Frances Slabber is Specsavers Audiology’s 29th partner and operates out of our Rockingham store 50km south of Perth. Originally from South Africa, we chatted to Frances about her background, experiences when she immigrated to Australia and why she decided Specsavers Audiology was the right fit for her
1. Tell us a bit about your background.
I qualified as a speech therapist and audiologist at the University of Pretoria in South Africa 26 years ago. I owned my own independent audiology clinic in South Africa for 18 years before we migrated to Australia in 2010. I have worked in private practice here in Australia for the past eight years.
I’m actually married to an optometrist (Carl) who joined Specsavers a year ago and we have three children.
2. Thinking about previous roles and years in the industry as a backdrop, what prompted you to join Specsavers?
I loved having my own business in South Africa and I found it difficult not being my own boss again after 18 years. I also felt disheartened working in an industry that focused on commission and sales. It didn’t reflect my own principles and I wasn’t comfortable defining myself as a diagnostic audiologist.
To start an independent clinic in a new country in my late forties was also simply a financial risk I could not take. After Carl joined Specsavers I started looking at the model and I was so impressed with the mantra of team and customer first amidst affordable hearing care for all.
3. Why is a JVP with Specsavers a good model for audiology?
It allows you, as an audiologist, to manage and run your own business within a well-oiled machine where clinician and customer support receives top priority. Specsavers has an incredible support network and the quality of knowledge within the company is truly commendable.
Well-trained and well-equipped audiologists, enthusiastic optical team members and well-cared for customers can only improve the negative stigmas Australians might have previously associated with hearing care and hearing aids.
4. Having joined, can you describe your thoughts about Specsavers Audiology and the role the group will play in the industry?
Specsavers is going to be a game changer. Its model allows audiologists to be supported, effectively establishing an incredibly strong and dynamic team with mutual goals and interests.
The quality of the care and products provided to customers is of a high-standard and importantly, it’s affordable. To me, Specsavers is sincere and genuine and as such it’s the only provider I would want to come on board with.
5. What is Specsavers Audiology’s approach to professionalism and clinical practice?
A huge emphasis is placed on professional service at Specsavers Audiology. It is pleasing to see the processes in place for infection control and clinical guidelines. From the uniform to the marketing material, brochures, information packs and training of staff, it is clear a lot of effort has been put into the development of this very professional brand.
6. What would you say to audiology professionals considering a JVP with Specsavers?
If you want to own your own audiology business and you are an audiologist who wants quality service and products above quantity for your customers, Specsavers is the company you should consider.
Since joining I have met some incredibly dynamic individuals and the sense of family within the Specsavers group is truly remarkable. Becoming a part of this company is the best decision I have made in my 26-year career and I would encourage any audiologist that wants to work for themselves and who wants challenge and growth professionally to consider moving to Specsavers.