Operations Manager Central/Southern
I started my SLT career in 2008 on the acute wards at Middlemore Hospital assessing and managing acquired and neurogenic speech, language and swallowing impairments. However having developed a passion for AAC during my undergraduate training, the opportunity to move to TalkLink was too good to pass up and so in December 2009 I joined the Auckland office and had the pleasure of working across Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland, Kirikiriora/Hamilton and Tūranga/Gisborne. In 2010 I relocated to my home town of Ōtautahi/Christchurch to work alongside the amazing team down there.
During my time at TalkLink, I’ve had the privilege of working with clients across the whole lifespan and in all sectors including early intervention, mainstream and special schools, residential and disability providers, aged care and hospital settings and in people’s homes throughout the South Island. In 2014, I completed my Post Graduate Certificate in SLT from Massey University with focus areas including early intervention and RETT syndrome. I’ve enjoyed progressing through various roles at TalkLink including 18 months in a Clinical Lead role before taking a short hiatus from TalkLink to pursue private contracting for an ACC therapy provider. During this time, I also completed a short-term contract with the Ministry of Health. However my love of all things AT & AAC pulled me back to TalkLink in April 2022 when I was fortunate to secure the position of Operations Manager for the Central/Southern region.
Whilst my role now is predominantly managerial and administrative, I continue to relish in operating a small clinical caseload. I enjoy the challenge of finding appropriate low & high-tech AAC systems for my clients, and helping to build confidence and competence with internal and external team members. I look forward to continuing to work in this exciting and ever changing field, and most importantly, in helping our clients find their voice.
Speech Language Therapist
I graduated from University College London (UCL) in 2016 with a Masters of Speech and Language Sciences. I provided Speech and Language services to schools around the Surrey region in the UK before taking a break to go travelling.
In September 2019 I set off from the UK to travel overland to New Zealand. I passed through 14 countries travelling mainly on trains and buses, and cycled over 4000kms around SE Asia before arriving in NZ. In New Zealand, I rode from Cape Reinga to Bluff as part of the Tour Aotearoa Cycle challenge, and continued with my own 2000km+ bike tour around the South Island.
I began working in Wellington as an Allied Health Assistant in the older adult inpatient and community teams at Wellington hospital, before joining TalkLink as a Speech and Language Therapist in January 2022. I was inspired by the difference that AAC can make to people’s lives through working with adult and children SLT clients during my SLT training and work, and am very excited to now be working in this area.
I am a firm believer in the power of what you can achieve when you put your mind to it – something which is equally true when adventuring around the world, or when working together on Speech and Language Therapy goals.
Assistive Technology Support
I have Batchelors degrees in Physical Education and Computer Science from Otago University. I started my career with ten years as a Recreation Officer at Victoria University, however, most of the past 20 years have been as an ICT Operations Manager.
In February/March 2020 my wife and I cycled the Tour Aotearoa - (3000km off-road self-supported bike packing trip from Cape Reinga to Bluff) which was an experience of a lifetime and a great way to see this wonderful country we live in. We were also fortunate to finish the week before we went into lockdown. Turns out a month of cycling following a month in lockdown provided a great time for reflection and a chance to take stock and decide on what's important.
Quality of life and work life balance.
After 30 years of playing Ultimate at a National and International level, I’ve returned to the sport to coach the NZ Men’s team. Unfortunately last year’s World Championships that was to be in the Netherlands was cancelled due to the pandemic, so I’m now working with the NZ Ultimate High Performance Committee to see what we can do to raise the level of NZ competition during these challenging times in the absence of International travel.
I'm really enjoying a change of pace while working with some great people in my part-time Assistive Technology Support role at Talklink in Wellington. This is also allowing me to get outdoors more and enjoy life while splitting my time between Wellington and the Wairarapa.
Speech Language Therapist
I have worked in a range of settings with both children and adults with communication delays, communication disorders and complex needs. This has included working in healthcare settings/hospitals and with the Ministry of Education, with preschool and school aged children. I have experienced a range of communication and learning needs and worked with a number of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems. I am from Wellington and graduated from Victoria University with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Education. I also studied at the University of Canterbury, completing a Bachelor of Speech-Language Therapy (Hons).
Speech Language Therapist
In 2015, I graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor of Speech Language Therapy. Following my studies, I worked for 5 years at the Ministry of Education, Learning Support, in the Bay of Plenty region. During that time, I worked with a wide range of children, from 3 – 21 years of age, with diverse communication and learning needs. Of these clients, I had a real passion for working with children who had complex communication needs and their teams. I also really enjoyed facilitating training with teachers and parents; watching people grow as they built confidence and competence in supporting their child’s communication. My best days at work were when a team felt like they no longer needed my support.
In 2020, I joined the TalkLink team to build on my interest in complex communication needs and helping people to find their voice. I enjoy the challenge of working with clients and their teams to find the best solution to help a client communicate. The smallest changes can have the biggest rewards. I’m excited to be a part of the TalkLink team and to continue to build my knowledge in the area of augmentative and alternative communication.
I have a background in nursing, a psychology degree and a primary teaching qualification from the UK. I taught primary children in the UK for many years. I lived in Sri Lanka for two years teaching English as a foreign language to adults. I am deaf but now hear well thanks to a cochlear implant and external speech processor (otherwise known as my magic ear). I use assistive technology in many of my daily activities. This assistive technology is a Roger Pen. Roger is my constant companion, named after the man who invented the technology. Roger is an FM transmitter which streams sound directly to a Roger receiver in my speech processor.
I have a keen interest in inclusion and empowering those with communication impairments to lead a life without limits, and to participate fully, confidently and happily in society. I am delighted to be part of the TalkLink team.
I joined the TalkLink team at Wellington in January 2009. Prior to this, I studied sports and therapeutic massage, and sport and recreation in Hawkes Bay. Ultimately deciding to study Occupational Therapy, I subsequently graduated from Auckland University of Technology in 2008
As the senior Occupational Therapist on the TalkLink Lower North Island team, I am involved in assessing the functional abilities of clients in regard to supporting their independent access to both written and spoken communication technology. I provide support to staff with my Occupational therapy expertise.
Speech Language Therapist (Parental Leave)
I am a Speech and Language Therapist who initially joined the TalkLink Lower North Island team in 2012 after a clinical placement at TalkLink that sparked my interest in AAC. I went on my OE to London in 2014 where I worked for the NHS in a range of paediatric settings including AAC.
When I returned to New Zealand in 2016 I was very excited to re-join the TalkLink team and to work in the area I am most passionate about.
I strongly believe that just because someone can’t talk, doesn’t mean they have nothing to say. My favourite part of my job is problem solving with clients and their teams to find the best tool to enable the client to communicate.
I am an AAC activist and I am dedicated and motivated to educate the community about AAC.
I create low tech communication books and resources. My background and training is in graphic design.
Speech language Therapist
I completed a Masters of Speech Pathology at the University of Melbourne, Australia in 2015, before briefly providing speech therapy services in a remote town of Queensland and then moving to New Zealand.
I originally started working for the TalkLink central region in 2016. During this time I provided AAC education, trials and training as well as running Talking Mats courses and coordinating other courses run by our fantastic teachers. I moved back to Australia in late 2018, where I delivered 1-1 therapy with children and adults with a range of communication difficulties and in a variety of settings. I have recently relocated back to Wellington, NZ, and have had the privilege of returning to TalkLink and working towards functional and autonomous communication for all.
Having recently graduated from Oxford Brookes University, UK with a BSc Occupational Therapy (Hons), I am delighted to now be a member of the TalkLink Team.
Although I was born in New Zealand, I have spent the majority of my adult life overseas; including USA, Belgium and England.
In England, I worked within the NHS (Lewisham & Greenwich, London) facilitating rehabilitation to stroke patients and then conducting research into post-stroke wellbeing within the community. I also gained a lot of experience whilst on placement working at an in-patient adolescent facility plus community adult mental health service and, understand that; “Being, Becoming and Belonging” is necessary for all of us to get through life’s challenges.
What keeps us occupied, engaged and contented is an important aspect of living well and I strive to incorporate this into each and every one of my client liaisons. An aspect of this is the most basic human right – the ability to communicate with each other. On a daily basis, it allows us to connect with people, make decisions, express feelings and feel part of the community.
Therefore, in my position as an Occupational Therapist at Talklink, I am committed to assessing communication needs and investigating how to best access Assistive Technology to enhance our daily interactions.
I enjoy the challenge of problem solving, having a mindset to ensure satisfaction and finding a way to get things done. A personal motto has always been “Where there’s the Will – There Is a Way”!