The AVA began in 1991. It is an umbrella organisation for all involved in the care of the human voice including speech pathologists, singing teachers and voice teachers, ENT surgeons, voice scientists and other professionals and amateur voice users.

Through meetings, professional development events, publications, lobbying and representation, the AVA aims to provide services to its members in a variety of ways; 

  • To act as a central point of focus for many disciplines involved in voice and promote the field of voice in Australia;
  • To encourage links between artistic, clinical and scientific disciplines related to voice;
  • To promote education and training in the clinical care of voice, as well as vocal performance and voice science;
  • To promote research into voice.

About Us

Meet the National Board of AVA

This stellar group of individuals strive to serve the members of Australian Voice Association by meeting regularly to organise events and webinars as well as directing advocacy for voice related issues in the Australian community.

Members of the national board volunteer their time and talents, serving two year terms.

Associate Professor Diane Hughes (NSW)


A/Prof Diane Hughes is a researcher and lecturer in Vocal Studies and Music at Macquarie University, Australia. Di has an extensive background in contemporary popular singing pedagogy, and has been an invited speaker at conferences and seminars. Her work within the industry has involved artist development and recording. Di's research interests include vocal health, artistry, pedagogy, recording, performance and singing in schools. She is an advocate for the development of cross-curriculum voice studies in school education. In 2014, she received an Australian Office of Learning and Teaching Citation for her contribution to student learning and an honorary award for service from the Professional Teachers’ Council of NSW. In 2018, Di received an honorary award recognising her service to the Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing over a significant period of change, and for ongoing commitment to mentorship and guidance within the profession of singing and singing teaching in Australia.

Dr Georgina Harris (NSW)

Vice President

Dr Georgina Harris is a consultant ENT surgeon and laryngologist who heads the multidisciplinary Voice Assessment Centre at St Vincent Hospital, Sydney. After completing her Otolaryngology, Head and Neck training in NSW, Dr Harris pursued her passion for laryngology and voice, culminating in an 18-month fellowship. She has trained with cutting-edge laryngologists at UC Davis in California and completed the laryngology fellowship in London at UCL and Imperial College. Her interests include vocal cord palsy and laryngeal reinnervation, respiratory papilloma, transgender patients and the professional voice users. She has a passion for education and teaching and remains involved with multiple airway and laryngology courses both in Australia and internationally.

Veronica Stewart (NSW)


Dr. Veronica Stewart is a singer, teacher and independent researcher. Her PhD thesis titled “Story, Song and Voice: Investigating the musical creativities of Australian singer-songwriters” looks into the singing voice, influences and creative processes of Australian

singer-songwriters (2019, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia). She is the principal voice teacher and owner of the Sydney Voice Studio and is a former sessional vocal studies/creative industries tutor and convenor at Macquarie University. She has worked with singers for over 15 years. She now frequently works with contemporary singer-songwriters, fellow singing teachers and artists with a focus on sustainable vocal, musical and entrepreneurial creative practices.


Meaghan Sullivan (VIC)


Meaghan has been a Speech Pathologist since 2002. She also holds a Bachelor of Music (voice) from the Victorian College of Arts. Meaghan has worked as a lecturer, Musical Director and singing teacher for various universities including Federation University’s Musical Theatre Degree. Meaghan continues to sing in both choral and solo concert events. Meaghan has been working as a Speech Pathologist with Voice Medicine Australia and the Melbourne Voice Analysis Centre since 2010. Meaghan also provides services to clients in the Ballarat and regional areas via her private practice which has a large paediatric caseload in addition to her adult neurologic and laryngology patient focus.

Meaghan is a certified practising member of Speech Pathology Australia, and a member of the Australian Voice Association and Laryngology Society of Australasia. She has attended and presented at many national and international speech pathology and ENT Specialist workshops and conferences on a variety of topics related to clinical voice management. Along with the performance voice, Meaghan has a special interest and expertise in neurologic voice (spasmodic dysphonia and tremor), cough, vocal cord dysfunction and the relevance of exercise science to speech pathology management.

Dr Debbie Phyland (VIC)

Professional Development

Dr Debbie Phyland is a speech pathologist, lecturer and researcher and has primarily worked for the past 30 years in acute hospital settings, part-time lecturing at Latrobe, Melbourne and James Cook Universities in voice, neurological and dysphagia subjects and running a private voice practice. Debbie is also a music theatre singer-performer combining her love of performance with her speech pathology career, bringing voice medicine to the performing arts. In 2002, she was the recipient of a Churchill Fellowship and travelled to the USA and Europe to study laryngology in relation to professional voice-users.

She is a co-founder of the multi-disciplinary clinic, The Melbourne Voice Analysis Centre, and runs a private practice, Voice Medicine Australia. Debbie also works as the Clinical Research Director for the ENT Head and Neck Department of Monash Health and recently undertook a two-year post-doctoral research fellowship supported by the Garnet-Passe and Rodney-Williams Foundation. She is also the immediate past President of the Laryngology Society of Australasia (2014-2017). Along with Fellowship category (2014), Debbie has been honoured with several awards including the SPAA Elinor Wray (2010), Victorian Green Room (2012) and Australian Voice Association (2014) awards for ‘Outstanding Contribution’. She has numerous publications across the ENT field in swallowing, voice and neurological conditions. Debbie completed her doctoral thesis through the Department of Surgery, Monash University in 2014.

Dr Paul Paddle (VIC)

Professional Development & Website

Paul is an Ear Nose & Throat surgeon with fellowship training in Laryngology - Voice, airway and Swallowing disorders. Paul completed his Bachelor of Medicine and surgery with honours at Melbourne University in 2003. In 2013 he gained fellowship to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He completed a fellowship in Laryngology at Harvard University in Boston. He gained expertise in all aspects of laryngology including the care of voice, airway and swallowing disorders, operative and office-based treatments, and the use of established and innovative diagnostic and surgical techniques. He divides his clinical life between the voice, airway swallowing clinics at Monash Health, and the multi-disciplinary team at the Melbourne Voice & Swallow Analysis Centre.

Paul also has a keen interest in public health and research. He has completed a Masters of Public Health at Melbourne University in 2010, and a post-graduate diploma of Anatomy in 2006. He is currently a principle investigator in a number of clinical trials in the fields of ENT, and is the holder of a number of current Research Grants. He has authored a numerous scientific papers, and authored a number of book chapters. Paul holds senior lecturer positions at both Monash University and LaTrobe University and is passionate about educating patients and junior colleagues in the care of the voice. He is also a keen health-tech innovator and is currently developing a number of patient-centric solutions.

Paul is a keen musician, having completed A.mus.A in both Piano and Viola, and having been a member of a number of amateur choral groups.

Jennifer Innes (SA)

Jennifer has recently returned to Adelaide after 12 years working as a voice & dialect coach, and actor in Melbourne.  With a background and particular interest in classical theatre, Jennifer studied acting, voice and phonetics at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She later studied voice, accent and dialect at the VCA & MCM, where she worked as Voice Lecturer for six years. She is currently Lecturer in Voice at AC Arts and the University of Adelaide (Music Theatre).  Jennifer has coached for such companies as Red Stitch Actors Theatre, The Honeytrap and The State Theatre Company of South Australia. She has performed with companies including Essential Theatre, Don’t Look Away and Opera Australia.  She coaches privately for corporate clients, educators and actors and has performed and coached in film and television in Australia and in the UK. Jennifer believes in personal empowerment through voice work, and is a proud member of the AVA, VASTA, the NTEU and the MEAA.

Dr Catherine Gregory (Tas)

Dr Cath Gregory is a speech pathologist, lecturer and researcher. Initially working in biomedical research, Cath obtained a PhD in Neurophysiology from Imperial College London in 2002 before changing careers and completing a Master of Speech Language Pathology with 1st class honours in 2011. Since then she has worked as a clinical speech pathologist and clinical educator in both private practice and in acute hospital settings, providing evidence-based assessment and management of voice, swallowing, and communication disorders.

Cath is currently employed as a lecturer and researcher in voice at the University of Technology Sydney where her research focus is on differential diagnosis and treatment of functional psychogenic voice disorders. Cath is passionate about professional voice, frequently spending her spare time on the stage in amateur dramatic productions as well as running her private practice, Resonate Speech Pathology.

Cath is a certified practising member of Speech Pathology Australia, and a member of the Australian Voice Association, Laryngology Society of Australasia, and the Australian Professional Association for Trans Health.






Madlyn Connelly (Vic)

Madlyn is a Speech Pathologist based in Melbourne. Her life-long passion for the voice started young, training in AMEB Classical Voice and performing in musical theatre. After graduating La Trobe University with a Bachelor of Health Sciences and Masters of Speech Pathology in 2013, she worked as a Speech Pathologist and clinical educator in public services across the continuum of care.

Working with the voice is central to her current roles as she makes up part of the multidisciplinary team in the dedicated voice, swallow and upper airway clinics atVoice Therapy and Pinnacle Surgery. She also works within the public sector at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, where she provides voice therapy to patients after cancer treatment. Madlyn understands the importance of each member of the voice care team from the singing voice teacher to the vocal coach and physiotherapist. She enjoys working with professional voice users and performers, and her research interests include the effect of radiotherapy on voice and also the impact of telehealth on vocal health.  

The combination of her clinical experience as well as her background in performing allows for a first hand understanding that voice is both an art and a science. She is a member of the Laryngology Society of Australasia and the Victorian Voice Special Interest Group.