Our Multidisciplinary Therapy Team

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:

HELEN NICHOLSON – Managing Director and Physiotherapist

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.

RUTH – Administration Manager and Animal Therapy Assistant

With a background in business administration and dog sports, Ruth is 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).

STEPHANIE (TIFFANY) – Occupational Therapist and Clinical Team Leader

With a background as an OT in the Philippines, Tiff is 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!

Abe – Occupational Therapist

Abe smiles in our Gooey Room

With a background as a Personal Trainer, Abe is one of our talented 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 – Occupational Therapist

Anke is one of our amazing Occupational Therapists

Anke is a fabulous OT with a heart of gold.

Anke graduated with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy in 2019 from Western Sydney University. She has completed training in the following areas; Trauma Informed Practice: Exploring and Applying Psycho-Sensory Interventions in your Practice, Interactive Metronome, Therapeutic Listening: Listening with the Whole Body, Teaching Nasal Breathing to Children for Increased Quality of Life, What Happens When Autism Grows Up, Interoception, Sensory Processing and Self-Regulation, Feeding Therapy: A Sensory-Motor Approach. Anke is a very vibrant and energetic person who is always looking for ways to improve her knowledge.  

When she is not at work, she likes to give her dog, Pippa, lots of cuddles and you can often find her playing hockey or going camping over a weekend.

JO- Occupational Therapist

With a background in Aged Care, Jo is one of our talented Occupational Therapists

Jo graduated with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy from Western Sydney University. She has worked with clients across the lifespan but has found her heart in paediatrics! Jo has completed training in the following areas: Astronaut Training: A Sound Activated Vestibular-Visual Protocol, Feeding Therapy: A Sensory-Motor Approach, Hey Warrior: Anxiety Explained and MNRI: Dynamic and Postural Reflex Pattern Integration. What Jo loves most about being an OT is being able to help and see her clients grow to become more independent in their everyday lives!
 
Jo currently runs the High School Social Skills Group on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. When not at work, Jo enjoys travelling and exploring local cafes and restaurants.

REBECCA – Occupational Therapist

With a background as an allied health assistant, Rebecca is one of our amazing Occupational Therapists 

With a background in Paediatric Occupational Therapy, Rebecca is one of our amazing Occupational Therapists. Rebecca is an enthusiastic Occupational Therapist who is passionate about working with children to help them achieve their goals and aspirations. With a Bachelor in Occupational Therapy from Western Sydney University, Rebecca has experience working with people from various backgrounds and clients with stroke, ASD, ADHD, social/emotional difficulties. Rebecca has completed the Traffic Jam in My Brain program to help with regulation for children, and has received post-graduate training in sensory processing, emotional regulation and social skills.

When she is not at work, Rebecca enjoys being outdoors for a run and challenges herself by participating in Crossfit. She also loves a good coffee and it can make her day.

SARAH  – Occupational Therapist

With a background in Paediatric Occupational Therapy, Sarah is one of our talented Occupational Therapists. 

Sarah enjoys working with children, adults and families with various difficulties and needs. She loves working alongside families and children to help recognise their potential and grow developmentally. With a Bachelor in Occupational Therapy from the University of Sydney, she has experience working in community and in-school settings. Sarah is trained in Sensory Processing Disorder and has received post-graduate training in Developing Pretend Play Skills in Children, Traffic Jam in My Brain for regulation in children, Social Thinking and Zones of Regulation. Sarah facilitates our Secret Agent Society Program, a social skills group program for children and adolescents.

When she is not at work, Sarah is snacking and loves to explore and find good food! She enjoys exploring new places around Australia.

LAURA – Speech Pathologist and Clinical Team Leader

With a background as a Speechie in the United States, Laura is 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!

CHRISTINE – 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!

SARAH-JANE – Speech Pathologist

With a background in Communication and Behaviour, Sarah is one of our Speech Therapists and Multidisicplinary Feeding Therapist

Sarah-Jane is a speech pathologist who completed her degree at the Australian Catholic University. She 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 method for all her clients. She has a keen interest in high-tech communication systems and communication programs such as LAMP: Words for Life. Sarah-Jane has completed several additional evidence-based courses such as PROMPT therapy, Hanen: It Takes Two to Talk and the SOS Approach to Feeding. When not at work, Sarah-Jane’s passions are travelling, going to see live music, spending time with her friends and family, and training her two kelpies, Bowie and Angie.

BRENDAN – Physiotherapist

With a background as an Exercise Physiologist, Brendan is 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!

ODETTE – Physiotherapist

With a background in behavioural science, Odette is one of our Physiotherapists and Animal Therapy Assistants

Odette has a degree in Behavioural Science from the University of Queensland and a degree in  Physiotherapy from the University of Sydney. Odette has worked with children in boarding schools in Far North Queensland and Sydney and has coached children’s soccer and rowing teams. Odette loves working with the paediatric population and also has an interest in pelvic health. Odette has completed training in the following areas: Monash University: Enhancing Skills in Paediatric Physiotherapy, Continence Foundation Australia: e-Continence Paediatrics, APTA Pelvic Health: Physical Therapy Treatment of the Paediatric Pelvic Floor Patient, MNRI: Dynamic and Postural Reflex Pattern Integration, and APA: Vestibular Rehabilitation (adults). 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 relaxes by cross-stitching, being outdoors and spending time with friends.

KIRSTI – Counsellor

With a background in law, Kirsti joins us as a Counsellor

Kirsti, having previously earned a law degree and worked in the insurance industry, is a woman of many talents. She 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!

BRADLEY– Allied Health Assistant

With a background as a Psychology Student, Bradley is one of our Allied Health Assistants

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.

COURTNEY – Speech Pathology Student

With a background as a speech therapy student, Courtney is 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. Courtney comes to us with over six years experience working with children in many capacities, tutor for children with learning disabilities, party host and volunteer therapy assistant at Riding for the Disabled. With her ability to learn new skills quickly, Courtney has already added a lot of skills to her “speechie toolbox” and can’t wait until she graduates and joins our team on a full-time basis!

When not at work, Courtney can usually be found outside on adventure with her friends, making a mess in the kitchen with her family, or curled up with a book and her puppy, PJ.

HANNAH – Occupational Therapy Student

With a background as an Occupational Therapy Student and School Learning Support Officer, Hannah is 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.

JENNIFER – Occupational Therapy Student

With a background as a Graphic Artist, Jen is 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!

LAUREN – Occupational Therapy Student

With a background as an occupational therapy student and Lauren is one of our Allied Health Assistants

MADELINE – Speech Therapy Student

With a background as a speech therapy student and Lauren is one of our Allied Health Assistants

SARAH-LOU – Occupational Therapy Student

With a background as an Occupational Therapy Student, Sarah-Lou is 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.

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VIOLET- Allied Health Assistant

With a background as a Psychology Student, Violet is one of our fabulous Allied Health Assistants

Violet is the quiet achiever, who uses her love of Harry Potter to cast spells on children who struggle with challenging behaviour. She is currently completing her honours year in psychology and working towards becoming a provisional psychologist.

When not at work, Violet enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews, reading books and completing puzzles.

GEORDAN – 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.

TRACEY – Reception Team Member

Tracey is one of our lovely receptionists

With 22 years experience in Healthcare administration, Tracey makes sure everything runs smoothly, from clients first encounter on the phone to her warm smile when she greets you in reception and is a great assets to our reception team. In her spare time Tracey looks after her two children, tries to maintain her fitness and enjoys a nice drink of wine with her favourite pizza. Tracey loves animals but especially loves furry friends that are dogs.

CAYLA – 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.

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