Riette is first and foremost a mother. Riette and her husband Matthew have two young boys and their parenting journey so far has not always been easy. Riette’s youngest son was diagnosed as being developmentally delayed and on the autism spectrum at the age of three. That was the tip of the iceberg for the family with two children only 13 months apart, one suffering with very (very) severe reflux and the other having been born with some neurological abnormalities. Riette knows first-hand what is like to hope and wait for some clarity, help and support. It was through this journey of trying to navigate support structures in New Zealand that she realised how important it is to seek help from people who actually understand and empathise with your own family’s situation.
Riette has almost 20 years’ experience as an audiologist. She studied in South Africa where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Pathology and then proceeded to complete a Master’s degree in Communication Pathology specialising in Audiology and more specifically electro- physiology. When given the opportunity to work in New Zealand, Riette working at the Waikato Hospital and split her time between the public and private sector before leaving to work for the NHS in England in 2004. In the UK, Riette worked as a clinical audiologist helping both adult and children with hearing rehabilitation and also in a specialist vestibular clinic under the guidance of ENT specialists. In 2006, Riette returned to New Zealand and again divided her time between the Audiology Department at Waikato hospital and one of Hamilton’s first private audiology practices. It was while working at the hospital audiology department that Riette first became familiar with Auditory Processing Disorder or APD.
A few years later, Riette’s interest in APD was again cultivated from her own experience with her son who at the age of 3 was struggling to express himself. Riette went on to undertake further specialist study in APD and joined a number of international professional APD groups for clinicians. Riette has herself been diagnosed with an auditory processing disorder - which has really helped to her to better understand her own journey so far.
With a collaborative approach to his auditory processing, and speech and language abilities Riette’s son now attends a mainstream school. His path is still filled with numerous obstacles, challenges and opportunities and so the journey for them as a family continues…
Graeme lives in North Canterbury with his wife Kate and their 3 children, Jonty, Tilly and Jasper.
Previously, Graeme was Managing Director of Triton Hearing where he was (very) fortunate to have worked alongside Riette for over 9 years. After Triton, he worked as CEO of a retirement village / aged care business. Having been involved in healthcare related businesses for over 16 years, Graeme decided to take some time to better understand and learn about things on the frontline of healthcare. With this in mind, and with the challenge of not having studied science for over 30 years, Graeme completed a master’s degree in nursing science at the University of Otago. The programme included 1,300 hours of practical hands-on experience with placements in: aged care, mental health, primary care, complex care, orthopaedics, and older persons health. Graeme also had to sit masters level science and pharmacology exams, along with the New Zealand Nursing Council’s Registered Nurse State Exams.
While completing his studies, Graeme was terrified that one day he would have to tell his wife and school age kids that he had failed an exam, or that he had grossly overestimated his academic abilities and that he would have to drop out of the course altogether. Out of necessity, this fear led Graeme to become fascinated by “mental resilience” and “learning how to learn”, he continues to study and learn about various concepts such as accelerated learning and how to get the most from your mind and memory. Thankfully, Graeme passed all the exams and successfully completed his master’s in nursing science and is a registered nurse.
From a very young age, Graeme has always loved and been fascinated by business – it all started back when he would give his baby teeth to a friend at school who had a tooth fairy that paid 20 cents more than his did... These days, Graeme is involved in businesses in two of New Zealand’s largest industries, housing, and healthcare, and he is delighted to be involved with Bounse, alongside Riette. Graeme is absolutely inspired by the unique opportunity and privilege that Bounse has to help people of all ages to listen, learn, develop and get along with others.