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.
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.
Dr Heather Fletcher (VIC)
Dr Heather Fletcher is a lecturer and voice teacher at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and Victorian College of the Arts at The University of Melbourne. Her PhD in music psychology focuses on the practices of expert classical and music theatre voice teachers in Australia, while her other research in social and music psychology explores how music-making and listening impacts everyday well-being. Heather’s work has been published in voice and education journals, and she has presented at conferences across the globe for organisations such as ANATS, PEVoC, and the ICVT. As an advocate for young developing voices in Australia, she has adjudicated eisteddfods nationwide and hosts a live-to-air performance radio series which provides opportunities for emerging classical musicians. Heather is also an accomplished mezzo-soprano and has performed with companies including Opera Australia and Victorian Opera, as well as in venues such as Carnegie Hall and St Martin-in-the-Fields.
Vice President & Treasurer
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.
Vicki Dwyer (NSW)
Vicki Dwyer is a singing teacher and vocal coach based in the Sydney area with over 20 years’ experience. Along with her private teaching practice, Vicki is the musical director of two a cappella ensembles, Circular Keys Chorus and Sydney Harmony. Having graduated from the Australian Institute of Music with a Masters in Music, contemporary voice, Vicki has a keen interest in research in singing pedagogy and frequently presents workshops for ensemble singers throughout Australia. Vicki frequently performs in her a cappella quartets, Alouette and Alter Ego for television, radio and stage.
Dr Anthony Rotman (VIC)
Professional Development & Website
Anthony is a Melbourne-based Laryngologist. After completing his medical degree at the University of Melbourne, he trained at various hospitals across Melbourne. After receiving his Fellowship from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Anthony completed further training in the United Kingdom.
With a specialist interest in disorders of the voice box and trachea, he achieved a Royal College of Surgeons England-approved Fellowship in Laryngology at the National Centre for Airway Reconstruction in London, with a focus on endoscopic and open approaches to airway and voice disorders. He also spent time at the Royal Brompton Hospital, learning about middle airway disease and chronic cough. His time in London was followed by a second Laryngology Fellowship focusing on voice and swallowing disorders in Poole, United Kingdom. He trained in local anaesthetic techniques, such as vocal fold augmentation, subglottic stenosis management, laser surgery for recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, as well as transnasal oesophagoscopy.
Since returning to Melbourne, he works as both Laryngologist and Ear, Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgeon at Monash Health as well as in the private setting. He is also the recipient of multiple grants for his research, which he is currently involved in through Monash Health. With a number of publications and presentations as well as regular attendance at national and international training courses, Anthony maintains his knowledge and experience in current techniques to benefit his patients. He has a keen interest in teaching and is a supervisor of training at Monash Health.
Tania Savelli (SA)
A self-confessed ‘vocal nerd’, Tania has a firm belief that all voice users should have the opportunity to feel empowered and confident. Tania enjoys combining her sound knowledge of voice science, vocal health and the performing arts with her 20 years of vocal coaching experience, to offer practical solutions to common vocal issues for voice users.
With a passion for holistic voice training and care, Tania is also currently undertaking a Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours) at the University of South Australia. Upon completion of her degree, she plans to move into voice rehabilitation and therapy to treat people diagnosed with voice disorders. Tania has a special interest in vocal health for professional performers and is experienced in coaching singers and occupational voice users who have recently recovered from vocal injury.
Tania is the founder and co-director of Vocal Hub Enterprises, a company whose mission is to “provide all voice users with a community in which one can safely, confidently and successfully find the most authentic path to self-expression”. She holds an Advanced Diploma of Music (Performance) and is an Estill Master Trainer Candidate. Her extensive coaching experience includes working with clients of all ages in varied educational settings. Tania currently coaches an array of clients from her private studio as well as being the group facilitator for the Hospital Research Foundation’s Shout Out Singing Group – a singing group for people living with Parkinson’s Disease. She is also student certified in LSVT Loud, the gold standard voice therapy treatment for Parkinson’s Disease.
As well as being a board member of the Australian Voice Association, Tania is also on the board of directors for the Australian Dysphonia Network and is a committee member for the Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing (SA/NT branch).
Elissa Finn (QLD)
Samantha U'Ren (VIC)
Samantha U’Ren has been a Speech Pathologist since 2004 and holds a Bachelor of Music (Melb Uni) in performance and a Bachelor of Speech Pathology. She has been a voice /singing teacher for over 25 years and runs her own practise, and Voice Studio “In Good Voice”, where she provides Speech Pathology (Voice and Dysphagia), Singing Lessons and Education on Vocal Health.
She has worked as a Senior Speech Pathologist (Voice Therapist) with leading laryngologists in Melbourne and Sydney and worked in London with a prominent voice team and managed the voice therapy departments across 3 major London hospitals.
She has presented at a variety of conferences on vocal health and medications, and their effects on the voice, and she produces her own Webinars on Vocal health specialising in Singer’s and Teachers’ Voices. She has recently been upskilling in Chronic Cough and Upper Airway Disorders. Samantha is also a professional singer and works with the Opera Australia and Opera Victoria chorus and performs as a soloist at a variety of concerts and corporate events.
Samantha is a certified practising member of Speech Pathology Australia, (SPA) The Laryngology Society of Australasia, (LSA) The Australian Voice Association (AVA) and The Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing. (ANATS) She has also been a board member of the ANATS VIC and NSW Chapters.