Elspeth Froude

Professor Elspeth Froude

Professor Elspeth Froude is the Professor of Occupational Therapy and National Head of School Allied Health responsible for the four disciplines represented in the school, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Social Work and Speech Pathology. Elspeth is Professor of Occupational Therapy and was, until recently the Head of Discipline and National Course Coordinator for occupational therapy. Elspeth was responsible for establishing the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy degree on the North Sydney campus. Elspeth is also serving a second term as Academic elected member of Senate.

Professor Froude also serves the community outside the university. Elspeth was the Chair of the Scientific Program Committee for the recent World Federation of Occupational Therapy Congress held in Paris (2022) and will continue in this role for the 2026 conference in Bangkok. Elspeth is the past Vice President of ICAN, the International Cognitive Approaches Network and continues as a committee member on the Networking and Mentorship Committee. Elspeth is also a committee member of Developmental Coordination Disorder Australia https://dcdaustralia.org.au/.

Elspeth continues to educate clinicians and the public about Cognitive Orientation to daily Occupational Performance Approach (CO-OP), the recommended evidence-based intervention to achieve participation and engagement in daily life for children with developmental coordination disorder and other populations across the lifespan.

Elspeth's research interests are in the area of working with children, cerebral palsy, autism, developmental coordination disorder and knowledge translation. Elspeth has also researched in the area of scholarship of learning and teaching in simulated learning.

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Laura Miller

Professor Laura Miller

Professor Laura Miller is an occupational therapist with clinical experience in paediatrics and health and disability services models and management. Following the completion of her bachelor's degree with Honours in Occupational Therapy in Western Australia, Laura worked as an occupational therapist for children with neurological and developmental disorders with Rocky Bay Inc. and The Cerebral Palsy Association of Western Australia (WA). Laura was then appointed Manager of Early Intervention Services with the Autism Association of WA where she coordinated early intervention services for children with Autism and their families. Following this, Laura moved overseas to gain international experience in paediatric rehabilitation working with children and families from culturally and linguistically diverse populations, neurodevelopmental disability, and private practice. Whilst working in London, Laura completed a Master of Health Services Management (with Distinction) through Curtin University WA. On return to Australia, Laura commenced a teaching position at Edith Cowan University WA, lecturing in Paediatrics and Neurological Rehabilitation and was Coordinator of Princess Margaret Hospital Occupational Therapy Services. In 2011, Laura moved to Brisbane to commence a doctoral degree at Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research Centre. Laura was awarded an NHMRC Allied Health Postgraduate Scholarship and a University of Queensland Research Scholarship to complete her doctoral studies. Laura's PhD focussed on investigating and evaluating in a randomized trial the impact of mastery motivation on occupational performance outcomes following upper limb intervention for school-aged children with congenital hemiplegia. Laura's current research interests are in family empowerment and engagement; family centred service; participation and inclusion; consumer engagement and codesign; and culturally safe practice with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and culturally and linguistically diverse families. Laura has secured over 8 million AUD in competitive funding for projects both in Australia and overseas and is committed to research that focuses on engagement and impact.

Currently, Laura is the Chief Investigator on an international, multidisciplinary and multiorganisation program of research called ENVISAGE: Enabling Visions and Growing Expectations. ENVISAGE is a validated peer support program for caregivers raising children with developmental concerns or disability. ENVISAGE comprises four programs: ENVISAGE Families, ENVISAGE Service Providers; ENVISAGE First Peoples and ENVISAGE International. ENVISAGE aims to empower caregivers raising children with developmental concerns or disability, and the service providers they engage with, to take a strengths-based, future-focused approach to their child and family. To find out more about the ENVISAGE program and research and/or implementation opportunities please visit our website https://envisage.community/ or connect with Laura directly via email.

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Margaret Wallen

Associate Professor Margaret Wallen

Dr Margaret Wallen is Associate Professor in Occupational Therapy at the North Sydney Campus. She has a particular interest in optimising outcomes for people with cerebral palsy. Her research efforts have largely been focused in the field of cerebral palsy. She is also interested in outcome measurement, evidence-based practice and knowledge translation. Her research has included upper Iimb interventions in infants and children with cerebral palsy including constraint-induced movement therapy, bimanual interventions, wrist/hand orthoses and effects of occupational therapy and Botulinum toxin-A injections. She is a member of the Eyes on Communication Research Group to identify and evaluate best practice implementation of eye-gaze control technology for enhancing participation and communication of people with cerebral palsy with significant disability. Eyes of Communication recently published clinical guidelines to drive best practice in this field and is continuing with knowledge translation effort to drive implementation of the guidelines in practice.

Dr Wallen is passionate about consumer involvement in research and was honoured with a Churchill Fellowship which enabled her to harness the knowledge and expertise of eminent international research centres respected for their partnership with consumers and apply the learnings to cerebral palsy research locally. She led research identifying ways to involve children with cerebral palsy and their families as research partners and leads projects to evaluate outcomes of consumer involvement.

Dr Wallen is a chief investigator in CP-Achieve, a research program focused on the physical and mental health and community participation of youth and young adults with cerebral palsy. This is a five-year NHMRC-funded Centre for Research Excellence: CP-Achieve - Australian Centre for Health, Independence, Economic Participation and Value Enhanced Care for adolescents and young adults with cerebral palsy. She leads the embedded consumer involvement theme.

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Associate Professor Loretta Sheppard

Loretta Sheppard is Head of Discipline for Occupational Therapy at Australian Catholic University. Based at ACU’s Melbourne campus, Loretta’s research has focused on youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their preparation for participation in everyday adult life. Current research includes a four-year NDIA funded project with industry partner Onemda's Centre for Research and Innovation titled 'Breaking out of Silos: Collaborating for Employment Outcomes for Youth with Disabilities'. The project is in its final year developing, implementing and evaluating a co-designed interagency collaborative service model to support youth with disabilities into employment by identifying environmental, personnel, and practice factors impacting social and economic participation. It builds on Loretta’s previous research exploring goal setting, self-determination, environmentally focused interventions such as Project TEAM, and school-based transition programs for youth with disabilities.

Loretta has been at ACU since 2012 when the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy commenced in Melbourne. She has held roles as Course Coordinator and National Professional Practice Lead and was co-investigator on a large-scale national RCT investigating the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of early years’ simulated placement compared to traditional placement. She is co-chair of the Occupational Therapy Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Curriculum Framework Implementation Working Group which works closely with key Cultural Mentors to describe mentor roles, increase the presence and voice of First Peoples within the occupational therapy curriculum, and oversee First Nations’ content in the program. She was part of the occupational therapy leadership team who received the ACU VC Award for the Spirit of Reconciliation in 2020, has led or co-led a series of teaching development grants related to First Nations curriculum, and was awarded a Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2021.

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Elisa Yule

Associate Professor Elisa Yule

Dr Elisa Yule is the Deputy Head of School, Allied Health (NSW) and an occupational therapist with extensive experience in mental health and international and community development. Elisa is committed to preparing students for successful careers in contemporary mental health services. This is reflected in her teaching and research initiatives which focus on co-producing mental health curricula with consumers to support occupational therapy student development of recovery-oriented capabilities, as well as exploring methods for increasing consumer involvement in the design, delivery, and evaluation of mental health services. Elisa's research interests also include asset-based approaches to support the participation in community of people experiencing disadvantage. She has experience in qualitative and mixed-methods research.

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Dr Helen Badge

Dr Badge is a Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at Australian Catholic University, a Senior Project Manager at UNSW Sydney Brain Centre and an honorary Clinical Research Fellow with South Western Emergency Research Institute. Dr Badge's clinical expertise as an occupational therapist focused on stroke and brain injury inpatient care and community rehabilitation. She is an early career health services and clinical researcher although already has a track record of successful research & project management for complex multi-centre research projects in aged care, dementia, pre-hospital and acute stroke care, brain injury rehabilitation, intensive care, and orthopaedic surgery. Dr Badge completed her PhD in 2022 and explored compliance with evidence based clinical guidelines in joint replacement surgery. She has achieved competitive grants totalling $1,111,452 and is a CI for key projects including (1) Empowering the Care Workforce in urban, regional and remote areas of Queensland, as part of a 28-member Aged Care Workforce Alliance led by ACU, (2) An NHMRC CRE grant that aims to generate new knowledge of consumer product safety risks for older Australians to inform contemporary product safety information and injury prevention priorities. She has strong networks with several ACU partner organisations including Catholic HealthCare who she works with to support research to explore meaningful activities for people living with dementia in residential aged care and an interprofessional model of community allied health services.

Dr Badge has considerable expertise in experience-based co-design and consumer consultation with people with neurological conditions including stroke and people who are blind or have vision loss. In In conjunction with the research team, the Multicultural Health and Public Health units and community organisations she is co-leading consultation with CALD communities in South West Sydney Local Health District to increase the impact of a research program exploring risk factors for stroke, access to and outcomes of stroke care for Pacific Islander communities, the Vietnamese community and First Nations peoples. She is an active supervisor for undergraduate honours and masters by coursework research and is an associated supervisor for higher research degree candidates at ACU.

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Liana Cahill

Dr Liana Cahill

I have a particular interest in adult neurological rehabilitation and methods to increase the use of evidence-based practice in this field. My PhD research has focused on knowledge translation in stroke rehabilitation and involved the publication of a Cochrane review on implementation interventions in stroke rehabilitation. My research has investigated strategies to increase evidence use by occupational therapists and physiotherapists in upper limb somatosensory rehabilitation with stroke survivors. I have used both quantitative and qualitative approaches, along with implementation theories, to explore knowledge translation issues. In addition to my PhD studies, I have been involved in research exploring the role of consumers in enhancing evidence uptake by healthcare professionals.

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Dr Ros Harrington

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Dr Susan Darzins

Dr Susan Darzins is a senior lecturer in occupational therapy, she has a particular interest in research focused on occupational therapy interventions designed to enhance adults' health, sense of wellbeing and participation in their life situations. Her research has used quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods focused on validity of assessments and participation-related outcome measures relevant to occupational therapy practice and measurement of the impact of occupational therapy services in inpatient health care settings.

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Claire Lynch

Dr Claire Lynch

Dr Claire Lynch is a Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at the School of Allied Health. She is actively involved in both research and teaching.

Dr Claire Lynch graduated with a Bachelor of Honours Degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. She completed her Doctorate of Clinical Sciences in Occupational Therapy at La Trobe University, Melbourne. Dr Lynch has worked clinically in community health, acute care and in a specialised renal service, predominantly with the adult population.

Dr Lynch's initial research focus was on understanding the perspective of occupational therapists in addressing sexuality from an occupational perspective. More recently, she has extended her research to encompass four research priority areas of sexual health research - Consumer Engagement; Student and Healthcare Professionals Education; Product Design/Assistive Technology and Outcome Measures. A primary goal of her research is to consider sexuality from these multiple lenses and ensure sexuality is considered for everyone and is implemented effectively across all areas of practice.

Dr Lynch has presented to international, national and local audiences through both invited and accepted presentations. She has research collaborations worldwide.

Dr Lynch is an accredited HDR Supervisor (provisional) and is particularly interested in projects related to sexuality, sexual health, well-being, occupational therapy, outcome measures, disability, and older adults. She has predominantly qualitative research methods.

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Benita Powrie

Dr Benita Powrie

Dr Benita Powrie is a senior lecturer in occupational therapy and the course coordinator for the Brisbane campus.

Benita has over 25 years of experience in working with children, young people and families in Australia and the United Kingdom in clinical, leadership and management roles. She remains in touch with current practice through her roles as research lead for Children, Young People and Families Specialist Section of the Royal College of Occupational Therapy in the UK and as a member of "Mind the Gap", an international community of practice focused on implementing evidence-based occupational therapy for children and young people. Benita is co-leading a research project on current practice in occupational therapy in the UK.

Benita completed her PhD on the meaning of leisure to young people with complex physical disabilities and remains committed to promoting the importance of play and leisure in leading fulfilling lives. She also has strong interests in student education, interprofessional practice, service user involvement in service design and knowledge translation.

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Dr. Anna Cooper

Dr Anna Cooper is a paediatric occupational therapist with extensive clinical experience across a wide range of paediatric settings including the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, an international school in Frankfurt, Germany and more recently, working with babies and young children at The Cerebral Palsy Alliance in Sydney. Anna is passionate about evidence based practice and has completed her PhD in motor and functional outcomes of children after arterial ischaemic stroke. More recently, she has been exploring the impact of supports and services for families of premature and very sick babies.

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Belinda Deramore Denver

Dr Belinda Deramore Denver

Dr Belinda Deramore Denver is optimising outcomes for children and families in the field of childhood onset disability with specific interests in the field of cerebral palsy and the field of vision impairment. She recognises the importance of good measurement practices for both clinical and research outcomes, and her PhD focused on instrument design through development of the Measure of Early Vision Use (MEVU). She has experience in a range of quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods research. Current research is focused on further psychometric evaluation of MEVU and the development of evidence-based interventions for children with cerebral palsy and/or vision impairment.

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Dr Nicholas Flynn

Dr Nicholas Flynn is an occupational therapy lecturer in adult rehabilitation and research design. His research has focused on exploring the use and implementation of rehabilitation technology in routine clinical practice. His PhD specifically investigated the implementation of upper limb robotics for stroke survivors. He is also running projects exploring the clinical use of non-immersive virtual technology and interactive touchscreen platforms in the rehabilitation setting as well as the efficacy of student-led constraint induced movement programs. He continues to work clinically in the rehabilitation unit at the Mater Private Hospital (Brisbane) and has over 20 years of clinical experience specialising in adult physical rehabilitation.

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Mrs Melissa Aguey-Zinsou

Mrs Melissa Aguey-Zinsou is an occupational therapist with extensive experience working in a variety of roles in the field of mental health. Her research interests are consumer participation, strengths-based approaches, the mental health workforce and occupation focused interventions, including interventions to support people with mental health issues to find and keep work.

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Cheryl Kotzur

Mrs Cheryl Kotzur

Mrs Cheryl Kotzur is a registered occupational therapist with extensive experience working in community practice both in Australia and the United Kingdom. Her current research includes work into consumer participation, therapeutic groups, community-dwellers with acquired brain injury, and student-led group programs.

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Alexandra Logan

Ms Alexandra Logan

Ms Alexandra Logan is a senior Lecturer with a professional practice background in mental health, specifically assertive outreach service delivery and primary care. Her research areas include functional assessment tools for people with low prevalence mental health disorders. More recently. Alexandra has expanded her research and scholarship to include a focus on consumer (health service user) involvement in health professional higher education, resulting in peer reviewed publications and national conference presentations.

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Wendy Millgate

Ms Wendy Millgate

Wendy joined the school of allied health, bachelor of occupational therapy program in 2016 as a lecturer in occupational therapy. Wendy is the professional practice coordinator for the Brisbane campus.

Wendy graduated as an occupational therapist in 1997 from the University of Queensland and has worked in hospital and acute settings for government and non-government agencies. Wendy is passionate about assistive technology, home modifications, rural, regional and remote services, indigenous health, working with adults and the older person and working with students with diverse learning needs.

Wendy has further qualifications in driving assessment and rehabilitation, e-healthcare has a Masters in business administration and a graduate certificate in higher education.

Wendy is currently undertaking her PhD investigating the student experience of failing a professional practice experience.

Wendy is an experienced academic with responsibility for developing and leading curricula updates and materials, team-based learning, as well as blended learning (face-to-face and online) study units. She has supervised Honours level research students.

Wendy's teaching has focused on professional practice, ageing, participation and health for older persons assessment and measurement in occupational therapy clinical counselling and groupwork, and assistive technologies.

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Ms Jennifer O'Brien

Ms Jennifer O'Brien is a lecturer in occupational therapy and mental health occupational therapist. Jennifer is a cognitive analytical therapy practitioner and supervisor trained in expressive and creative art therapies and trauma-informed yoga.

Jennifer's research areas include co-design for mental health services, culturally responsive practice, and relational approaches to therapy. Her current research studies are focused on developing complementary yoga group programs for eating disorder recovery. A clinical trial is currently underway that will develop and evaluate a pilot therapeutic group yoga program using participatory research methods.

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Natalie Roche

Ms Natalie Roche

Natalie Roche is a lecturer in occupational therapy and occupational therapist with extensive experience working in Australia and Internationally in community palliative care and vocational rehabilitation.

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Dr Lauren Christie

Dr Lauren Christie is an occupational therapist, early career researcher, clinical fellow of Australian Catholic University and Senior Research Fellow of Allied Health at St Vincent's Health Network Sydney where she leads the Allied Health Research Unit. Dr Christie is a practicing occupational therapist with over 15 years clinical experience in neurological rehabilitation in Australia and the United Kingdom and is regularly invited to provide training in evidence-based stroke rehabilitation and knowledge translation to clinicians in Australia and internationally. In her role at St Vincent's Allied Health Research Unit, she supports allied health clinicians to engage in embedded clinical research, enhancing research capacity on campus.

Her program of research focuses on the implementation of evidence-based interventions across the continuum of stroke and acquired brain injury recovery to enhance equity of access to evidence based, high quality care and rehabilitation.

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