HD Speech Therapy Team

All our therapists are members of Speech Pathology Australia and registered certified practicing speech pathologists.

We are a passionate team of speech pathologists and support staff with the collective goal of providing excellence in speech pathology.

We are always looking for new talent! If you have experience in speech pathology or a complimentary profession, a student looking to work with us or just a fantastic person feel free to call Yasemin or Alana on (02) 9899 7853 for a chat. We would love to hear what you can bring to the team.

  • Alana Adolphs
  • Yasemin Burmin
  • Emma Marsden
  • Katrina Clarke-Bruce
  • Lauren Harker
  • Fiona Selby
  • Caitlin Chaney
  • Catherine Maude
  • Caitlin Snowdon
  • Zoe Heynes-Bowles
  • Reta van Rensburg
  • Michelle Huynh
  • Emma Charters
  • Remona Mekdessi Sarkis
  • Emma Harsanyi
  • Virginia Wassif
  • Julie Dahlberg
  • Vicki Hargraves
  • Catalina Bolivar Rodriguez
  • Vanessa Liang
  • Alana Adolphs

    Alana Adolphs

    Bachelor of Applied Sciences (Speech Pathology) at University of Sydney

    Alana has spent the last decade working as Speech Pathologist in various settings including Community Health, support units within Primary and High Schools, not for profit agencies and private practice. Alana has taken these broad range of experiences to guide and support the development of Hills District Speech Therapy; a Practice that focuses on the relationship with families and the Community, advocates for its clients and truly believes that communication is the essence of life and a basic right for everyone.

    Alana has been fortunate to be able to work together with some amazing organisations such as The Yenu Allowah Child and Family Centre where an on-site speech clinic and early intervention play group has been established. Alana is also passionate about literacy development and spends much of her week upskilling her staff in this area of assessment and intervention. Alana feels extremely grateful to be working in a field she feels so passionate about and working with a team of like-minded people. When she doesn’t have her speechie hat on, Alana is kept very busy running after Sam, her speedy 1 year old and Hattie, her golden retriever.

  • Yasemin Burmin

    Yasemin Burmin

    Bachelor of Applied Sciences (Speech Pathology) at University of Sydney

    Having worked full time for a decade as a Speech Pathologist in various settings, Yasemin is truly passionate about her practice. Hills District Speech Therapy was founded with colleague Alana Adolphs in 2011 out of the belief that speech therapy has a pivotal role in early intervention, education and disability. As Hills District Speech Therapy, her and Alana have enjoyed building close relationships with many schools, preschools and allied health practices in and around the Hills. She thoroughly enjoys supporting all the children, their families and clinicians in achieving their goals and is grateful to have such an amazing team at the clinic.

    In more recent times, Yasemin has developed and presented training workshops to educators and professionals around the Hills. She has been invited as a guest speaker on various occasions to present on language and communication disorders and their impact on learning in the classroom. She also spends much of her time ensuring her team is well trained and up to date with the latest research and methods in speech therapy in order to provide a supreme level of service to all families that walk through the door. One of her biggest messages is to spend time finding out what makes each child really tick! She balances her work and life with frequent bouts of travel and adventure.

    Special Training

    Voicecraft trained
    HANEN trained
    DIR Floortime trained
    Connect Therapy trained

    Yasemin currently provides onsite services to:

    The Hills Grammar School
    St Mary’s North Sydney

  • Emma Marsden

    Emma Marsden

    Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) – University of Western Sydney 2010

    Master of Speech Language Pathology – University of Sydney 2013

    Emma has been working as part of the HDST team since 2015. Emma sees clients across a wide range of age groups, but has a keen interest in developing early literacy, fluency and speech sound skills in preschool children, and literacy skills in school aged children.

    Emma instantly builds relationships and rapport with the families she works with. She believes in discovering what motivates a child and then using this during therapy to make learning fun and enjoyable. Emma finds it very rewarding to have a job where she can make such a difference to a child and their family’s life.

    Outside of work, Emma enjoys catching up with family and friends, reading, exploring cafes and restaurants around Sydney, and going on road trips to the Blue Mountains and the coast.

    Professional Development:

    – Literacy and Learning Difficulties: Strategies to support students with reading and language disorders. Presented by Dr Samantha Hornery (2017).

    – Autism: Key strategies for school and home. Presented by Anna Tullemans (2017).

    – Lidcombe Program Workshop. Presented by Verity MacMillan (2017).

    – Speech Pathologists and Literacy: What is best practice? Presented by Dr Roslyn Neilson (2017).

    – Speech Pathology in the literacy domain: From prevention to intervention. Presented by Dr Tanya Serry (2016).

    – Blades – Adding meaning and interaction to language therapy for 2-5 year olds. Presented by Mellanie Sherwood (2015).

    – Spalding Multisensory Instruction of Language Arts 1. Presented by Robyn Grace (2015).

    – Speech Sound and Phonological Assessment and Intervention. Making it work! Presented by Professor Barbara Dodd (2014).

    – Voicecraft for Speech Pathologists Student Workshop. Presented by Jacqui Beaty (2013).

    Emma currently provides offsite services to:

    – The Hills Grammar School

    – St Andrews College Marayong

    – Our Lady of the Angels Rouse Hill

    – Pacific Hills Christian School

  • Katrina Clarke-Bruce

    Katrina Clarke-Bruce

    Bachelor of Economics – Macquarie University
    Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting – Institute of Chartered Accountants
    Graduate Diploma of Speech and Communication – Macquarie University
    Master of Speech Language Pathology – Macquarie University

    Katrina came to Speech Pathology after a previous career working as a Chartered Accountant. Her love for assisting people with communication challenges developed after she volunteered at her local public school to assist children to develop their reading skills. She is particularly interested in developing early literacy and speech sound skills in preschool children, and literacy and language skills in school aged children.

    She enjoys getting to know her clients and likes to integrate their interests into the therapy sessions.

    When Katrina is not at work she enjoys spending time with her husband and children and practising yoga.

    Professional Development:

    – Spalding Multisensory Instruction of Language Arts 1.

    – HDST Literacy Training

    – Learning Disabilities Coalition “Autism: Strategies for school and home”. Presented by Anna Tullemans (2017).

    Katrina currently provides offsite services to:

    – Hills Sports High School

    – The Hills Grammar School ECEC

    – The Hills Grammar School

    – Bird House Early Learning Centre

    – Winston Hills Public School

    – Seven Hills West Public School

    – St John 23rd, Stanhope Gardens

  • Lauren Harker

    Lauren Harker

    Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) – University of Sydney 2014

    Lauren’s passion for helping people of all ages directed her to study Speech Pathology. She joined Hills District Speech Therapy in 2015 and has gained experience working with children of all ages and more recently, adults. Lauren engages her clients utilising their interests to build rapport and make learning fun. She has a particular interest in providing assessment and therapy for preschool age children with phonological and articulation delays.

    During her time at HDST, Lauren has established a thorough understanding of children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Dyslexia. In 2017, Lauren was involved in developing the adult clinic within Hills District Speech Therapy. She has conducted assessments and therapy to those with dysphagia, aphasia and apraxia. Lauren is continuing to develop her knowledge and understanding of difficulties faced by those post stroke or with intellectual disabilities under the guidance of a Senior Speech Pathologist. Lauren is focused on working closely with her families in developing and achieving personally relevant goals based on their daily communication needs.

    Outside of work, Lauren enjoys spending time with her family, baking cakes and playing board games with her friends.

    Professional Development:

    – “Autism – Key Strategies for school and home.” Presented by Anna Tullemans (2017).

    – “Developmental Language Disorder, Vocabulary targets and therapy techniques. What do SLP’s need to know?” Presented by Dr Natalie Munro (2017).

    – “Literacy and Learning Difficulties: Strategies to support students with reading and language disorders.” Presented by Dr Samantha Hornery (2017).

    – Observation at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse with Emma Charters, Senior Speech Pathologist (2017).

    – “Speech Pathology in the Literacy Domain: From Prevention to Intervention.” Dr Tanya Serry (2016).

    – Connect Therapy Training for planning and conducting intervention with people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (2016).

    – “Reflecting on Dysphagia Management. Evidence and Rationales.” Dijana Wollfram (2015).

    Lauren currently provides offsite services to:

    – The Hills Grammar School

    – Rouse Hill Anglican College

    -Rouse Hill Public School

    – Home Visits for adult and paediatric clients

  • Fiona Selby

    Fiona Selby

    Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) – University of Sydney

    Fiona is a gentle and patient speech pathologist who loves help children and their families. She has always had a passion to help other people and loves spending time with children. She specialises in providing speech therapy for children to support their speech, language, literacy and social skills. She has worked in various private practices across Sydney supporting children aged 2-18 years of age both in the clinic and at schools. Fiona is HANEN trained and has attended various professional development courses covering vocabulary, supporting ASD children in the classroom, assessment of early language and language delays.

    Outside of work, Fiona loves reading, spending time with friends, watching Disney movies and bushwalking with her husband.

    Recent Professional Development:

    – “Late Talkers: Using Assessment to guide clinical decision making” – Rosemary Hodges (2017)

    – “Developmental Language Disorder, Vocabulary targets and therapy techniques. What do SLP’s need to know?” Presented by Dr Natalie Munro (2016).

    – “Understanding Language Difficulties” – Gina Davis

    – AHDD conference (2015)

    – CCD reading and spelling: development disorders and remediation (2015)

    – HDST Literacy Training

    – ‘More than Words’ HANEN Certified

    Fiona currently provides offsite services to:

    – North Rocks Public School

    – Carlingford West Public School

    – The Hills Grammar School

    – Rouse Hill Anglican College

    – New Hope School

  • Caitlin Chaney

    Caitlin Chaney

    Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology)- University of Sydney

    Hills local Caitlin combined her love of science and English to become a Speech Pathologist. She graduated from University of Sydney in 2015 and completed the New Graduate Program at Hills District Speech Therapy in 2016. She is especially interested in working with young clients with early-language delays, clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and adolescent clients with written expression difficulties. Caitlin is continuing to develop her knowledge of Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) through consistent Professional Development and liaison with Senior Speech Pathologists. Caitlin has also been providing assessments and therapy to adult clients since 2017 and is continuing to develop her knowledge of swallowing and communication difficulties. Caitlin enjoys providing family-based therapy and working closely with families to deliver holistic therapy focusing on current communication needs.

    Outside work, Caitlin is an avid reader and always has a couple of books on the go. Caitlin is passionate about the environment and is always looking for ways to up-cycle materials into fun therapy resources. She also enjoys going snorkelling at the beach and catching up with friends.

    Professional Development:

    ‘Autism Update: A Clinically Focused Research Review.’ Presented by David Trembath in October 2016.

    ‘Language-Friendly Classrooms- Supporting Primary and Secondary Students with Language and Literacy Difficulties.’ Presented by Dr Julia Starling in November 2016.

    ‘Developmental Language Disorder, Vocabulary Targets and Therapy Techniques. What Do SLP’s Need to Know?’ Presented by Dr Natalie Munro in August 2017.

    Attended presentation for Alternative and Augmentative Communication by representative from Liberator.

    Ongoing observations and professional development at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse as supervised by Emma Charters (Speech Pathologist).

    ‘A Series of Topical Issues in Adult Dysphagia.’ Presented by Dr Julie Cichero in March 2018.

    Caitlin currently provides offsite services to:

    The Hills Grammar School, including the Learning Enrichment Centre (LEC)

    Home visits for adult and paediatric clients.

    The Hills Specialist Surgery Hospital (coming soon!)

  • Catherine Maude

    Catherine Maude

    Bachelor of Arts (Linguistics and Psychology) – University of Sydney
    Master of Speech Language Pathology – University of Sydney

    Catherine became a Speech Pathologist through pursuing her passion for engaging with people and her interests in psychology and linguistics. Catherine enjoys getting to know people and considers it a privilege to join people on their journey toward improved communication and swallowing. Catherine also greatly values working in partnership with children, families, teachers, and other health professionals to help people find their voice.

    Outside of work Catherine enjoys skiing, baking, and going on 4WD adventures.

    Professional Development:

    – HDST Literacy Training

    – Learning Disabilities Coalition “Autism: Strategies for school and home”

    – ‘It Takes Two to Talk’ HANEN Certified

    Catherine currently provides offsite services to:

    – Pitt Town Early Learning Centre

    – Oakville Preschool Learning Centre

  • Caitlin Snowdon

    Caitlin Snowdon

    Bachelor of Speech and Hearing Sciences – Macquarie University
    Masters of Speech and Language Pathology – Macquarie University

    Caitlin graduated from Macquarie University in 2017 and is currently completing the HDST New Graduate Program. Caitlin has experience in working with pre-school, school age and adolescent children with a variety of communication disorders, particularly with developmental delays and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her experience has included working with children with stuttering, speech disorders, early language and school aged language disorders and literacy. This has included developing and leading weekly individual sessions as well as group sessions for early language and stuttering programs. Caitlin has also had experience in using a number of stuttering programs including The Lidcombe Program, The Camperdown Program, Self-Imposed Time Out and Syllable Timed Speech.

    Caitlin prides herself on client centered practice and aims to achieve this with all clients, believing it provides motivation for the client and their families to achieve personally relevant goals and to reach their true potential. She also highly values a team environment with the strong belief that working collaboratively improves decision making which leads to more holistic care.

    Caitlin is a passionate speech pathologist with the ultimate goal of making a positive impact on the lives of the children and families she works with.

    Caitlin currently provides offsite services to:

    Early Childhood Education Centre (ECEC) at The Hills Grammar School

    – The Hills Grammar School

    – Oakville Preschool

    – Keen Kiddies Preschool

    – Oakville Public School

  • Zoe Heynes-Bowles

    Zoe Heynes-Bowles

    Bachelor of Speech Pathology – Australian Catholic University

    Zoe is an enthusiastic and dedicated Speech Pathologist who has a passion for working with people of all ages to improve their communication and/or swallowing. Zoe provides assessment and management across a range of areas including speech, language, literacy, stuttering, pragmatics/social skills and Alternative and Augmentative Communication. Although she is passionate about all areas of speech pathology, her special interests are in phonological speech disorders and stuttering. Zoe understands that every child is different. She is highly motivated and strives to create individualised goals and therapy sessions, incorporating the child’s interests into activities. Her aim is to make sessions fun, engaging and motivating for each child. Zoe believes that working in a team alongside health professionals, teachers and caregivers will ensure holistic, client-focussed care with maximum gains. She works closely with families, taking the time to understand the needs of the client and caregivers. She endeavours to maintain open, two-way communication with clients and families.

    Zoe is committed to her own ongoing professional development, and is dedicated to providing evidence-based practice in all circumstances. Zoe completed her Bachelor of Speech Pathology at Australian Catholic University (ACU), and is a Certified Practicing Member of Speech Pathology Australia (SPA). Zoe is currently completing the HDST New Graduate Program.

    Outside of work, Zoe enjoys cooking, travelling, and salsa dancing.

    Professional Development:

    Speech Pathology Australia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Intervention for Children with Autism; Current Research and Implications for Practice (2017).

    Zoe currently provides offsite services to:

    – Yenu Allowah Aboriginal Child and Family Centre

    – Halinda School SSP

    – Murray Farm Public School

    – Model Farms High School

  • Reta van Rensburg

    Reta van Rensburg

    Bachelor of Communication Pathology (1995)
    Diploma in Learners with Barriers to Learning and Development (1999)
    Postgraduate Certificate in Speech and Language Therapy (2013)

    Reta has spent more than 20 years working as a Speech Pathologist in various settings including special schools, a not for profit organisation and private practice.

    She has experience working with school aged children and their families with speech, language and literacy difficulties as well as ASD. She was a team leader at a special school in New Zealand and was responsible for implementation of literacy strategies across both the junior and senior school and adapting the curriculum to accommodate all children. She was also involved in many AAC projects and implemented high-tech devices as well as low-tech communication systems such as Core Boards, PODD and PECS. She presented at the AGOSCI conference in Brisbane as well as the ATANZ conference in New Zealand with Dr. Sally Clendon.

    When not at work, Reta enjoys reading a good book, baking and cooking from a big library of cooking books, and spending time with family and friends.

    Recent Professional Development:

    – Communication Assistive Technology Level 1 Accreditation – 2012

    – Balanced Literacy Approach – Dr. Sally Clendon – 2012

    – Pragmatic Organisational Dynamic Display (PODD) Introductory workshop – 2013

    – SEPANZ – Learning to Learn Conference – 2013

    – ATANZ – Assistive Technology Conference – 2013

    – PODD Alternative Access Workshop – 2015

    – Transforming Together – Coaching and Mentoring Conference – 2015

    – AGOSCI Conference – Brisbane – 2015

    – Traffic Jam In My Brain – online course – 2016

    – LAMP workshop – 2016

    – Child Protection Training – 2016

    – Accidental Counsellor Training – 2017

    – Literacy Intensive – 2017

    Reta currently provides offsite services to:

    – William Rose School

    – St. Josephs, Schofields

    – St. John 23rd, Beaumont Hills

    – Beaumont Hills Public School

    – Inala

  • Michelle Huynh

    Michelle Huynh

    Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) – University of Sydney

    Michelle has had extensive experience working with children and families with a range of needs in private practice settings. She has a particular interest in working with preschoolers with language difficulties and children with developmental delays and disorders. Michelle enjoys discovering new and different ways to make therapy rewarding and motivating for each family. Seeing the changes that these new skills have on a child’s overall communication and confidence is what drives Michelle to encourage each child to reach their full potential.

    When Michelle isn’t busy being a speechie, she loves to travel and spend time with family and friends.

    Professional Development:

    – It Takes Two To Talk Hanen Certified

    – Developmental Language Disorder, Vocabulary targets and therapy techniques. Presented by Natalie Munro (2017)

    – Speech Pathologists and Literacy: What is best practice? Presented by Ros Neilson (2017)

    – Key Word Sign Workshop (2017)

    – The Traffic Jam in my Brain. Presented by Genevieve Jereb (2017)

    – Evidence-based Diagnosis and Treatment of Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS).Presented by Dr. Elizabeth Murray (2016)

    Michelle currently provides offsite services to:

    – Toongabbie Public School

    – Girraween Public School

    – The Ponds School

    – Yenu Allowah

  • Emma Charters

    Emma Charters

    Bachelor of Applied Sciences (Speech Pathology) at University of Sydney
    Senior Supervising Speech Pathologist – Adult Clinic

    Emma has been working in major public and private hospitals within Sydney for ten years. She has developed a passion for ensuring quality of life for her clients in both the hospital setting and in the community. She is excited to join the team at Hills District Speech Therapy as a supervisor and mentor to the clinicians in the adult clinic.

    Emma has a particular interest in speech and swallowing disorders associated with acquired neurological impairment and head and neck cancer, however has worked in a range of clinical settings such as aged care, progressive neurological diseases, intensive care and respiratory. She has advanced clinical skills in videofluroscopy swallowing studies, fibreoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing, tracheostomy, laryngectomy, nasendoscopy, paediatric feeding and voice.

    Emma is committed to developing her clinical skills through further education. She completed her Diploma of Rehabilitation through Royal Ryde Rehabilitation and is currently writing her Masters thesis through the University of Sydney.

    Emma is a new mum to Ellie – who is a lovely reward to come home to after a fun and challenging day at work!

  • Remona Mekdessi Sarkis

    Remona Mekdessi Sarkis

    Bachelor of Health Science (Hearing & Speech) at University of Sydney
    Master of Speech Language Pathology at University of Sydney

    Remona is a new addition to the Hills District Speech Therapy team, having previous experience working with infants, children and young adults in private practice and public health. Remona works closely with her clients and their families to deliver services that cater for the child’s interests and functional needs. Although she has experience working across all areas of practice, Remona has a special interest in working with late talkers, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), high-school students and children with reading and spelling difficulties. Remona continues to build her knowledge and skills across all areas of speech pathology practice by participating in regular professional development and liaison with Senior Speech Pathologists at HDST.

    Outside work, Remona enjoys printmaking and painting, as well as spending time with her husband, family and pet Border Collies Max and Marley. Remona is also a Justice of the Peace.

    Professional Development:

    – Voicecraft for Speech Pathologists Student 2-Day Workshop (2014)

    – Key Word Sign Training – KWS NSW Basic Workshop (2014)

    – Lidcombe Program 2-Day Workshop – Australian Stuttering Research Centre (2016)

    – Assessment and Treatment Approaches for Children with Reading and Spelling Difficulties – Macquarie University Reading Clinic (2017)

    – Speech Pathology in Schools – A Whole School Approach – Speech Pathology Australia (2017)

    – Telepractice for children with complex disabilities – SPOT on DD (2018)

    – Writing NDIS reports for Assistive Technology Workshop – Uniting & SPOT on DD (2018)

    Remona currently provides offsite services to:

    – Ironbark Ridge Public School

    – Sherwood Ridge Public School

    – Australian International Academy, Kellyville Campus

    – Home visits around the Hills

  • Emma Harsanyi

    Emma Harsanyi

    Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Hons) – Australian Catholic University

    Emma is a warm and enthusiastic new addition to the Hills District Speech Therapy team, with experience working with children and young adults across a variety of settings. Emma is passionate about helping clients to achieve their full potential, with particular interest in fluency and speech sound disorders. She loves finding creative ways to engage and make therapy enjoyable for each individual client and family. Emma is also passionate about furthering her learning, and loves to be involved in the latest research.

    When she’s not working, Emma enjoys reading by the pool, playing Oztag, or playing saxophone in a big band.

    Professional Development:

    – Lidcombe Program – Australian Stuttering Research Centre (2017)

    – It Takes Two To Talk Hanen Certified

    Emma currently provides offsite services to:

    – Murray Farms Public School

    – Shalvey Public School

    – Yenu Allowah Preschool

    – Doonside Technology High School

    – Model Farms High School

  • Virginia Wassif

    Virginia Wassif

    Office Manager

    Our Office Manager, Virginia is always delighted to answer any questions you may have and is the friendly voice at the end of the phone when you call to make an appointment. She is dedicated to supporting the families and staff in ensuring all queries, payments and appointments are organised in a friendly, timely and efficient manner. She enjoys spending time with her family and baking.

  • Julie Dahlberg

    Julie Dahlberg

    Bookkeeper

    We’re very excited for Julie to join the team – more information coming shortly!

  • Vicki Hargraves

    Vicki Hargraves

    Administration Officer

    We’re very excited for Vicki to join the team – more information coming shortly!

  • Catalina Bolivar Rodriguez

    Catalina Bolivar Rodriguez

    Speech Therapy Assistant

    OPEN COLLEGES

    CERTIFICATE IV ALLIED HEALTH ASSISTANT SPECIALISING IN SPEECH PATHOLOGY

    AUSTRALIAN ACADEMY OF MANAGEMENT & SCIENCE.

    DIPLOMA IN DISABILITY.

    CERTIFICATE III DISABILITY.

    CERTIFICATE III & IV AGED CARE.

  • Vanessa Liang

    Vanessa Liang

    Speech Therapy Assistant

    Speech Pathology Student