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.
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!
BRADLEY CHUNG – Behaviour Support Practitioner
With a background as a Psychology Student, Bradley is now one of our Behaviour Support Practitioners
Bradley is an incredibly patient and persistent practitioner who hopes to one day successfully train Helen in independently managing her technology. In an effort to fade Helen’s prompt dependency, Bradley has recently enrolled in a Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy, which means he will only be in the centre 2 days a week. Bradley enjoys working with children of all ages to support their behaviour and develop their skills, while making therapy fun.
When not at work, Bradley enjoys washing his car and dreaming of his next motorbike.
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.
CHRISTINE TIVAN – Speech Pathologist
Having lived in Tasmania and Newcastle, Christine is now one of our Speech Pathologists
Christine brings a lot of disability experience to our team and is a strong advocate of functional communication, including AAC.
When not at work, Christine spends time with her adorable pet rat, Ron, who likes to snuggle up on the couch!
COURTNEY BRETTLE – Speech Pathology Student
With a background as a speech therapy student, Courtney is now one of our Allied Health Assistants
Courtney has been a real find for the team as she is always willing to help in any way she can. Whether it’s laminating resources or visiting preschools with our qualified speech therapists, Courtney is always the first to put her hand up. With her ability to learn new skills quickly, Courtney has already added a lot of skills to her “speechie toolbox” and we can’t wait until she graduates and joins our team on a full-time basis!
When not at work, Courtney has been known to whip up a great 21st birthday party for her friends.
DANIEL SMITH – Occupational Therapy Student
With a background as an occupational therapy student and SLSO at a SSP, Daniel is now one of our Allied Health Assistants
Daniel brings with him the patience and skills in assisting children of all ages that he has learnt while working as a teacher’s aide in schools for children with additional needs. Like so many of our team, Daniel was introduced to us by another happy team member, Hannah – thanks, Hannah!
When not at work, Daniel is a bit of a keen cricketer and looks forward to being able to travel again.
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 is an occupational therapist who completed her degree at Australian Catholic University. As well as being one of our OTs, she is also a feeding therapist trained in the SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) approach to feeding. Emily-Kate has also completed training in various evidence-based approaches including the Astronaut Protocol, FOCUS Feeding and the ALERT program.
When not at work, Emily-Kate’s passions include travelling, camping, baking cakes, wakeboarding and taking her puppies Lilo and 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 unfortunately had to return home due to the pandemic. Luckily, Gemma is a flexible person who has been leading our behaviour support team via Zoom during the brief periods at the beginning and end of each day that we’re all awake at the same time! 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 oversees the behaviour team, helping develop positive Behaviour Support Plans from thorough functional behaviour assessments and also helps the Australian members of the team implement skills training programs that help people with behaviours of concern choose behaviours that achieve the same result without causing concerns like injuries to self or others.
Since returning home, Gemma has unfortunately been largely stuck at home during the various UK lockdowns, however she recently got engaged, so please don’t forget to invite us to the wedding, Gemma!
GEORDAN NICHOLSON – Internal Auditor and Weekend Receptionist
Having finished school and being the owners’ son, Geordan is now our Internal Auditor and Weekend Receptionist
Geordan has grown up with one parent and three siblings who have autism, which has taught him a certain love of rules and routines. As a result, he’s just the man for jobs like auditing our first aid kits, ensuring our fire policies and procedures are up to standard, and keeping our COVID-19 records accurate. He also holds the fort at reception on Saturdays so our full-time team can have a well-deserved rest.
When not at work, Geordan is studying a Bachelor of Entrepreneurship in Games Design and Simulation at Western Sydney University.
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.
JANET McARD – Reception Team Member
With a background in New South Wales Health, Janet is now a key part of our Reception Team.
Janet has previously kept the front desk in busy hospital wards afloat, so truly understands how important it is to keep on top of busy environments like ours!
When not at work, Janet likes to spend time with her cats and grandchildren and makes a delicious lamb fruit curry.
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!
JULIA BUTTERWORTH – Admin Allrounder
With a background in Administration, Julia is now one our Admin Allrounder
Julia loves a challenge, which makes her perfect for the role of Admin Allrounder! Whether it’s helping make new families feel welcome at our service or tracking down providers for assistive technology trials, Julia’s the one for the job.
When not at work, Julia enjoys spending time with members of her social motorbike club!
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!
LAURA BACIA – Speech Pathologist and Clinical Team Leader
With a background as a Speechie in the United States, Laura is now one of our fabulous Speech Pathologists and leads our clinical team
Laura is a breath of fresh air who both entertains the team by practising her Australian accent and educates us with her wealth of knowledge of speech and language. Laura has extensive experience with all aspects of speech language pathology, including swallowing, AAC and pragmatics, both in the US and the UK.
Luckily for us, Laura recently married an Australian, and when not at work, Laura enjoys being shown around Sydney and surrounds by her (amazing) husband!
MEGAN HALE – Behaviour Support Practitioner
With a background as a Support Worker, Megan is now one of our Behaviour Support Practitioners
Megan is always one to put the team ahead of herself, having spent many months during the COVID-19 pandemic disinfecting toys. We’re not sure who is more delighted now Megan is out of the “decontamination zone” – Megan, us, or the families she helps with supporting behaviours!
When not at work, Megan spends time celebrating her furry family members’ birthdays and is about to hit the books again by embarking on a Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy.
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.
REBECCA DAVYS – Occupational Therapist
With a background as an allied health assistant, Rebecca is now one of our Occupational Therapists
Beck is a talented occupational therapist who was introduced to us by Kirra – one great OT recommending another, just the way we like it!
In her spare time, Beck has taken up CrossFit! She’s also pretty handy with a jigsaw puzzle.
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).
SARAH FUNG – Occupational Therapist
Proving that too many Sarahs are never enough, Sarah is now one of our Occupational Therapists
Sarah is the newest addition to our OT Team and we’re so glad that Tiff introduced us! Like Tiff, Sarah has done the Secret Agent Society training and will soon be holding the program on Friday afternoons.
When not at work, Sarah enjoys going to the beach.
SARAH MORLEY – Physiotherapy Student and Receptionist
But wait – there’s another Sarah! This Sarah is now one of our Physiotherapy Students and Receptionists
Sarah is the newest addition to our Reception Team and we’re so glad that her sister, Rebecca, introduced us! Sarah has many years’ experience as a receptionist at a physiotherapy practice, so we’re very lucky to have her.
When not at work, Sarah and Helen dream of joining the rest of the team on their various trips to the beach.
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.
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!
VIOLET JOUKHADAR – Behaviour Support Practitioner
With a background as a piano teacher, Violet is now one of our fabulous Behaviour Support Practitioners
Violet is the quiet achiever of the behaviour support team, who uses her love of Harry Potter to cast spells on children who struggle with their behaviour.
When not at work, Violet enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews.
YVETTE ANGELINETTA – Social Worker and Behaviour Support Practitioner
With a background as a Youth Camp leader, Yvette is now one of our fabulous Behaviour Support Practitioners and our Social Worker
Yvette is a social work superstar, handling all challenges we throw her way with grace and poise!
When not at work, Yvette has begun her cat collection, having recently added a second furry friend to her family!