Kids Connect Therapy was established in May 2009 by Dale Proudfoot, Emma Barber and Kirsty Sanders.
Dale, Kirsty and Emma shared a vision to create a truly integrated paediatric therapy clinic based on teamwork and shared knowledge.
As Kids Connect therapy has grown they have been able to build an amazing team of therapists and support staff who all share their passion about helping children and families.
Occupational Therapist &
Bachelor of Applied Science
Intermediate DIR® Floortime™ provider
Dale graduated from the University of Sydney in 1991. Dale initially worked within a variety of mental health settings prior to working in paediatric practice. Since 1995, Dale has worked in a wide range of paediatric settings both here and in the United Kingdom, including community health, private practice and early intervention.
Dale has a special interest in working with children and their families utilising the Sensory Integration and DIR®/Floortime™ models and is passionate about providing this within an interdisciplinary framework. Dale has trained to the intermediate level in the DIR®/Floortime™ Model. Dale continues to expand her knowledge through a wide range of ongoing conferences, seminars and mentoring within paediatric occupational therapy.
Dale has three gorgeous children Jamie, Eliza and Robert.
Speech Pathologist &
Bachelor of Speech Pathology
Intermediate DIR® Floortime™ provider
Emma graduated from the University of Queensland in 2004 and has had extensive experience working in community health settings with pre-school aged children in country Victoria, Early Childhood Intervention settings working with pre-school aged children with autism and developmental delays, as well as in private practice. In 2008, Emma travelled to the US to train in the DIR®/Floortime™ Model of Intervention for children with developmental delays and disabilities. In 2011, Emma again travelled to the US where she completed the DIR® C 1 Certification, DIR®/Floortime™ program. Emma continues to expand her knowledge of DIR®/Floortime™ through ongoing mentoring and attendance at professional development seminars.
Emma is a certified Hanen provider and is a trained provider of the Therapeutic Listening Program. Emma is also trained in the Lindamood Bell Approach to phonological processing and language comprehension. Emma has extensive experience and a passion for working with young children who present with autism, developmental delays, language disorders and social language difficulties.
Emma has two gorgeous daughters, Mary and Kate.
Bachelor of Speech Pathology
Courtney graduated from the University of Queensland in 2006. She has worked with children from infancy to adolescence who present with Autism, complex developmental needs, language disorders and social language difficulties. Courtney has worked in a range of settings including the disability sector, Family and Early Childhood Services, and mainstream and special schools in Australia and the United Kingdom. She has experience working in transdiciplinary teams with other professionals including Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Psychologists, to support a holistic and integrated service for the children and families she works with.
Courtney is trained in a variety of therapy programs including Hanen (It Takes Two to Talk and More Than Words), Learn to Play Therapy and Social Thinking and has an interest in augmentative and alternative communication systems. Courtney is dedicated to working with families to ensure positive and functional outcomes for their child.
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy
Anna graduated with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy from LaTrobe University, Melbourne in 1997. For 15 years, she has enjoyed working with both adults and children in Australia and the United Kingdom. Her career spans a wide range of settings – from hospitals and rehabilitation centres to community health services, special and mainstream schools, the disability sector and early intervention. In 2009 Anna obtained a Graduate Certificate of Health Promotion, being passionate about the concept of ‘Health for All’.
Anna loves working with children and families, and is trained in the Sensory Profile, 1-2-3 Magic and Emotion Coaching, strength based practice, the Alert Program (How Does My Engine Run?), and the Wilbarger Sensory Defensiveness (Brushing Protocol). Anna has completed Stages 1 and 2 of the DIR® Floortime™ training. Anna is particularly interested in working with children with Autism, developmental delays and sensory integration issues.
She has one gorgeous little boy of her own, and finds it hard to contain her enthusiasm for play, music, and learning in everyday activities and routines.
Bachelor of Science (Honours in Psychology), Master of Occupational Therapy
Nimesha completed her Bachelor of Science (Honours) at Monash University and Master of Occupational Therapy at Swinburne University. Prior to beginning her Master of Occupational Therapy, she worked as an ABA therapist. During this time, she found her passion for working with children and learnt about occupational therapy. Throughout her studies and work, Nimesha has gained experience in working with a variety of children, including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, developmental delays, intellectual disabilities, and sensory difficulties.
Nimesha is a member of Occupational Therapy Australia and registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. She receives regular mentoring and professional development training, and utilises the vast number of resources at Kids Connect Therapy. Nimesha is passionate about working with children and their families using a strengths-based and family-centred approach. With these approaches, she strives to ensure children are working through their goals in a fun and motivating environment.
Bachelor of Speech & Hearing Science
Master of Speech-Language Pathology
Linda earned her Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and Master’s from the University of Iowa. Linda was a travel (locum) therapist working in outpatient clinics, schools, hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities before finding her passion for early childhood intervention in 2010. Using principles from The Hanen Centre and the DIR®/Floortime™ program, Linda’s therapy approach puts the child’s primary caregivers in the lead at home and lets the child’s interests and needs guide each session.
Linda has served children with a variety of diagnoses, including Down syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorders, cerebral palsy, brain injury, and developmental delays. She’s trained in PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) and has experience with other augmentative/alternative communication methods.
Linda immigrated to Australia from the U.S. in 2017. Raising her two young children, Madeline and Arthur, has made her a better clinician.
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours)
Natalie completed her Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) degree at Monash University. Prior to working as an occupational therapist, Natalie worked as an Allied Health Assistant within a hospital setting. Natalie begun her occupational therapy career working within a hospital and rehabilitation setting where the majority of her caseload consisted of adults. Natalie always had the passion for working with children after she spent time observing an occupational therapist assist her younger cousin to participate in everyday activities. Prior to working at Kids Connect Therapy, Natalie worked as a mobile occupational therapist where she visited children at home, school or kinder. Natalie has worked with children of all ages and with varying diagnoses.
Natalie has completed professional development courses such as managing emotions, sensory processing, fine motor skills and Learn to Play. Natalie is passionate about working with children and their families using a family-centred approach. Natalie strives to ensure every session is playful and fun for the child while targeting their individual goals.
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours)
Courtney completed her Bachelor of Occupational Therapy with Honors at Monash University. During her studies, she worked in a variety of settings including paediatric mental health, adult and paediatric rehabilitation, working in a primary school for five years, and working with children with disabilities. Her experiences, have allowed her to grow her knowledge and passion for early intervention and family centred therapy, to support a childs’ mental, physical and social growth.
Courtney works closely with families, to tailor and integrate strategies into a childs’ home and school environment. She receives regular mentoring and professional development training.
Courtney is passionate about working with children who present with Autism Spectrum Disorder, developmental delays, Social Language Disorders and children with additional needs. Courtney is a dedicated clinician who values building a rapport with children and seeing a child achieve their goals and milestones.
Bachelor of Health Science, Master of Occupational Therapy
Cindy completed her Bachelor of Health Science and Master of Occupational Therapy at Swinburne University of Technology. During her studies she worked in a range of different settings including Early Childhood Intervention Service, community services and in aged care services. Within these settings, she worked with a wide variety of clients ranging from children to the elderly.
Cindy loves working with children and encourages a strengths-based approach, which supports the child and family’s ability to continue development by encouraging growth and competency building over time. She also acknowledges the importance of family centered practice, working in collaboration with children and families, when implementing Occupational Therapy interventions.
Cindy has also worked with a range of children with developmental delays, sensory processing disorders and behavioural disorders. Cindy has worked with the children to improve and develop their learning and strategies in areas such as behaviour management, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, social skills and emotional regulation through play-based therapy. Cindy has previously worked in an Early Childhood Intervention Service that utilised the DIR®/Floortime™ Model.
Cindy is passionate in providing the best service for her clients, keeping up to date with the clinical practices and professional development through continual mentoring.
Bachelor of Speech Pathology
Michaela completed her bachelor of Speech Pathology at Australian Catholic University. While studying, Michaela gained experience in hospitals, aged care and rehabilitation clinics, but especially enjoyed her time working in mainstream and specialist schools, supporting children with speech and language delays, intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorder.
Michaela enjoys working within a multidisciplinary team to provide holistic support and intervention to school aged children. Michaela believes that it is important for all aspects of a child’s life be considered in supporting their language and communication development. Michaela believes in incorporating creativity and play into evidence-based intervention ensuring sessions cater to the individual needs of children. Michaela has training in PROMPT Therapy and has an interest in working with children with speech sound disorders.
Michaela regularly attends professional development courses to expand her clinical knowledge and is a practicing member of Speech Pathology Australia. Michaela believes building strong relationships with clients and their families is key to helping them achieve their goals in a fun and functional way.
Bachelor of Science, Master of Occupational Therapy
Fad completed his Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne and Master of Occupational Therapy at Swinburne University of Technology. During his studies, he worked in a range of different settings including residential aged care, disability respite and Early Childhood Intervention. Within these settings, he worked with a wide variety of clients ranging from children to the elderly, and people with living with multiple and complex disabilities. Fad has also volunteered as a kickboxing instructor, where he empowered individuals through martial arts to promote mental and physical health and wellbeing.Fad is a member of Occupational Therapy Australia and registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. He receives regular mentoring and professional development training. During his placement with the Child and Family team at Access Health and Community, Fad discovered a passion for working with children that present with autism, developmental delays, and children with additional needs. Fad has an animated personality, where he supports fun and positive sessions for the child, while ensuring that they are progressing towards their goals.
Masters of Speech Pathology
Madeleine completed her Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and Linguistics) and Graduate Diploma of Professional Psychology at Monash University, before completing her Master of Speech Pathology at the University of Melbourne. Prior to beginning her Master of Speech Pathology, she also volunteered as a play therapist for a young boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder for two and a half years, sparking her interest in ASD. During her studies she worked in a range of different settings including community health, not-for-profit, telehealth, aged care, and private practice – including a rural placement in the paediatric community health clinic at Wodonga Hospital in Albury-Wodonga. Within these settings, she worked with a variety of clients ranging from children to elderly as well as a range of diagnoses including ASD, speech and language delays, developmental delay, intellectual disabilities, down syndrome, hearing impairment, ADHD, sensory processing difficulties, cerebral palsy, stroke, and traumatic brain injury.
Madeleine enjoys working with clients of all ages but finds the most joy working with children and families. She values working together with families on goals that are meaningful and important to them in ways that are fun and creative. She also enjoys learning and expanding her skills through professional development. Madeleine is a practicing member of Speech Pathology Australia.
Master of Occupational Therapy
Bachelor of Arts
(Psychology and Sociology)
Isaac completed his Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and Sociology) and Master of Occupational Therapy in Monash University. Though his studies, Isaac was able to gain experience in multiple settings, including Paediatric clinics, Specialist Schools, Residential aged care, and Mental health. Among these experiences, Isaac particularly enjoyed working and supporting children with various diagnoses including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Developmental delays and Sensory processing difficulties.Isaac has a strong passion for working with children and their families and believes in utilizing a holistic approach to supporting children in achieving their goals. Isaac aims to utilize a strengths-based approach to working with children, while maintaining a fun and positive therapy environment. Isaac is dedicated to ensuring that his clients receive the best service. He receives regular mentoring and professional development training. Isaac has a particular interest in the DIR®/Floortime™ Model and aims to expand his knowledge further on the model in the future.
Master of Speech Pathology
Bachelor of Science
Suri completed her Bachelor of Science and Master of Speech Pathology at the University of Melbourne. During her studies, she worked in a variety of different settings, ranging from community health and private practice to acute and sub-acute hospitals. Within these settings, Suri enjoyed working with a wide range of clients from children to the elderly, but found the most joy working with children, and found their ability to learn and adapt inspiring.Suri values bringing in joy to therapy sessions, incorporating both fun and evidence-based intervention approaches to support children and families towards meaningful goals. Suri is a member of Speech Pathology Australia, and she receives regular mentoring and attends professional development courses to keep up to date with clinical practices and expand her clinical knowledge. Suri values the importance of positive interactions and experience. She strives to provide the best care to support to all children and families lead meaningful lives.
Master of Psychology
(Educational and Developmental)
Ashleigh has completed a Master of Psychology (Educational and Developmental) and is currently a 2nd year registrar in the Psychology Board of Australia’s Ed & Dev endorsement program. Ashleigh has experience in hospital, clinic, and educational settings and prior to joining Kids Connect, worked for 5 years as a school psychologist in primary and secondary schools. In this role, she worked with children and adolescents with a range of presentations including autism, ADHD, selective mutism, dyslexia, anxiety, depression, and intellectual disability. .Ashleigh is trained in Sounds Write and has an interest in identifying specific learning disorders, ADHD in girls, and working with developmental trauma. Ashleigh is ADOS-trained and undertakes assessment and diagnosis of autism. In therapy, Ashleigh incorporates creative, expressive, and play-based approaches, taking principles from the DIR®/Floortime™ Model and other evidence-based therapies, tailoring sessions to each child’s interests and needs. Ashleigh loves working with children and believes some of the most important aspects of her work are around building and maintaining a trusting, fun, and secure connection with each child.
Masters of Speech Pathology
Bachelor of Arts
(Psychology and Linguistics)
Theresa completed her Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and Linguistics) prior to completing her Masters of Speech Pathology at the University of Melbourne. During her studies, she gained experience in a range of different settings including community health, hospitals, paediatric private practice and telehealth. She especially enjoyed her experiences supporting children speech and language delays, social language difficulties, developmental delays, Autism Spectrum Disorder, intellectual disabilities and ADHD.Theresa is passionate about working together with families on meaningful and individualised goals to best support their children to achieve their potential. She strives for a strengths-based approach and strongly believes in incorporating creativity and play into evidence-based intervention to ensure that therapy is fun and motivating. Theresa is a practicing member of Speech Pathology Australia and regularly attends professional development courses to broaden her clinical experience and knowledge. Amongst this, she has completed training in Sounds Write and Learn to Play. Theresa is a committed clinician who believes in building strong interactions to support children and their families to achieve their communication goals. Theresa, prior to finishing her studies, previously worked as an academic tutor for school-aged children.
Lucy is a passionate and committed Practice Manager who works with the administration team to provide a warm and supportive environment for families.
Lucy is able to assist families and their children by making appointment bookings, providing information on funding options and giving advice around relevant therapy programs. Lucy has worked in administrative roles for many years, both with children and the elderly.
Lucy has a passion for helping families and strives to make each family at Kids Connect Therapy feel welcome and well-supported as soon as they walk through the door. Lucy enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren.
Melinda is a proud and busy Mum with three adult children
Melinda has previously worked in the disability sector and prides herself on providing excellent customer service and administration knowledge. Melinda is a motivated and enthusiastic member of the Kids Connect team.
Her outside interests include reading, ballet, movies and socialising with friends and family.
Emmelyn loves working at Kids Connect Therapy, supporting children and their families. She is a passionate team member, dedicated to assisting therapists and administration staff. Emmelyn is currently studying a Bachelor of Business Marketing and Communication Design. In her spare time, Emmelyn enjoys walks in the park and visiting new restaurants with family and friends.