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

We are a growing team of culturally and linguistically* diverse staff. All our therapists are members of Speech Pathology Australia and certified practicing speech pathologists.

*Check out each team member’s profile to learn more about what languages they speak other than English, and their level of proficiency based on the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) Scale. 

Directors

Yasemin Burmin

Director, Team Leader & Speech Language Pathologist CPSP MSPA
Bachelor of Applied Sciences (Speech Pathology) at University of Sydney
Languages other than English: Turkish (ILR Level 2)

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Having worked full time for over 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 years, Yasemin spends much of her time ensuring her team is well trained, up to date and supported with the latest research methods in speech therapy in order to provide a supreme level of service to all families that walk through the door. Yasemin is also dedicated to developing the quality of the service as a whole and starts with the HDST culture as she believes that happiness and harmony in the workplace is beneficial for all! When not at the clinic, Yasemin is adjusting to life as a new mum and learning to balance motherhood and her passion for HDST.

Alana Adolphs

Director, Team Leader & Speech Language Pathologist CPSP MSPA
Bachelor of Applied Sciences (Speech Pathology) at University of Sydney

Languages other than English: German (ILR Level 1)

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Alana has over a 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 is also passionate about supporting her staff to provide quality services and develop their skills, assisting them along their ongoing path of growth and development as allied health professionals. Alana is also passionate about literacy development and spends time 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 her two young boys Sam and Ned, and Hattie, her golden retriever.

Speech Language Pathologists

Emma Charters

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

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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.

Caitlin Chaney

Senior Supervising Speech Language Pathologist CPSP MSPA & Team Leader
Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) at University of Sydney

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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. Caitlin is now a Developing Clinical Supervisor at HDST. She is especially interested in working with clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and adolescent clients with written expression difficulties. Caitlin is also passionate about using Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) to support and develop her clients’ use of language. Caitlin provides assessments and therapy to adult clients 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 a 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.
  • Attended a Vision Australia in-service in July 2018.
  • Attended an in-service about LAMP Words for Life in October 2018.
  • ‘2E- Twice Exceptional Learners’ presented by the Learning Difficulties Coalition in October 2018.
  • ‘Challenging Behaviours- Practical Strategies for Students with ADHD, ASD & ODD’- presented by John Blythe in April 2019.
  • NSW Developing Written Text Construction: From 7 To 17! In 2019

Caitlin currently provides offsite services to:

  • The Hills Grammar School, including the Learning Enrichment Centre (LEC) and the Early Childhood Education Centre (ECEC)
  • Endeavour Foundation
  • Home visits for adult and paediatric clients.
  • Lakeview Private Hospital

Reta van Rensburg

Senior Supervising Speech Language Pathologist CPSP MSPA & Team Leader
Bachelor of Communication Pathology, Diploma in Learners with Barriers to Learning and Development, and Postgraduate Certificate in Speech and Language Therapy

Languages other than English: Afrikaans (ILR Level 5)

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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
  • PROMPT training 2019
  • 4-Day Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy Introductory Course, Sydney – Australian Academy of Orofacial Myology. Presented by Rochelle McPherson and Carla Lejarraga (2020)

Reta currently provides offsite services to:

  • William Rose School

Gemma Hughes

Senior Supervising Speech Language Pathologist CPSP MSPA
Bachelor of Speech and Hearing Sciences & Master of Speech and Language Pathology at Macquarie University

 

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Gemma joined the Hills District Speech Therapy team in 2018 and has experience working with children of all ages. Gemma has a special interest in early language and speech sounds, as well as incorporating play into her sessions. In addition to seeing clients 1:1 at our clinic, Gemma also enjoys running peer and group Lego Therapy sessions and providing therapy at local schools.

When Gemma is finished up for the day, she enjoys catching up with family and friends, going for walks with her dogs and reading her favourite romantic novels with a cup of tea.

Professional Development:

  • It Takes Two to Talk Hanen Certified (2016)
  • More Than Words Hanen Certified (2017)
  • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) Level 1 Training (2017)
  • Intervention for Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorders Workshop (2017)
  • VPI Seminar, Westmead (2018)

Gemma currently provides offsite services to:

  • John XXIII Catholic Primary School, Stanhope Gardens
  • Riverstone Public School, Riverstone
  • St Josephs Primary School, Scholfields
  • William Rose School, Seven Hills

Catherine Maude

Senior Speech Language Pathologist CPSP MSPA
Bachelor of Arts (Linguistics and Psychology) and Master of Speech Language Pathology at University of Sydney

 

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Catherine joined the Hills District Speech Therapy team in 2017. She enjoys getting to know people and considers it a privilege to help children, adults, and their families on their journey toward improved communication and swallowing. Catherine has had extensive experience working in the area of early language, including offering parent training in our Hanen ‘It Takes Two To Talk’ groups, and continues to develop her skills in paediatric and adult assessment and therapy through regular professional development.

Outside of work Catherine enjoys skiing, baking, going on 4WD adventures, and spending time with friends and family.

Professional Development:

  • Key Word Sign Basic Workshop, presented by Dr Andy Smidt (May 2015)
  • HETI The Wonderful World of Speech Pathology in Head and Neck Cancer Workshop, presented by Danielle Stone (Aug 2016)
  • HDST Literacy Training (2017)
  • Learning Disabilities Coalition “Autism: Strategies for school and home”, presented by Anna Tullemans (Sept 2017)
  • ‘It Takes Two to Talk’ HANEN Certified (since Nov 2017)
  • Vision Australia Inservice, presented by representatives from Vision Australia (Jul 2018)
  • Alternative and Augmentative Communication training, presented by Leanna Fox from Liberator Australia (Oct 2018)
  • Learning Disabilities Coalition “Twice Exceptional Learners” presented by Dr Ruth Phillips (Oct 2018)
  • Preschool and Early School-age Language Update, presented by Dr Natalie Munro (Nov 2018)
  • Evidence-based Aphasia Therapy Across Continuum of Care, presented by Dr Miranda Rose (Mar 2019)
  • Learning Disabilities Coalition “Challenging Behaviours: Practical strategies for students with ADHD, ASD & ODD”, presented by John M Blythe (Apr 2019)
  • Adult Swallowing Symposium, presented by USYD Honours and PHD candidates (Oct 2019)
  • DIR Workshop, presented by Georgina Ahrens (Oct 2019)
  • Managing Challenging Behaviours Overview, presented by Anica Janssen SAL Consulting (Oct 2019)

Catherine currently provides offsite services to:

  • Pitt Town Early Learning Centre
  • Pitt Town Public School
  • Home visits for adult and paediatric clients
  • Inala
  • Lakeview Private Hospital

Katrina Clarke-Bruce

Senior Speech Language Pathologist CPSP MSPA
Bachelor of Economics at Macquarie University, Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting at Institute of Chartered Accountants, Graduate Diploma of Speech and Communication at Macquarie University and Master of Speech Language Pathology at Macquarie University.

 

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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 skills in school aged children. She recently achieved certification in LSVT LOUD, an effective speech treatment for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other neurological conditions.

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:

  • DIR Workshop, presented by Georgina Ahrens (Oct 2019)
  • Managing Challenging Behaviours Overview, presented by Anica Janssen SAL Consulting (Oct 2019)
  • Developing Written Text Construction: From 7 To 17 (Sep 2019)
  • LSVT LOUD Certification (2019)
  • LSVT LOUD Webinar – Tuning your clinical ear (2019)
  • LSVT LOUD Webinar – Companion software demonstration (2019)
  • Learning Difficulties Coalition “Challenging Behaviours: Practical strategies for students with ADHA, ASD & ODD”. Presented by John Blythe (2019)
  • Vision Australia Inservice, presented by representatives from Vision Australia (Jul 2018)
  • Alternative and Augmentative Communication training, presented by Leanna Fox from Liberator Australia (Oct 2018)
  • Spalding Multisensory Instruction of Language Arts 1 (2018)
  • The Lidcombe Program Workshop ( 2018)
  • Learning Difficulties Coalition “Autism: Strategies for school and home”. Presented by Anna Tullemans (2017)

Katrina currently provides offsite services to:

  • Hills Sports High School
  • Model Farms High School
  • John XXIII Catholic Primary School, Stanhope Gardens
  • North West Disability Services
  • Inala

Michelle Huynh

Senior Speech Language Pathologist CPSP MSPA
Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) at University of Sydney 

Languages other than English: Teochew (ILR Level 2)

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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 and adults with social communication difficulties. 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 person’s overall communication and confidence is what drives Michelle to encourage each person to reach their full potential.

When Michelle is not at work, you can find her attempting to be graceful in ballet class or upside down on aerial silks.

Professional Development:

  • 4-Day Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy Introductory Course, Sydney – Australian Academy of Orofacial Myology. Presented by Rochelle McPherson and Carla Lejarraga (2020)
  • The Zones of Regulation Training – Online “Live”. Presented by Leah Kuypers (2020)
  • Social Thinking’s Informal Dynamic Assessment Model. Core Treatment Strategies to Improve Social Competencies. Presented by Micelle Garcia Winner (2020)
  • Unpacking Case Journeys: Practical Treatment Ideas for Building Social Competencies. Presented by Michelle Garcia Winner, Dr Pam Crooke and Nancy Tarshis (2020)
  • Social Detective, Superflex® & Friends Take On Social-Emotional Learning. Presented by Ryan Hendrix and Kari Zweber Palmer (2019)
  • Emotions. Presented by Micelle Garcia Winner (2019)
  • VPI Update Seminar VIII for Speech Pathologists. The Children’s Hospital at Westmead (2018)
  • 2E- Twice Exceptional Learners. presented by the Learning Difficulties Coalition in October 2018.
  • It Takes Two To Talk Hanen Certified (2017)
  • 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: 

  • The King’s School
  • Hills Adventist College
  • The Ponds School

Remona Mekdessi Sarkis

Senior Supervising Speech Language Pathologist CPSP MSPA & Business Development Assistant
Bachelor of Health Science (Hearing & Speech) & Master of Speech Language Pathology at University of Sydney

Languages other than English: Arabic (ILR Level 3)

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Remona has extensive experience working with infants, children and young adults in both 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. She has a special interest in working with adults with lifelong disabilities, 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 spending time with her family and travelling.

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)
  • 2E- Twice Exceptional Learners. presented by the Learning Difficulties Coalition (2018)
  • The Zones of Regulation 1-Day Workshop – Leah Kuypers (2018)
  • Paediatric update on evidence for tongue tie and baby-led weaning – Dr Julie Chichero (2019)
  • Paediatric Fluency: What To Do When? – Dr Kate Bridgman & Dr Shane Erickson (2020)
  • Language and Literacy Interventions in Young Children – Dr Marleen Westerveld (2020)
  • Language and Literacy in the Classroom: Primary – Dr Julia Starling (2020)
  • Play Skills – Prof Karen Stagnitti (2021)
  • Nuffield Dyspraxia Programme (NDP3®) – Module 1-2 – Dr Pam Williams (2021)
  • The Get Permission Approach to Anxious Eaters, Anxious Mealtimes [3 Day Training] – Marsha Dunn Klein (2021)
  • The SCERTS Model – An Introduction – Emily Rubin & Amy Laurent (2021)

Fiona Selby (nee Streatfeild)

Speech Language Pathologist CPSP MSPSA
Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) – University of Sydney

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Fiona is a gentle and patient speech pathologist who loves help children and their families. She has recently returned to HDST after welcoming her beautiful baby boy. Fiona 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 social communication, language and literacy. 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 pragmatic skills, 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.

Professional Development:

  • Learning Disabilities Coalition “Challenging Behaviours: Practical strategies for students with ADHD, ASD & ODD”, presented by John M Blythe (Apr 2019)
  • “Assessment and Intervention of Pragmatics and Play Skills” presented by Dr Natalie Munr
  • “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:

  • Kellyville High School

Emma Harsanyi

Speech Language Pathologist CPSP MSPA
Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Hons) – Australian Catholic University

 

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

When she’s not working, Emma enjoys making cakes, playing Oztag, or playing saxophone in a big band.

Professional Development

  • It Takes Two To Talk Hanen Certified (2017)
  • Lidcombe Program – Australian Stuttering Research Centre (2017)
  • NSW Treatment of School Age Children Who Stutter. Presented by Cheryl Andrews (2019).
  • LDC Challenging Behaviours Seminar. Presented by Dr John Blythe (2019).

Claire Offord

Speech Language Pathologist CPSP MSPA
Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) at University of Sydney

 

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Claire had decided that Speech Pathology was the right fit for her whilst still in high school. She not only enjoyed it, but found a lifelong passion in her studies of Speech Pathology and was awarded the Dean’s Scholar award for being the highest performing student. Although Claire loves working in all areas of Speech Pathology, she has a particular interest in working with social skills and school-aged children. She works hard with clients and their families to develop personally relevant goals. She enjoys making therapy fun, engaging and tailored to the interests of each child. Above all, she knows that therapy works best when it is in the context of a strong partnership between the clinician, client and their family and so prides herself on involving families at all stages of therapy, and maintaining open communication. Claire continues to build her knowledge and skills across all areas of speech pathology practice by participating in regular professional development and in liaison with Senior Speech Pathologists at HDST.

In her free time, Claire enjoys searching for the best coffee shops, going to the beach, and spending time with her friends and family (including 5 wonderful and energetic nieces and nephews!)

Professional Development

  • Key Word Sign Workshop presented by Dr Andy Smidt in 2016
  • ‘Translating Evidence to Practice.’ Presented by Dr Elizabeth Murray and Professor Leanne Togher in 2018
  • Hills District Literacy Training in 2019
  • ‘Challenging Behaviours: Practical strategies for students with ADHD, ASD & ODD.’ Presented by John M Blythe in April 2019.
  • ‘Analysing children’s oral narratives’. Presented by Associate Professor Wendy Pearce in May 2019.
  • ‘Paediatric Fluency: What to do when’. Presented by Dr Kate Bridgman in July 2019.

Claire currently provides offsite services to:

  • The King’s School
  • Shalvey Public School
  • Tallowood School
  • Gilroy Catholic College
  • Berry Patch Preschool, Rouse Hill
  • Bennett Road Public School
  • Inala Day Services
  • Home visits around the Hills

Nirmala Mudalige

Speech Language Pathologist CPSP MSPA
Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) at University of Sydney

Languages other than English: Sinhalese (ILR Level 2)

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Nirmala (Nim) is thrilled to be joining the Hills District Speech Therapy team! Nim hopes to teach her clients skills and strategies to communicate and function adequately in everyday life and increase their quality of life in any way possible. She believes that for therapy to be successful it’s important to build strong relationships with clients and their families, and form collaborative goals that are fun and practical.

Nim’s love for the speech pathology profession arose from her passion and love for working with children, as well as, her desire to help others. Nim has worked as a junior Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) for four years, during which she worked with a wide variety of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and their families. This experience has furthered Nim’ skills base in behaviour management, verbal and written communication with clients, their family and support team.

When Nim is not working, she loves spending time with her family, particularly her 12-year-old dog, as well as making puzzles!

Professional Development

  • Key Word Sign training (2016)
  • It Takes Two To Talk Hanen Certified (2018)

Nirmala currently provides offsite services to:

  • North Kellyville Public School
  • Winston Hills Public School
  • The Hills Grammar School

Alysha Johnson

Speech Language Pathologist CPSP MSPA
Bachelor of Speech Pathology at Australian Catholic University

 

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Alysha is looking forward to joining the Hills District Speech Therapy team! She is an enthusiastic and dedicated Speech Pathologist who loves working with paediatrics and is particularly passionate about early intervention. Alysha enjoys getting to know each client personally and loves finding creative ways to make therapy enjoyable for them. She consistently aims to work collaboratively with all clients, and their families, to develop goals and implement client centered practice. Alysha strives to continually build her knowledge and skills by engaging in regular professional development.

Outside of working at HDST, Alysha is an adrenaline seeker and enjoys wake boarding and motor bike riding. Alysha also enjoys travelling and spending time with her family, friends and of course her puppy.

Professional Development:

  • Hanen, It Takes Two to Talk (2019)
  • Hills District Speech Therapy Literacy Training (2019)
  • ‘Challenging Behaviours: Practical strategies for students with ADHD, ASD & ODD.’ Presented by John M Blythe (2019)
  • Paediatric Failure to Thrive Simulation for Speech Pathology Students (2017)
  • Paediatric Feeding and Swallowing Education eLearning Course (2017)
  • An Introduction to Human Rights in Disability Services (2017)
  • Key Word Sign Workshop (2016)

Alysha currently provides offsite services to:

  • Ironbark Ridge Public School
  • Kellyville Preschool & Long Day Care
  • Keen Kiddies Preschool

Chloe Garrett

Speech Language Pathologist CPSP MSPA
Bachelor of Speech, Hearing and Language Sciences & Master of Speech and Language Pathology at Macquarie University

 

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Chloe loves being a part of the Hills District Speech Therapy team. She is passionate about creating fun, engaging and effective sessions which integrate the child’s interests and strengths into therapy. Chloe always aims to make a difference in their daily life through working collaboratively with key adults in their life. Chloe’s passion for speech therapy arose from her interests in language, science and working with children. This passion has been further developed through her experiences working with a speech pathology private practice, preschool phonics acquisition project, children with autism, and a social communication group.

When she is not busy with work, Chloe loves spending time with her family and friends, baking and playing board games.

Professional Development

  • Key Word Sign Workshop (2019)
  • ‘Challenging Behaviours: Practical strategies for students with ADHD, ASD & ODD.’, presented by John M Blythe. (2019)
  • Managing Challenging Behaviours Overview, presented by Anica Janssen SAL Consulting (2019)
  • DIR Workshop, presented by Georgina Ahrens (2019)
  • HDST Literacy Training (2019)
  • Joint Assessment for Family Focused Allied health Students (JAFFAS) workshop, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead (2018)
  • Assessment of Play inservice (2018)
  • Tobii Eye Gaze Device inservice (2018)
  • Paediatric Feeding Disorders inservice (2018)

Chloe currently provides offsite services to:

  • The Hills Grammar School
  • The Hills Grammar School Early Childhood Education Centre
  • The King’s School
  • Oakville Preschool Learning Centre
  • Ability Options Seven Hills
  • Home Visits at Cherrybrook and Dural

Kelly Tena

Speech Language Pathologist CPSP MSPA
Bachelor of Arts – Psychology, Graduate Certificate of Speech and Communication, and
Master of Speech and Language Pathology at Macquarie University

Languages other than English: Tagalog (ILR Level 2)

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Kelly is a recent addition to the Hills District Speech Therapy team, and she is excited to be here! She has experience working with children and young adults, and is passionate about assisting individuals (and families) achieve their goals, and hopes to facilitate positive changes in their everyday life. Kelly enjoys learning and furthering her clinical skills, which is why her clinical interests are always changing. She currently has a strong interest in working with individuals with literacy difficulties, and has a specific interest in developing early reading and spelling skills.

Outside of working at HDST, Kelly enjoys baking, and spending time with her family and friends.

Professional Development

  • Sounds-Write (2019)
  • Hanen More Than Words (2019)

Kelly current provides offsite services to:

  • The Hills Grammar School
  • Newhope School
  • Pacific Hills Christian School
  • Rouse Hill Anglican College
  • Kellyville High School

Natasha Raveendiran

Speech Language Pathologist CPSP MSPA
Bachelor of Health science (Hearing & Speech) at University of Sydney &
Bachelor of Speech Pathology at Australian Catholic University

Languages other than English: Tamil (ILR Level 1)

 

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Natasha is one of our newest addition to the HDST team and she is thrilled to be joining us. She is passionate about working with clients and their families, to make an impact on their lives by achieving their communication goals and having clients realise their full potential. She has previous experience working with children in private practices and as a junior Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) therapist, where she worked with a variety of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and their families.

As new graduate, Natasha is keen to continue building her knowledge and developing her skills across all areas of speech pathology practice by participating in professional development and liaising with Senior Speech Pathologists at HDST. She recognises that the existing team members have a lot of on-the-job experience to further enrich her development.

When she is done for the day, Natasha loves spending time with her family (especially her nephew), friends and her fur baby, Ralph. She is also passionate about dancing, travelling and discovering new food spots!

Professional Development

  • DIR 101 Introduction to DIR® and DIRFloortime® (2019)
  • ComTEC workshop-AAC devices (2018)
  • HMRI seminar on ischemic stroke (2018)
  • Key Word Sign Training – KWS NSW Basic Workshop (2014)

Natasha current provides offsite services to:

  • North Rocks Public School
  • Carlingford West Public School
  • The Hills Grammar School
  • Headstart ELC, Bella Vista

Tushar Prasad

Speech Language Pathologist CPSP MSPA
Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) (Honours)

 

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Tushar is a new addition to the HDST team with an interest in speech sounds and literacy. Tushar’s interest in Speech Pathology stems from his interests in both communication and science. Tushar feels very strongly about client-centred care and believes that therapy outcomes can be maximised if goals and targets are set collaboratively with a client and their family.

Outside of work, Tushar likes reading, playing tennis and being with friends and family.

Professional Development

  • Key Word Signing Workshop (2018)

Minukshi Wickramasekere

Speech Language Pathologist CPSP MSPA
Bachelor of Biomedical Science – University of Technology, Sydney
Masters of Speech & Language Pathology – University of Sydney

Languages other than English: Sinhalese (ILR Level 2)

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Minukshi (Minu) is one of our new graduate speech pathologists to join the HDST team in 2021 and she is very excited to start her journey here with us! With a strong passion for speech therapy’s ability to provide a positive and meaningful impact on the lives of clients, Minu cannot wait to delve in and start using these skills in collaboration with clients and their families to provide the best possible client centred care. Currently, Minu enjoys working with clients of all ages however, has special interests in the paediatric population (with a focus on early intervention) and adults with communication and swallowing disorders.

Outside of HDST, Minu loves spending time with her family and friends. She is also passionate about graphic design, finding new food spots  and travelling (in a post Covid world of course!).

Professional Development

  • HDST Literacy Training (2021)
  • More Than Words Hanen Certified (2021)
  • LDC – ADHD: Adaptions & strategies to help success at school. Presented by Dr Caroline Stevenson (2021)
  • First Bite: Functional Feeding Therapy Tips  You Can Implement Tomorrow by Michelle Dawson & Erin Forward (2021)

Ann Nguyen Do

Speech Language Pathologist CPSP MSPA
Bachelor of Science  – University of Sydney
Master of Speech Pathology – University of Technology, Sydney

Languages other than English: Vietnamese (ILR Level 2)

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Ann is one of our newest additions to the HDST team in 2021, and she is thrilled to be joining us as a new graduate speech pathologist! Ann loves getting to know her clients, finding creative ways to engage them and make therapy individualised. She strives to work in collaboration with the client, their family and other professionals to establish goals that are both functional and meaningful and work towards making a difference in client’s everyday life.

Ann enjoys working with clients of all ages, but has a special interest in working with children focusing on early intervention, and adults with acquired communication difficulties, swallowing and voice disorders. She continues to build on her skills and knowledge through Professional Development to ensure that she is able to support her clients to achieve their goals in becoming confident communicators and provide the best quality of care.

Outside of HDST, Ann enjoys spending time with her family and friends, exploring different cuisines and staying active by going to the gym and on outdoor adventures.

Professional Development

  • HDST Literacy Training (2021)
  • Feeling More Confident Understanding and Implementing the Minimal Pairs Approach  – SLP Summit Online Conference (2021)

Ann currently provides offsite services to

  • Rouse Hill Public School
  • Rouse Hill Anglican School

Occupational Therapists

Rebecca Mekdessi

Occupational Therapist OTA AHPRA
Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy)  – University of Sydney

Languages other than English: Arabic (ILR Level 1)

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Rebecca is an Occupational Therapist who joined the HDST team this year! Rebecca has a strong passion for early intervention, parent education and collaborative practice. She believes a strong client relationship and collaboration with parents, teachers and allied health is key for a child to achieve their goals. She has experience working in a variety of settings including the private and public health sectors, schools, preschools and home and community environments. Rebecca is committed to evidence based practice and continually engages in professional development. She has established the SPOT School readiness program at HDST and is excited to run these groups alongside our speech pathologists!

Outside of work, Rebecca enjoys going for walks, spending time with her family at the blue mountains, baking and cooking.

Professional Development

  • NSW & ACT Paediatric Special interest group (2017 – ongoing)
  • OTA: OT For Children: Principles of Assessment and Intervention (Feb 2018)
  • Anxiety: The occupational therapists role with children Presented by Dr. Susan Lowe (July 2018)
  • PRPP Training – Assessment and Intervention by Dr. Susan Lowe (Oct 2018)
  • Self-Regulation Online course by Dr Stuart Shanker (May 2019)
  • Toileting (typically developing and children with ASD) with Dr. Mary Anne Hall (Sep 2019)
  • Perceive, recall, Plan and Perform (PRPP) system of task analysis Handwriting Assessment and intervention with Chris Chaparro (Oct 2019)
  • Training in PRPP assessment and participation in research re: Cognitive strategy use of year one and two children who have difficulties writing the lower-case alphabet letters from memory (USYD) – Kathryn Mathwin & Dr. Chris Chaparro (Oct 2019)
  • Developing Pretend Play Skills in Children – Advanced (Assessment and intervention) Dr Karen Stagnitti (Feb 2019)
  • An occupation perspective of Paediatric feeding with Nadine Frederiksen (April 2021)
  • AD/HD: Adaptations and strategies to help success at school Presented by Dr Caroline Stevenson (July 2021) 

Administration

Virginia Wassif

Officer Manager, Accounts & NDIS Liaison, and Team Leader

Languages other than English: Arabic (ILR Level 1)

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Our Office Manager/Accounts Liaison, Virginia has been part of our team since 2015. She started out as the office manager and has moved her way up to Accounts Liaison. She has over 15 years admin/accounts experience and is dedicated to supporting the families and staff in ensuring all queries and payments are organised in a friendly, timely and efficient manner. She directly handles most financial matter such as client billing, payroll prep for our contractors, Banking and assists with accounts receivable. She is also responsible for the supervision of the administrative team. She enjoys spending time with her family and baking.

Vicki Hargraves

Administration Client Liaison Officer

 

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Our Admin Client Liaison Officer, Vicki 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, reading and listening to music. We are also very grateful that Vicki brings her understanding and knowledge as a mother and an NDIS participant representative for her daughter who has Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Helen Vassilieff

Reception / Administration Officer

Languages other than English: Russian

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Helen is our afternoon Reception/Admin Officer, and always delighted to answer 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 in supporting our families and staff and ensuring your queries, payments and appointments are organised in a friendly, timely and efficient manner.  Outside of work Helen enjoys spending time with her two sons, her family and friends, bushwalking and cooking!  She brings with her experience in supporting People with Disabilities and Aged Care Clients in a Day Program setting to assist them in accessing their community, also recently supporting Aged Care Clients with Intellectual disabilities in their group home setting.  As well as her journey as a mum to one special needs son, aged 22, who lives with Autism, she enjoys learning with him, supporting his social and communication needs and helping him achieve his individual goals.

Allied Health Assistants

Abbey Wilkins

Allied Health Assistant & Intake Officer

 

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Our always cheerful Weekday and Saturday Reception/Admin Officer, Abbey has been a member of the HDST team since 2018. She is passionate about assisting clients and families with their enquiries and supporting our speech therapists in any way she can. Abbey has recently moved into her new role as Allied Health Assistant and Intake Officer here at HDST. Abbey is in her final year of her Bachelor of Speech Pathology degree at Australian Catholic University this year as well. She is very excited to become a speech pathologist and work collaboratively with both children and adults in achieving their communication goals. In her free time, Abbey loves to go out with her friends and go shopping with her mum.

Professional Development:

  • Key Word Sign Training – KWS NSW Basic Workshop (2020)
  • ‘Challenging Behaviours: Practical strategies for students with ADHD, ASD & ODD.’ Presented by John M Blythe. (2019)

Jessica Jayakumar

Allied Health Assistant & Intake Officer
Bachelor of Speech, Hearing and Language Sciences – Macquarie University (2019)

Languages other than English: Tamil (ILR Level 2)

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Jessica has always had a passion for communication and making a positive impact in one’s life. Jessica completed a degree in Speech, hearing and language sciences at Macquarie University. She is currently in her final year of the Masters of Speech Pathology program at the University of Technology Sydney and is very excited to become a Speech Pathologist soon! Outside of HDST, Jessica enjoys Indian classical dancing, sleeping and never says no to a food run.