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Our Team

Speech Pathologists Occupational Therapists Psychologists Social Workers Special Education
Irabina has a team of more than 40 autism professionals who are experts in assisting families and individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder. Different individuals and families need different types of support in different areas. The range of specialist experts with complementary skills that we have on staff means you get integrated support and assistance. We have Speech Pathologists with in-depth knowledge of the physical side of communication and the skills required for effective interaction to build the ability to communicate. We have Occupational Therapists with specialist knowledge of the micro skills necessary to perform every day activities. They use hands on activities and play to develop the physical and sensory processing skills necessary for day-to-day living, from toileting and eating to learning and communication. We have Psychologists with expertise in an individual’s thoughts, feelings and social behaviour. They work with individuals to help them manage problems like anxiety, sensory difficulty and communication. They also work with families to help them understand what’s happening for the individual and to develop more effective behaviour management programs. We have Social Workers on our team to support families in accessing the various and complex services they encounter on their journey through Autism Spectrum Disorder, including interactions with other support services and government agencies. Our Social Workers are also expert in Carer Support for the families caring for individuals on the Autism Spectrum. We have Special Education Teachers and Education Assistants who make learning new skills exciting and fun for children – and their families. They work within Irabina, and also in conjunction with mainstream schools and kindergartens to help those on the Autism Spectrum to interact with the world around them.

Our Staff of Autism Professionals

bernaali ELLA WINTHROPE – Is a Speech Pathologist at Irabina. She studied a Bachelor of Health Science/Masters of Speech Pathology at La Trobe University. Ella is passionate about working with children in an Early Intervention setting. Over the past five years Ella has been involved in various voluntary organisations which has incorporated running programs for children, including children with special needs.Ella loves working as part of a large team of experienced clinicians and is motivated by providing holistic and individualised care for her clients and their families.Ella’s passion for holistic healthcare is evident in her personal life as well, she enjoys cooking nutritious food, yoga, running, reading and spending a lot of time with her family and friends.
bernaali JO CROSBIE – Jo is a Provisional Psychologist in the Family Support Team at Irabina which provides a range of clinical services including behaviour management, early intervention and assessments. Jo has a strong background in Training and Development and Human Resources where she worked as an Organisational Psychologist in the Communications Industry.Jo has facilitated a number of Education programs at Irabina including Stepping into School, Parent Support Groups and Stepping Stones Triple P. Jo has delivered a range of presentations to external organisations such as Local Councils, Child Care Conferences and Association of Nurse Practitioners.   Jo is working towards fidelity for the Early Start Denver Model.Jo enjoys assisting families to learn about their child’s needs and strengths and to advocate for their children, developing connections with pre-school, child care and school. As a mother of three, Jo understands the importance of working in partnership with the community – the team extends beyond the clinic and home.Jo loves spending time with her active family, travelling, watching her kids participate in their sports and activities, and she has a passion (obsession) for photography.
bernaali JOSE MOLINA – Jose is a Clinical Psychologist and Member of the Australian Psychological Society. Jose holds a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Jose is also a certified therapist for the Early Start Denver Model.Jose is Team Leader of the Family Support Services team, and also provides clinical services including assessments, early intervention, child psychology, and counselling.Jose’s professional interests are neurodevelopmental disorders and early intervention. Jose also enjoys spending time with his family hiking and travelling across Australia.
bernaali KELLY PEARCE – Kelly is a member of the vibrant and enthusiastic Speech Pathology Team at Irabina. Previously a primary school teacher Kelly taught in London for four years before returning to Australia to study a Master of Speech Pathology.As a Speech Pathologist Kelly has worked in schools and in early intervention services. Kelly has trained families in the Hanen Program ‘It Takes Two to Talk’ and has also trained in the Hanen ‘More than Words’ Program (specifically for children with ASD). Working with children who have feeding concerns and their family is one of her passions and has attended a range of feeding courses including SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) approach to feeding.Kelly is also trained in Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), an alternative or augmentative form of communication. Kelly believes early intervention for children is very important and is currently undertaking training in the Early Start Denver Model. Outside of work Kelly enjoys spending time with family and friends, travelling, eating and reading.
bernaali RACHEL SHNIDER – Rachel has come to Irabina with a Bachelor of Psychological Science and a Master of Occupational Therapy from La Trobe University. She enjoys working in individual and group settings at Irabina to assist families achieve their goals.Rachel has worked as a youth volunteer in her community for 3 years, which enabled her to facilitate group programs with children, and this inspired her to work in paediatric settings.She has previously worked as a classroom assistant developing creative programs to assist children in the development of their fine motor skills. She also has worked as a swimming teacher for 5 years with children of all ages and abilities. She is excited to integrate her passion for swimming into Irabina’s aquatic OT program.
bernaali VICTORIA HENNESSY – Victoria joined the team at Irabina with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy from Deakin University and has been working in paediatrics for 5 years. Prior to working at Irabina, Victoria worked for the Education Department providing occupational therapy services to children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome and developmental delays.Victoria is passionate about supporting children with ASD and their families, not only through traditional occupational therapy services but also through aquatic therapy and recreational motor skills programs such as basketball.Victoria enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing basketball and travelling the world.
bernaali SARAH DONOGHUE – Sarah is a Program Coordinator and Speech Pathologist at Irabina Autism Services and a member of Speech Pathology Australia. She completed a Bachelor of Speech Pathology at La Trobe University and have since gone on to complete a post-graduate certificate in Sensory Integration at Ulster University (Northern Ireland). Prior to working at Irabina, Sarah spent 2.5 years working for Scope before travelling overseas and working as a speech pathologist firstly in the UK and then in Ireland. She has over 10 years experience working as part of multi-disciplinary teams providing services to children and adults with a wide range of disabilities including Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Cerebral Palsy, Prader-Willi Syndrome, global developmental delay, moderate and severe-profound intellectual disabilities and other various speech and language impairments. Sarah has completed training in Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), DIR/Floortime, Derbyshire Language Scheme (DLS) and key-word signing and have extensive experience implementing the TEACCH approach (an autism specific intervention) across a range of different settings. Her professional interests are ASD, intellectual disability and sensory integration and she strives to be a strong advocate for people with disabilities to ensure they are valued and active members of the community. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling, spending time with family and friends and sporting activities such as hiking, surfing and netball.
bernaali AMANDA DAVIES – Amanda has only recently joined the Irabina team. Amanda has a bachelor degree in psychiatric nursing and has over 15 years’ experience working with adults coping with mental health difficulties. More recently Amanda has obtained her certificate in Integration, concentrating more on the development of children. Amanda enjoys travelling and spending time with her husband and two boys.
Amanda Scicluna AMANDA SCICLUNA – Amanda is a Psychologist at Irabina. She holds a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology), Honours in Psychological Science, a Masters degree in Education and Developmental Psychology and has recently completed her PhD on the relationship between Ageing and Verbal Short-Term Memory in Redintegration from Australian Catholic University. Prior to Irabina, Amanda worked extensively in primary schools and secondary schools, and was a Research Fellow at the Parenting Research Centre for 5 years. Amanda has a keen passion for parenting and enjoys developing new strategies for parents to implement with their children. She is also passionate about working with children, especially in a play setting, and finds her clinical work very rewarding. Outside of Irabina, Amanda enjoys group personal training, shopping, going to the movies, colouring in, catching up with friends, and spending time with family and loved ones.
Chandni Manjee CHANDNI MANJEE – Chandni Manjee – is an Occupational Therapist at Irabina Autism Services. She completed a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at LaTrobe University in 2011.  Chandni has experience in pediatric private practice (home, community and school outreach) and has a passion for working with children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.  She loves to bring a ‘fun’ and ‘motivating’ component to her therapy sessions, incorporating the child’s interests and strengths to enable them to develop their skills and achieve their goals to become as independent as they can be. Chandni is committed to ongoing professional development to further and broaden her professional competencies and clinical expertise. Outside of work, Chandni has a keen interest in Classical Indian Dancing and choreographing Bollywood dances.
Tashina Kempthorne TASHINA KEMPTHORNE – Tash has been employed by Irabina as an Educational Assistant and aims to one day be a Special Education Teacher. Tash graduated from Year 12 at Mount Lilydale Mercy College in 2014 she then went on to take a “ gap year” and see some of the world. Since settling back in Melbourne Tash has started her Diploma in Children’s Services and has been trained as an ABA Therapist, she has also been on placement with Irabina twice over the past year. She is very passionate about working with children and in particular working with children with additional needs and their families. Tash enjoys spending time with her family and friends and most of all learning from new experiences.
Michelle Ellerbock MICHELLE ELLERBOCK – Michelle is a behavioural and educational therapist trained in ABA. Prior to Irabina she worked at a Child’s Psychology Clinic. She has helped many families shape behaviour by implementing individualised programs focussing on developing skills for specific needs and understands the importance of engaging with children to help reach their full potential whilst learning through fun. Michelle is excited to be apart of the Irabina team and to be working with individuals who express their uniqueness. In her spare time she enjoys walking her dogs, gardening in the vege patch, cooking and spending time with family and friends.
Revathi Sabapathi REVATHI SABAPATHI – Revathi has joined the Irabina Team with a bachelor degree in Occupational Therapy and she has 7 years of clinical experience in working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ADHD, learning Disability, Cerebral Palsy (CP), Down syndrome and developmental delays. She is certified in handwriting without tears which is a popular handwriting intervention programme. She is well trained and experienced in feeding interventions, sensory integration therapy, assistive and adaptive devices. Revathi is passionate to work with children with Special needs. She likes spending time with her family, swimming travelling around the world.
Virginia Cheng VIRGINIA CHENG – Virginia is a Speech Pathologist and a practising member of Speech Pathology Australia. She completed a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) degree and a Master of Speech and Language Pathology degree at The University of Sydney. Virginia has practised in New South Wales and in Victoria working with children and adults in the areas of receptive and expressive language, speech, fluency, voice, literacy and dysphagia. She has worked extensively with children who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Down Syndrome, global developmental delay and intellectual disability in a wide range of clinical settings including private clinics, at schools/kindergartens and at homes. Virginia speaks English and Cantonese. She enjoys travelling, cooking and eating.
Lesley Hollands LESLEY HOLLANDS – Lesley is a speech pathologist with over 30 years’ experience. She has just joined the Irabina team at Pakenham, where she will be working Tuesdays and Fridays. Lesley has worked in a variety of settings and is experienced in working with pre-school and school aged children. Lesley is originally from Wales but has lived in Gippsland for many years.
Rachel Eastwood RACHEL EASTWOOD – Rachel is a Speech Pathologist at Irabina and a member of Speech Pathology Australia. She has completed a Bachelor of Health Science/Master of Speech Pathology at La Trobe University. She has previous experience working in mainstream primary schools supporting children with communication deficits including ASD. Rachel enjoys working with families to empower them to be best able to support their child’s communication and development. She is passionate about tailoring intervention to best suit each individual child’s preferences and needs. She values the opportunity to not only support children but to also learn from them. Outside of work she enjoys cooking, reading, and hiking as well as spending quality time with family and friends.
Sara Lynn SARA-LYNN HIND – Sara-Lynn is a Speech Pathologist at Irabina and a certified member of Speech Pathology Australia. She completed her university studies in the UK and holds a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and a PG Dip in Speech and Language Therapy. Prior to joining the team at Irabina Sara-Lynn gained experience working in a variety of settings such as: private clinics, public hospitals, kinder centres, mainstream and specialist schools, within the UK, Australia and West Africa. She has extensive experience conducting Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnostic assessments and providing individualised therapy for children ranging in age from 18 months to 18 years. Sara-Lynn is passionate about working with children with Autism and believes in focusing on each child’s unique strengths to help them reach their communicative potential. Outside of work Sara-Lynn enjoys travelling, horse riding and hot yoga.
Elissa Ricchetti ELISSA RICCHETTI – Elissa is an Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) Level 1 therapist, Education and administration assistant at Irabina Cardinia. She has a Bachelor of psychological science and completed a postgraduate diploma of psychology. Elissa previously use to volunteer at the Cardinia site in the school readiness and social skills groups, which kick started my interest to work with children with autism spectrum disorder and wanting make a difference to the lives of the children and their families. She has experience working with children with Autism at an early intervention centre doing 1:1 intense behaviour therapy and also at a mainstream primary school, where she helped to integrate children with autism into a classroom. In her private time, Elissa likes unique food dining experiences, movies, long walks and spending time with family and friends.
Susan Douglas SUSAN DOUGLAS – Susan is a speech pathologist and member of Speech Pathology Australia. She completed a Master of Speech Pathology at the University of Melbourne, and has a PhD in Linguistics. Susan has a research background in language and communication development in children with ASD, and experience working with children in a range of volunteer settings in the community and in schools. She enjoys working as part of a multidisciplinary team, and she is very committed to supporting families to develop their child’s communication and language development through the provision of individualised intervention. When she is not at work, Susan enjoys Irish dancing, reading, and gardening as well as spending time with her family and friends.
Larney Lamers LARNEY LAMERS – Larney is a behaviour thereapist and education assistant at Irabina. She completed her Bachelor of Applied Science (Psyhology), followed by a Graduate Diploma in Psychology at Deakin University. Larney has been working and volunteering with children with ASD for the past 3 years. Larney plans to complete her masters in educational and developmental psychology and go on to working as a psychologist for children with ASD. In her spare time Larney enjoys spending time with her friends and travelling.