Trista Mutia Kasoem: giving hope to people with hearing loss

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Trista Mutia Kasoem works at the Kasoem Hearing and Speech Center – a family business in the hearing healthcare industry in Indonesia  which has established a partnership with Cochlear Limited - an Australian medical device company that designs, manufactures and supplies the cochlear implants.

Hearing is one of the five important senses which we rely on to make sense of the world. It is no doubt a frustration for people suffering from hearing loss or impairment. Returned home after receiving her bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences at Macquarie University, Trista is among the many forces in Indonesia to restore patients’ smiles by helping them to hear again.

 Interview by Tammy Lee, Marketing & Communications & Digital Manager, Advance

Can you tell us what you do and your role?

I am currently running my family’s business in the hearing healthcare industry.

This company has been established since 1989. It continues to grow and expand to become a leading provider of medical devices in the field of audiology for the people in Indonesia.

The awareness regarding hearing problem in Indonesia is still very low. According to the data researched by WHO, around 5.3% of our population suffer from hearing loss. Indonesia’s population is reaching 260 million people, making Indonesia to be the third country with the most hearing loss cases after India and China. Additionally, WHO stated that one to six out of 1000 births suffer from permanent hearing loss. It is confirmed that children suffer from severe to profound hearing loss which their learning capabilities will be compromised and thus affecting their academic performance. The study also found that people who have suffer from hearing loss will have a lower quality of life and productivity compared to people with normal hearing.

Due to such circumstances, we are actively spreading awareness about the importance of early hearing detection so that patients could receive immediate treatment by using hearing devices. Our center provides comprehensive and international-class services ranging from audiology assessment and rehabilitation which includes several options for hearing devices and auditory verbal therapy.

As a deputy CEO, I am responsible for all business processes, which include sales, marketing, production, logistics, and product management.

What are the most rewarding part of your job?

Seeing hearing impaired patients who finally smile after using hearing devices is one of my greatest satisfactions!

I was one of the people who are in charge of the CTEC (Cochlear Training and Experience Center) development project in 2015. Our company is partnering with Cochlear Ltd  which we had an initiative to build this center that can provide training and mentoring for professionals who handle cases of hearing loss.

We were elated to receive visits from representatives of the Australian government to visit our center including the Hon Sussan Ley MP,  former Minister for Health and Aged Care, and the Hon. Niall Mark Blair, MLC, NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Minister for Regional Water, and Minister for Trade and Industry

How was your study experience in Australia?

I spent 4 years in Sydney attending the Speech and Hearing Science course at Macquarie University. As I was an international student, the lecturer would provide additional guidance to make sure I could keep up with the progress.

Having the opportunity to live on my own in a foreign country for an extensive period was an invaluable experience. Sydney is a special place to live given its high number of international students although I was among the only two students who came from overseas in my class!

Did you Australian education help you in any way to advance your career back to Indonesia?

Absolutely yes! One of the reasons for me to choose to go to Australia was because the course that I intended to undertake was not available in Indonesia.  I am grateful to all the advice given by my parents to gain a better understanding on hearing and speech which allows me to chip in to help the hearing loss community in Indonesia in my current role.

Moving back to Jakarta from Australia, what were some of the challenges that you had faced?

Dealing with Jakarta's traffic. Other than that, almost nothing!

What do you miss most about Australia?

1. Their Coffee is the best - It's nearly impossible to get a bad one!

2. Tim Tam - This chocolaty, creamy, crunchy biscuits are too tasty!

3. Beaches - They're so beautiful and plentiful.

4. Barbeques – something you can enjoy everywhere with your friends, whether in the backyard, local park, beach.