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Our team is passionate about working with families to provide them with the best evidence-based approaches in a highly supportive environment, to ensure children reach their full potential. Our team has a wealth of experience in working with children in the early years – particularly children with autism. 

The CliniKids therapy team is made up of qualified health professionals including Speech Pathologists, Psychologists and Occupational Therapists. Our therapy team is supported by a Clinical Services Manager, Operations Manager and a Client Support Team to help families navigate funding pathways and provides information to assist them while using our service. 

The clinical team works alongside internationally-renowned researchers at CliniKids to collaborate on research projects and translate interventions into clinical practice.

Professor Andrew Whitehouse

CliniKids Director 


Andrew Whitehouse is the Angela Wright Bennett Professor of Autism Research at Telethon Kids and University of Western Australia. He is Chief Research Officer of the Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC) and Adjunct Professor at Curtin University and Edith Cowan University. He has also been awarded Australia’s most prestigious scientific award, the Eureka Prize.

At the Telethon Kids Institute he leads a large team that use a wide range of methodologies to investigate the early identification and intervention of children with Autism Spectrum Conditions, including molecular genetics, neuroscience, endocrinology, behavioural experiments and clinical trials. Andrew has published over 150 peer-reviewed journal articles and attracted over $35 million in competitive research grants. He currently presents an internationally syndicated video series called ’60 Second Science”, which has been viewed by over 1 million people. He is an advisor to State and Commonwealth Governments on policies relating to children with Autism Spectrum Conditions, and he chaired the committee that generated Australia’s first national guideline for autism diagnosis.

Gemma Upson

CliniKids General Manager


Gemma is the General Manager of CliniKids, responsible for the strategic creation and development of CliniKids, along with the operational management. Gemma has extensive experience in running clinical services for all ages in private, public and research settings.

Through her previous role as Head of Clinical Services at Ear Science Institute, which she held for 12 years, she specialised in the niche audiology areas of hearing implants (including cochlear implants), vestibular, and paediatric diagnostic services.  Over her tenure this unit was established, developed and expanded to be the third largest hearing implant program in Australia and recognised worldwide for its clinical expertise and research.

Gemma holds a Bachelor of Science and a Masters in Audiology, both from University of Western Australia. Gemma holds an Adjunct Research Fellow position in the School of Surgery, University of Western Australia and is a member of the National Disability Services’ Clinical and Allied Health Subcommittee. She is passionate about leading and developing high performing teams and systems to deliver exceptional care to children and families in the health and disability industry.

Dr Katia Haines

Clinical Services Manager 


Katia is the Clinical Services Manager and is responsible for shaping the direction of the clinical services and supporting the highly qualified and experienced team of CliniKids clinicians. Katia combines her almost 20 years’ experience working with children with autism and their families with the most up to date clinical practices to provide high quality interventions that improve quality of life for the whole family system.

After identifying a need for a more holistic early intervention process that involves families in planning, implementation and review, Katia completed her Masters/PhD in Clinical Psychology and uses her therapeutic and research skills in her daily practice when working with children and families and when supporting her team.

Katia’s passion for empowering caregivers to support their child’s social, emotional and psychological development ensures that provision of family-focused support remains the focus of the CliniKids mission, and she is proud to be working with a team that share the same vision. 

Erica Fay

Administration and Events Manager


Erica is the Administration and Events Manager at CliniKids. Erica has extensive experience in research and higher education management at West Australian and international universities.

Erica holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Western Australia and her career to date had largely been focused within leadership and management in higher education. Erica's keen interest in psychology and research that makes a meaningful impact, led her to join the Autism Research team in 2017. CliniKids is in a particularly exciting phase with the merging of clinical practice and research. As Research Services Manager, Erica particularly enjoys facilitating the development of the resources and people that enable knowledge translation into action.

Sarah Pillar

Integration Project Manager


Sarah is the Integration Project Manager at CliniKids. Sarah has a Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Hons) from Edith Cowan University, and is a Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist. She is currently undertaking her PhD studies at the University of Western Australia. Sarah’s clinical work led her to a passion for working with children with Autism, particularly within early intervention.

Sarah joined the Autism research team in 2017, seeking to blend clinical knowledge with high quality research. Sarah has been involved with a number of research studies within the team, and has also worked clinically as a Speech Pathologist within the clinical service. Her career focus is to contribute to finding real-word, effective interventions to support families with children developing differently.

Leah Meehan

Operations Manager


Leah is the Operations Manager of CliniKids, responsible for ensuring high quality of care and services to CliniKids families and research participants. Leah’s role is to ensure that the clinic and its services operate within a framework of continuous improvement, with effective use of resources and an efficient administrative support teams supporting families and clinicians.

Leah is passionate about ensuring families have ease of access to services and information, and that operational processes at the Clinic enable this, removing challenges where possible and making the customer experience one that is both positive and enjoyable. 

Leah was with her previous organisation in the not-for-profit sector for almost a decade, and led service delivery to a very high standard, making significant and impactful changes in service models along the way. Leah holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Anthropology, and a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration. She brings with her a sincere interest in the customer experience, in helping people who are facing challenges and in ongoing and continuous business improvements that will contribute to social impact.

Amanda Lewis

Communications Specialist


Amanda is the Communications Specialist at CliniKids, responsible for all the marketing activities for the team.

Amanda is a qualified journalist with more than 20 years' experience in the communications industry. Most of this experience was obtained in WA's biggest and busiest newsroom at The West Australian newspaper. She has also worked as a media consultant at Curtin University and joined the Telethon Kids Insitute in 2017. Amanda joined the CliniKids team in early 2021. 


 Dr Gail Alvares

Postdoctoral Research Fellow


Gail completed a Bachelor of Psychology with first class honours and the University Medal at the University of Sydney in 2009. She was awarded a PhD(Medicine) at the Brain & Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney in 2015.

Gail has worked as a clinical research coordinator, facilitating projects investigating the effects of intranasal oxytocin to treat social impairments in a variety of psychiatric disorders, including youth with autism spectrum disorders. She joined the Autism Research Team in 2014 with a wide variety of interests related to autism research, including novel treatments and eye-tracking methods of assessment. 

As part of the Autism Research Team, Gail previously coordinated the Australian Autism Biobank, developed and tested an iPad game (‘Frankie and Friends’) for children with autism, and is currently leading a study of predictors of outcomes in adolescents and adults diagnosed on the WA Autism Register.

Dr Kiah Evans

Postdoctoral Research Fellow


Kiah is a Post Doctoral Fellow on our research team and also coordinates the Autism CRC project to develop Australia’s first national guideline for autism diagnosis

Prior to this, Kiah was a researcher within the Curtin Autism Research Group, where she was involved in evaluating the Specialist Peer Mentoring Program. Kiah holds an honours degree in occupational therapy (Curtin University), and completed her doctoral research on how working mothers and carers balance their multiple roles (Edith Cowan University). She has over ten years experiencing working as a lecturer, researcher and project manager within an academic setting, along with over five years clinical and managerial experience within the public and private work rehabilitation sector.

Georgia Cunningham

Clinical Lead, Services and Supports


Georgia is a Speech Pathologist with a passion for supporting people with a disability, in particular autism Spectrum Disorders.  In addition to her Speech Pathology qualification, she holds a Masters Degree in Autism Studies, during which she investigated inclusive education for students with Autism and the biggest predictors of successful inclusion in mainstream settings.

Georgia has a particular interest in complex communication, including the use of Augmentative and Alternative Communication systems for people with Autism across the lifespan. Georgia is accredited in a number of treatment approaches such as Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), Preschool Autism Communication Therapy (PACT), KONTAKT, Hanen programs, Triple P Stepping Stones and diagnostic tools such as the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2). In her role as Clinical Lead, Georgia co-leads and supports the clinical team and oversees the development of clinical activities. 


Marie Rodatz

Clinical Lead, Occupational Therapy


Marie is an Occupational Therapist with over 15 years’ experience working with children with Autism. She holds a Bachelor and Master in Occupational Therapy. For her Master degree, she researched the process of collaborative consultation between teachers and Occupational Therapists working with children with Autism.

Marie has gathered experience as an Occupational Therapist in Germany, Ireland, the USA and Australia. During her career Marie has been working with pre-school and school aged children with Autism and developmental delay.

She has presented at Occupational Therapy conferences and has presented a lecture on ‘Occupational Therapy and Autism’ to Occupational Therapy students in Ireland.  

Marie enjoys having fun with children in direct sessions and working collaboratively with parents throughout the process.  Marie has a particular interest in understanding sensory challenges children with Autism experience and assisting children in becoming independent with activities of daily living. 

Aria May

Clinical Lead, Speech Pathology


Aria is a specialist Speech Pathologist who has over 10 years’ experience working within paediatric community, school-based and hospital settings in Perth and in London. Aria has a passion for working in the disability sector, specifically in the area of autism. Aria works in a multidisciplinary framework and strives to empower families and schools to develop their capacity and skills to achieve best outcomes using a family centred holistic approach. Aria has worked with infants, children and young adults that have a range of developmental differences. Aria is trained in a number of approaches and assessment tools including iBASIS, the SCERTS® Model for Autism, Intensive Interaction, Hanen, Verve Child Interaction, JASPER, Specialist Infant Dysphagia Accreditation and autism diagnostics.  Aria has a specific interest in alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) supports, engaging families, advocacy for young people with disabilities and supporting relationships (including social skills) and emotional regulation for young people with autism. The best part of Aria’s work is supporting children and families achieve their goals and reach their full potential.

Abby Chee

Senior Clinical Psychologist


Abby is a Clinical Psychologist with an interest in working with children and their families. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) Honours from University of Western Australia and a Master of Psychology (Clinical) from Curtin University. She is a trained autism assessor, with experience in Applied Behavioural Analysis therapy, and has worked with many children with developmental delays. Her experience in working with children includes providing assessments and interventions in a variety of settings including Child Development Service, Multisystemic Therapy – Specialised CAMHS, and private autism service. Abby enjoys helping children with emotional and behavioural difficulties and helping parents to support their children’s development and mental health.  

Sally Grauaug

Senior Speech Pathologist


Sally is a specialist Speech Pathologist who is passionate about working with children with a range of abilities, including children with Autism. She has extensive experience in providing early intervention and school age services as part of multidisciplinary teams in Perth and London. Sally believes in supporting children to achieve meaningful and functional goals and prides herself in working in partnership with families to support children to reach their full potential.

Sally holds a Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Hons) from Curtin University, and is a Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist. Sally is trained in a range of approaches such as SCERTS, PACT, Hanen, Lego-Based Therapy, Intensive Interaction, PECS, Social Thinking and Positive Behaviour Support. She is committed to delivering services in innovative ways and providing evidence-based services to children and their families in Western Australia.

Fiona Ledger

Senior Speech Pathologist


Fiona is a certified practising speech pathologist who has many years of experience working with children within clinical and community settings. She has a passion for supporting families throughout their journey and has a strong focus on family centred practice. Fiona brings a strong knowledge base of developmental challenges and diagnostic skills and is very focused on providing support and intervention that can be delivered by the family across all environments, and not just in a clinical setting.

Fiona holds a Master of Speech Pathology, and a Bachelor Degree in Special Education. Fiona has specialist knowledge in the field of diagnostics, autism and developmental difficulties. She is trained in a range of programs including Hanen, DIR Floor Time, Social Thinking and PACT.

Fiona is passionate about facilitating an integrated approach to providing support to the whole family to meet their individualised goals.

Rebecca Eaton

Senior Clinical Psychologist


Rebecca is a Clinical Psychologist responsible for the provision of therapeutic services to children and families here at CliniKids.  She is skilled in providing family focused interventions to support children with autism with improving emotional regulation and has extensive experience in assisting families work through commonly presenting concerns such as anxiety, aggression or defiance. By developing a strong therapeutic alliance with children and families coupled with evidence-based practice Rebecca aims to develop therapeutic goals which are in collaboration with the family and aimed at improving quality of life and overall functioning.

Lucy Edwards

Senior Occupational Therapist


Lucy is a paediatric occupational therapist with over eight years clinical experience working with children, ranging from early intervention through to school age.

Lucy is passionate about working with children and families to improve children’s engagement and participation in meaningful life roles. Lucy aims to provide occupational therapy that is strengths-based and child and family-centred. 

Marisa Di Lorenzo

Senior Speech Pathologist


Marisa Di Lorenzo is a Speech Pathologist who has worked in the disability sector for over 15 years across a range of settings and age groups from early years to adulthood. She is passionate about delivering client and family-centred practice and has a special interest in the areas of early intervention, autism, augmentative and alternative communication and mealtime intervention.

Marisa trained and worked in London before moving to Perth. She is trained in a number of approaches including; Preschool Autism Communication Therapy (PACT), Hanen Programs, Intensive Interaction, DIR/Floortime, Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), SOS approach to feeding.

Claire Perrozzi

Speech Pathologist


Claire is a Speech Pathologist who has experience providing early intervention and school-aged services within clinic and community settings, as part of a multidisciplinary team. She has a passion for working in the disability sector, particularly in the area of early intervention. Claire believes in working collaboratively families to support, in order to support children to realise their potential and build meaningful relationships with people.   

Claire holds a Master of Speech Pathology from Curtin University and a Bachelor of Health Science from the University of Western Australia. Claire is trained in a range of programs included Hanen, DIR Floortime, Sounds Write, SOS Approach to Feeding and Paediatric Autism Communication Therapy (PACT).

Mei'en Lim

Clinical Psychologist


Mei’en is a Clinical Psychologist (PhD) with experience of working with children and adults across the lifespan. Prior to being part of the team at CliniKids, she spent over a decade conducting developmental assessments with 2 and 5 year olds born extremely premature and extremely low birthweight. She has also worked in the Child Development Service and in private sector. Mei’en fills her nerd cup when working with different research studies and enjoys working with a variety of presentations. She uses a person-centered framework in all therapy settings and is experienced in working systemically with families and parent-child dyads.

Dr Jess Reynolds

Senior Project Coordinator


As part of the Autism Research Team, Jess' research involves the use of EEG in young infants with a higher likelihood of receiving a diagnosis of autism to characterise brain development and assist in identification of imaging biomarkers that may predict a later diagnosis of autism or responsiveness to interventions.

Jess holds an honours degree in Science (UWA) and completed her doctoral research at the University of Western Australia on the neurological mechanisms associated with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Prior to joining the team, she undertook a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Calgary in the Developmental Neuroimaging Lab where her research was focused on brain development in early childhood and relationships with motor and reading development, as well as prenatal maternal factors, using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques.

Maryam Boutrus

Senior Project Officer


Maryam is a Senior Project Officer in the CliniKids Team working primarily on the CliniBank study. Maryam holds a double-major in psychology with first class honours and has completed her doctoral studies examining facial morphology in Autism Spectrum Conditions (University of Western Australia).

Maryam started with the team in 2015 as a PhD student working on the Australian Infant Communication and Engagement Study (AICES), and has since developed a keen enthusiasm for child health research.

Maryam is committed to contributing to positive outcomes for children and their families through rigorous and meaningful research.


Amy Deverell

Senior Project Officer


Amy is a Senior Project Officer for the CliniKids autism research team. In this role, Amy coordinates the day to day recruitment, coordination and scheduling of participants for various projects. Amy enjoys setting up processes and procedures to enable a practical delivery of complicated projects.

Amy has extensive experience in coordination having worked in various administrative roles for over 20 years. She was the Professional Practice Coordinator for Education students at the University of Western Australia for over 12 years. She worked with thousands of students studying to be Secondary, Primary or Early Childhood teachers by sourcing appropriate practical placements at various time points for each student cohort. Amy built and formed many mutually beneficial partnerships and liaised with Principals and Teachers within schools across Western Australia.

Amy has a passion for assisting individuals and families to contribute to research and in turn to help them to benefit from the many opportunities we have available.

Samantha Rivers

Senior Project Officer


Sam is a Senior Project Officer in the CliniKids Team working across various research projects. Sam holds a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) degree from the University of Johannesburg and a Master’s in Creative Writing from Kingston University, London.

She has nearly 20 years’ experience working in the community and in education with children and young adults in London and in Perth. Sam’s career experience generated her passionate interest in research being put into practice to facilitate effective early-intervention that will improve the lives of children with autism.

Sam feels privileged to work closely with children and their families as part of a team that endeavours, through excellence in research, to apply knowledge that will make a positive difference.

Debbie Eamer

Project Officer


Debbie graduated from Curtin University with a Bachelor of Psychology with Honours. Has previous experience within a school environment working as an Administrator and an Education Assistant, supporting children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Debbie Joined CliniKids in early 2020 with an interest in combining knowledge and practical experience, working across various research projects to help identify and improve outcomes for children with developmental disorders.

Storme-Louisa Will

Research Therapist


Storme-Louisa is a Research Therapist working on the Preschool Autism Therapy (PATH) study. Storme-Louisa has a passion for working with children and their families. For the last 5 years, Storme-Louisa has been working as a therapy assistant in group and individual therapy sessions, in centre-based, school-based and home environments with children diagnosed with Autism. 

Storme-Louisa is excited to be apart of the CliniKids team and looks forward to using her practical experience to assist in research to improve evidence-based therapies here in Western Australia.

Alena Clark

Project Manager


Alena is a Project Manager within the CliniKids team. In this role, Alena coordinates and oversees the day to day management of research projects. Alena holds a Bachelor of Health Science (BHSc) degree from the University of Western Australia.

Alena started with the team in 2012, and has worked on a range of clinical trials, looking at Fish Oil supplementation in children with Autism, ipad based therapy applications and other interventions.

Georgina Earl

Research Assistant/Project Officer


Georgina is a Research Assistant/Project Officer at CliniKids, working on research projects investigating the importance of development in the early years of life. Georgina holds a Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) in Neuroscience and Physiology, from the University of Western Australia. Georgina also brings clinical research experience to the team, having worked for the West Australian Sleep Disorders Research Institute on the WAVES study, investigating sleep apnoea and cardiovascular disease risk. She has a passion for better understanding neurodevelopment and factors that influence this process. Georgina is eager to use her experience to make a difference in the lives of children with developmental delays, as well as those that are typically developing. She is excited to contribute to a team that pursues research with a meaningful impact, which can be translated into clinical practice.

Briohny Dempsey

Project Officer


Briohny is a Project Officer at CliniKids working in paediatric research. Briohny has a Master of Occupational Therapy from Curtin University and a Bachelor in Commerce and Science from UWA. Previously Briohny worked clinically providing early intervention for a Paediatric Caseload in both development and disability and within the ECEI branch of the NDIS.

Briohny joined the CliniKids research team in 2021 with a passion for translating research in evidence-based best practice into real world practice to provide the best outcomes for children, including the best information and support for families throughout their journey.

Emma Moon

Administration Officer


Emma supports the CliniKids Team with all aspects of administration and finance. Emma is responsible for the practical aspects of team operations including both internal and external relations and helping out with research and clinical needs.

Emma is passionate about ensuring a quality of life for everyone, without boundaries and understands the particular struggles every parent endures, aiming to lighten the load any way she can, especially for parents dealing with autism.  Her work history includes Allied Health Management, Training, Local Council and Finance. She has been with Telethon Kids Institute since 2017.



Tracy Storen

Client Support Officer


Tracy is a Client Support Officer at CliniKids. She has more than 20 years of customer service experience and a background in allied health services. Tracy has extensive skills in administration including database management, record keeping, client management and customer support. She is here to support you with any enquires, appointment bookings, cancellations and rescheduling. She can also assist with financial accounts including NDIS, Medicare, HICAPS and EFTPOS. Tracy is passionate about building positive and productive relationships with families.

Nicki Williams

Client Support Officer


Nicki is a Client Support Officer at CliniKids. She has more than 20 years' customer service and managerial experience in the aviation industry and allied health care.

Nicki is used to managing a busy reception with appointment bookings and rescheduling, client accounts, administrative tasks, and finance. She looks forward to supporting and assisting families with their CliniKids journey.

Amy Eaton

Client Support Officer


Amy is a Client Support Officer at CliniKids. Amy has worked in various business administration and operations roles for the past few years, and before that, spent almost eight years working overseas on luxury private super yachts.

Amy is looking forward to being apart of the CliniKids family and getting to know the children and their families.