Occupational Therapy Advisory Board

Our Occupational Therapy Advisory Board brings together experienced industry members with Deakin representatives. The board consults on teaching and research directions, ensuring our student experience involves practical learning and is applicable to real world occupational therapy settings.

Industry members

Nicole Shaw, Chair

Nicole Shaw is an occupational therapist and the Interprofessional Education Coordinator for the Clinical and Education and Training team at Barwon Health. This position is an organisation-wide position tasked with introducing, developing and facilitating interprofessional education as a means to improve interprofessional collaboration across Barwon Health.

Nicole holds a lecturing position at Deakin with the Interprofessional Education (IPE) teaching team where IPE is delivered to the Faculty of Health. Previously Nicole has held positions as the Acting Manager of Occupational Therapy at Barwon Health and Student Coordinator for the Occupational Therapy Department at Barwon Health. Clinically, Nicole worked as an occupational therapist in home-based rehabilitation teams and neurological rehabilitation.

Victoria Leckey

Occupational therapist, TAC

Victoria graduated as an occupational therapist from Lincoln Institute of Health Sciences in 1984 and has worked as an occupational therapist in Neurological and Multi-trauma rehabilitation over the ensuing 35 years, with a particular interest in traumatic brain injury.

Victoria has practised at leading rehabilitation facilities in Australia and overseas, including Rivermead Rehabilitation Centre in Oxford, England, where she was involved in published clinical research on the reliability of The Barthel ADL Index. Victoria completed a Graduate Diploma in Neurosciences through La Trobe University in 1994, has held senior clinician roles within specialist rehabilitation facilities and has been involved in developing and delivering continuing education programs for clinicians working in the area of community rehabilitation.

In addition to providing clinical services to community-based clients, Victoria is a Clinical Consultant Occupational Therapist with TAC and WorkSafe and has a particular interest in achieving robust and sustainable independence and quality of life outcomes for severely injured clients and their families.

Michael Henry

Occupational therapist, La Trobe Community Health Services

Michael Henry has been a member of the Deakin Occupational Therapy Advisory Board since his transition from student years into professional life in 2014/15. He has worked in various different occupational therapy roles including acute and sub-acute, physical and occupational rehabilitation, hand therapy, paediatrics, and the NDIS. He has also worked as an occupational therapist in the United Kingdom.

Michael is currently an occupational therapist and practice director at Bright Eyes Therapy, a NDIS provider in Victoria. In addition to his participation on the advisory board, Michael has supervised honours students at Deakin, assisting students with their growth, placement experiences, learning and development by helping them identify what is meaningful and important to them, whilst supporting the teaching team.

Helen Nelson

Helen has had over 25 years of experience as an occupational therapist, predominantly in the public health system and is currently working as a Grade 4 Occupational Therapist at Western Health, a large multi-site metropolitan health service located in the western suburbs of Melbourne.

With a Master of Health Science (Education), Helen has a strong interest in occupational therapy student and staff education, competencies and professional development. She is currently the Occupational Therapy Student Coordinator role at Western Health.

Reece Dumbell

Reece is a Jupagalk Minang man, the Co-Founder, and Managing Director of Cameron Wellness Centre a progressive and bespoke NDIS registered therapeutic provider offering Occupational Therapy and Speech Pathology focusing on delivering best practice services to not only the indigenous community but all Australians.

Reece spent 11 years working in the manufacturing industry before transitioning to the health and fitness space where he has owned and managed fitness facilities for 15 years.

A member of differing First Nations business groups Reece has a real passion for empowering and giving mob every opportunity to succeed.

Stephanie Sorraghan

Stephanie is a recent Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) graduate, completing her degree in 2022. At Deakin, Stephanie studied under the Vice Chancellor’s Professional Excellence program and was a student member of the Occupational Therapy Advisory Board. For her Honours project, Stephanie produced a thesis titled Inclusion in sport and recreation: Perceptions of people with disabilities and their supporters.

Stephanie has previously worked as a support worker and paediatric allied health assistant. She currently works as a graduate occupational therapist in a multidisciplinary clinic in regional Victoria. In this role, Stephanie will build her skills across numerous occupational therapy roles, including home modifications, assistive technology, and mental health care. She hopes to pursue work with individuals with mental illness and is particularly interested in forensic mental health care, an area in which she hopes to work or research in the future.

Lynne Foreman

Disability consultant

Lynne was born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita. She is married and has one son. Lynne has spoken to Deakin’s fourth-year occupational therapy students for the past 10 years about Assistive Technology Equipment, sharing how and why she uses this equipment.

Lynne is also a member of V/Line’s Accessible Reference Group, discussing ways to make trains/trams more accessible, and is part of the community for the annual VALID Conference, held annually at Deakin’s Geelong Waterfront Campus. VALID is for people with disabilities and the public to see what is around in the disability sector. Lynne is often asked to appear at functions as a motivational speaker. Her motto is ‘there is no such word as can't’.

Ms Loretta Kingston-Brown

Loretta is the Occupational Therapy Manager at Barwon Health and has recently come back to public health after 5 years with the National Disability Insurance Agency (Branch Manager – Children’s Taskforce and prior to that Director – Early Childhood Services).  Loretta has a wealth knowledge and previous experience in people and service leadership across the disability and early childhood sectors and has worked for 20 years as an occupational therapist and manager in early childhood intervention, community services and public health with organisations such as Noah's Ark, City of Greater Bendigo and Bendigo and Castlemaine Health. Loretta also has experience in educational settings at La Trobe University in Bendigo, teaching in the area of paediatrics.

Ms Danili Dwyer

Danili graduated with a Bachelor of Health Sciences, Masters of Occupational Therapy Practice from LaTrobe University in 2015. She worked initially at a small rural hospital delivering Occupational Therapy services across a small 10 bed acute ward, residential care facility, outpatients and community. She then transitioned into her preferred area of paediatrics, where she was a part of the School Readiness Allied Health program roll out at South West Healthcare. In 2023, Danili worked as the School Readiness Allied Health Team Leader and as the Advanced Developmental Paediatric Practitioner delivering both direct and population-based interventions to the South West early childhood sector.

Currently, Danili is the Occupational Therapy Manager at South West Healthcare and hopes her role on the Deakin Advisory Board will help continue to foster the existing relationships between South West Healthcare and Deakin University, particularly following the recent launch of the Occupational Therapy course at Deakin's Warrnambool campus.

Deakin members

Professor Jenny Watts, Head of School, School of Health and Social Development

Valerie Watchorn, Course Director, Bachelor of Occupational Therapy

Associate Professor Kirk Reed, Discipline Lead

Student representatives

Mae Williamson

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