Paediatric Occupational Therapist/Clinical Excellence Manager
I love life. I love learning and I love love love working with children, their families and educators. I work to assist each child’s amazing brain and body move in new ways, that then allows them to play freely with their friends, do as well as they can at school and to develop the emotional and social skills they need to build positive, lasting relationships with the people they love. I also focus on working with the childs’ family, assisting them to understand what is happening for their child and then coaching them to develop new skills and strategies to support their child at home. Whilst the journey is not always easy or straightforward, it is always worth it to see the thrill on the little face as they master a physical challenge they would never would have dreamed of taking on or when they can calmly manage a situation that would have previously triggered a meltdown and when the family feels more connected and empowered.
Whilst I love that I spend most of my days with my shoes off, crawling around the floor with children, I also spend more hours than I care to add up dedicated to my professional development. I am a committed to life long learning. In addition to completing my OT degree, I completed a Masters of Adult Education to compliment my OT practice. I have spent many days attending workshops and many more hours reading through course notes and textbooks trying to bring their combined insights into the work I do with families.
My work as a paediatric OT is influenced by the following international leaders; Occupational Therapy theory and techniques; Jean Ayres: Sensory Integration ; Tracey Stackhouse: SPIRIT model and STEPSI model; Sheila Frick: Therapeutic Listening Program, Astronaut Protocol, Posture and Respiration; Beth Osten: DIR Floor Time; HeartSpace Physiotherapy: Posture and Respiration; Trauma: Kim Barthel; Bessel Van Der Kolk, Stuart Shanker, Bruce Perry and Pat Ogden; Neurophysiology Stephen Porges, Self Regulation: Dan Siegel.
I am indebted to these people and their work. I am grateful for their influence on my occupational therapy career which has been nothing short of an extreme adventure. At times it has taken me far and wide geographically, sometimes travelling by ferry across Sydney Harbour to assist someone return to work at the zoo other times driving across the vast plains of rural and remote Australia at sunrise to assist a family live well at home on their cattle station. It has seen me working in board rooms, writing project plans, budgets and education calendars; in hospitals, in the community and more recently sitting on the floor with students in their classroom. Whilst my job title and the geography has changed over the years, the core purpose of my work has not. I see my role as an OT as assisting people to draw on their strengths to overcome their challenges, to facilitate them to learn more about what is happening in their body so that they feel empowered and able to live a full and meaningful life. It often sees me working with people when they may be facing their greatest challenge and the significance of this is not lost on me. I am wholly committed and passionate about serving the children and the families I work with as best I can.