrew is also an independent member of Griffith University’s Finance, Risk and Resources Committee and has recently been appointed to serve on the University Council. He graduated from Griffith with degrees in law and commerce, in which he achieved First Class Honours and won the University Medal.
Dr Peter Riddles – Board Director
Dr Riddles began his career as a research scientist in molecular biology in the public sector holding positions at the University of Queensland, Stanford University and the CSIRO. He has made a life-long commitment to the practice of science, and using scientific-innovation for generating economic and social benefit. He has provided leadership to diverse organisations including biotechnology start-up companies, industry organisations, and University Commercial Offices. His current priorities include working with clinical entrepreneurs in enterprise creation and maintaining an interest in innovation policy and practice. He is a Member of Chatham House (UK) and a Fellow of the California Technology Council (CA, USA). Other current roles include Council Member of the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF) in Australia, chairing its Experimental Development Program and a Board Member of the CSIRO, chairing its Board Science Excellence Committee.
Dr Margaret Steinberg AM – Board Director
Margaret brings to the Board expertise in ethical decision-making as a clinician, academic and administrator. A former Commissioner, including of the Criminal Justice (CJC) and Crime and Misconduct (CMC) Commissions, Margaret currently sits on several Boards and Tribunals, and was previously on the MetroNorth Hospital and Health Services Board. Awards include a Churchill Fellowship (disability and early intervention), NHMRC Traveling Fellowship (Telemedicine) and WHO Study (HIV/AIDS). She was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2003 in recognition of her work in public health, discrimination, ageing, HIV/AIDS and social justice.
Mr. Mario Pennisi AM – Board Director
Mr. Mario Pennisi AM Mario Pennisi is a strategist and trusted advisor with more than 30 years of experience in managing and growing commercial operations in the life sciences industry. Mario is the Chairman of Suncare Community Services Inc, Non-Executive Director of elo Life Systems Australia Pty Ltd, Non-Executive Director of The Queensland Eye Institute Foundation, Non-Executive Director of Alpine Immune Sciences Australia Pty Ltd, Non-Executive Director of Omniox AU Pty Ltd, as well as a member of a number of committees and advisory groups, including as Chairman of Griffith University’s Clinical Trials Unit Advisory Committee.
Mario is a Government appointed member of the QUT Council, an Australian Participating Delegate to the B20 and a member of the Queensland Government’s Biofutures Industry Advisory Group.