NSW Divisional Council

The Occupational Therapy Australia NSW Divisional Council represents the interests and provides advice to support the members affiliated with the Division. 

The Council comprises OTA members from across the state who bring a diversity of skills and experience to the Association. Council members welcome and value member input and feedback. If you would like to connect with any of our NSW Divisional Council members, please contact us at OTA and we will be happy to forward your information to the Council and/or Divisional Manager.

Chairperson

  • Jessica Francis

Members

  • Dr Samantha Ashby
  • Anthony Campbell
  • Mary Evatt
  • Ashleigh George
  • Anne Haron
  • Joanne Lewis
  • Dr Trish Mackey
  • Gillian Mills
  • Trina Phuah
  • Pauline Russett
  • Nikki Tulliani
  • Sheridan Wicks

Jessica Francis (Chair)

Jessica works in senior operational leadership within the disability sector. Jess has worked clinically and in management roles across a range of settings within the private sector for over 10 years. Jess is involved in supervision and mentoring Occupational Therapists and is currently completing postgraduate research into the use of virtual reality as an intervention tool.

Dr Samantha Ashby                 

Dr Samantha Ashby is an associate professor in occupational therapy in the School of Health Sciences at the University of Newcastle.  She has a varied clinical background having worked in education, mental health practice, physical rehabilitation and occupational rehabilitation since graduating in 1987 from the London School of Occupational Therapy.

Her research contributes to the profession through increasing understanding of how professional resilience is impacted by the use of theory in everyday practice, occupation-based practice and professional identity. Her work raises awareness of the strategies required to combat the impact of dominant discourses and other occupational stressors in practice for clinicians, managers and educators and how to improve a practitioner’s career longevity and retention in the workforce.

Anthony Campbell

Anthony is a new graduate member currently working across the NDIS and Worker’s Compensation schemes. Anthony completed his Master of Occupational Therapy at the University of Canberra in June 2020 before moving back to NSW to begin working as an Occupational Therapist in the private practice space. Currently, Anthony has an interest in a wide range of practice areas and is working in a generalist Occupational Therapy role with the aim of finding the ‘just right’ area of practice to focus on.  Prior, to becoming an Occupational Therapist, Anthony studied History and worked in a primary school setting, and has an interest in research, evidence-based practice, and knowledge translation into clinical practice. Anthony is excited to join the Divisional Council as a second-year graduate and to contribute to Occupational Therapy Australia.

Mary Evatt

Mary is a registered occupational therapist who has worked in mental health for 20 years.  Over the last ten years, she has focused her interests on occupational therapy in Intensive Psychiatric Care Units.  She has conducted and published research in this area. Mary has a keen interest in supporting clinical occupational therapists. She looks forwards to being a member of the Divisional Council and contributing to Occupational Therapy Australia and meeting fellow occupational therapists.‚Äč

Ashleigh George

Ashleigh is a private practice occupational therapist, graduated from the University of Sydney. She is working in the paediatric community sector, specialising in assisting children achieve their functional goals to participate meaningfully in their daily lives. Ashleigh has developed a skill base across a variety of diagnoses and complexities, and has undertaken diverse post-graduate training in essential elements of paediatric development and therapy intervention.

Ashleigh appreciates the opportunity to impart knowledge from her experiences and represent the current environment surrounding the private practice paediatric occupational therapy community. Ashleigh looks forward to being a member of the NSW Divisional Council and contributing to the development of Occupational Therapy Australia, as well as the wider occupational therapy community.

Anne Haron

Anne is a senior Occupational Therapist with over 30 years’ experience. She first started her work as an Occupational Therapist in rural and remote areas of NSW which developed her resourcefulness, resilience and problems solving skills. These skills have served her well in her career. Anne has extensive experience is in the provision of rehabilitation in compensable schemes across Australia both as a clinician and in management.  She has expertise and special interest in amputee and complex injury rehabilitation. Anne is also interested in the development of the occupational therapy profession and previously worked as the CPD manager for Occupational Therapy Australia, NSW. Currently, Anne works as a Rehabilitation Consultant, Medicolegal Assessor and Quality Assurance Manager for a private OT practice and is looking forward to contributing to NSW Divisional Council and to the Occupational Therapy profession.

Jo Lewis

Jo is a registered occupational therapist with 22 years of experience in clinical, management, academia, and research.  After completing her occupational therapy degree, she obtained a Master’s in Health Law and is currently completing her PhD.  Jo’s PhD is investigating the impact that cognitive changes after breast cancer have on the work participation of women with breast cancer.  She has published and presented this work nationally and internationally.  Jo has been working in the public and private workplace rehabilitation sector since she graduated.   She has been a lecturer in occupational therapy at the University of Sydney since 2008 teaching workplace rehabilitation, work health and safety, health law and ethics, occupational therapy theory and cancer rehabilitation.  Jo also works as a clinical program consultant at CancerAid, designing and delivering programs to support people with cancer and their employers in the return-to-work process. Jo is looking forward to sharing her knowledge and expertise from working in various compensable schemes and the university sector, as well as her research, to contribute to OT Australia and the profession.

Dr Trish Mackey

Trish commenced in the role of Senior Lecturer with Charles Sturt University in mid-2021. Previously she held the position of Deputy Public Advocate with the ACT Human Rights Commission and had responsibilities for oversighting and monitoring service systems (mental health, disability, child protection), and in the provision of systemic and individual advocacy. Trish is also a social worker and maintains a part-time multidisciplinary private practice providing therapeutic and clinical services in the disability and domestic violence areas. She has presented at international and national conferences on her work in human rights. Her PhD was an interdisciplinary qualitative study on the barriers and enablers to conducting domestic violence research with children. She has been on the ACT Divisional Council and is currently on the Disability and Aged Care National Reference Groups with OTA.

Gillian Mills

Gillian has worked in paediatrics for 25 years, during which time she has held both clinical and leadership roles in educational, non-government organisations and the private sector. She is currently working as a Clinical Lead within the area of early childhood. Gillian has specialist skills supporting and building the capacity of families and working with children with complex needs to reach their full potential. Gillian has a keen interest in supervising and mentoring clinicians.

Gillian is excited to be part of the Divisional Council, representing the needs of fellow clinicians particularly those working within the field of early childhood and use her skills and experience to contribute to the future direction of the profession.

Trina Phuah

Trina is a lecturer at Charles Sturt University, and a former Board member of the Australian Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Association (ARATA). In addition to teaching in the occupational therapy degree, Trina has a background in the application of everyday and specialised technologies and is involved in the provision of clinical support for people in the local community interested in exploring options for communication, computer access and home control. Originally from Melbourne, Trina now enjoys living in Albury and is looking forward to representing a regional perspective on the Divisional Council.

Pauline Russett

Pauline currently works as an occupational therapist at a private hospital. Pauline graduated with the University Medal and First Class Honours from the University of Sydney in 2018 and has since worked in the occupational rehabilitation and private hospital settings. In a senior role, Pauline has been involved in coordinating and expanding the occupational therapy services provided across the acute, inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient rehabilitation settings. Pauline has also created an outpatient occupational therapy service and contributed to new polices and procedures within the multidisciplinary team in light of updated national clinical care standards. As a member of the NSW Divisional Council, Pauline hopes to support Occupational Therapy Australia and all members of the profession to continue developing professional practices and engage in advocacy work.

Nikki Tulliani

Nikki is an associate lecturer in the School of Health Sciences at Western Sydney University. Nikki has an interest in cognitive functioning and its impact on daily living among older adults. Nikki is currently undertaking her PhD at Western Sydney University, investigating the use of memory encoding strategies to improve everyday memory performance and promote functional performance in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Prior to moving to academia Nikki worked as an occupational therapist, with clinical experience within residential aged care.

Sheridan Wicks

Sheridan Wicks is a Charles Sturt University graduate with 12 years of experience. For the past 10 years, Sheridan has run a private paediatric occupational therapy practice in Nowra, in the Shoalhaven region. Her private practice experience has enhanced not only her skills in working with children with a diverse range of difficulties impacting their participation in everyday occupations, but also skills and expertise in management, networking, leadership, entrepreneurship and problem solving. She will bring all these skills to the role of Council member.

Additionally, Sheridan will contribute to Council her personal perspectives on the benefits and challenges of living and working in regional NSW, as they relate to important issues such as opportunities for and access to professional development and the ability to recruit staff. She will be a strong advocate for regional practitioners.

As Sheridan will be soon relocating to the Central West of NSW she will gain first-hand experience of working in rural and remote areas and be able to share her insights with the Council to ensure the needs of all practitioners are addressed by Council.

For further information or to contact a member of the Divisional Council, please contact OTA.

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