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Keynote Speakers

Denis Byrne Memorial Lecture

In March of 2000, scientists and audiologists in Australia and worldwide mourned the passing of Dr Denis Byrne. Denis was one of the founders of the Audiological Society of Australia (now Audiology Australia), and he was a giant in the field of audiology. Denis was first and foremost a scientist, making original contributions to hearing research and to clinical practice. His pioneering work in developing the NAL hearing aid prescription improved the lives of thousands of hearing aid users, and NAL prescription continues to be an industry standard both in Australia and internationally. Denis was a friend, a colleague, a scientist, an innovator, and a mentor who encouraged and supported many of us in our chosen career. Most of all, he was an inspiration to us all. Denis was also a teacher, who believed in sharing knowledge freely, and who worked tirelessly as the first Editor of the Australia and New Zealand Journal of Audiology to create a world-class scientific journal showcasing Australian hearing research.

In seeking to commemorate Denis, Audiology Australia established the ‘Denis Byrne Memorial Lecture’ as a lasting tribute to a truly great Australian scientist and clinician. The lecture is delivered by an eminent Australian researcher or clinician at each Audiology Australia National Conference. The names of the lecturers are inscribed on the memorial plaque, which proudly hangs in the Audiology Australia National office as a perpetual reminder of Denis’s role in establishing Australia in the global collegium in audiology and hearing research. Although Denis was never one for self-aggrandizement or formality, we believe that he would have approved of honouring Australian audiology and audiologists in his name.

Denis Byrne Memorial Lecturers

2000 Laurie Upfold
2002 Field Rickards
2004 Jenni Rosen
2006 Robert Cowan
2008 Harvey Dillon
2010 Louise Hickson
2012 Rob Patuzzi
2014 Christopher Lind
2016 Alison King
2018 Richard Dowell

2018 Denis Byrne Memorial Lecturer

Richard C Dowell

Richard C Dowell, PhD MSc DipAud BSc FAA(CC)

Graeme Clark Chair of Audiology and Speech Science,

Head, Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology; The University of Melbourne.

Audiology Director, Melbourne Cochlear Implant Clinic, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital

Professor Dowell has been involved in clinical work and research in cochlear implants for over 35 years and devised and coordinated the first clinical trial of the Australian commercial cochlear implant system between 1982 and 1985. His PhD studies led to the development of the MULTIPEAK signal processor (U.S. patent no. 5,271,397) that contributed to significant improvement in patients outcomes. The MULTIPEAK processor was implemented as the standard scheme for the NUCLEUS cochlear prosthesis between 1989 and 1994. Professor Dowell has research experience in the psychophysics of auditory perception, speech coding, electrophysiology and speech/language development. Professor Dowell has co-authored significant studies expanding our knowledge of the complex issues relating to the acquisition of language, speech perception, and speech production in children with hearing-impairment. Professor Dowell has coordinated audiology teaching at the University of Melbourne for over 25 years and introduced a new degree in Speech Pathology to the University in 2011. He continues to play an active role in the clinical application of cochlear implants in Melbourne. Professor Dowell has co-authored over 180 scientific publications including papers in Science and The Lancet, with more than 6000 citations (h-index of 43).

Keynote Speakers

Blake Papsin

Professor Blake Papsin, MD, MSc, FRCS, FACS, FAAP

Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Toronto Otolaryngologist-in-Chief, The Hospital for Sick Children, Canada.

Dr Blake Papsin is a full time consultant since July 1996 in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Toronto and the Otolaryngologist-in-Chief at The Hospital for Sick Children and led Cochlear Implant Program.

He completed a paediatric otolaryngology fellowship at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, England and is the inaugural chair of the Cochlear Americas Chair in Auditory Development at the University of Toronto.

He has published 199 peer-reviewed journal articles, 46 book chapters and has spoken widely on the subject of surgical rehabilitation of hearing loss His clinical focus is the surgical rehabilitation of hearing loss.

Amanda Barnier

Professor Amanda Barnier, BA Macq, PhD UNSW, FASSA

Professor and HDR Director
Professor of Cognitive Science
Fellow of Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and US Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis.

Amanda began her career in Psychology at Macquarie University, graduating in 1991 with a BA (Hons) and then went on to complete a PhD in Psychology (1996) at the University of New South Wales. Following postdoctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley, she returned to Australia and UNSW as an Australian Research Council (ARC) Postdoctoral Fellow and later as an ARC Queen Elizabeth II Fellow. In 2007 she moved to the Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science (MACCS) as an ARC Australian Research Fellow. In 2013 she became an ARC Future Fellow in the Department of Cognitive Science at Macquarie University. She is also the Chief Investigator of Macquarie’s ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders.

Her research involves investigations of autobiographical remembering and forgetting, drawing on concepts and approaches from hypnosis and posthypnotic amnesia and from experimental and clinical work on memory. She works with an interdisciplinary team of cognitive psychologists, philosophers and neuropsychologists at Macquarie and beyond. Her current research explores relationships among individual memory, individual memory in small groups, and small group “collective memory”. She is interested in the costs and benefits of remembering alone vs. together and focusing on when and how remembering with a long-term partner helps memory, especially as we age. She also maintains a strong interest and experimental research program in hypnosis: how it works and how it can be used to understand everyday and clinical distortions of perception, memory, action and belief.

She is very interested in communicating the results of her research and of psychology, memory, and hypnosis in general to the broader community. She has participated in educational programs for primary and secondary school students, and contributed to science communication programs on television, radio, in print, online and via guest lectures.

- Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2102-2016);
- Macquarie University Jim Piper Award for Excellence in Research Leadership (2015);
- American Psychological Association Division of Psychological Hypnosis - Award for Distinguished Contributions to Scientific Hypnosis (2013);
- Bernard B. Raginski Award for Leadership and Achievement in Hypnosis 2013, Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (USA)
NSW “Young Tall Poppy” Award 2001;
- Australian Skeptics Eureka Prize for Critical Thinking 1997.

The speaker information on this website is correct at the time of providing, however, the organisers reserve the right to change the information where necessary without notice.

Conference countdown


International Convention Centre Sydney - 20-23 May 2018

Platinum Sponsors

Sonova Australia - Phonak

Starkey Hearing Technologies

Gold Sponsors



Silver Sponsors


Otometrics Division of Natus

Bronze Sponsors

Cochlear Limited

Name Badges / Lanyards Sponsor


Consumer Agency Forum Sponsor

The Hearing CRC

Digital Passport Sponsor


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