Our Team

Natalya O’Keefe

Psychologist.

Registered (General) Psychologist

Natalya is a Registered (General) Psychologist with the Australian Health Regulation Agency.

Natalya completed her Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) and working towards her PhD in Clinical Psychology.

She has experience working with a diverse range of clients including children, adolescents, and adults with NDIS support, forensic clients with intellectual disabilities, clients from regional and rural communities, young adults experiencing substance use difficulties and domestic violence, and older adults experiencing changes in their cognitive functioning. Her areas of expertise include: NDIS and disabilities; depression; anxiety disorders including panic disorder and OCD; trauma; forensic risk assessment and intervention; and cognitive, diagnostic, intellectual, and learning assessments.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Developmental Disorders
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Behavioural issues
  • Mood disorders (e.g. depression)
  • Anxiety disorders (e.g. GAD, social anxiety, OCD, panic disorder)
  • Forensic Issues
  • Substance Use
  • Trauma
  • Assessment (e.g. diagnostic, cognitive, behavioural, risk).

Provides services to:

Children, Adolescents, Adults, Aged

Treatment Modalities:

Natalya uses a range of evidence-based approaches including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) to achieve positive results for her clients. She also uses Westmead Feelings Program and Zones of Regulation™ to help teach children about emotions and how to manage big feelings.

Clinic days: Wednesday to Saturday

Clinic: 118 Derrimut Road Hoppers Crossing 3029

Sarah Allen

Psychologist

child psychologist hoppers crossing

Sarah Allen is a registered psychologist with the Australian Health Regulation Agency. Sarah completed her Master of Psychology (Educational and Developmental) at Australian Catholic University in 2015 and has had extensive experience working in primary and secondary school settings, as well as in private practice and at headspace and within a hospital child and adolescent mental health setting. Sarah enjoys working with individuals and their families, from pre-school to early adulthood, for a variety of reasons including anxiety, low mood, emotional regulation, self-esteem, coping with transitions, developing social skills and coping with discord between family and friends. Sarah has also had experience working with children and young people who have diagnoses such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, as well as Cerebral Palsy. Sarah enjoys working with her clients to meet their goals of utilises Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Positive Psychology approaches. She looks forward to working with you and your family.

Clinic days: Wednesday

Clinic: 118 Derrimut Road Hoppers Crossing 3029

Karen Siao

Speech Pathologist

Karen Speech Pathologist

Karen completed a Bachelor of Health Sciences and a Master of Speech Pathology at La Trobe University. She is a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist (CPSP) and a member of Speech Pathology Australia.

Her clinical experience includes working with children with autism and children who have difficulties with articulation, language, fluency (stuttering) and literacy. Karen is also experienced in working with adults who present with swallowing and communication difficulties. Karen has worked in numerous settings, including hospitals, aged care facilities, community health, home, pre-schools and in schools.

Karen strongly believes in working collaboratively with the family and all the important people involved. This allows the provision of therapy that is tailored to the unique needs of each family and child to ensure the best possible outcomes.

Clinic days: Monday to Friday

Clinic: 118 Derrimut Road Hoppers Crossing 3029

Additional language: French 

Fiona Chrispjin

Speech Pathologist-Team Lead

Fiona Speech Pathologist

Fiona is a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist and a trained Special Education/Early Intervention teacher.  She has a Master of Speech Pathology from Latrobe University in Bundoora and a Master of Education and a Graduate Diploma in Special Education from the University of Melbourne.  As a speech therapist Fiona has worked in schools, in private practice and community health and sees children in kindergartens/child care, school at home or in the clinic   Fiona has extensive experience in working with children with a broad range of communication and learning difficulties, including children with autism and developmental delay.

Fiona is very committed to working with families and their children and focuses on the interests and personality of children to gain the best outcome for their speech and language development.  Fiona is constantly updating her skills through training and workshops and has completed the Lidcombe Program to treat stuttering in children, plus the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), PROMPT therapy for speech sound disorders, and is certified in the Hanen programs It Takes Two To Talk and Target Word.

Clinic days: Alternate Tuesday & Saturday

School Service day: Monday & Thursday

Clinic: 188 Heaths Road Hoppers Crossing 3029

Sashini Senadeera

Speech Pathologist

Sashini Speech Therapist Languageforlife Speech Pathology

Sashini has experience in providing speech pathology assessment and intervention services to children and teenagers through speech and articulation therapy, language therapy, and building social and pragmatic skills. Sashini graduated with a Masters in Speech Pathology from Flinders University in South Australia and holds a bachelors degree in Arts (Psychology) from The University of Melbourne. She has experience working with children from different cultural backgrounds as well as those who have a range of communication difficulties including children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Global Developmental Delay (GDD) and Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS).

Clinic days: Monday to Friday

Clinic: 118 Derrimut Road Hoppers Crossing 3029

Additional language: Sinhalese

Jody Collins

Speech Pathologist

Jody has had 25 years of experience as a speech pathologist, working in Community Health and Early Childhood Intervention. She has worked as a sole therapist, which required the provision of direct care and service coordination to a wide range of clients, including paediatric and school age speech pathology clients, children who require early intervention, and adults, working in a variety of settings. She has also worked as part of a transdisciplinary team providing a group program for children with special needs and their families. Jody has a passion for supporting children with special needs, and their families, and works to promote ‘family centred practice’ and collaboration with other services if required. She has also run community groups which promote language development, such as the ‘Parent-Child Mothergoose Program’. Jody is committed to her ongoing professional development, and has been a clinical educator for 4th year speech pathology students.

Clinic days: Monday to Friday.

Clinic: 188 Heaths Road Hoppers Crossing 3029

Rose Ho

Speech Pathologist

 Rose graduated with a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Speech Pathology at The University of Melbourne.

Rose is committed to providing high-quality health care for her families and is passionate about working together with parents to support their child's confidence as well as achieve the best outcomes for their children. She has worked across multiple settings such as university clinics, private practice, hospital settings and Telehealth. Rose also has a range of experience in assessing and providing therapy in the areas of speech, language, literacy, and social skills.

Rose's bubbly and caring nature allows her to easily build a trusting relationship with the child and their family, providing the foundation for positive outcomes. She is also fluent in Vietnamese. 

Clinic day: Wednesday

Additional language: Vietnamese

Clinic: 188 Heaths Road Hoppers Crossing 3029

Senali Alahakone

Speech Pathologist

Senali is a Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist (CPSP). She completed a Bachelor of Speech Pathology at James Cook University. Since graduating, Senali has worked in private practice and in the education sector with additional needs students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Senali has experience working with children, teenagers and adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), intellectual disability (ID), developmental delay, learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Senali has experience in providing treatment in the areas of speech, language, social skills, literacy, fluency and alternative and augmentative communication (AAC).

Senali is committed to providing evidence-based speech pathology services that is family-centred, holistic and incorporates a strength-based approach. She is passionate about working closely with parents, teachers and health professionals to help meet the child’s needs and ensure they reach their full potential. 

Clinic day: Saturday

Additional language: Sinhalese

Clinic: 188 Heaths Road Hoppers Crossing 3029

Eva Lee

Speech Pathologist

Eva is a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist with years of experience working with children with varying speech and language difficulties and disabilities. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) from the University of Sydney and a dual Masters of Public Health/Health Management from the University of New South Wales.
Eva has extensive experience and a passion for working with children with developmental delays and intellectual disabilities to reach their full potential. She has experience providing intervention in articulation, language, social skills and alternative and augmentative communication support in community health, schools and within the disability sector. In addition to her experiences in Australia, Eva has also worked overseas in developing countries to support the development of the speech pathology profession in these countries through working cross culturally to provide assessment and intervention, provide training to various health workers and provide lectures to students to ensure that people with communication difficulties can be supported.

Clinic day: Saturday

Clinic: 118 Derrimut Road Hoppers Crossing 3029

Alicia Romeo 

Speech Pathologist

Alicia graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science and a Master of Speech Pathology at La Trobe University. Alicia is very committed and passionate about supporting children and involving their families to enable the best therapy outcomes for each child.
Alicia continually ensures that she is providing evidence-based therapies through attending workshops and staying up to date with research. She has completed the Hanen ‘More Than Words’ program, which emphasises the importance of social communication and play skills for language development. Also, she has completed PROMPT training, which focuses on using touch cues to support and shape correct movement of speech muscles, and Social Thinking training. She has worked in a variety of settings, including private practice, community health centres, primary schools, childcares and within the home setting.
Alicia strives to make each session engaging and enjoyable, as she believes that this is a fundamental aspect to improve outcomes for each child.

Clinic days: Monday & Tuesday

Clinic: 118 Derrimut Road Hoppers Crossing 3029

Chipo Juru

Speech Pathologist

Chipo is a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist with a B.Sc. in Speech Language Pathology from University of Cape Town. She has extensive experience working as a paediatric Speech Pathologist and in Early Intervention in both Australia and Zimbabwe, assessing and providing intervention for children and teenagers with a broad range of communication and learning difficulties including Austism Spectrum Disorders, Global Developmental Delay and Childhood Apraxia of Speech. She has worked in hospitals, schools, private practice, community health, specialist early intervention services, and kindergartens/child care centres. In New Zealand and Zimbabwe Chipo’s work experience included working with adults presenting with disorders such as progressive neurodegenerative diseases impacting their communication, voice, feeding and swallowing.

In pursuit of clinical excellence, Chipo is constantly updating her skills through training and workshops. She completed the BLADES Framework for language therapy, the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), training for paediatric feeding problems and is certified in the Hanen programs It Takes Two To Talk. Chipo’s passion for speech pathology is backed by more than 15 years of matching experience working collaboratively with families to support the inclusion of children and adults with speech, language, social and pragmatic skills disorders. Her training in Strengths based practice, Key Worker Training, Trauma and Violence informed practice and Family Partnership Training ensures a unique family participation and empowerment. As part of community engagement Chipo has sat on the Board for Wavecare Counselling and the Victorian Multicultural Commission’s Regional Advisory Council for the Eastern Metropolitan Region in Melbourne.

Telehealth days: Monday & Thursday

Additional language: Shona,French,Xhosa,Zulu

Jane Luk

Speech Pathologist

Jane is a Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist who graduated with a Bachelor of Health Sciences and Masters of Speech Pathology from La Trobe University.

Jane is passionate about working with children with complex communication needs and has many years of experience working with children who have a range of diagnoses such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Global Developmental Delay in Special School settings and paediatric private practice. Jane has worked with children, families, teachers and Education Support staff in learning and using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) in the classroom and at home.

Jane has completed the Learn to Play workshop, which highlights the importance of pretend play in developing language and narrative skills. She has been trained in using a variety of AAC systems including: (PODD) communication system, Proloquo2go, NovaChat, LAMP, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and Key Word Sign (KWS). Jane has also completed training in the Sounds-Write literacy program.

Jane's warm and bubbly nature ensures that therapy is fun and engaging so that children can achieve the best outcomes. Jane is also fluent in Cantonese. 

School Service day: Monday & Tuesday

Additional language: Cantonese

Phuong Nguyen

Speech Pathologist

Speech Pathologist

Phuong Nguyen graduated from the Masters of Speech Pathology at The University of Melbourne. Previously, Phuong had completed her Masters of Educational Research, Evaluation and Assessment at Flinders University. Phuong had nearly 15 years working as an ESL instructor overseas before starting her new role as a Speech Pathologist.

Phuong has a strong passion for working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and has been providing therapies for individuals across the life spans with a range of speech, language and social communication difficulties. Phuong is trained in the DIR Floortime and Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). Being fluent in both English and Vietnamese has been one of Phuong's strengths in building great rapport with the child and their family. Phuong is committed to working collaboratively with families, empowering them in supporting their children reach their full communication potential. 

Out of Clinic Service day: Thursday

Additional language: Vietnamese

Nicole Calleja

Occupational Therapist-Team Lead

Nicole completed her Bachelor of Health Science and Masters of Occupational Therapy at La Trobe University. Her clinical experience includes working with children with autism and learning difficulties in the areas of social skills, handwriting, activities of daily living, sensory skills and play, both within Australia and in Malta. Nicole is enthusiastic to work with children and their families in order to ensure each child reaches their full potential.

Clinic days: Monday to Saturday

Clinic: 118 Derrimut Road Hoppers Crossing 3029

Natalie Pace

Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapist

Natalie completed her Bachelor of Occupational Therapy in 2009 at La Trobe University. She is a certified practicing Occupational Therapist and has experience in various settings including hospitals, schools, community health and specialized eating disorder clinics. She has worked in Europe and in Melbourne and firmly believes that involving the family is an essential component to therapy.

Natalie has experience in working with children and adults in the areas of social skills, handwriting, activities of daily living, sensory skills, relaxation and play. Natalie firmly believes in advocating for her clients needs and collaborating with schools and those involved to ensure clients needs are met.

Clinic days: Friday

Clinic: 118 Derrimut Road Hoppers Crossing 3029

Additional language: Maltese

Sherry Bajaj

Occupational Therapist

 

Sherry Bajaj is a senior Occupational Therapist who has 12 years of experience in this industry.Sherry completed her Masters of Occupational Therapy in 2007 from India. She worked in India for almost nine years with the paediatric population and then moved to Ausralia and has been working since the last three years.She is a certified practicing Occupational Therapist and has experience in various settings including private clinic set up, schools, home, childcare and kindergarten.
Sherry is trained in paediatric early intervention, sensory profiles, gross and fine motor difficulties, writing, food aversions and autism.

Additional languages: Hindi, Punjabi

Clinic day: Monday, Friday & Saturday

Clinic: 188 Heaths Road Hoppers Crossing 3029

Tuqa (Misk) Al-Sharea

Occupational Therapist

 

 

Misk completed her Bachelor of Health Science and Masters of Occupational Therapy at La Trobe University in 2016. Her clinical experience includes working with children with autism and learning difficulties in the areas of fine and gross motor skills, social skills, handwriting, activities of daily living, sensory skills and play.

Misk believes that the foundation to effective and enjoyable therapy is the trust and rapport between client and therapist. She is passionate to see children reaching their full potential while also supporting and empowering families. 

Clinic day: Tuesday

Clinic: 188 Heaths Road Hoppers Crossing 3029

Sandra Brokenshire

Senior Admin and Client Support Officer

Sandra Admin Assistant

Sandra is is a valuable and experienced Admin and Client Support Officer here at Language for Life Speech Pathology. With her friendly and positive approach, she is committed to providing our customers with the best quality customer service and to assist them with all their administrative needs.

Sandra is able to apply her knowledge and skills to complete reception and administrative tasks in a confident and efficient manner. This includes: Processing Hicaps, Medicare, Fahcsia and NDIS payments, answering all phone enquiries, Diary Management, Scheduling of Appointments and ensuring all administrative tasks are completed to help the therapists provide the best care they can to their families.

Clinic Days: Monday, Wednesday & Thursday

Clinic: 118 Derrimut Road Hoppers Crossing 3029

Prekshi Tandon

Admin and Client Support Officer

Language for Life

Prekshi is Graduated with Masters of Commerce (Management & HR) from Charles Sturt University, Melbourne. Past 8 years of experience in Human Resource Management – Admin with various Multi National organizations and now working as Client Support at Language for Life Speech Pathology. With her friendly, positive approach and multilingual ability, she is committed to providing our customers with the best quality customer service and to assist them with all their administrative needs.
Prekshi is courteous, professional, and helpful toward all our valuable customers. She is very much comfortable when interacting with people, even in complex situations she is able to apply her experience, knowledge and skills to complete multitasking activities including reception, front desk and administrative tasks in a confident and efficient manner.

Additional language: Hindi ,Punjabi and Gujrati

Clinic: 118 Derrimut Road Hoppers Crossing 3029

Carlitha Hoffmann

Admin and Client Support Officer

Carli

Carlitha has completed a Bachelor of Business in Business Administration from Swinburne University. She is a positive and friendly young woman who has excellent time management, communication and computer skills which contribute to her ability to successfully carry out administrative tasks and provide exceptional customer service while maintaining a respectful attitude towards everyone around her. Prior to working at Language for Life, Carlitha worked as an administrative assistant in real estate and in addition, has 3 years experience in the customer service industry. In her free time, Carlitha enjoys travelling, biking, and playing tennis.

Clinic: 188 Heaths Road Hoppers Crossing 3029