• The team behind Taralye

    Meet our Board

    Our board members provide invaluable expertise and strategic leadership.  They are also responsible for governance, ensuring effective financial and risk management oversight. Find out more about each board member below:

    Prof Richard Dowell – Chair

    Prof Dowell helped develop the cochlear implant device with Prof Clark’s team in the 1980s and has been involved with the application of this device in children for 29 years. This brought him into frequent contact with Taralye and generated his interest and involvement on the Board.


    He is the Director of Audiology services at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital that includes the state-wide cochlear implant service. He has held the Chair in Audiology and Speech Sciences at the University of Melbourne since 2001 and been the Chair of Examiners and provided major teaching input for the Master of Audiology course at the University of Melbourne since 1989.  During his career Prof Dowell has co-authored 174 scientific papers which collectively have 3859 citations (November 2012) and presented research at 55 international conferences.


    His hope is to develop Taralye into a sustainable, truly state-wide service for the provision of family support and habilitation for hearing impaired children. To optimise the use of modern technology for all hearing impaired children and achieve normal social, educational and vocational opportunities for at least 70% of these children in Victoria.

    Ms Marilyn Dann – Vice Chair

    Marilyn has been on the Board since 2006/7 and also volunteers her time every Friday to co-lead the Parent-Child Mother Goose program at Taralye.

    A teacher of deaf for more than 30 years, Marilyn has worked in early intervention, kindergarten, primary and secondary schools. She established the Mount View facility in 1994 and was co-ordinator there until 2004 when she left to teach at the University of Melbourne and prepare the next generation of teachers of the deaf. For many years she was secretary of the Australian Association of Teachers of the Deaf, and also its president, and was highly involved in organising professional development in the field. Marilyn was also a member of the Federal Government’s Hearing Services Advisory committee.

    Marilyn received an OAM (Order of Australia medal) in 2013 for services to Deaf and Hearing Impaired children and has been a recipient of the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch scholarship and Australian Hearing Service Award.

    She would like Taralye to continue being a strong advocate for the efficacy of early and highly professional intervention for children born with hearing loss and their families.

    Mrs Joan Hale

    Joan started volunteering at Taralye after meeting Janet Calvert-Jones, who was Chairperson at the time, and was involved in Taralye fundraising and other sub-committees for some 30 years. Joan’s hearing impaired son, James, attended Yarra Valley Grammar.

    Joan is a member of the Forever Foundation board at the Western Bulldogs AFL.

    In recognition of her long-term dedication Joan was awarded an Honorary Life Membership of Taralye five years ago, and will always be dedicated to all hearing impaired children to reach their full potential as they listen, learn and speak.

    Ms Jennifer Lang

    Jenny’s career commenced as an accountant in finance and television production, and progressed to large corporates extending into the disciplines of treasury and procurement.  Jenny was Deputy Treasurer at Ansett Australia and held responsibility for 50 financial staff. An eight-year career at Ansett saw her awarded as “Manager of the Year” for two years successively.

    Post Ansett, Jenny worked at Newcrest Mining for three years in Treasury and Finance.  She undertook major tender projects, and delivered significant working capital benefits.  Jenny was invited to join the PBL Media and Entertainment Group in 2006, and highlights of the role included the successful $2.7b demerger of PBL whereby Jenny established the Crown Melbourne Treasury Function. She continued with Crown Resorts for 7 years, instrumental in the creation of a procurement function.

    Jenny recently joined CBA in her current role of Director, Strategic Treasury and Procurement Consulting. To deliver on CBA’s promise of excelling at securing and enhancing financial wellbeing, Jenny partners with major Institutional customers, both existing and prospective to outline the path to increased working capital.

    As well as being a Taralye Board Member, Jenny is currently the 2015 President, CPA Victorian Divisional Council and a member of the RMIT School of Accounting Program Advisory Committee (PAC).

    Ms Carol Daicic

    Carol is a legal practitioner with over 14 years’ experience at national and global commercial law firms in Victoria and the United Kingdom (Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Norton Rose Fulbright). She was invited to join Best Hooper Lawyers as a Partner specialising in planning, and environmental law.

    Carol has extensive experience in complex advisory and transactional matters and disputes. She works with Senior Counsel, experts and stakeholders to advise on strategy and structure risk, deliver major projects and find solutions to complex problems.

    Taralye became a significant part of Carol’s family life after her three daughters attended the kindergarten between 2009 – 2013. During that time, Carol actively contributed to the Taralye community by participating in fundraising and social events as a Parents & Friends Committee member. She saw firsthand the difference that attending Taralye makes to both hearing and non-hearing impaired children and their families.

    Carol has a long and personal interest in CSR and diversity being the recipient of the Coles Myer National Scholarship (1994).  She has held various professional committee positions including Chair of the Melbourne Charity Committee at law firm Norton Rose Fulbright in 2014.  It is with this backdrop that Carol welcomed the opportunity to join the Board of Taralye given her connection and belief in Taralye’s vision to assist deaf children to listen, learn and speak to their full potential.

    Carol wishes to apply her expertise and network to help Taralye to be change ready, develop and grow, particularly through periods of political and regulatory change for the benefit of children born with hearing loss.

    Ms Mary Payne

    Mary became involved with Taralye when her daughter was diagnosed with hearing loss via the newborn hearing screen. Being a parent of a deaf child, Mary has experienced first-hand the guidance that Taralye provides to all its families and the significant difference that makes to each child’s development. Mary is an IT professional with a sales and marketing focus and has over 14 years’ experience working with large financial institutions, and boutique financial services firms implementing software solutions.

    Ms Carol Webb

    Carol joined the Board in 2016 and is the parent of a child currently accessing Taralye’s early childhood intervention service. Carol has extensive experience in Human Resources and is a trainer in Business and Leadership development. She also has a keen interest and knowledge of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

    Mr Matthew Pearce

    Matthew has more than twenty five years’ experience in the media industries in the UK, Australia and the Asia Pacific region. Prior to forming Talk2 Media and Events, he was International Director at Diversified Business Communications Inc. and also served as Managing Director of Diversified Exhibitions Australia Pty Ltd. Matthew is also Chair of the Taralye Foundation Board.

    The Board can be contacted through the Chief Executive Officer or directly by writing to:

    Prof Richard Dowell
    Chair – Taralye Board
    PO Box 113
    Blackburn VIC 3130

  • Meet our team

    Taralye has a transdisciplinary team, including audiologists, early childhood educators, inclusion aides, librarians, psychologists, social workers, speech pathologists, teachers of the deaf and medical consultants – Ear, Nose and Throat.

    Our leadership team is dedicated to driving innovation and achievement by working with their teams to deliver the very best services to hearing impaired children and their families.

    Therese Kelly, Chief Executive Officer
    Noel Cousins, Chief Financial Officer
    Helen-Harrington-Johnston, Manager Early Intervention
    Deborah Exton, Director Kindergarten and Early Learning Program
    Judy Rogers, Director Audiology and Otology Services
    James Worladge, Director Fundraising & Community Relations

    To contact a member of the Leadership Team email information@taralye.org.au

    Therese Kelly – Chief Executive Officer

    Qualifications: BSc (Hons) DipAud, MAud SA (CCP), AAICD

    Therese has worked within the deafness field since graduating from university and was appointed CEO of Taralye in 2004.  Her professional career includes positions within a variety of public and government organisations including metropolitan and rural hospitals, The University of Melbourne, Northern Territory Health, the National Acoustic Laboratories and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

    Therese is a Fellow of the CEO Institute, and holds memberships of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Audiological Society of Australia and Early Childhood Intervention Association (Victoria). Therese is a former school Board member, Chair of First Voice and is currently a member of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) early childhood intervention services reference group in the NDIS Barwon launch site in Victoria.

    Noel Cousins – Chief Financial Officer

    Qualifications: BBus MBus

    Noel commenced his role at Taralye in 1996 following a managerial business role in the Specialist Surgery Clinical Business Unit at The Royal Melbourne Hospital.  He saw the prospect of joining Taralye as an opportunity to be part of a highly experienced and committed team of professionals who are making an enormous difference in the lives of children with a hearing loss and their families.

    Noel’s working life has covered a number of rewarding and diverse roles spanning government, music and entertainment, professional private practice, public health and more recently disability.  In 1999, he was fortunate to be involved in developing an important partnership between Taralye and The Royal Victorian Eye and Eye Hospital through the establishment of a spoke service of the hospital at Blackburn.  This initiative provides significant benefits for children with a hearing loss. He has also been fortunate to be part of a team at Taralye involved in the ongoing development of a range of high calibre services for children with a hearing loss and their families, and strives to keep Taralye financially viable, relevant  and a continuing centre of excellence and support for all deaf children.

    Helen Harrington-Johnson – Manager, Early Intervention

    Qualifications: BA (Sp.Th. and Audiology)

    Taralye was pleased to welcome Helen Harrington-Johnson as the Manager, Early Intervention in January 2015. Helen is an experienced speech pathologist, audiologist and accredited ELKLAN trainer. Prior to Taralye Helen worked at the Victorian Deaf Education Institute within the Department of Education and Training.

    She has wide clinical experience in the paediatric fields of deafness, multiple disability and autism within early intervention and with school age children.  Helen has worked in Zimbabwe, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, within hospital teams (Child Development Team, and ASD Diagnosis team) early intervention (team leader), and schools.

    Helen is looking forward to working with the highly skilled team at Taralye who have a passion and love for helping children achieve their full potential. She is committed to continuing the culture of high performance in the team and to working to develop continued great outcomes for children in this service.

    Deborah Exton – Director, Kindergarten and Early Learning Program

    Qualifications: Diploma in Teaching Early Childhood Development (IECD)

    Spending a day at Taralye as a prerequisite to going to university set a goal for Deborah to work with hearing impaired children. She was thrilled to be asked years later to apply for a position as a kindergarten teacher at Taralye and delighted when she was offered the position. Deborah has now been with Taralye since 2005 and has worked as the Director since 2009.

    With over 30 years’ experience in the early childhood field, Deborah has worked at Tarralla Kindergarten in East Ringwood, Terrara Preschool in Vermont South and Templeton Orchards Pre School in Wantirna South.

    Deborah’s main aim at Taralye is to have all children and families develop a sense of belonging to our community and develop all children to feel confident and empowered ready for their next stage in life. In order for this to be achieved she feels that it is invaluable for the kindergarten team and the early intervention team to work closely with one another.

    Judy Rogers – Director Director, Audiology and Otology Services

    Qualifications: BA, DipAud, MAudSA, CCP

    Judy qualified from University of Melbourne as an audiologist in 1976 and worked in the audiology clinic at RCH as a paediatric audiologist full-time until 1981 and then part time until 1983. She was then employed by the Victorian Health Department, which ran the audiology clinic at Taralye until 1997 when funding was withdrawn and the clinic closed. Judy was then employed by Taralye to work in the clinic later that year.

    In 1998, she introduced and coordinated Taralye’s Outreach Hearing Program that provided hearing tests in kindergartens and child care centres. She has also provided clinical supervision for Melbourne University’s audiology students and community education on the need for early diagnosis of hearing loss.

    In 2005, Judy was appointed Director, Audiology and Otology Services and hopes to continue contributing to Taralye’s mission by promoting and achieving early diagnosis of hearing loss and thus contributing to our reputation as a leading early intervention service.

    James Worladge – Director Fundraising & Community Relations

    Qualifications: BBus (HR/IRM)

    James is delighted to start work at Taralye January 2017 following Philanthropic roles with The Australian Ballet and Monash University over his ten year career.

    James has fond memories of Taralye’s services when they supported his son with his hearing problem and diagnosis. Passionate and driven to ensure that Taralye can help as many children as possible, James works to develop long term and meaningful relationships with community, philanthropic or corporate supporters.

    If you would like to discuss how you or your organisation can support Taralye please contact James Worladge, email james@taralye.org.au or phone 03 9875 6616.

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