Our family has been lucky enough to attract a brilliant multidisciplinary therapy team, who we like to think of as our work family!
Please let us introduce you:
Abraham Tedjakusuma – Occupational Therapist
With a background as a Personal Trainer, Abe is now one of our Occupational Therapists
Abe is a fun and passionate Occupational Therapist who graduated from the University of Sydney. With a background in personal training, Abe completed his Bachelor in Exercise and Health Science prior to obtaining his Masters in Occupational Therapy. He is a strong advocate of a multidisciplinary therapy team approach and focuses on helping to improve the quality of life of both children and adults through a client-centred approach to therapy. He has a strong interest in the neurodevelopmental and neurobehavioural challenges faced by many children and their families and aims to provide therapy that is not only fun and engaging, but helps children to reach their full potential. Abe is our resident expert in primitive reflexes, which are also known as neonatal reflexes. Retained neonatal reflexes can lead to problems with bedwetting, attention and much more and Abe has a range of fun exercises that are very effective treatments for these kinds of problems.
When not at work, Abe’s passion is his family, friends, fitness and health. In his spare time he can be found in the gym, or eating delicious food.
ALLISON ROBINSON – Reception Manager
With a background as a Vet Nurse and busy mum of 4, Allie is now our Reception Manager.
Allie has previously managed several veterinary practices, so truly understands how important it is to keep on top of busy environments like ours!
When not at work, Allie likes to spend time with her family and friends and particularly enjoys family road trips to the sunny Gold Coast. Allie also loves to draw, paint and craft, and sometimes sells some of her creations on Etsy or at craft markets.
ANKE BOOY – Occupational Therapist
Anke has recently become one of our Occupational Therapists
Anke is a fabulous OT with a heart of gold.
When not at work, Anke… Tell us what you like to do, Anke!
ANNAMARIA LEOTTA – Allied Health Assistant
With a background as a Speech Therapy Student, Annamaria is now one of our Allied Health Assistants
Annamaria is a welcoming and fun loving speech therapy student who has recently joined our team. We really hope she stays with us when she graduates at the end of this year!
In her spare time, Annamaria met her fiance at hip hop lessons and is now busy planning their wedding!
ASHLEE KLOMP – Receptionist
Having recently finished her HSC, Ashlee is now starting a traineeship as our Receptionist
Ashlee has only been with us for a short time but has already worked out that it’s not a good idea to let Helen anywhere near the appointment booking system! Having made the mistake of admitting she misses studying, Ashlee is now embarking on a traineeship as our go-to receptionist.
In her spare time, Ashlee … Tell us what you like to do, Ashlee!
BRENDAN BRAUER – Physiotherapist
With a background as an Exercise Physiologist, Brendan is now one of our Physiotherapists (treating humans and pets)
Brendan is one half of our Canadian duo, originally from Vancouver, Canada where he graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology (known as exercise physiology in Australia). Building on a strong exercise physiology background, Brendan moved to Australia to complete a Master of Physiotherapy from the University of Sydney. As a fun-loving and caring individual, Brendan enjoys working with both children and pets. Experience with the Canucks Autism Network in Canada developed Brendan’s skills to assist children who have social, physical or cognitive disabilities and he has also completed post-graduate training in paediatric physiotherapy through the Australian Physiotherapy Association. Brendan’s focus on active play with a purpose aimed at targeting developmental milestones helps facilitate children to achieve at their highest level. Brendan is certified to treat SIRA workers compensation cases. He is also happy to help mend those sports injuries; assist with chronic pain and/or disability. Brendan utilises pain management techniques including manual therapy, therapeutic massage, kinesiotaping and laser therapy to facilitate return to work, sport, or general activities – along with exercise programs tailored to your specific needs to assist with self-management of your recovery, faster healing and reduction of any risk of future re-injury.
When not at work, Brendan enjoys spending time outdoors and dreaming of the day he’ll own far too many dogs!
CAYLA NICHOLSON – Psychology Student
With a background tutoring children with disabilities, Cayla is now one of our Therapy Assistants
Cayla has experience helping people with disabilities over more than 5 years. She has a particular love for children with complex needs and is therefore studying to become a qualified psychologist, specialising in paediatrics.
Cayla has a profound love for animals, so when she’s not at work she can be found caring for and playing with her pet family. She has rescued three cats and two ferrets (so far!) and enjoys interacting with children and animals here at Whole Family Health.
CECILIA LAU – Counsellor, Dance Movement Therapist, AutPlay Therapist and Behaviour Support Practitioner
With a background as a dancer, Cecilia is now our Counsellor, Dance Movement Therapist, AutPlay Therapist and one of our Behaviour Support Practitioners
Cecilia is a creative and playful counsellor with a Master of Counselling and a Graduate Diploma of Dance Movement Therapy. She is an expert in both verbal and non-verbal counselling through the use of play, music, dance, art and drama. Cecilia has spent the last eight years working with children and adults with disabilities. In more recent years, she has extended her skills in working with children impacted by trauma, grief and bereavement. Her passion lies in helping children to re-establish safety in their body through physical movement and finding joy and regulation through creative expression. Attachment theory, person-centred therapy, expressive arts therapy, Self Psychology, narrative therapy and somatic trauma therapy are some of the approaches that greatly inform Cecilia’s work. In addition to her existing toolbox, she also has a growing interest in animal-assisted play therapy and is working towards training her fur baby, Kenji, to become a therapy dog.
When not at work, Cecilia and her husband enjoy taking their pooches for play dates at dog parks and beaches. Cecilia also enjoys cooking, practicing Pilates and catching up with friends for good food and coffee. Occasionally, Cecilia gets competitive over a Mario Kart or a Shoot ‘em up game with her husband.
Cecilia and her husband have recently welcomed baby Astrid to their family and is currently enjoying maternity leave.
ELIZABETH JEFFERSON – Practice Manager
With a background in administration in the UK and Australia, Lizzi is now our Practice Manager
Lizzi is our wonderful Practice Manager who keeps the centre running and the rest of us functioning. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience in medical and educational settings and is an expert in business management, having achieved numerous Diplomas and Certificates in Medical Practice Administration and Business Management. Nothing is too much trouble for Lizzi, who has typically already completed what we are about to ask of her or quickly comes up with a better way to help us achieve our goals. She welcomes our clients and makes everyone feel relaxed. Always happy to do that little bit more, if you’re overwhelmed by paperwork or frustrated by funding waiting lists, Lizzi is your girl!
EMILY COLMAN – Qualified Teacher and Behaviour Support Practitioner
With a background as an SLSO in a SSP, Emily is now one of our Behaviour Support Practitioners
Emily recently completed a double degree in Psychology and Primary Teaching. Having worked as a teacher’s aide at a special purpose behaviour school, her degrees and experience give Emily an enormous head start in building rapport with children who struggle with behaviours of concern, and helping them catch up with school work, which can often contribute to a “spiral of doom” for kids whose behaviour worsens as a result of falling further and further behind at school.
When not at work, Emily likes to travel the world and volunteer with as many animals as she can, having spent several trips helping big cats in Africa!
EMILY-KATE PFEIFFER – Occupational Therapist
With a background as a disability support worker, Emily-Kate has recently become one of our Occupational Therapists
Emily-Kate recently finished her Occupational Therapy degree at the Australian Catholic University. Previously, she worked as a paediatric disability support worker, where she developed a passion for children and enjoyed working closely with children and their families, helping them engage in and enjoy all their activities at school, home and in the community.
When not at work, Emily-Kate’s passions include travelling, camping, baking cakes, water skiing, wakeboarding and taking her puppy, Stitch, to the beach.
GEMMA SHERIDAN – Behaviour Support Practitioner
With a Masters degree in Applied Behavioural Analysis, Gemma is now one of our Behaviour Support Practitioners
Gemma trained in Ireland and we’re very grateful that she wanted to come see our equally beautiful country! Gemma has a Masters degree in Applied Behaviour Analysis and has impressed us with her ability to help people learn new skills, ranging from learning the morning routine when starting high school to coping better when a therapist is off sick. Gemma develops Behaviour Support Plans from thorough functional behaviour assessments and also helps implement other therapies (e.g. speech therapy) during regular Behaviour Therapy sessions.
When not at work, Gemma squeezes in as much “touristing” as she possibly can!
HANNAH CORNISH – Occupational Therapy Student
With a background as an Occupational Therapy Student and School Learning Support Officer, Hannah is now one of our Level 2 Allied Health Assistants
Hannah is one of those fabulously practical people who can usually be found either up a ladder hanging curtains or helping with cooking in one of our social skills groups.
When not at work or studying, Hannah is either hanging out with her dogs or can be found in the kitchen cooking for her family.
HELEN NICHOLSON – Physiotherapist and Managing Director
With a background as a Physiotherapist (treating humans and animals), Helen is also our Managing Director
Helen – more commonly known around here as Aunty Helen – prides herself on not being ‘normal’; she has three physiotherapy degrees and thrives on helping children, animals and everyone else in their families, too! Having been a physiotherapist for (slightly) more than half her life, Helen knows the true value of a multidisciplinary therapy team and loves mentoring our team with a transdisciplinary approach. At work, Helen juggles her time between treating, teaching and writing – she is a Visiting Professor at Yamazaki Gakuen University in Japan, reviews research papers for international scientific journals, and writes textbooks. When not mopping up floods or eating chocolate, Helen might be found indulging in her hobby of writing complaint letters to advocate for any of our clients who aren’t getting the help they need and deserve.
When not at work, Helen puts her ADHD to good use by studying a Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies and a Graduate Diploma in Psychology, as well as looking after her 4 kids, husband, 2 dogs, 2 cats and 9 chickens.
JACK BIGLAND – Support Worker
With a background as an Engineering Student, Jack is one of our caring Support Workers
Jack has developed patience and perseverance through his experiences with his own family members who have disabilities. He brings those attributes and a love of repairing/constructing/”fixing” things with him to help with the various odd jobs we need done between supporting our various friends.
When not at work, Jack gets up super early to let his girlfriend’s puppy out to the toilet.
JENNIFER DAVIES – Occupational Therapy Student
With a background as a Graphic Artist, Jen is now one of our Level 2 Allied Health Assistants
Jennifer has over 10 years’ experience in the printing industry as a graphic artist and has spent the last 8 years in pre-OT training, AKA raising her two children! Jen also has experience volunteering with children’s reading groups and managing the local soccer team, and studies part-time at university whilst juggling a family and working here at Whole Family Health.
When not at work, Jennifer spends much of her time on her fitness, health and walking the streets in her community looking for 10c recyclables with her family and their dogs.
She also has a great love of trying to hide and/or add as many vegetables into her family’s diet as possible. Unfortunately adding avocado and spinach to her homemade ice-cream is a deal breaker for them, but it tastes amazing…to her anyway!
JOANNA NGUYEN – Occupational Therapist
With a background in Aged Care, Joanna is now one of our Occupational Therapists
Joanna has been waiting in the wings, eager for an opportunity in paediatric occupational therapy. Having experience throughout the lifespan, Joanna is also able to help the whole family achieve their goals. What Jo loves most about being an OT is the never-ending sharing of knowledge between clients and therapists!
When not at work, Jo enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to the gym, exploring new coastal walks, travelling (or planning future travels) and practising hand lettering/calligraphy!
KIRRALEE BURNETT – Occupational Therapist
With a background as a Childcare Educator, Kirralee is now one of our Occupational Therapists
Kirralee recently finished her Occupational Therapy degree at the Australian Catholic University. Previously, she worked as an Educator in a long day care centre, where she developed a passion for seeing children grow and thrive through play. Kirralee loves working with children and enjoys using her paediatric occupational therapy skills to help them achieve their goals.
When not at work, Kirralee’s passions include travelling, photography, growing succulents and getting extremely competitive in her weeknight netball competition. Kirralee may also be found attempting to make her rabbit and budgie be friends.
KIRSTI DIGGS – Lawyer and Counsellor
With a background in law, Kirsti joins us as a Counsellor
Kirsti is a problem solver who is not afraid to stand up for what our clients need, making her a formidable ally and advocate.
When not at work, Kirsti enjoys spending time with family, gardening and has been bitten by the home renovation bug!
NIOMI KARUNARATNA – Speech Pathology Student
With a background as a speech pathology student, Niomi joins us as an Allied Health Assistant
Niomi is busy finishing her speech therapy degree in the hope that she can stay on helping our families when she graduates at the end of this year.
When not at work, Niomi is usually at uni, but she also likes to… Tell us what you like to do, Niomi!
ODETTE TRIGGER – Physiotherapist
With a background in behavioural science, Odette is now one of our Physiotherapists and Animal Therapy Assistants
Odette has a degree in Behavioural Science from the University of Queensland and has recently finished her physiotherapy degree. Odette has worked with children in boarding schools in Far North Queensland and Sydney and has coached children’s soccer and rowing teams. Odette would like to become a specialist children’s physiotherapist, although she’s also very good at helping treat wombats, kangaroos and dogs!
Odette enjoys working in our multidisciplinary team as she values the holistic benefits it provides our clients. She is truly humbled by how resilient and determined our patients and their families are – both human and furry.
When not at work, Odette drowns in study (she has a PhD in the pipeline) and relaxes by baking, reading, rock climbing and spending time with friends.
PIP MYCHAEL – Counsellor
With a background as an occupational therapist who has spent decades helping the less fortunate in Africa, Pip is now one of our Counsellors
Pip is an incredibly compassionate counsellor who has developed her problem solving skills working in Africa.
In her spare time, Pip likes to… Tell us what you like to do, Pip!
RUTH POLLARD – Administration Manager and Animal Therapy Assistant
With a background in business administration and dog sports, Ruth is now one of our Administrators and Animal Therapy Assistants
Ruth is an energetic and conscientious administrator who has qualifications in both childcare and business administration. Ruth’s journey to joining the Whole Family Team has been a little different to most – she was a long-term client, having worked very hard with Helen to teach her dog, Ollie, to walk again after a catastrophic spinal cord injury.
In Ruth’s spare time, she loves to spend time with her family (both human and furry).
SALLY NGUYEN – Speech Pathologist and Behaviour Support Practitioner
With a background in special education, Sally is now one of our Speech Pathologists and Behaviour Support Practitioners
Sally joined our speech pathology team in early 2019, having earned her Masters of Speech Language Pathology, Graduate Diploma of Special Education, and Bachelor of Speech and Hearing Sciences from Macquarie and Sydney Universities. Sally previously worked as a junior ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) therapist, where her passion for working with families grew. Seeing the progress that her young friends made, no matter how big or small, and being a part of their journeys is why Sally is with us today. It definitely doesn’t help that she’s obsessed with all the fur babies that come to play with us, too!
When not at work, Sally enjoys playing Oztag, going out to search for dogs to pat, and eating lots and lots (and lots) of food!
SARAH-JANE MCLAUGHLIN – Speech Pathologist
With a background in Communication and Behaviour, Sarah is now one of our Speech Therapists
Sarah-Jane is the newest addition to Team Speech and we’re so glad to have her! Sarah-Jane developed her passion for working with children and using multimodal communication while working with children with cerebral palsy. Sarah-Jane believes that everyone deserves the right to communicate and is passionate about developing the right communication for all her clients.
When not at work, Sarah-Jane’s passions are travelling, going to see live music, attempting to keep her indoor plants alive, spending time with her family and playing with her dog, Maisy.
SARAH-LOU NORTON – Occupational Therapy Student
With a background as an Occupational Therapy Student, Sarah-Lou is now one of our Level 2 Allied Health Assistants
Sarah-Lou is one of those calm people who gets in and helps and makes it look easy while she does it!
When not at work or studying, Sarah-Lou likes exploring country and coastal towns, treasure hunting at market places, socialising, planning holidays and eating chocolate.
SARAH JONES – Physiotherapy Student
With a background as a Physiotherapy Student, Sarah is now one of our Level 2 Allied Health Assistants
Sarah rounds out our trio of Sensational Sarahs by adding a little physio student strength to the mix!
When not at work or studying, Sarah… Tell us what you like to do, Sarah!
SERENA ABRAHAMS – Reception Manager, Junior ABA Therapist and Animal Therapy Assistant
With a background as an animal lover, Serena is now one of our Reception Managers, Junior ABA Therapists and Animal Therapy Assistants
Serena is one of our receptionists who has recently trained as a junior applied behavioural analysis therapist. She is also studying Law and Media at Macquarie University. She has a passion for animals and has recently added collecting cats to her list of hobbies.
When not at work or studying, Serena enjoys caring for her pets and watching movies.
SIRINA FAN – Physiotherapy Student
With a background as a Physiotherapy Student, Sirina is now one of our Level 2 Allied Health Assistants
Sirina thought our lives weren’t confusing enough with 3 Sarahs and 2 Emilys, so she came to join us so we also have 2 Serenas! Luckily for us, Sirina answers to Siri, and she’s simply sensational at building rapport with kids!
When not at work or studying, Siri enjoys… Tell us what you like to do, Siri!
STEPHANIE (TIFFANY) DUQUE – Occupational Therapist and Clinical Team Leader
With a background as an OT in the Philippines, Tiff is now one of our fabulous Occupational Therapists and leads our clinical team
Tiff is an OT superstar, taking our newer OT team members under her wing and helping them develop their skills. Always keen to help any of our team with challenges they face clinically, Tiff also has experience teaching overseas. Tiff has introduced the Secret Agent Society social skills program and the Cogmed working memory program to our clients with outstanding results and has also put her splinting knowledge to good use, including with one of our kangaroo patients and some of our doggy friends! Fluent in more than one spoken language, Tiff is also fluent in many OT ‘languages’, ranging from sensory integration to handwriting, praxis to trauma, and visual-vestibular to hand therapy.
When not at work, Tiff spends as much time as possible travelling (or planning her next travels) and has taught her adorable cat to do a super cute trick – make sure you ask her to show you the video!