Optimum Movement prides itself in providing a friendly, welcoming environment for children and their parents. Our therapists and staff are carefully chosen for their expert knowledge and experience as well as their ability to engage with the children we see. This ensures we are able to deliver a playful and enjoyable therapy experience for the child.
FIONA CANNY (BOccThy)
Principal Therapist / Director
Fiona is a highly respected Occupational Therapist with a wealth of experience, including over 15 years specialising in paediatrics.
Fiona has specialist knowledge, skills and a passion for working with children with cerebral palsy and their families. Fiona was recognised as a Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist and was employed in this role at Bobath Scotland for 6 years, delivering specialist clinical neurodevelopmental services for children and young adults with cerebral palsy. While at Bobath Scotland she also assisted in the education of therapists both internally and throughout Scotland.
Since returning to Australia, Fiona was employed as a Senior Occupational Therapist for the Cerebral Palsy Health Service at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Brisbane. In 2010 Fiona decided to establish her own paediatric occupational therapy clinic and has continued to provide a high level of service to children and their families.
Fiona has extensive experience in an educational role presenting lectures and in-services to therapists and other medical staff, University students, education staff and parents. She is able to provide in-services and training to schools regarding a child’s difficulties and challenges and can advise the school staff how they can assist a child to progress their skills and reach their potential.
Fiona believes that providing education to parents and children within therapy sessions is a vital component of the therapy process to further strengthen a child’s abilities and self esteem and to develop areas of difficulty.
Fiona is a member of OT Australia and is an Advanced Accredited Bobath Therapist.
JESS HILL (BOccThy)
Jess has a passion for paediatrics with a special interest in assisting those children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families. Growing up with three brothers diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome she brings a unique insight and skills into her therapy practice. This is highlighted by her Honours dissertation titled “Becoming the mother I wanted to be: A mother’s experience raising three children diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome “.
Since graduating from Charles Sturt University with First Class Honours Jess has dedicated her career to improving the lives of the children she sees and their families. She loves working with children to reach their goals in life, as well as providing family-centred care ensuring the whole family feels supported.
Jess is CO-OP trained (Cognitive Orientation to daily Occupational Performance) which is an evidence based therapy approach for people who have difficulties performing motor based goals. CO-OP is now the world's leading intervention for children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD previously known as dyspraxia) and evidence is emerging for cerebral palsy, stroke and autistic spectrum disorder. It is an individualised executive problem solving approach which is invaluable to teach any motor skill from handwriting to riding a bike.
In addition, Jess is a certified therapy dog handler and where appropriate works alongside her cavoodle Raphael (yes, after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle). When conducting sessions with Raphael, Jess will continue to work towards your child’s occupational goals. These may include key areas of daily living such as sensory regulation, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, social skills and communication. Having Raphael in the room with her will add another unique dimension to the session to enhance your child’s engagement and motivation.
Jess is a member of OT Australia.
JAMIE HUNTER (BHlthSc, MOccThy)
Jamie is an enthusiastic member of the Occupational Therapy team and is a strong advocate of the Optimum Movement philosophy that the inclusion of parents and teachers is vital in the therapy process. Jamie has a passion for working with children, their families and teachers to support them to achieve their goals and loves involving family members in all aspects of therapy.
Jamie’s approach to therapy was founded whilst completing her Masters in Occupational Therapy at The University of Queensland where she undertook a research thesis titled: “The importance of parent engagement in paediatric therapy interventions”.
Since graduating Jamie has provided therapy interventions in both early intervention and education settings. She enjoys helping children to identify their own goals so they feel a sense of ownership and purpose about the therapy process. These goals are then addressed in fun, meaningful & practical sessions with strategies that can be implemented in the home and school environment
Jamie is a member of OT Australia.
ELLEN GAUDRY (BOccThy)
Ellen brings a wealth of experience to the Optimum Movement team with 7 years of specialist paediatric experience. She has a passion for working with children of all ages with a special interest in acquired brain injury and neurological disorders including epilepsy and cerebral palsy.
Ellen commenced her paediatric Occupational Therapy career at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Brisbane in 2010 working as a member of the Occupational Therapy Department preparing children for medical procedures. Following this she also had experience with the Queensland Cerebral Palsy Health Service and the Queensland Paediatric Rehabiliation Service.
Since mid 2013 Ellen has worked in London as a Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Evelina Children’s Hospital and St Mary’s Hospital working in both acute and ambulatory settings with children diagnosed with complex movement disorders, childhood stroke, complex epilepsy, acquired brain injury and cerebral palsy. Ellen also has extensive experience assessing and working with infants under the age of 12 months who have developmental delay due to diagnosis or a challenging neonatal period. While in these positions she was responsible for educating therapists, parents and education facilitators throughout the UK in therapies within these specialised areas.
Ellen has both clinical and research experience in the provision of Upper Limb Therapy (Constraint Induced Movement Therapy and Bimanual Therapy) for children with hemiplegia from the ages of 6 months upwards. She believes in early therapy intervention and working with the child and family to develop goals and therapy that fit into their busy daily life. Ellen will work with the child and their family to foster independence within the child’s appropriate developmental stage.
Ellen is a member of OT Australia.
Vicki is the friendly, welcoming face of Optimum Movement. She has a wealth of experience in practice management having worked for several years for a Podiatry clinic in Tasmania. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact Vicki.
Michelle joins Optimum Movement with a background in Early Childhood. Her warm and friendly disposition is supported by a unique skill set being a mother of a child with special needs.
Optimum Movement is fortunate to have 2 very special team members in Raphael & Elsa. These specially trained therapy dogs allow us to offer a unique therapy experience for your child, working closely with the therapist to increase engagement, social interaction, communication and reduce anxiety.
Both therapy dogs have completed a five-day intensive course through Lead The Way and Alpha Canine certifying them as visiting therapy dogs. As part of their training they participated in high-level obedience and good behaviour shaping making them suitable for residential homes, classrooms, hospitals, etc.
Raphael is a very playful male cavoodle who loves being around people and other animals. Although he may appear a bit shy on first meeting, Raph will warm up very quickly as he loves getting lots of pats and attention. His favourite game is tug of war and he also loves to play pop-up-pirate, pretend shops and have tea parties.
Named after her favourite Disney Queen, Elsa is a female labradoodle. The youngest member on staff, she is very playful and sociable.
Watch Raph & Elsa's starring appearance with Optimum Movement on the Today Show
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