At Communicate Speech Pathology we employ highly capable therapists who care deeply about their work and strive to go above and beyond for their clients. Each member of the team is chosen not only for their technical skills but also for their passionate commitment to improving the lives of people with communication disorders.
Our speech therapists are fully qualified professionals who have completed their training in Speech Pathology at Universities across Australia, UK, Europe and the USA. Each therapist is a Practising Member of Speech Pathology Australia and participates in their Professional Self-Regulation Program. At Communicate, we are dedicated to keeping our professional knowledge up to date so that we can provide the highest possible level of care to our clients.
The Management Team
EMILY JOSEPH – DIRECTOR / SPEECH PATHOLOGIST
Emily has worked with children and adults with Communication disorders for over 11 years. Trained at the University of Sydney, she has extensive experience and expertise in the area of special needs, in particular working with children and young adults with Autism, Asperger's Syndrome and Down Syndrome. Emily has worked in Europe and Australia in both public and private settings where she has developed an excellent reputation for her strong commitment to improving the lives of people with disabilities. Emily has treated hundreds of clients across Sydney and worked with and trained teaching staff in over 65 different day-care, pre-school and school settings. As a mother, Emily understands and appreciates the difficulties faced by many of our parents and provides an empathetic and supportive approach to empower them in every way possible throughout the therapy process. The mobility of the team provides a unique model of service delivery that allows clients to receive treatment in the comfort and familiarity of their school or home environment.
RACHAEL HALE - CLIENT RELATIONSHIP MANAGER
Rachael has been a practising Registered Nurse in Australia and overseas for 18 years. She joined the Communicate Speech Pathology team in early 2013. As the mother of two small children, Rachael understands the time pressures and complexities of family life and is dedicated to ensuring that clients are consistently satisfied with the service that they receive. She strives to establish productive relationships that meet the unique needs of each participant within the therapeutic process. Rachael’s role is to foster positive, nurturing and open relationships between families, clients and their therapists at Communicate Speech Pathology. She pays close attention to the working relationship of clients and therapists and encourages an on-going commitment to problem-solving, client satisfaction and feedback. Rachael is an approachable and compassionate member of the team at Communicate Speech Pathology, who is dedicated to great outcomes. She welcomes feedback throughout all stages of the process of intervention from assessment to discharge, and may be contacted at any time.
The Speech Pathology Team
NATALIE COLUSSI - WESTERN AND SOUTHERN SYDNEY
Natalie has a Master of Speech and Language Pathology with a Bachelor in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Macquarie University. She is a certified member of Speech Pathology Australia and has experience in the assessment and management of adults and children with varied communication and swallowing disorders. Natalie also has experience in working with children with complex communication needs and is trained in Key Word Sign. She is incredibly passionate about facilitating functional communication goals and tailoring therapy to suit each individual’s specific needs. Natalie has special interests in the areas of disability and aged care.
GEORGINA SMITH – INNER WEST, CITY AND EASTERN SUBURBS
A certified practicing member of Speech Pathology Australia, Georgina graduated as the Dean’s Scholar Medal Winner of her undergraduate degree in Speech Pathology at Sydney University. Georgina has over three years of experience in assessment and management of a wide range of communication and sensory disorders, developmental delays and acquired difficulties, including Phonological (speech-sound) difficulties, stuttering, Apraxia, and intellectual disabilities. A former copywriter and producer, Georgina is a compassionate and collaborative clinician who is committed to cutting-edge speech therapy practice and on-going research, training and professional development. Strengths focused, the principles of family-centred care, neuroplasticity and motor-learning inform and inspire all her work. Passionate about the community and disability sector, Georgina also has experience facilitating educational and transition plans, social-skills groups and school-readiness programs. Georgina has presented communication, play and literacy programs training to workplaces, schools, daycare and preschools from the inner-west to the south-west of Sydney. Georgina’s speech therapy sessions are always active and creative but first and foremost, therapeutic. Georgina strives to go above and beyond to make her client’s therapy engaging, effective, functional and relevant to individual communication and learning needs.
HAFIZ YUSOFF - INNER WEST AND EASTERN SUBURBS
Hafiz has a Bachelor's Degree in Speech Pathology from the University of Sydney and is also a certified member of Speech Pathology Australia. Hafiz is able to speak English, Malay and Bahasa Indonesia, fluently.
Hafiz has experience working with children and their families from different backgrounds, most notably spending time in Darwin working in a majority indigenous Primary School. He also has a passion for working alongside other professionals to help achieve the best possible outcome for his clients and demonstrates this when conducting workshops and educational training for nurses, teachers and special education support assistants.
Hafiz is a very friendly and welcoming Speech Pathologist who has broad experience working with both adult and children with speech, language, literacy, voice, fluency and swallowing concerns. He adopts a client and family-centred approach when establishing goals and conducting therapy.
SARAH O'CONNOR - EASTERN SUBURBS
Sarah received her Bachelor of Speech Pathology from the Australian Catholic University. Prior to completing her bachelor degree Sarah was studying to be a nurse which is where her interest in Speech Pathology commenced. During her Bachelors degree, she worked as a child care coordinator where she gained experience working with children with additional needs. Throughout her Bachelor degree Sarah gained experience working with paediatric clients with articulation disorders, language disorders, ASD, and dysfluency, as well as adult clients with communication and swallowing disorders after stroke and traumatic brain injury. As a Certified Practising Member of Speech Pathology Australia, Sarah enjoys working with clients and their families employing functional intervention that aims to improve quality of life.
JESSIE HAWKE – PARRAMATTA, NORTH WEST AND WESTERN SUBURBS
Jessie graduated with honours from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Speech Pathology. During her studies, she gained extensive experience working rurally with indigenous children with a variety of speech and language disorders. As part of her undergraduate degree, she also gained experience working with a broad range of adult swallowing and communication disorders. This lead to her research on Progressive Communication disorders in the adult population. Jessie takes a client and family centred approach in regards to therapy. She works collaboratively with both clients and their families, in their home or school environment, to set functional goals to suit each individual client. Jessie is a dedicated therapist who seeks to get the best outcome for each client using Evidence-Based-Practice tailored to suit each individual client. Jessie is working closely with clients, families and teachers in the Western Suburbs of Sydney.
CINDY LIEW - UPPER AND LOWER NORTH SHORE AND NORTHERN BEACHES
Cindy graduated with a Master of Speech Language Pathology from the University of Sydney. She has experience working with both children and adults across the areas of speech, language, swallowing and alternative and augmentative communication. She has also worked with children and adults with disabilities, supporting complex communication needs with functional goals. She also has experience delivering speech pathology services in homes, schools, hospitals and community health clinics. She strongly believes in taking on a client-focused approach in therapy, recognising and building upon the strengths of each individual in order to help her clients achieve their full potential. She is also committed to building good relationships with her clients and bringing evidence-based treatments to them in their homes. Cindy is fluent in English and Mandarin.
ASHLEY YAP - LOWER NORTH SHORE, NORTH SHORE AND NORTHERN BEACHES
Ashley graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours).
She has clinical experience in working with adults in delivering assessment and management across areas of motor speech, language, cognitive communication and swallowing.
She also has experience working with paediatric clients across the educational lifespan in mainstream and special school educational settings, across areas of speech, language, fluency, literacy and multimodal communication. Ashley is passionate about undertaking a collaborative, holistic and individualised approach to therapy, in order to work towards ensuing the best possible therapy outcomes. Ashley is a multilingual therapist who is proficient in English, Mandarin, and Malay.
MELISSA NG - NORTH WEST AND WESTERN SUBURBS
Melissa is a certified practising member of Speech Pathology Australia who graduated with a Masters of Speech and Language Pathology at the University of Sydney. She is also trained in Key Word Sign and Voicecraft techniques. With a passion for working with both children and adults, Melissa finds great joy in working collaboratively with her clients to provide them with quality, evidence-based care. Melissa has gained experience in providing assessment and therapy to children and adults with speech, language, literacy, swallowing, voice and stuttering concerns. She has also provided group-based language and literacy therapy and parent training for parents of children with a disability. Melissa also has previous experience as a Cerebral Palsy Alliance 'transition to work' volunteer, helping to improve the self-confidence and independence of young adults with a range of intellectual, physical and behavioural disabilities. Melissa is always finding ways to make therapy enjoyable, motivating and most of all functional to every individual's needs.
ZOE BENDALL - NORTH WEST AND WESTERN SUBURBS
Zoe received her degree from the University of Queensland’s Master’s program in Speech and Language Pathology. She has also completed a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at Griffith University. Zoe has a special interest in school-aged and adult communication fostered by her experience working with children and adults in the areas of speech, language, literacy, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and swallowing. She has applied her knowledge and skills in these areas to provide services in a range of settings, including acute and rehabilitative hospitals, schools, community health and private clinics.
Zoe is a driven and empathic clinician who is dedicated to empowering children and adults with complex communication needs. As a certified practising member of Speech Pathology Australia, Zoe is committed to providing evidence-based speech pathology services, tailored to the individual strengths, needs and interests of her clients. She has completed additional training in Hanen: It Takes Two to Talk, and the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and is committed to ongoing professional development. Zoe strongly believes that therapy should be both functional and engaging, and that a strong working relationship with clients and their carers is necessary for achieving the best outcomes. Zoe aims to continue providing quality speech pathology services and a warm and supportive learning environment for her clients across Fairfield and the Greater Western Suburbs.
MICA PASAPORTE - NORTH WEST AND WESTERN SUBURBS
Mica graduated with a Bachelor of Speech Pathology from the Australian Catholic University. During her studies and clinical placements, Mica has gained experience working with both children and adults who present with a variety of communication and/or swallowing disorders. Mica is passionate about making a difference in the community, and believes that working closely with the client is essential in achieving goals. Mica continually takes a client-centred approach when working with clients, ensuring that therapy sessions are functional, meaningful and fun. Using an evidence-based approach, she is able to create unique goals that are specifically tailored to the client and their needs. Mica's confident and approachable demeanour enables her to develop strong relationships with clients, families and teachers, whereby a sense of trust and collaboration is established. Mica enjoys learning new things from clients and their support network, to further develop her own clinical knowledge and skills.
JOYCE ABIGAYLE (ABI) KO - CANBERRA
Abi graduated from the University of Melbourne, with a Masters of Speech Pathology. She has also completed a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) at Ateneo de Davao University, Philippines where she graduated Summa cum Laude. Abi has had experience working with both children and adults in one-on-one and group settings in the areas of speech, language, social skills, literacy, swallowing, voice, cognitive-communication and neurological disorders. Her Master’s thesis, Word-Finding Difficulty in the Discourse of Individuals with Logopenic and Semantic Variants of Primary Progressive Aphasia, was presented at the 2017 national Speech Pathology Australia convention in Sydney. Abi has also worked with children in the Philippines to improve their language skills. She has an interest in the field of multilingualism, and is fluent in Tagalog and Bisaya, as well as conversant in Mandarin.
Abi is passionate about working collaboratively with clients and carers; helping them attain functional goals supported by good evidence base and delivering quality therapy that clients can enjoy and be motivated by.
ELLIE HOUSE - CANBERRA
Ellie joined the Communicate team in January 2017 as a Graduate with a Master of Speech Pathology and Bachelor of Music from the University of Melbourne. She has also qualified in the Lidcombe Program for gold standard stuttering intervention and is trained in Key Word Sign. Ellie has extensive experience working with people with a disability and has previously worked as a disability carer. She is a Certified Practising Member of Speech Pathology Australia and recently completed a research paper titled: Communication Journey and Language Outcomes in Usher Syndrome Following Cochlear Implantation. Ellie has practical experience conducting assessments and delivering therapy for a wide range of ages from young children through to the elderly, covering speech, language, literacy, cognition, swallowing and voice. She has also provided group based programs across pre-schools and schools. Ellie uses her flexibility and creativity to tune in to patient needs enabling her to effectively engage with clients. She is committed to delivering a high standard of therapy in an engaging and functional manner to achieve maximum individual outcomes.
FIONA MACLEAN – CANBERRA
Fiona has a Master of Speech and Language Pathology from Macquarie University, and a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science (Psychology) with Honours from the Australian National University. As a Certified Practising Member of Speech Pathology Australia, Fiona is committed to delivering quality, evidence-based treatment to all her clients. Fiona has broad experience working with children through to adults for speech, language, literacy, stuttering, voice and swallowing concerns. She has also delivered group-based language therapy, and conducting educative workshops for other health professionals. Fiona is passionate about working with people with complex communication needs, and allowing them to express their personality and access their human right to communication. Most of all, she is thrilled to be able to deliver meaningful, community-based therapy in her hometown of Canberra.
VALERIE ANG - NEWCASTLE
Valerie joined our team in 2017 bringing along her passion and dedication to the field of speech pathology after completing two Speech Pathology degrees. Valerie initially worked with a broad range of paediatric and geriatric population of people with disabilities for three years in the Philippines in an internationally-accredited and Mayo Clinic-affiliated acute and rehabilitation hospital working with both inpatient and outpatient clients across the lifespan, and in a special education school working with children and adolescents with special needs. Seeking to further consolidate her skills and expand and update her knowledge in speech pathology, she returned to study and graduated from the University of Newcastle. Her Honours (Class I) thesis was on dysphagia management in acute stroke as reflected in speech pathology documentation in medical records. Valerie has worked to be an effective and efficient (and flexible!) team player in undergraduate placements and then on completion of her degrees, working in the vastly different cultures of the Philippines and Australia. Valerie is adept in screening, assessment, therapy, and total patient care utilizing principles of evidence based practice. While an undergraduate at UoN, Valerie also found time to complete a Certificate III in Disability. She is dedicated to providing speech pathology services to help empower clients with communication difficulties in the Newcastle area to become happy, integrated and productive members of society.
TANYA PRICE - INNER WEST, WESTERN SUBURBS AND WOLLONGONG
Tanya has a Master of Speech Language Pathology from the University of Sydney, and a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) with Honours from the Australian National University. Tanya's Honours project titled Parent-Child Interaction during Play: The Social Context of Children's Language Development investigated language development and play in young children, and this led to work as a research assistant on various research projects on children's language and speech development. During her Masters degree, she enjoyed working with a range of paediatric clients including children with language disorders, apraxia of speech, phonological difficulties and autism. She also gained experience working with adult clients with communication and swallowing disorders after stroke and brain injury. As a Certified Practising Member of Speech Pathology Australia, she is committed to delivering functional and evidence-based intervention. She enjoys working with clients to bring about the best outcomes possible through a collaborative approach involving them and their families.
CLAIRE GAN - INNER WEST AND SUTHERLAND SHIRE
Claire graduated from the University of Sydney with a Master of Speech Language Pathology. She has experience working with children in the areas of speech, language, stuttering, literacy and social skills. She has also provided assessment and treatment to adults with various communication and swallowing disorders. Claire is passionate about working with both children and adults with complex communication needs to empower them to reach their fullest potential. She takes on a family-centred approach, and works closely with caregivers, teachers and other healthcare professionals to develop relevant and functional goals for her clients. She has conducted training sessions for caregivers to equip them with the necessary skills to support clients in the therapy process. She strongly believes that therapy should be an enjoyable process for the clients to engage and motivate them to achieve the best outcomes. She develops individualised therapy programs to suit the needs as well as interests of each client. Claire is a bilingual therapist who is proficient in both English and Mandarin.
ELLIE GLEESON - HILLS AND INNER WEST
Ellie is a graduate of The University of Sydney’s Masters Program in Speech and Language Pathology and also holds a Bachelor of Psychology from Newberry College, South Carolina, USA. Ellie holds Certified Practising Speech Pathologist status and is qualified to deliver assessment and therapy in the SOS Approach to Feeding. Ellie has experience working in a non-government organisation in the disability sector, in particular working with children and adolescents diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. During her Masters degree she delivered assessment and therapy to clients of a range of ages and disorders including speech and language, social communication, stuttering and swallowing disorders. Ellie is passionate about supporting clients across the settings where they live, work and play and adopting a very functional approach to therapy. She believes in building upon the unique strengths and experiences of her client’s to maximise therapy outcomes. Ellie hopes to continue to make a difference in the lives of her clients and their families.
The Administrative Team
EMMA DRINAN - INTAKE SPECIALIST
Emma has been with Communicate Speech Pathology since September 2015 as one of our two intake specialists. She graduated from Macquarie University with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Linguistics and Italian Studies before spending a number of years in a management position. She has also spent time volunteering in schools teaching English both overseas and in Australia and is sensitive of cultural differences and language barriers. She is currently completing a Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours) at the University of Newcastle and is very much looking forward to graduating in mid 2019. Although interested in all aspects of speech pathology, Emma has always had a particular interest in alternate communication methods and aphasia. Emma is available to chat about any enquiries you may have about speech pathology, funding for therapy (including NDIS) or to organise an appointment with the therapist who best suits your needs.
KATE FALKENBERG – INTAKE SPECIALIST
PETER BARBARLICH – ACCOUNTS MANAGER
For more information on being part of our team, please contact us on 02 9328 3444 or via our contact form.