Hearing Australia – Citizen Development

On average, 1 in 3 Aboriginal children experience chronic ear disease,¹ which can have negative impacts on learning and social development.² The Hearing Australia HAPEE (Hearing Assessment Program – Early Ears) program works with Aboriginal communities, often in remote areas, to identify and address issues early. Hearing Australia audiologists perform clinical tests as well as raise awareness and build capabilities within the communities to improve hearing outcomes. Last year Hearing Australia provided over 10,000 diagnostic hearing assessments in 240 communities. The HAPEE program is a 3-year initiative funded by the Department of Health and reporting is needed to reflect this incredible work the team is doing.

¹ +Health, A.G.D. of (2019). Roadmap for Hearing Health – Hearing Health Sector Committee. www1.health.gov.au. [Accessed Sep. 2020].
² Robert S. C. Cowan, Brent Edwards & Teresa Y. C. Ching(2018)Longitudinal outcomes of children with hearing impairment (LOCHI): 5-yeardata, International Journal of Audiology,57:sup2,S1-S2,DOI:10.1080/14992027.2018.1458703.


When travelling to remote communities, Hearing Australia audiologists need current information about where to go, how to get there and whom to contact and these details can change frequently. The community engagement officers responsible for keeping the information up to date were stretched and audiologists had no way to update it whilst out in the field. A lot of information was sitting in emails and texts which added complexity – a single source of truth was required.

The HAPEE program also required new data fields for the entry of items relating to awareness raising, capability building and training that was not available in their current IT systems, thus creating difficulty in tracking and organising this new information and there was the potential for better visibility and recognition for the program.


Jacqui Peck, an audiologist with Hearing Australia with minimal IT experience, recognised her team’s issues and began researching solutions. Jacqui first built a simple online canvas app using the Microsoft Power Platform which convinced the Hearing Australia leadership team to support her citizen development journey. Fortunately, Hearing Australia were already using Microsoft 365 which Jacqui could leverage to build her platform.

During Jacqui’s project, she ran into challenges resulting in significant additional effort and in some cases presenting roadblocks. Hearing Australia ICT team were at capacity building out their new information system and had no additional resources. They engaged WebVine to support Jacqui, leveraging our extensive Power Platform experience to give her the confidence and resources to troubleshoot challenges in hours or minutes rather than days.

With technical support from WebVine, Jacqui is creating a comprehensive solution consisting of a central model-driven app that works as a CRM system that captures information in the Microsoft Dataverse database. The information collected in the model-driven app & Dataverse is expanded with a canvas app – a mobile optimised application presenting location information in a user-friendly format, and portal for external collaboration to maintain data. Both the canvas app and portal link back to the central Dataverse, providing one source of truth. The Dataverse captures information using the Common Data Model (CDM) where information is stored in a logically and thus significantly improves the quality of data being collected. All the information captured by HAPEE can be easily visualised by PowerBI, extracted to Excel and integrated into Hearing Australia’s main databases.


The HAPEE app is a single source of truth that presents information clearly and empowers the team to keep it current. It can be referenced easily on a smartphone instead of needing to fire up the laptop just to check a name or address.

The app also connects back to a SharePoint site that contains other useful content such as training materials – addressing existing versioning issues and providing additional support. The app is easy to use with most people needing just an hour of training to set them up.

Hearing Australia audiologists are now able to plan their visits with confidence and focus on community health rather than logistical issues. Information maintenance is a team effort with shared responsibility rather than everything resting on the frontline staff.

Now that data is collected in a more structured way, reporting is more granular and accurate and a Power BI dashboard presents real-time outcomes in an engaging and consumable way. Because of Citizen development, HAPEE was able to create a solution that involved the whole team resulting in everyone becoming more data-aware and proactive in collecting quality data by continually asking “how will this be stored and used” – a very unexpected benefit!

You can learn more about Jacqui’s citizen development journey in this Microsoft Case Study.

“Before I had support from WebVine I would spend literally hours and sometimes days finding the answers to questions or how to do something; now those days are gone as I have my own personal technical support – This has been particularly beneficial as Hearing Australia’s IT resources have been stretched with other business-critical IT projects.”

-Jacqui Peck, Senior Audiologist & Business Optimisation – Modern Workplace, Hearing Australia

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