Our Team

We are a dynamic team of vibrant allied health professionals, who love making a positive impact.

Michelle Hyde

Qualification: 
  • Bachelor of Applied Sciences (Occupational Therapy)
  • Currently completing a diploma in Homeopathy
Personal Mission Statement: 
  • To foster growth, self-awareness and change in the community and within my clients through education, compassion and high quality intervention.
Professional Experience: 
  • Orthopaedic Rehabilitation, Neurological Rehabilitation, Inpatient and Outpatient OT settings, private practise (paediatrics), Level 1 Tomatis Practitioner, M.O.R.E training, Astronaut Protocol, Therapeutic Listening, Rhythmic Movement Training, Neurodevelopmental Technique Training, DIR/Floortime Training, Sensory Integration Training.
Passion Area of Care: 
  • Attachment Theory and developmental trauma recovery, the ‘too hard basket’, kids with nuanced sensory processing challenges, the ‘just not meeting their potential’ kids, auditory processing and the Tomatis Method.
Hobbies and Interests: 
  • Meditation and yoga
  • Gardening
  • Home improvement projects
Interesting and Random Facts: 
  • If you were a dinosaur, what would you be? Triceratops
  • If we were a dog what would you be? Husky
  • What’s your Hogwarts house?  Hufflepuff/Gryffindor
  • What’s your favourite movie/movie genre? Original Aladdin and Lion King
  • What’s your favourite TV show? Brooklyn 99, How I Met Your Mother, Community
  • If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be? 14th Dalai Lama
  • What is a hidden skill you have? I can play clarinet and saxophone
  • Funny quote a child has said to you? Child lets out wind in session. Child: “Michelle why are you crying? Is it because of my fart? Yeah, my mum cries too. Then puts the fan on!”

Melissa Hale

Qualification: 
  • Bachelor of Applied Sciences (Occupational Therapy)
Personal Mission Statement: 
  • I love being a paediatric occupational therapist! Seeing the changes, big and small that our kids can make is so rewarding.  I believe that all children should be given the opportunity to thrive and grow. 
Professional Experience: 
  • Insight to eye sight – visual perception and occular motor assessment and treatment.
  • Astronaut protocol – visual, auditory and vestibular treatment.
  • Bayley assessment certification – specialised training in assessing achievement of milestones and determining global developmental delay in children and infants up to 3.5 yrs.
  • Tomatis introductory course – use of sound therapy and bone conduction to retrain the brains ability to process sound and achieve greater attention regulation.
  • Rhythmic movement training – use of specialised movements to integrate primitive reflexes and mature the nervous system.
Passion Area of Care: 
  • My personal interests in therapy are in visual perception dysfunction and reflex integration.
Hobbies and Interests: 
  • Gardening, trips to kmart and movie nights with my family.
Interesting and Random Facts: 
  • If you were a dinosaur, what would you be? Stegosaurus
  • If we were a do what would you be? Dog? Beagle
  • What’s your Hogwarts house? Hufflepuff
  • What’s your favourite movie/movie genre? Lord of the rings
  • What’s your favourite TV show? The office
  • If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be? C.S.Lewis
  • What is a hidden skill you have? Crying in movies 
  • Funny quote a child has said to you? When trying to avoid a tricky activity, a child climbed onto my lap, hugged me and told me i smelled nice. He still had to do the activity though.

Samantha Roots

Qualification:
  • Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (December 2020 completion) 
Personal Mission Statement:
  • I’ve always wanted to work with children, and I love the fact that I am able to help make a difference in the lives of not only the kids I work with, but their families too. I’m always learning new skills and ways in which I can help my clients grow, and that’s what I love about OT!
Professional Experience: 
  • 4 years at Australian Catholic University completing my OT degree
  • Volunteer work with MDNSW holiday camps
  • Disability support work with HireUp
  • Level 1 AUSLAN Course (in progress)
Passion Area of Care: 
  • I have a passion for working with children with ASD. I love being able to help them learn and grow and in turn watching them thrive right in front of my eyes. I learn a lot from the kids too – I can now name 6 types of dinosaurs!
Hobbies and Interests:
  • Getting crafty
  • Singing in the shower, or in the car… or just about anywhere
  • Spending time with friends
Interesting and Random Facts:
  • If you were a dinosaur, what would you be? Stegosaurus
  • If we were a dog, what would you be? My mum says I’d be a Labrador
  • What’s your Hogwarts house? Gryffindor / Hufflepuff
  • What’s your favourite movie/movie genre? Horror or comedy (strange mix I know)
  • What’s your favourite TV show? The Office (US)
  • If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be? Walt Disney – imagine the stories he could tell
  • What is a hidden skill you have? Taking too many photos of a pretty sunset and never deleting them!
  • Funny quote a child has said to you? Too many to count!

Jacqueline Hoepper

Qualification:
  • Bachelor of Science (Occupational Therapy)
Personal Mission Statement:
  • To empower people to achieve the greatest level of success and independence as well as to foster a curiosity for life and learning.
  • For myself, I strive to continue learning through courses and further educational training but also from the interactions with each person I work with. It is a joy and privilege to share in the life journey of the kids and each day comes with its own new adventure; there is no knowing what each day will hold.
Professional Experience: 
  • Since leaving university I have furthered my training in sensory integration, SOS feeding approach, DIR Floortime, Therapeutic Listening, Interactive Metronome, introduction to Makaton and adult sensory integration.
  • Following graduation in June 2016, I spent a year working in a government hospital in one of the smaller towns in South Africa after which I moved into private practice in Johannesburg. I have worked with multidisciplinary teams to provide holistic treatment for children with from birth to 13 years with varying conditions and diagnoses.
Passion Area of Care: 
  • Young children with sensory processing disorder, with or without other diagnoses. I also enjoy working with children who have difficulty interacting with others and their environment. Helping children learn to engage in more meaningful interactions and play.
Hobbies and Interests:
  • Baking
  • Gardening
  • Yoga
  • Spending time with friends and family
  • Crocheting
  • Playing guitar and piano
Interesting and Random Facts:
  • If you were a dinosaur, what would you be? Triceratops
  • If we were a dog, what would you be? Labrador
  • What’s your Hogwarts house? Hufflepuff
  • What’s your favourite movie/movie genre? Comedy / Horror
  • What’s your favourite TV show? Lego Masters
  • If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be? Nelson Mandela
  • What is a hidden skill you have? Crocheting stuffed animals
  • Funny quote a child has said to you?
    Me: “What else do we need to make our card for mum?” 
    Child: “An adult to supervise when we use the scissors.” 
    Me: “…” 

Katherine Wong

Qualification:
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Occupational Therapy (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Personal Mission Statement:
  • I like helping people in my professional career and watching parents and children smile. I am dedicated to improving my professional knowledge and skills in providing paediatric occupational therapy. I believe every person is equal and can shine if given the right nutrients and nourishment.
Professional Experience: 
  • Mental health unit at a public hospital, over 5 years of paediatric OT services at a private practice, OT groups in primary and high school, aged care facility.
  • Astronaut Protocol, Therapeutic Listening, DIR/Floortime Training, Sensory Integration Training, Trauma informed approach to sensory processing disorder and arousal regulation, Beckman Oral Motor Assessment and Intervention, Building Blocks for Sensory Integration (Reflex integration), Sensory Defensiveness.
Passion Area of Care: 
  • Therapeutic Listening, Sensory integration which helps arousal regulation, Parenting styles and parent-child interactions, Visual perception dysfunction.
Hobbies and Interests:
  • Going to new places and eating delicious food
  • Watching cats’ videos
  • Cooking Hong Kong styled meals
Interesting and Random Facts:
  • If you were a dinosaur, what would you be? Pteranodon
  • If we were a dog, what would you be? Welsh Springer Spaniel
  • What’s your Hogwarts house? Gryffindor
  • What’s your favourite movie/movie genre? Cartoon / Comedy
  • What’s your favourite TV show? Documentaries
  • If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be? Jesus and his disciples
  • What is a hidden skill you have? Creating new lyrics on any songs that I like within seconds
  • Funny quote a child has said to you? Too many…!!!

Darcy Dellavecchia

Qualification:
  • I received my education in the USA with an Undergraduate degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy through Lenior-Rhyne University in North Carolina, USA in 2012.
Personal Mission Statement:
  • I strive to a provide a child-centred and relationship-based approach to working in the world of paediatric occupational therapy. I believe each child is unique and tailor my sessions to make them motivating and meaningful. I very much value education and hope to continue to learn and grow as well as share my knowledge with my team and my community.
Professional Experience: 
  • I have attended several continuing education courses including a foundations course in YogaKids, Sensory Integration Certification through University of Southern California, education in the use of the Sequential Oral Sensory approach to feeding, foundational use of Ortin-Gillingham Methodology, use of the Interactive Metronome and many more. During school I worked with the Autism Society of North Carolina as a camp counsellor on a one-on-one basis and have worked as a paediatric occupational therapist both in school and clinic settings.
Passion Area of Care: 
  • I have worked with many ages and diagnoses in paediatrics. I use a multi-sensory, relationship-based approach to address learning differences, sensory processing and modulation, fine motor, visual motor and gross motor skills as well as addressing other related areas. I also believe in helping my clients build self-esteem and independence in their daily lives all while having fun! The most common diagnoses I have worked with include, but are not limited to, Autism/Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Dysgraphia, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, general Development Delays and other motor and coordination disorders.
Hobbies and Interests:
  • I love travelling and going to new places, hiking, reading and enjoying life!
Interesting and Random Facts:
  • If you were a dinosaur, what would you be? I would have to say a pterodactyl because then I could fly above and look at all the other cool dinosaurs below… and hopefully stay out of the way of that T-Rex!
  • If we were a dog, what would you be? We have had some wonderful golden retrievers growing up and I love them because they are fun, adventurous and loving dogs, so I would have to say golden retriever.
  • What’s your Hogwarts house? This is a tough one! I am between a Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff…even though I do see the importance of hard work and patience I am going to go with Ravenclaw because I do highly value knowledge and creativity the most.
  • What’s your favourite movie/movie genre? All of the Shrek movies! Shrek 2 is my most favourite. I really enjoy funny movies, action movies and movies with a good mystery or a great twist.
  • What’s your favourite TV show? The Office – the American version as that’s the one I have seen.
  • If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be? Family members that have passed. I would love to learn more about those that came before me.
  • What is a hidden skill you have? I can sort of juggle but not too well, I’m still working on it!
  • Funny quote a child has said to you? There are so many! A lot have been based on my sad drawing attempts during games!

Danielle Pautschnig

Qualification:
  • Master in Counselling
    • Minoring in Child and Adolescent counselling
    • Minoring in Trauma counselling
Personal Mission Statement:
  • After previously being a teacher I noticed that more support was needed to help those that were in need of it. In my role, I can help build resilience, confidence and passion in the next generation. I want to be able to assist kids and their parents through what it is that they are experiencing.
Professional Experience:
  • Being a primary school teacher
  • Counselling in a school
  • Attended the biannual PACFA Conference the focus was on Trauma
  • Various professional development
Passion area of care:
  • Parent and child relationships
  • Talking to a variety of people from various ages
  • Watching a shift in a person that I am working with happen
Hobbies and interests:
  • Basketball (watching and playing)
  • Watching NRL team play (Canberra Raiders)
  • Movie Marathons
  • Listening to music
  • Relaxing arts and crafts projects
Interesting and Random Facts:
  • If you were a dinosaur, what would you be? Pterodactyl
  • If we were a dog, what would you be? German Shepherd
  • What’s your Hogwarts house? Hufflepuff
  • What’s your favourite movie/movie genre? Love Rosie or any good comedy movie
  • What’s your favourite TV show? Whatever Netflix recommends to me
  • If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be? Albert Einstein
  • What is a hidden skill you have? I can bend only one IP joint on both middle fingers
  • Funny quote a child has said to you?
    Client “I’m Batman!”
    Me “Can I help Batman at all”
    Client “no, Batman is okay”
    10 minutes later “Batman needs help! Batman needs help!”

Santina Surace

Qualification:
  • Bachelor of Applied Social Sciences (Counselling)
Personal Mission Statement:
  • To foster growth, self-awareness and change in the community and within my clients through education, compassion and high-quality intervention.
Professional Experience:
  • 400 hours of counselling field work experience completed through my University degree.
Passion area of care:
  • My passion is working with children to support growth, development, independence and amazing wellbeing. I love that every session is different and suited upon the type of day the client is having.
Hobbies and interests:
  • Yoga
  • Travelling
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Interior design
  • Dancing
  • Watching Movies
Interesting and Random Facts:
  • If you were a dinosaur, what would you be? Brachiosaurus
  • If we were a dog, what would you be? Labradoodle
  • What’s your Hogwarts house? Hufflepuff
  • What’s your favourite movie/movie genre? Romantic Comedy’s
  • What’s your favourite TV show? Grey’s Anatomy
  • If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be? My deceased grandmother and grandfather who I never had the chance to meet.
  • What is a hidden skill you have? I can make my bottom lip touch my nose.
  • Funny quote a child has said to you?
    Client: “Why are your nails red? Are you angry?”
    Me: “….my nails are painted red, I have red nail polish on them”

Roxanne Jason

Qualification:
  • BPhysT graduate 2013 from University of Pretoria
Personal Mission Statement:
  • I believe that every child has the right to fulfill their fullest potential. I consider it my life mission to help children and their families in that and to provide hope. I live by Jer 29:11 – I believe there is a future for all of us to bring hope and to prosper.
Professional Experience:
  • MAES trained therapist (2015) 
  • General Movement Analysis (Prechtl method) 2016 
  • Fussy Baby course (training in neonatal care) 2017 
Passion area of care:
  • I absolutely love working with neonates – from very early on and following through with care until they are toddlers or school going age. 
Hobbies and interests:
  • Outdoors – I love anywhere green and with water
  • Arts/live music, theatre, galleries you name it
Interesting and Random Facts:
  • If you were a dinosaur, what would you be? Pterodactyl
  • If we were a dog, what would you be? Labrador
  • What’s your Hogwarts house? Proud Hufflepuff
  • What’s your favourite movie/movie genre? I LOVE animations and musicals
  • What’s your favourite TV show? Greys Anatomy 
  • If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be? Cliche christian thing to say but it has to be Jesus
  • What is a hidden skill you have? I write and perform poetry, also teaching myself the keyboard and guitar 

Hannah Gorman

Qualification:
  • BSC. Hons Speech and Language Therapy  
Personal Mission Statement:
  • Integrating clinical practice, education and research to better children and young people’s access to education, learning and achieving their potential. 
Professional Experience:
  • 5 years working within education (mainstream primary and secondary, Pupil-Referral Unit and Special School for Students with Autism). I have worked with a vast range of children and young people, their families and educators in both London, UK and Abu Dhabi, UAE.  
Passion area of care:
  • Embedding research and evidence-based practice into all areas of practice.  
  • Supporting students with additional needs that are excluded from school. 
Hobbies and interests:
  • Boxing
  • Cycling
  • Baking
  • Breakfast
  • Being by the sea 
Interesting and Random Facts:
  • If you were a dinosaur, what would you be? Stegosaurus
  • If we were a dog, what would you be? King Charles Spaniel  
  • What’s your Hogwarts house? Ravenclaw  
  • What’s your favourite movie/movie genre? Documentaries – I can’t sit through a whole film! 
  • What’s your favourite TV show? Taskmaster
  • If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be? David Attenborough  
  • What is a hidden skill you have? I can wiggle my ears  
  • Funny quote a child has said to you? “Miss, why is your hair yellow and your eyebrows grey” 

Brittany Lynch

Qualification: 
  • Certificate in Children’s Services
Personal Mission Statement: 
  • I love working as a TA at Spring Forward as we get to work with Children and teenagers of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. I am passionate about all children having a place they feel excited to come to every week, where therapy doesn’t feel like therapy. I am passionate about being in an environment where every family feels welcome, no matter how big or small their concerns are. 
Experience: 
  • 8 years working in Children’s Services, being an educator and later, an Inclusion Support Worker. Training and experience with NDIS. 
Passion Area of Care: 
  • I enjoy learning and using Sensory Integration Therapy to help children with processing difficulties. My favourite part of treating these children is using Sound Therapy and messy play. 
Hobbies and Interests: 
  • I enjoy drawing and art 
  • Live music
  • Discovering new hiking tracks and lookouts
Interesting and Random Facts: 
  • If you were a dinosaur, what would you be? Pterodactyl (so I can fly)
  • If you were a dog what would you be? Labrador
  • What’s your Hogwarts house? Hufflepuff
  • What’s your favourite movie/movie genre? Pearl Harbour 
  • What’s your favourite TV show? The Office
  • If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be? Michael Scott
  • What is a hidden skill you have?  My artistic side
  • Funny quote a child has said to you? “You’re not heaps pretty, but you have blue eyes” 

Monica Basta

Qualification: 
  • Therapy Assistant
Personal Mission Statement: 
  • Working with children is a dream come true! I have a passion for changing lives and allowing our small people to believe that they can achieve and accomplish almost anything they want in a fun and innovative way. This is why I’ve chosen a career in allied health (speech pathology) and why I love working at SFFC.
Professional Experience: 
  • Currently studying Speech Pathology, at University.
  • Certificate in Key Word Sign.
  • Participated in a Projects Abroad program in Vietnam for a month at a rehabilitation centre with children and adolescents.
Passion Area of Care: 
  • Favourite part of my job is working with children and seeing them improve over time. 
Hobbies and Interests: 
  • Baking and cooking.
  • Exploring and going on adventures.
  • Colouring in.
  • Socialising and meeting new people.
Interesting and Random Facts: 
  • If you were a dinosaur, what would you be? Tyrannosaurus Rex
  • If you were a dog what would you be? Golden Retriever
  • What’s your Hogwarts house? Hufflepuff
  • What’s your favourite movie/movie genre? Comedy
  • What’s your favourite TV show? I don’t really watch TV shows
  • If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be? Albert Einstein
  • What is a hidden skill you have? Being a chef (desserts specifically) and a food reviewer 
  • Funny quote a child has said to you? “I found someone shorter than my mum!”

Zoe Green

Qualification: 
  • Currently completing a bachelor of Occupational Therapy.
Personal Mission Statement: 
  • I love being able to work with children and support them as they achieve their goals and dreams. 
Professional Experience: 
  • Previously I have worked as a nanny and I am now looking forward to completing my bachelor and further training in the future. 
Passion Area of Care: 
  • My favorite part of being an TA is getting to work alongside children as they reach their goals. It’s so much fun when we learn something new.
Hobbies and Interests: 
  • When I’m not at work I love spending time with my family and friends exploring a new lookout or getting a coffee.
Interesting and Random Facts: 
  • If you were a dinosaur, what would you be? Triceratops 
  • If we were a dog what would you be? Beagle
  • What’s your Hogwarts house? Hufflepuff
  • What’s your favourite movie/movie genre? Rom-coms 
  • What’s your favourite TV show? The Office 
  • If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be? Joan of Arc 
  • What is a hidden skill you have? I make amazing choc-chip cookies 
  • Funny quote a child has said to you? From my 3 year old sister “you’re not my sister, you’re my Zoe”

Deanna Szczygiel

Qualification: 
  • Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication)
Personal Mission Statement: 
  • Helping the community stay well informed about the services that are available to them is an important role and something I’m happy to be a part of.
Professional Experience: 
  • 2 years experience in Graphic Design
  • 1 year experience in Digital Marketing
Passion Area of Care: 
  • Being able to showcase the fun, supportive, learning environment the team creates and the kids love is the best part of role.
Hobbies and Interests: 
  • Outdoor Adventures
  • Visual Arts
  • Traveling
Interesting and Random Facts: 
  • If you were a dinosaur, what would you be? Triceratops 
  • If we were a dog what would you be? Poodle
  • What’s your Hogwarts house? Gryffindor
  • What’s your favourite movie/movie genre? Drama
  • What’s your favourite TV show? Gilmore Girls/Game of Thrones/Buffy the Vampire Slayer (can’t choose…)
  • What is a hidden skill you have? Drawing/painting (not exactly hidden just don’t do it much anymore)
  • Funny quote a child has said to you? “My dad has the very first iPhone. It’s super old!”

Jemma Corsiatto

Qualification:
  • Cert 3 in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Cert 3 in business 
Personal Mission Statement: 
  • My goal within this role is to support individuals and make them feel valued and know they have a voice and I am here to listen. During my career I want to achieve success in knowing I can make someone’s day and support them through there achievements.
Professional Experience: 
  • I started my Cert 3 in Early Childhood Education and Care during my first year after completed my HSC and I have recently completed my Cert 3 in business. I have completed training to be certified in both First Aid and munch and move whilst completing my Cert 3 in Early Childhood. 
Passion Area of Care: 
  • My favourite part about my job is communicating and support clients on a day to day basis and getting to know them and watch them grow.
Hobbies and Interests:
  • Netball, road trips, going to the beach and camping 
Interesting and Random Facts:
  • If you were a dinosaur, what would you be? Triceratops
  • What’s your Hogwarts house? Hufflepuff
  • What’s your favourite movie/movie genre? Documentary and comedy & favourite movie – Titanic 
  • What’s your favourite TV show? Riverdale 
  • If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be? My puppy 
  • What is a hidden skill you have? I’ve never done professional dancing but I am flexible 
  • Funny quote a child has said to you? I have braces and the children I worked with in the childcare don’t know what they are, all the time I was being asked “why are those bars in your mouth” 

Join our team

Spring Forward Family Centre is a diverse, unique and successful company that is continually evolving and innovating.

When you join the Spring Forward family, you will be part of a dynamic team of vibrant allied health professionals, be supported by a strong company culture and weekly professional development activities to help you grow as a professional.

If you are a fun, easy-going and enthusiastic person who is keen to grow professionally, if you love working as part of a team, if you are attentive to details, can accept feedback positively and you are keen to action tasks in a timely manner, we would love to hear from you.

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SPRING FORWARD FAMILY CENTRE

31 Henry Street Penrith, NSW 2750
Phone: (02) 4722 0891 Email: springfwd

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