Page 54 - Sandgate Guide April 2021 Issue
P. 54

Ronnie with wife, Kathy
 An Active Listener
Story Eve Vickerson PAhoto Bruce Redman
fter graduating in England with a master’s degree in audiology, Ronnie Lam arrived in Brisbane with one
backpack and a genuine desire to help other people.
The audiologist at Sandgate Hearing took an adventurous leap in moving to Australia.
“I didn’t know where Brisbane was. I had no idea,” Ronnie said.
After five years, he had saved enough to open his own clinic on the southside. The only problem was that he had grown to love living in the Sandgate area.
“I spent a lot of time on the road, travelling back and forth to the old clinic,” Ronnie said.
“I love this area and decided to make some changes. I thought maybe it would be a good idea to set up a clinic here and help out the local community.”
Ronnie said that he started his career as a biomedical engineer in Hong Kong. He was a researcher by day and a volunteer with the Deaf Society by night. It was this experience that
inspired him to make a career change.
“I finished my last research project, quit my job, moved to England and used my savings to get a master’s degree in audiology,” he said. “In those days, the audiologists were all trained up overseas in England.”
Ronnie enjoys being an audiologist and said the best part of his job was “using my skills to make an impact on people’s lives. I can see the way a person changes. We help a lot of clients to hear better. They become more active, they’re happier, and they can talk to each other again. It’s life-changing”.
When fitting hearing aids, Ronnie said it was like cooking a good meal.
“When you cook, you have a lot of ingredients, but how you do it makes a huge difference to the taste,” he said. “You can put more salt, more sugar or more oil into a dish to get the balance just right. With the right balance, a person can hear a lot better.
“For people with severe hearing loss, a five decibels difference in the output can increase a person’s hearing from 50 per cent to 80 per cent.”
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