NSW Divisional Council
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.
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.
Gillian is a registered occupational therapist who has worked in paediatrics for 25 years. During this time she has held both clinical and leadership roles in educational, non-government organisations and the private sector. She has an interest in supervising and mentoring graduate occupational therapists. Gillian has specialist skills supporting families and working with children with complex needs to reach their full potential.
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.
Ashleigh George 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.
For further information or to contact a member of the Divisional Council, please contact OTA.