About Your Therapists

Communication... we're enriched!

Rosalie Martin

Graduating waaay back in 1984, I knew I was heading into a working life in a valuable helping profession. But I could not have predicted then what I know now. That I have loved every minute of being a speech pathologist. That supporting communication is to support flourishing; and to support what it is to be human. That reciprocity is truly reciprocal; so the joy of a person making achievements in language and connection become joy for everyone in the interaction. It is work that nourishes all.

I had a few public jobs in my early career, then started working privately when my two sons began school. I wanted the flexibility to go to their sports carnivals and to do ‘mother’s help’. But I found that working privately served in other ways well beyond personal flexibility. I have learned broad horizons for what is possible in service delivery. And now I work amongst creative, imaginative, big-hearted people whose willingness to expand themselves and their practice in their clients’ best interests is… well… inspirational!

I love working with people of all ages with language, literacy and social communication challenges. I’ve learned how to teach people to express and connect and read.

These skills are expansive in people’s lives; they matter for justice in our world. Justice for the individual most certainly; but also for justice across all of society – for society is its people. There’s just us.

Linda McKillop

I first came to Tasmania in 1987, newly graduated from Curtin University in W.A.  I fell in love with this beautiful state, and my new profession – cementing my passion in working with school-aged children in collaboration with their parents and teachers through my first job working with the Department of Education.

Family took me back to the mainland before returning here in 2005. During these years I worked in community health, private practice and in student supervision.  Working with the kind, dynamic, diverse and committed team of colleagues at SPT since 2005 has been such a pleasure.

The complex inter-relationship of oral and written language has fascinated me since my earliest years as a speech pathologist. My love of reading, and that – in the words of Dr Seuss – “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go” has lead me to further training, building strong expertise in helping children with dyslexia and other language-based learning difficulties, using evidence-based instruction, including Orton-Gillingham multisensory principles (MSL: Multi-sensory Structured Language therapy). I am also an Accredited Orton-Gillingham practitioner and Accredited Member of the Australian Dyslexia Association and its Tasmania advisor.

What a privilege to be able to be able to provide a fun, engaging, secure environment for students to develop oral and written communication skills, and share in so many life-changing results with students of all ages.  A photo shared by parents of a child curled up with a book, who once struggled to read a single word, brings pure joy.

Felicity Laurence

My mother’s mantra to my younger self: “He does it because you react! If you didn’t scream he wouldn’t do it!”.  But my scream so aptly communicated my frustration at being a younger sibling to two older brothers! I was fortunate and could have better articulated my frustration and still I preferred to scream!  How difficult for those kids who can’t speak clearly!  No surprise that they withdraw, play up and tantrum when they cannot communicate their needs, thoughts and wants!  Throughout life, people, issues and problems engage us or ‘push our buttons’ and we need to be competent communicators to explore, defend ourselves and share.  Speech issues and their treatment fascinate me.  Speech is a complex process involving so many body systems all interacting and influenced by individual differences. To jump in and piece the puzzle together, plan and implement therapy and document the change we are seeing, slowly but surely, is very rewarding.  Watching children seek the tools to unlocking their speech, grow in confidence and hear reports of grandparents finally able to talk to their grandchild on the telephone is immensely rewarding.

I graduated with BSc (Hons) from Curtin University in WA in 1994. For years I worked in acute hospitals in WA and SA with adults after stroke and head injury focusing on speech and swallowing. Later, I taught speech pathology students about speech sound disorders at Flinders University. I moved to Tasmania in 2005 with my family and we are very settled in this amazing state. I am extremely fortunate to work in a dynamic and supportive team at Speech Pathology Tasmania.

Lisa Johnson

Graduating from La Trobe Uni in 1994 I returned to my home state of Tasmania and have worked in various settings with a paediatric caseload including Education, Community Health and Private Practice.

I love the diversity of working with children and their families in private practice and supporting the development of early speech and oral language skills and then written language skills. Some of my favourite work is the development of social communication skills in young children with autism and supporting them as they develop relationships with their family and peers. Working with such a complex skill as communication is often a challenge and nearly every day presents something different or new. I love this about my job!

Working with such a skilled bunch of therapists means that there is always someone to collaborate with and learn from and is a vital part of what makes SPT such a rewarding place to work.

Mariam Seeney

It has been wonderful to bring a diverse background of skills and experiences to my work as a speech pathologist. In 2000, I obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Linguistics/Applied Linguistics), and then spent several years pursuing creative interests as a performer and artist before being drawn back to my passion for speech and language. At first this was in a career teaching English as a Foreign Language, both in Australia and abroad; and then moving into the field of speech pathology. I completed Masters in Speech Pathology at the University of Qld in 2008. Since then I have worked in developmental speech and language supporting children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families using play-based and relationship-based interventions. My strong interests are in voice therapy and accent modification, for which I have undertaken Estill voice training, as well as drawing on my skills as a singer and language teacher. I am also a mother of two, a gardener and occasional performer.

Catherine Wood

I was lucky enough to meet Rosie through a mutual friend when I was 14, otherwise I would never have known about the amazing and fulfilling profession that is Speech Pathology. Rosie kindly let me do some work experience with her as I finished high school and then off I went to the University of Queensland to be trained!

Upon graduating in 2012, Rosie offered me a job on the North West Coast of Tasmania. Now I work as a generalist speech pathologist in Burnie and Devonport, with fortnightly/monthly outreach clinics to Launceston, Smithton, and Queenstown. I work with children, adults, and families who have all types of communication support needs. Working for a supportive team such as SPT means that there’s always another speech pathologist to talk to or training to go to, so I never stop learning.

I love the variety that my work brings into my life, both in scenery and with the children, families, and schools that I work with. My most rewarding moments come from being a part of the team that is supporting a child to have success in all areas of life, and watching how relationships full of love and trust drive communication development.

Caroline Ross

I came to speech pathology in a rather roundabout way and now that I’ve arrived, I’m so happy to be here! After spending my twenties travelling and working in various capacities, I went back to university in Melbourne and trained as a Speech Pathologist, graduating in 2015. I jumped at the chance to return to Hobart after 10 years away and am planning on never leaving!

I love working with any child and their families but over the last 3 years I have built particular expertise in working with children and young adults with complex communication needs – helping them to navigate life using methods of communication other than their voices. This means using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) to communicate; which can mean anything from low-tech methods, such as Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display (PODD), to high-tech such as using Proloquo2Go or Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) on an iPad.

I also have the pleasure of working with Autistic teenagers and young adults on their social communication skills.

I feel extremely privileged to be able to work at a practice that is so supportive and fun, and I love working with my clients to achieve their many and varied communication goals!

Andrea Burt

I was born and raised in Hobart, leaving to attend university in Sydney. Since graduating 32 years ago I have worked as a paediatric speech pathologist in New South Wales and Queensland, in both community health settings and private practice.

I’m very happy to be back in Tasmania with my family and working part-time within Speech Pathology Tasmania’s large, supportive team of clinicians with a diverse range of skills.

I enjoy assessing and working with children with communication difficulties and their families & have particular interest and expertise with preschoolers.

Claire Arthur

I’m another local Tasmanian therapist who grew up in the foothills of Cradle Mountain. I lived and studied for four years at LaTrobe University in Bendigo, before returning to the North-West Coast to work for the local Education Department. After two and a half years I decided I was ready for a pace change, put my career on hold, and went to work as an English teacher in Japan.

During my two years in Japan I taught English classes for students from Grade 1-9 in a small, farming community. I also had the opportunity to develop an English phonics curriculum for the primary school English program in Nagasaki City and provide a number of professional development workshops in conjunction with Nagasaki University.

Upon returning to Tasmania in late 2018 I was fortunate enough to be welcomed into the Speech Pathology Tasmania team. I’m currently working as a generalist speech pathologist, with a keen interest in the areas of language and fluency (stuttering). I love to play games (even though I always seem to lose) and can confidently say that I have the best collection of soft, fluffy toys in the clinic. When I’m not popping pirates and building beetles, I enjoy theatre, traveling and dabbling in a little freelance Japanese-English translating.

Rebecca Limmer

I completed my Masters in Speech Pathology at Curtin, Western Australia and was lucky enough to be welcomed into the wonderful SPT family at the beginning of 2019. Having split my time between Western Australia and Tasmania over the past 4 years it’s great to be back full time surrounded by the beautiful Tasmanian Wilderness.

My first exposure to the world of Speech Pathology occurred in the Disability Sector, where I was supporting adults with acquired brain injuries. This work provided an opportunity to transition to working with children with a range of disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Disorder. During my studies, I continued to work in this sector and discovered a passion for helping children. It was so rewarding to see children and adults become empowered to communicate in ways not previously possible. I had no idea of how vast and multi-faceted communication, and as a result, the role of Speech Pathology is and I was hooked.

I currently work as a generalist clinician and love working closely alongside a range of children, adults and their families towards reaching their communication goals. I have a particular interest in supporting children with Autism to build their language and social communication skills. I also have a keen interest in supporting children to develop their literacy skills.

Olivia Archer

Hello, I am Olivia and I am one of SPT’s newest speech pathologists. During my undergraduate study, I was fortunate enough to connect with a friend who was working as a speech pathologist in the education department at the time. She allowed me to shadow her for a period of time and it was then and there that I fell in love with speech pathology! Upon completing a Bachelor of Psychology here in Hobart (University of Tasmania), I then travelled to Bendigo to study a Master of Speech Pathology (La Trobe University).

As a recent graduate, I have an interest in all aspects of speech pathology and currently operate as a generalist clinician. However, I have a particular interest in complex speech sound disorders and early intervention. I thoroughly enjoy working with children, adults, and their families. I always aim to learn from my clients, while sharing my knowledge, in a two-way exchange.

SPT offers a wonderful environment for clients and clinicians alike. I always feel supported and greatly appreciate working alongside so many experienced speech pathologists, who have expertise across so many areas of practice.

Outside of speech pathology, I enjoy being with friends and family, including my four-legged family member!

Sheila Steele

I first knew that I wanted a career working with communication impairments when I sketched out a basic choice board for a man with autism who I worked with as a support worker: it was a revelation to see his eyes light up as he was suddenly enabled. I completed my training as a Speech and Language Therapist in London, in 2008. I also have an undergraduate degree in Psychology, so I have always been interested in underlying neurology and cognition, and over the years I have furthered this area of special interest by working with adults with brain injury.  I have also worked in primary schools, and a range of more unusual voluntary settings and countries too, which has given me the opportunity to meet extremely resilient and inspiring individuals, families, and communities. I have always felt that it is an absolute privilege to be a Speech Pathologist, and I have felt very lucky to have had this wide range of opportunities, which has led me to be a generalist clinician today.

I now have my own children, which has given me another perspective on the many facets of child development. Much of my spare time is therefore spent reading to my children, and I am passionate about literacy and an enjoyment of reading and writing.

I am very excited to be joining such an enthusiastic and supportive team at Speech Pathology Tasmania, and to be part of the networks in the NW of Tasmania.

Sarah Kay

Words can be fun. Words can make a heart sing. Words can give goosebumps. Words can bring life.

Ever since our children were tiny, a drive over the Southern Outlet and into Hobart-town has meant a word game: At the ever-changing sight of the Derwent River, our tribe have had fun taking turns describing the water: Glistening. Diamond-Filled. Thundery Grey, Gleaming with Sequins. Delicious!

Hobart has been a truly amazing place to call home for the past 17 years.

It has been such a privilege to be a Speech Pathologist… working alongside families to encourage the development of words (and messages) – speaking them, understanding them, reading and writing them.

I graduated from the University of Queensland in 1998. I thoroughly enjoyed working in an Education setting both in Queensland and in Tasmania until 2006. This formed and founded my passion for working with families of school-aged children. In 2007, I was given the beautiful honour of becoming interwoven with the dear people and hearts of SPT.

Within the early years of having my own bustling family, I worked with my “Speech Path hat” on intermittently. I also experienced a different burst of personal and professional learning, making the decision to homeschool for 4 delightful, memorable years.

I am currently back at work in some areas of my wonderful profession, and simultaneously I am in a Speech Pathology re-entry programme to gain some momentum in the latest research and practice in speech, language and literacy.

Watch this space!

Rebecca Oliver-Black

Hi everyone!

I’m Beck and I have a passion for assisting people to grow in confidence and communication skills. I count myself very lucky to be working with such a supportive, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic team at SPT.

My interest in speech pathology began during my performing experiences as a teenager, when I was fortunate enough to work with a variety of voice and speech specialists. In 2016, I obtained a Bachelor of Musical Theatre from the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University. My fascination in voice and speech continued to grow throughout this training and I decided that I would like to learn about it further. So I did, and in 2019 I graduated from Charles Sturt University with a Masters of Speech Pathology.

I am currently a generalist clinician and enjoy working in all areas of speech pathology. I am developing special interests in speech-sound disorders, literacy, and voice. During all my sessions I aim to provide a safe, fun, and creative environment to help every individual client reach their communication potential.

Meg Rieniets

Growing up in rural Victoria, I headed to the big smoke and graduated in 2014 as a Speech Pathologist at La Trobe University in Melbourne.  After spending my spare time as a student working as a disability support worker, an interest sparked when working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and children with complex communication needs. I particularly became curious about ways in gaining engagement, social reciprocity and building on functional communication skills when working with young children with Autism. Upon graduating, this interest sent me to Western Australia to work as a Speech Pathologist in a Multi-disciplinary team at an Early Intervention centre for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders for several years.

I have also had some time in various other roles such as living and working in a sustainable community in New Zealand and working as a bush-walking guide upon arriving in Tasmania in 2019. What has steered my choices are roles that stem from the foundation of connection and community.

I feel very privileged to now find myself dedicating my time and focus as a Speech Pathologist here in the community in Hobart, a profession that is so diverse and enriching. It brings me such joy to witness an individual’s growth and progress with their communication goals. I also feel very lucky to find myself a part of the SPT team, a team filled with so much passion and knowledge for a variety of areas of the profession.

Helen Keen

Hello, I’m Helen. I graduated in 2016, then spent the next few years working with adults with a wide range of communication and swallowing disorders.

One of my favourite parts of the role was supporting adults with Aphasia, an acquired language disorder which affects the person’s ability to speak or understand language. These clients showed me the immeasurable value of being able to communicate effectively. We worked collaboratively to tackle their difficulties so that they could do the things that mattered most to them. Many of these clients told me it was the perceived ‘small things’ that had made the biggest difference in their lives… like having the confidence to make small talk with the neighbour, or simply being able to order their coffee independently.

I hugely enjoyed this work, and when I moved to Tasmania in 2020, I knew I wanted to branch out and begin working with younger people too. Joining the wonderful team at SPT has enabled me to pursue my interests in literacy and social communication skills. 

Above all, my absolute passion in Speech Pathology is working with people who stutter. I have completed specialist training in treating stuttering in adults and children, namely using the Van Riper approach (which is popular in the UK) and the Lidcombe Program.

Amber Haverstock

Amber enjoys early intervention work with very young children and working with young adults on functional life skills.

She began her career as a speech therapist working in California’s school districts before moving into the medical side of speech pathology. While working with patients in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, Amber gained a lot of experience with head injuries, strokes, and swallowing,

After becoming a mum, Amber wanted to try something new – she was keen to work more in paediatrics and try private practice. Relocating to Tasmania (via Sydney) with her Aussie husband and young daughter enabled this to happen when Amber joined the SPT team at the start of 2021. Her softly spoken presence and particular skillset are an asset to our team and clients.


Your Support Team

Sharon Breen

Introducing our new Business Manager Sharon Breen. Coming from a family of accountants and having married one as well, Sharon says accounting is in her blood! She’s a bit of a gun at helping organisations focus on their vision and bringing team members together to meet their goals.
Having worked in both the commercial and not-for-profit sectors in the areas of public practice, property and health, Sharon can help us align the vision of SPT to ensure that every Tasmanian has access to speech pathology services.
“SPT’s values align closely with my own. The value of kindness especially resonates with me, as I always say to my children Be Kind.” Says Sharon.
Having grown up in Sydney, Sharon moved to Tassie when she married a local. Together they have two teenage kids who’ve represented the state in various sporting and musical abilities. When she’s not acting as family Uber driver Sharon loves spending time with the family, relaxing at their shack and reading historical fiction and murder mysteries.

Alison Vince

Alison is your warm, wonderful and organised receptionist and office manager at SPT. She has stickers and surprises in the top drawer for the little ones, and ready smiles and conversation for everyone. It is likely that Alison will be the voice on the phone when you call and the first person you’ll meet when you come in.

Leeanne Garvin

Leeanne is your wonderful part-time but fully-present member of the reception team. If you call on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, it is likely to be her voice that you will hear. It’s guaranteed that you’ll be greeted with an abundance of smiles and a generous spirit.

Renee Garvin

Welcome to Renee Garvin, the newest member of your wonderful reception team. A gentle spirit and powerhouse ‘doer’, you’ll be greeted and assisted by Renee if your visits with us are in the middle of the day Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. 

Sophie Garvin

Sophie is our wonderful helper in all things office related. She files, she sorts, she laminates, she compiles. And best of all, she’s warm and friendly and focused. She’s not at all afraid of rolling up her sleeves, and we are keen to keep helping her add to her skills as she steps out of school and heads into the next exciting stage of a uni life.

Don't Be Shy. Get In Touch.

If you are interested in working together, give us a call! Or send us an inquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can!