NSW Divisional Council
Jessica Francis (Chair)
Jessica works as National Operations Manager for Care Squared, one of the fastest growing NDIS allied health providers. Jess has worked as an OT and in management roles across a wide scope in the private sector including community, disability, hospital and workers compensation. Jess Is currently engaging in higher degree research and is passionate about OT having a strong voice in the health sector.
Linda Elliott is a registered occupational therapist currently employed as a Senior Policy Officer. In her volunteer role with OTA she brings 35 years of experience working in the disability and government sectors. Linda values her membership of the Association as it provides a voice for our profession to ensure that it is valued, influential and sustainable. Participation in Association activities continues to be an important components of Linda’s own professional development.
Dr Samantha Ashby
Sam is a senior lecturer in the School of Health Sciences at the University of Newcastle. Since graduating in 1987 she has gained extensive experience as an occupational therapist in senior and managerial roles in the health and social care industry across a range of practice areas including mental health, physical rehabilitation and occupational rehabilitation. Sam conducts workshops for clinicians for OT Australia and is a trainer for the Canadian Model of Occupational Performance and Engagement, and the Kawa Model. Her areas of research include investigating the strategies for improving the professional resilience in the workforce, occupation-based practice in mental health, and the translation of theoretical knowledge into occupational therapy curricula and practice settings.
Mary Evatt 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 therapist. She looks forwards to being a member of the Divisional Council and contributing to Occupational Therapy Australia and meeting fellow occupational therapists.
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.
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.
Danielle is a healthcare leader, advisor, and occupational therapist with 18 years local and international experience. Her interests in innovation, human rights, and occupational justice took her to the UK where she led departments through service reform and development. Danielle held senior advisory and management roles, such as the Principal Allied Health Advisor, NSW Health. She consistently demonstrates commitment to increasing access to and raising the profile of OT. Her experience in working with vulnerable populations, promoting occupational rights, and the OT profession, drove her to establish the Forensic Mental Health Community of Practice with scholars promoting occupation based practice and publications. Danielle provides supervision and mentoring for allied health professionals nationally.
For further information or to contact a member of the Divisional Council, please contact OTA.