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Meet the Therapy Pro Moreton Bay Therapists

Kate Chalker, speech and language pathologist

Therapy Pro’s Kate Chalker is a second-generation champion of disability rights, inspired by family to pursue a therapy career that could have life-changing impacts.

Kate chose to study speech and language pathology after seeing the difference it made for a young cousin born with a cleft palate.

“I saw his personality grow, and his confidence too, as he conquered speech difficulties and I still feel pride in the effort put in to achieve hard-won results,” she says.

As a speech and language pathologist, Kate evaluates a client’s speech, language, fluency, literacy, voice and swallowing skills and develops an individualised plan to address development or disorders.

Her expertise extends to non-verbal communications, helping clients choose assistive technologies that can positively affect the rest of their lives.

Kate brings a variety of experiences to her role with Therapy Pro. In working with children, she’s undertaken many assessments of age-appropriate milestones as well as screening of children for autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. Work with adults has included helping people learn how to swallow safely after experiencing stroke, traumatic brain injury or cancers of the head and neck.

Communication is a two-way street. While Kate has helped adult clients reconnect with those around them using assistive technologies, she’s also worked with their partners, helping family, friends and carers better communicate too.

Kate is a graduate of Charles Sturt University in Albury.

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Sara Madsen, occupational therapist

Sara Madsen has made it one of her life’s goals to help improve the daily living and general well-being of people with profound challenges.

Sara graduated as an occupational therapist in 1999 and has worked in the disability sector since 2006, working with children and adults across a variety of settings to improve their well-being and independence.

 

Sara’s area of speciality is positive behaviour support, reducing and eliminating restrictive practices and achieving long-term sustainable support practices.

Since 2013, she has been drawn to adults with severe and profound disability, often non-verbal, with extremely challenging behaviours and multiple diagnoses who live in supported accommodation.

“With the right support and the right environment, a client’s needs can be met, and they can thrive,” Sara maintains.

“My role is to assess the client’s needs, be they physical, psychological or environmental, and support the client by educating, supporting and skilling the funded care providers and family members who together are the support team.

“My passion is for building a physical and psychological environment around the person, assisting them to thrive.

“People do not live and operate in silos: we interact and are impacted on by our environment and the people and structures around us. When a person is non-verbal or has difficulty identifying and/or communicating their needs and wishes, this becomes so much more important.”

Sara is a University of Queensland graduate.

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Kirsty Atkinson, social worker

Therapy Pro Brisbane team member Kirsty Atkinson seeks to support clients live their ‘everyday’ to their best, every day.

As a social worker, Kirsty achieves positive results for clients by listening and acting in their best interests.

She’s like the sports coach in the changeroom urging family, carers, friends and other supports to pull together for ‘Team Individual’.

She’s there in the huddle with trustworthy information and counselling skills, supporting clients and their families to build on skills and live the best life possible.

“Theories in textbooks are guides—everybody is unique, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ in life but working in the same direction with the same goal helps!” Kirsty says.

Kirsty has worked with government disability services in two states, working with children and adults to support their needs, goals and aspirations.

She can stand beside clients in times of change—like moving from school to employment—and in times of crisis too.

“Let’s focus together on your strengths and work with those around you to improve your independence, relationships and everyday living.”

Kirsty holds a Bachelor of Social Work with honours from the University of South Australia.

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Kirstie Hinsley, occupational therapist

Therapy Pro’s Kirstie Hinsley is a dedicated occupational therapist with almost 20 years’ experience.

Kirstie can help you improve daily living functions—like bathing, dressing, toileting, eating, walking—through assessment and appropriately tailored intervention.

She also helps clients with aids and equipment assessments and may make recommendations for modifications at home to improve independence and safety.

Needing to unwind and relax more? Suffering anxiety? Kirstie knows the difference between being mindful and having a mind that’s full and loves sharing relaxation techniques.

UK-trained Kirstie draws on experience in hospital settings and community, as well as private practice, working with clients who have needed post-surgical rehabilitation, neurological rehabilitation for acquired brain injury and dementia, and mental health support.

She’s excited about providing the occupational therapy you need, when and where you need it.

“You’re in the driver’s seat in your own environment.”

Kirstie’s happy to be in the passenger seat, helping you navigate to better results for independent living.

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Maree Kasberger, psychologist

Psychologist Maree Kasberger joins Therapy Pro with a track record to support her belief in achieving positive change in clients’ lives.

Maree can help Therapy Pro clients with psychological assessments and interventions, behavioural support and advice including writing and developing Positive Behaviour Support Plans, individual and family counselling and psychometric assessments.

She brings more than a decade’s experience working with individuals who have physical injury, mental illness, chronic illness or addictions as part of employment services, workplace employee assistance and occupational rehabilitation programs.

Maree has particular expertise in work assessments and job-readiness skills acquisition, as well as stress management techniques.

“Confidence, self-esteem and motivation are all facets of life I enjoy exploring with clients – and growing.”

Maree holds a Bachelor of Psychological Science from the University of Queensland and a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Counselling from Australian Catholic University.

As a crafter in her spare time, Maree  gets immense pleasure in turning fabrics, yarns and threads into items that stand out for their uniqueness. It’s a passion reflected in her professional life too, helping individuals see their uniqueness positively.

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Nancye Richardson, occupational therapist

Nancye Richardson has worked in the disability sector for more than a decade, using her skills as an occupational therapist to achieve positive outcomes for both child and adult clients.

While activities like dressing, bathing, toileting, eating, sleeping and sitting are everyday tasks for many people, her clients can find them challenging.

Nancye enjoys working in partnership with clients and their support network to identify and understand client priorities, goals and ways that they can use their skills and interests to increase their participation in everyday activities.

Support to adult clients may include equipment and assistive technology, manual handling techniques, safe travel options, continence and ways to develop specific skills.

Nancye is also passionate about providing tailored early intervention support to children who have disabilities (and often complex medical needs) and their families.

When working with children, Nancye believes in play-based learning and seeks family involvement so that play therapy activities can be incorporated in their everyday routines.

“Therapy needs to be fun as children learn through play. It is not an isolated activity with just me and the child. Family involvement is really important,” she says.

Nancye is a James Cook University graduate.

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Isabella Wise, speech and language pathologist

As a speech and language pathologist, Therapy Pro’s Isabella Wise understands the importance of mealtimes and communication for her clients.

Izzy’s role involves assessing and addressing challenges that affect literacy, language development, the formation of sounds, words and sentences and swallowing.

 

She can also prescribe aids to provide alternative non-verbal communication—and solutions are not always high-tech: “I can work magic with Velcro and laminate!” she says of her practical approach.

Izzy has worked in speech therapy roles in hospital and community settings; most recently, exclusively in the disability sector, supporting children and adults with speech, swallowing and communication challenges.

While supporting children and adolescents in their homes as well as at schools and child care centres, Izzy enjoys spreading understanding of alternative communication methods and ways to support communication with parents and other family members, child care workers and teachers.

Izzy is a University of Queensland graduate.

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Jen Ryan, speech and language pathologist (lead therapist)

Therapy Pro Brisbane team member Jen Ryan helps her clients find’ their voice.

A speech and language pathologist, Jen works with children and adults who have communication challenges or swallowing difficulties.

Jen can assess and address challenges impacting language development, mealtimes, swallowing and literacy.

Jen has worked in the disability sector as a ‘speechie’ since 2004. She brings a wealth of experience and insights from supporting clients with speech and swallowing challenges brought about by a range of disabilities including intellectual and physical disabilities, autism and acquired brain injury.

Engaging and approachable, trusted and practical, Jen has a personality that sparkles–sometimes her face does too courtesy of glitter from her homelife.

“I value family time personally and that influences how I work with families. I better appreciate parents’ concerns and time pressures,” she says.

Therapy sessions with clients are fun, involving everyday activities, often with siblings, parents, carers or friends too so that ‘homework’ becomes part of everyday living rather than a chore.

She can also prescribe technological aids to provide alternative non-verbal communication.

Jen’s expertise is highly regarded in her profession: she’s been a university clinical educator helping train undergraduate students and she’s Therapy Pro’s ‘lead speech and language therapist’, ensuring our best practice delivery of speech and language therapy through clinical supervision.

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Jennifer Nelson, occupational therapist

For more than a decade, Therapy Pro Brisbane team member Jennifer (Jen) Nelson has drawn inspiration from the people she’s worked alongside who have disabilities.

Jen is an occupational therapist, a practical professional whose focus is on helping her clients achieve their goals in daily tasks.

For an OT, that may be anything from bathing, dressing and eating to being more attentive in a classroom or getting into the driver’s seat of a car.

She is also a qualified sensory integration practitioner.

Jen has worked with children and adults in Queensland and the United Kingdom, in hospital, community, school and government agency settings.

She has particular experience with children and young people diagnosed on the autism spectrum or with intellectual impairment, working with them both at home and in school settings.

“I was drawn to a career helping people and swore I would continue for as long as I cared. I get a thrill, sense of joy, in seeing the difference an intervention—whether it’s a different strategy or technique or aid—makes to a person’s life,” Jen says.

“Every single client has different dreams and goals. What’s important to you is what becomes my focus.

“I particularly love children’s spunk—their stories, their attitude. Whether it’s managing a star jump or toileting, the look of achievement, the satisfaction on the client’s face, is gold!”

Jen is a James Cook University graduate with post-graduate certification from Ulster University.

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Dresden Serna, physiotherapist

Therapy Pro Brisbane team member Dresden Serna brings physiotherapy to the door of clients of all ages.

Dresden has extensive experience working with children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities, helping clients improve their postural control and movement. These, she says, are the building blocks of movement for function—including oral control, use of hands and for mobility.

She’s known for creative solutions, backed by evidence, that support clients to work towards their goals and enable functional treatment programs to be adapted into day to day situations.

Dresden can prescribe appropriate aids and equipment to maximise mobility, independence and quality of life too.

Dresden has spent much of the past 15 years focusing on early intervention, working with babies, toddlers and children aged under seven and their family care-givers.

“I am a piece in the puzzle but the family, and all who support and care for a child, complete the picture,” she says.

Dresden has helped many clients transition to significant milestones in their lives.

Originally from the Philippines, where she gained a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy, Dresden came to Australia in 1999 and undertook further professional training at the University of Queensland.

Dresden has delivered community-based physiotherapy for clients with disabilities since 2002.

As for her unusual first name, it is the name of a city in Germany– and somewhere that’s on her bucket list to visit.

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Jodie Dobson, paediatric occupational therapist

Jodie Dobson previously worked in her hometown of Toowoomba as Therapy Pro’s first specialist paediatric occupational therapist.

Occupational therapists are daily life specialists, supporting clients to ‘do’ more independently.

Jodie works specifically with children, helping them to develop their daily living tasks including dressing, toileting, bathing, exploring, eating, sitting, sleeping, going to school, making friends and playing.

“I love occupational therapy because it is about the everyday—helping individuals achieve more of the things they must do, need to do and want to do,” Jodie says.

“I help children build foundation skills for their daily activities.

“Play is up there as a need and a want because it’s through play that children learn so much about the world, other people and themselves.”

While Jodie is experienced in assessing and tailoring interventions for children who present with developmental delays and children who have physical or intellectual disabilities, her expertise is working children who have autism spectrum disorder and sensory processing difficulties and their families.

She understands that the world as she sees it is not the same for her young clients—it can be too loud, too cold, too prickly, too…much. Jodie helps families to understand their children and helps her young clients cope better with their challenges so that they can take part in activities to the best of their abilities.

Jodie gained her post-graduate certification in sensory integration from Ulster University while working in the United Kingdom, supporting children within the home and classroom.

She’s a University of Queensland graduate and has recently relocated to Brisbane.

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NDIS Therapy Services

Therapy Pro is a registered NDIS provider of therapy services. Find out about our client-centred approach to help you achieve your goals.

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Therapy for Children

Getting the right supports to children at the right time can make all the difference. Here’s where you start.

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Service Areas

Therapy Pro operates in Queensland, Northern NSW and Victoria. We’re mobile, our therapists meet you at home, school, a park – you name it!

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