CliniKids is a not-for-profit centre integrating world-class research with a clinical service for children with developmental delay and/or an autism diagnosis, and their families. It is the first of its kind for autism in Australia.
One of the unique aspects of CliniKids is the integration of clinical services with cutting-edge research. Our exceptional team of researchers work in collaboration with our clinicians to give the community access to the world's best evidence-based therapies.
There are two new faces at CliniKids, Theresa, our new Clinical Services Manager, and Ally, our new Occupational Therapist.
Your background – what did you do before joining CliniKids? My background is in Speech Pathology. I initially split my time between running a private practice and working in a community outreach program in the South African townships. My love has always been for the little guys in early intervention. I moved to Perth in 2003, and worked for Therapy Focus for over 18 years, much of which was with a complex disability caseload.
I worked my way up through the ranks and at the time of leaving, I was the Senior Clinical Manager. The opportunity for a break from work altogether presented itself last year, so I took a few months off and wrote a memoir.
It’s early days but what are you enjoying most about working at CliniKids? When I saw the opportunity to work at CliniKids come up, I jumped at it. I’m loving the energy, the commitment and the passion of the team here. There’s lots to get my head around, and everyone has been very welcoming and helpful. My passion for work has been reignited.
What do you hope to bring/achieve at CliniKids? I’m looking forward to using my background in professional coaching to support the team and my experience in clinical governance to grow the service into several new sites.
Some fun facts about you – hidden talents, favourite TV show, hobby etc. Throw me out into nature, and my soul sings. I love photographing nature and use my photos to create unique greeting cards for my loved ones. I overcame my fear of drowning by getting my scuba diving ticket and have over 20 dives under my belt now. I hop onto my mountain bike regularly to enjoy the bush from my wheels and hiking is my meditation. I let my hair down on the dance floor in my ballroom and Latin dancing classes weekly and when it’s just me time, I love a good yoga stretch, or relaxing on my couch with my dogs and a good book.
We are really excited to be welcoming our new Occupational Therapist (OT) Ally to the Team in early April. Ally comes with a wealth of experience and passion working with children and has a special interest in autism. Ally will be continuing with the OT supports that Lucy Edwards was providing for your family.
Ally has worked to improve the lives of children and families for over five years. While completing her degree, she worked as a support worker and therapy assistant at Red Cross and Autism Association of WA. Having completed her undergraduate degree at Curtin University, she worked as an Occupational Therapist at Rocky Bay before recently joining the team at CliniKids.
With a passion for early intervention, her number one priority is building meaningful connections with her families and maximising the opportunities for neurodiverse individuals to thrive. When she isn't working, Ally loves dancing up a storm by attending regular classes at WA Ballet. Her quieter side enjoys watching movies, reading and spending time at the beach with friends.
We know that many children like to know exactly what to expect in new situations! You may find a couple of the ideas below helpful in preparing to meet your new OT Ally
Sharing a picture of Ally
Talking about some of Ally’s interests or physical appearance and noticing commonalities between Ally and your child (e.g., the same colour hair, glasses, also like watching movies)
Talking about what will be the same about coming to CliniKids and what will be different (e.g., same rooms, other people staying the same)
Validating any worries your child may have and reminding them of past opportunities where a change worked out ok!