Your Committee

CICADA Queensland Committee

Stephen Willis – President

Stephen has been a member of CICADA Queensland for 10 years, and he brings with him a wealth of experience as he has held various committee positions over the years. He worked in the Liquor industry until his retirement due to deafness. 

Stephen had a Cochlear implant fitted in 2005.


Shirley Edwards – Secretary & Lifetime Member

Shirley has been a contributing member of CICADA Queensland for over 10 years and secretary since the mid 1990’s. She is a bilateral cochlear implant recipient and worked for Queensland Police for over 20 years in a variety of administrative roles. Shirley enjoys the contact with other cochlear recipients. She is involved in furthering access for all hearing-impaired people via captioning and campaigning for open captioned movies. She currently works 1-2 days a week for Bradley Reporting, CICADA Queensland’s official captioners.

Josephine McMahon – Magazine Editor

Josephine has worked in a variety of administration roles in both the government and private sectors. She holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in history and literature from Griffith University.  Her many interests include historical documentaries, fiction, film, jogging, Tai Chi, swimming, bush-walking, photography and gardening.  



Penny Phillips – Sunshine Coast Representative

Penny has been a CICADA Queensland member for three years and a Cochlear recipient for almost two years. She lives in Currimundi on the beautiful Sunshine Coast and has two sons and six gorgeous grandchildren. She has a background in Administration and Office work and was Secretary for Better Hearing Sunshine Coast for twelve years. She enjoys the great outdoors, gardening, walking the dog, cycling, keeping healthy and fit and keeping in touch with friends and family.


Judith Raxworthy – Fraser Coast Representative

I have been involved in the world of the Deaf and Hearing Impaired for many years, having been the Coordinator/Secretary of Better Hearing Australia Maryborough Branch and also involved with Deaf Services Queensland of which I am a life member along with life membership of Better Hearing Australia.

I obtained my BHA Tutor Certificate of Lipreading and Hearing Rehabilitation in 1980 and then a Diploma for the same in 1982.

I am a Bilateral Cochlear Recipient having had my first implant on my left side in 2002, unfortunately I had auditory nerve failure (not an implant failure )  and had to be re-implanted in 2003. It wasn’t until 2007 when my right side was implanted and this has helped enormously.

I live in beautiful Hervey Bay, on the Fraser Coast. My four children have kindly rewarded me with 9 grandchildren and they in turn have so far rewarded me with 3 great grandchildren and 2 step great grandchildren.  I am very fortunate to have them all living in Hervey Bay or Maryborough.

I enjoy beach walks, op shopping, playing board games, especially Rummy- o and Sequence. I challenge myself with mosaic craft. My passion, apart from family, is helping people to accept their hearing loss and finding ways to improve their quality of life.


Kevin Hobbs – Gold Coast Representative

Kevin received a Cochlear Implant N6 in 2016. He has been connected  with Hearing Impaired advocacy since 2002, and is currently President Of Gold Coast Hearing support group where he assists with the facilitation of Hearing management classes At Southport Gold Coast.


Louisa Handyside – Darling Downs Representative

Louisa lives in Toowoomba with her husband and her two energetic daughters.  She worked as a consultant pharmacist prior to losing her hearing due to bilateral menieres disease. She has a bachelor of Science, a Bachelor of Pharmacy and is currently doing post-graduate research in Pharmaceutical Public Health.  In 2018, Louisa received an Advanced Bionics cochlear implant and a Phonak Link hearing aid.  With her new found hearing, she has not looked back!  Louisa joined cicada in 2019 and quickly became Cicada’s Darling Downs representative. She’s an advocate for improving access to hearing solutions and hopes to help others along the way on their hearing journeys.


Libby Best – Committee Member

Libby has been a CICADA Queensland member since 2016 and joined the Committee in 2019. The second youngest of seven children, Libby was the third child born with severe hearing loss wearing hearing aids since the age of 6 months. In October 2015 she had her cochlear implant fitted.

She has worked in Queensland Government for 18 years and is an award winning photographer, earning her Bachelor of Photography degree at Griffith University in 2012. She has won international and national awards for her powerful yet sensitive exploration of some of life’s hard stories. From the painful, joyous beauty of childbirth to the sadness of a person’s last dying days, the realities of life for Thalidomide victims and the stark cultural differences in developing countries such as Cambodia.
Libby lives on the north side of Brisbane with her husband and three teenage children.


Peter Fuhrman-Luck – Committee Member

Peter has been with CICADA Queensland for a few years, and is a very dedicated and active member of the committee. Peter (known as Pete) has had a cochlear implant since 2006. He enjoys the comradeship of the group and the meetings. Pete works as a Construction Electrician but is now semi-retired.


Sandi Kennedy – Committee Member

Sandi was born with hereditary Sensory Degenerative hearing loss diagnosed at 9 years of age. She  has a wide and varied experience in the community.  She has two majors in BA Human Services and she achieved these distinctions through the use of a note-taker and tutor provided by the university disability support system, and FM technology when the tutor was willing to participate.  She has experience in volunteer work which includes Carer’s Qld, and was Chief campaign manager for a local candidate in the Hervey Bay Bi-election as well as being treasurer for Dundowran Recreation Hall in Hervey Bay. 

She was at first rejected for a cochlear implant under guidelines in 2009 as she was able to hear 60% of sentences.  However, when the guidelines changed in 2015, Sandi was implanted and says it has changed her life significantly, and currently works with people who are ‘job in jeopardy’.  She is an active and popular committee member of the CICADA Queensland committee.

Jay Lee – Committee Member

Jay joined CICADA Queensland in 2018 as a committee member. Jay earned his Audiology degree from the University of Queensland. Since, he had been working as a clinical Audiologist with special interests in diagnostic and rehabilitation Audiology especially implantable devices. He loves to hear people’s stories and be a part of their hearing journeys. Jay became CICADA’s Audiology Support Advisor where he contributes helping members with general Audiology enquires in their hearing journeys.


Richard Vander Have – Committee Member

At about 13 years of age, Richard started losing his hearing due to hereditary issues (according to the family ‘legend’). He lived with deteriorating hearing and hearing aids all through his working life as, first a draughtsman, and then an engineer. After retiring,  he became active in local U3A’s and a computer club where he periodically takes courses to teach people to dis-assemble and reassemble PCs.

He says life is easier since he received his implant in mid-2016.  And harder since he joined CICADA in 2018. He was elected to the CICADA committee in mid-2019 but still retains his interest in U3As and the computer club.