Academic staff

Skip to: Greg Leigh | Breda Carty | Robyn Cantle Moore | Rebecca Bull | Kim Ter-Horst | Philip NewallMike Steer | Frances Gentle | Sue Silveira | Alison Hawkins-Bond

Professor Greg Leigh, AO

BEd (Griffith), MSc (Washington), PhD (Monash), FACE
Director, RIDBC Renwick Centre and Conjoint Professor of Special Education, University of Newcastle

Phone: (02) 9872 0372


Conjoint Professor Greg Leigh began his career in education of the deaf at the Queensland School for the Deaf in Brisbane in 1979. He holds degrees in Special Education from Griffith University; a Master of Science (Speech and Hearing) degree from Washington University (Central Institute for the Deaf) in the USA; and a PhD in Special Education from Monash University. In 2001 he was made a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators and in 2014 he was invested as an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) “for distinguished service to the deaf and hard of hearing community, particularly children, through education, research, public policy development and specialist services”.

Professor Leigh held a variety of positions in the education of deaf children in Queensland before entering academia. He was co-ordinator of the program in education of the deaf at Deakin University from 1987 until taking up the position of Senior Lecturer and foundation Head of Renwick College in 1993. In 2003 he was International Visiting Scholar at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (Rochester Institute of Technology), New York. As Director of RIDBC Renwick Centre, he is a member of the Senior Leadership Team of the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children.

Professor Leigh is active in research and has published widely on aspects of education of deaf children and related areas. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, Deafness and Education International, and Phonetics and Speech Sciences and is Deputy Director of The Centre for Special Education and Disability Studies at the University of Newcastle. He has served on several Australian Government consultative committees including the New South Wales Ministerial Standing Committee on Hearing and the National Neonatal Hearing Screening Working Party. He is currently Chairman of the Australasian Newborn Hearing Screening Committee. He is a former National President of the Education Commission for the World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf and is Chair of the International Steering Committees of both the Asia-Pacific Congress on Deafness (APCD) and the International Congress on Education of the Deaf (ICED).

Research interests

  • Newborn Hearing Screening - implementation and standards for delivery
  • The impact of earlier identification of hearing loss on infant development
  • Early psychosocial development of deaf and hard of hearing children
  • Communications access by deaf and hearing impaired children and adults (captions and related media accessibility)
  • Teachers' use of simultaneous communication
  • Literacy development in deaf children and adults

Dr Breda Carty

BA (Qld), DipEd (Monash), MA (Gallaudet), PhD (Griffith)
Conjoint Lecturer

Phone/TTY: (02) 9872 0241


(view video transcript for Breda)

Before taking up this position in 2002, Breda was a Research Fellow at Griffith University for 12 years, and a teacher of the deaf in Victoria and the United States. She has had many years' experience developing Deaf Studies workshops for the Deaf community, and as a consultant with a variety of educational and community-based groups. She has co-authored a widely-used Deaf Studies Program for schools and a variety of other educational materials.

Breda has had extensive involvement in Deaf community organizations, and is currently Secretary of Deaf History International and a member of the World Federation of the Deaf's Expert Group on Deaf culture.

Research interests

  • Deaf history, culture and community
  • Learning styles of Deaf people
  • Auslan/English bilingualism in children and adults
  • Deaf Studies curriculum development

Dr Robyn Cantle Moore

BMusEd (Sydney), CertTeach (Secondary), DSCM (Performance) (Conservatorium/Sydney), MSpecEd (Sensory Disability) (Newcastle), MEdStud (Newcastle), PhD (Newcastle)
Conjoint Lecturer

Phone: (02) 9872-0204 or (02) 9872-0339
Fax: (02) 9873-1614


Robyn Cantle Moore has over 20 years experience as an educator in the fields of hearing impairment and sensory disability with appointments including: Conjoint Lecturer (University of Newcastle), Research Fellow (RIDBC Renwick Centre), Senior Teacher of the Deaf / Consultant, RIDBC Early Learning Program and Specialist consultant, RIDBC Assessment and Resource Team.

As a full-time academic her present responsibilities include course lecturing and research in the areas of language development, and family-centred collaborative approaches to early childhood intervention for sensory disability (HI and VI).

Research interests

  • Audition, speech and language development of infants using CI / HA in Deaf family environments (a series of unique case studies)
  • Developing a parent-report/education instrument for infant-HI monitoring and assessment (2010 normative study validating the Infant Monitor of vocal Production (IMP)
  • Evaluating the "auditory diet" of young children with impaired hearing (Language ENvironment Analysis - LENA)

Rebecca Bull

BA (Ling) (Macquarie), MClinAud (Macquarie)
Research Fellow and Audiologist

Phone: (02) 9872 0806


Rebecca Bull joined the RIDBC Renwick Centre as a part-time Research Fellow in Audiology in 2010. Prior to this, Rebecca worked as an Educational Audiologist at the RIDBC Garfield Barwick Centre, and provided diagnostic, assessment and management services to infants and children at the RIDBC Jim Patrick Audiology Centre.

Rebecca has been working in the hearing services field for approximately 10 years. Before joining RIDBC in 2007, Rebecca practiced audiology at Australian Hearing and Macquarie University, and was an Associate Lecturer in Audiology at Macquarie University.

Research interests

  • Evaluation of hearing for speech in children
  • Assessment of functional listening abilities of children with hearing impairment
  • Educational Audiology

Kim Ter-Horst

BSc (Hons) (NSW), GradDipAud (Macquarie), MAudSA (ccp)
Research Fellow and Audiologist

Phone: (02) 9872 0740


Before joining RIDBC Jim Patrick Audiology Centre in 2003, Kim was a Paediatric Audiologist with Australian Hearing for 10 years, and a research audiologist with the National Acoustic Laboratories. She has had many years' experience in the Audiological diagnosis, assessment and management of infants and children. Kim joined RIDBC Renwick Centre in 2009 and continues her involvement in other RIDBC programs, including children's services (HI), and indigenous health.

Research interests

  • Remote assessment of hearing, ear health and auditory skills in children
  • Audiological aspects of indigenous health

Professor Philip Newall

BA (Hons) (Keele), MSc (Surrey), MSc (Salford)
Professorial Fellow/Conjoint Professor

Phone: (02) 9872 0749


Conjoint Professor Philip Newall began his work in audiology in the National Health Service in the U.K in 1971. He has a Bachelors degree in Biology and Psychology (Joint Honours) from the University of Keele, a Master of Science in Biomechanics from the University of Surrey and a Masters of Science in Audiology from the University of Salford (in the United Kingdom). He was awarded the Certificate of Outstanding Service by the Audiological Society of Australia and is a Fellow of the Society. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology.

After working as a clinical audiologist in the Northern Regional Health Authority in the United Kingdom for nine years, Professor Newall came to Australia in 1980 to run the postgraduate audiology program in the Department of Linguistics at Macquarie University in Sydney until his retirement form the position in 2007. He is a Professor Emeritus at Macquarie University.

Professor Newall was responsible for the AusAid-funded International Developments Project which led to the first training program for audiologists in Beijing. He has been involved in setting up Masters in Clinical Audiology programs at the University of Santo Tomas and at the University of the Philippines in Manila where he is a visiting professor. He has also been a visiting professor and an external examiner for the National University of Malaysia audiology program in Kuala Lumpur and at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.

He is an editorial consultant for the Australian Journal of Audiology and the Malaysian Journal of Public Health, an assistant editor for the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, an expert committee member for the Chinese Scientific Journal of Hearing and Speech Rehabilitation. He is a Board Member of the Carabez Alliance which is committed to improving services for hearing-impaired children in the Pacific Islands. He was appointed as a Senior Consultant to the China Research and Rehabilitation Centre for Deaf Children in 2008.

He has over 100 publications and has been a chief investigator on over $3 million worth of research grants including five from the National Health & Medical Research Council.

Research interests

  • Amplification for the hearing impaired
  • Epidemiology of hearing loss
  • Audiology in developing countries

Dr Mike Steer

BA (Sir George Williams), DipEd (Exeter), MSc (Southern Illinois), MEd (Boston College), MA(Hons) (Melbourne), PhD (Syracuse)
Conjoint Senior Lecturer

Phone: (02) 9872 0814


Mike Steer is Senior Lecturer in Vision Impairment at the RIDBC Renwick Centre and Adjunct Professor at Deakin University. Prior to 1996, Director of the NSW Office on Disability in Government's Social Policy Directorate, previously, Principal Advisor on Disability Policy for Community Services Victoria, and Director of the Integration Unit for the Victorian Ministry of Education, Principal, Montreal Association School for the Blind (1968-72).

Mike holds a PhD (Special Education Administration) from Syracuse University, with Masters degrees in Public Policy (Melbourne), Vision Impairment (Boston College) and Education (Southern Illinois).

Mike is involved in a range of professional associations including South Pacific Educators in Vision Impairment (Life Member), Council for Exceptional Children (USA), Phi Delta Kappa (USA) and Royal Society (NSW). He is currently Editor of the Australian Deaf Blind Council Bulletin, the Journal of the South Pacific Educators in Vision Impairment, the International Journal of Orientation and Mobility , Consulting Editor to the Australian Journal of Special Education and Australian Correspondent to DbI Review.. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2009 Queen's Birthday Honours.

Research interests

  • Disability, advocacy and human service policy reform
  • Integration and inclusion of students with sensory disabilities in the generic education system
  • Educational issues in deafblindness
  • Public attitude towards people with sensory disabilities

Dr Frances Gentle

BA, DipEd (Macquarie), BEd (Special Education) (New England), MSpecEd (Sensory Disability) Hons (Newcastle), PhD (Newcastle)
Conjoint Lecturer

Phone: (02) 9872 0808


Frances Gentle is a Lecturer in Vision Impairment at the RIDBC Renwick Centre. Her role includes coordination and lecturing of post-graduate courses in the field of sensory impairment, as well as research into current issues relating to education of children with vision impairment. Frances completed her doctoral studies in early 2012 and received the 2012 University of Newcastle Award for Regional Leadership. This honour was in recognition of her educational development work in the Asia-Pacific region in countries such as Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea.

Frances has worked in the education and disability fields for almost 30 years. Prior employment has included St. Edmund's School for Students with Vision Impairments and Other Special Needs, Wahroonga NSW (1995-2005); the American School in Japan (ASIJ), the Tokyo International Learning Centre and Vocational Development Centre for the Blind in Tokyo (1994-1995); Lucas Gardens School, Canada Bay NSW (1991-1994); and St Mary’s School, Rydalmere NSW (1990-1991).

Frances is involved in a range of professional associations including South Pacific Educators in Vision Impairment (President), International Council for the Education of People with Visual Impairment (2nd Vice President), and Convening Editor of  the Journal of South Pacific Educators in Vision Impairment (JSPEVI).

Research interests

  • Contemporary issues associated with educational standards and pedagogy
  • Braille literacy and numeracy development
  • Curriculum and instructional approaches to education for students with vision impairment, including those with additional disabilities
  • National planning and priority setting promoting education for children with disabilities in Asia-Pacific region

Sue Silveira

MHScEd (Sydney), DipAppSc (Orth)
JAFF Research Fellow

Phone: (02) 9872-0248
Fax: (02) 9873-1614


Sue has over 20 years experience as a paediatric orthoptist and in an academic role. She has taught widely in the areas of paediatric eye disease and vision surveillance and vision screening. She is currently the chief investigator on the project which is developing and implementing the Australian Childhood Vision Impairment Register.

Research interests

  • Prevention of vision impairment and blindness in Australian children
  • Reduction of eye injury in Australian children
  • Online teaching and learning


Alison Hawkins-Bond 

MHScEd (Sydney), DipAppSc (Orth)
ELP (HI) Co-ordinator

Phone: (02) 9872 0746
Fax: (02) 9872 0335


Alison joined the Renwick Centre in August 2015 as the Practicum Coordinator. She is a Teacher of the Deaf with over 25 years’ experience in the field of sensory impairment in early intervention, primary and high school settings, using a range of communication modes. Alison has worked at RIDBC since 2001 setting up the Teleschool services for families and children with sensory impairment in QLD, WA,  SA, NSW and NT. More recently Alison has coordinated the Early Learning Program for children 0-8 years of age with a sensory impairment. She has supported Practicum Students in this early intervention setting, as well as mentored and trained Teachers of the Deaf and Speech Pathologist in developing child's communication.

The Practicum is one of the courses students can enrol in as part of their studies at RIDBC Renwick Centre. In her role as Practicum Coordinator, she is available to Students and supervising Teachers, during the practicum and liaises with Department of Education Coordinators.