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Child Activity

OT Team

Belinda Makin

Belinda is a Paediatric Occupational Therapist, with a passion for working with children gained from her background in the childcare and early intervention industries. Belinda is passionate about delivering a collaborative and holistic approach to her therapy sessions to support children of all ages to achieve their goals. She has special interest in the areas of neurodevelopmental disorders and complex behavioural needs and developing her knowledge and skills to ensure the best evidence-based approaches to support her clients and their families.

Belinda and her husband Mark are parents to four children, and a fur-baby Frenchie (who thinks she is a child). Belinda is a Sunshine Coast local, born and raised, and in her spare time she enjoys camping and exploring our beautiful country with her family and friends. 

Belinda completed her Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) at the University of the Sunshine Coast and maintains full registration with AHPRA.

Felicity Fulcher

Felicity is a passionate Paediatric occupational therapist who has recently moved to the beautiful Sunshine Coast. After completing her degree in Geelong at Deakin University, Felicity found her passion for working with children through her experience working in private practice, community based organisations and kindergarten settings. Felicity finds immense joy in providing a nurturing, strengths based approach to support a child to grow and accomplish their developmental goals and milestones. At the heart of Felicity's approach is a strong commitment to a holistic family-centered approach which focuses on the families main priorities and concerns. Felicity enjoys incorporating evidence and collaborating with other professionals to provide effective support and strategies for families. Felicity has a strong interest in toileting and feeding concerns with children and additionally has a passion for working with children on emotional regulation, interception, self-care and fine/gross motor skills. Felicity utilises her patient, empathetic approach to ensure her sessions are fun, innovative and tailored to the child's individual needs and abilities. Her ultimate objective as an occupational therapist is to empower children to reach their full potential to learn, grow and play. She feels immense pride and is privileged to guide every child through their individual journey and to see their progress.

Julia Cullen

Julia was originally born and raised in Cairns, Far North Queensland, and is excited to now call the Sunshine Coast her home. Julia has a special interest working with children with neurodevelopmental disorders and holds holistic and family centred practice at the core of her intervention.

Julia considers herself a creative out of the box thinker and applies these skills to make therapy not feel like therapy. Utilizing a strengths-based approach and evidence-based practice, she empowers her clients and their families to think beyond what they thought was possible and bring hope to little futures.

Julia Cullen completed her Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) at James Cook University in Townsville. She moved to Brisbane where she began her career in paediatrics at an equine and animal assisted therapy practice, before transitioning to a neurodevelopmental specialist clinic in the heart of Brisbane.

Julia is the proud owner of her fur baby Millie, who is a 5-year-old cattle x kelpie who enjoys the beach and outdoors nearly as much as her owner. Millie has previously worked with Julia helping children with emotional support, transitions, and a furry belly to scratch.

Karissa Marshall

Karissa is a Paediatric Occupational Therapist who is passionate about working with children in paediatric practice and supporting those with special needs to reach their full potential. Karissa has a strong interest in supporting children to be able to participate in gross motor occupations, management of sensory processing and helping children engage in physical play and sporting pursuits. 

Karissa understands and appreciates the benefits of physical participation following her personal commitment to her career in gymnastics, where she competed at a national level and coached many children to achieve their gymnastic goals. Her passion for gymnastics enabled her the privilege of developing and facilitating a gymnastics-based intervention program, giving children the opportunity to develop gross motor skills as well as social interaction with other peers. Her passion for inclusion within the sporting sector drives and motivates her goal of "closing the gap for children with special needs to access sport without barriers".

As with all the Collaborative Partnerships OTs, personal and professional development is a priority for Karissa, to ensure consistent provision of evidence-based intervention, and the best possible outcome for children accessing therapy, and their families.

Karissa has a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy from Curtain University in WA, and maintains a full registration with AHPRA.

Rachael Birthisel

Rachael is a Paediatric Occupational Therapist from Melbourne who has recently relocated to the Sunshine Coast. Rachael has experience working with children with cognitive, sensory and neurological conditions. Rachael takes a collaborative approach to intervention by working closely with the child, their family and their external health professionals to provide holistic care and support goal progression. Rachael has a passion for working with children with emotional and sensory regulation difficulties and exploring the impact that this has on engagement in daily activities, interactions with others and learning.

In addition to her qualification as an OT, Rachael is a qualified clinical pilates instructor and enjoys incorporating principles of pilates into her therapy sessions to help support motor skill development and regulation.

Rachael and her partner have recently relocated to the Sunshine Coast and are looking forward to the better weather and exploring the beaches.

Rachael has a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) from Monash University and maintains full registration with AHPRA.

Sam Gourley 

Samuel Gourley has a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy from the University of the Sunshine Coast. Sam has been local to the region since moving up from Tasmania in 2008. Sam has a passion for paediatric Occupational Therapy and maintains full registration with AHPRA. In 2014, Sam was nominated for the prestigious Epilepsy Queensland Health Services Award for outstanding service to people with Epilepsy. Sam has extensive experience in supporting children with ASD and complex behavioural needs using a number of evidence-based approaches. Sam has also trained and educated hundreds of Queensland teachers, daycare/early learning educators and child health workers on how to best support children with disabilities in education settings, and is regularly contracted by schools to provide consultation and professional development services.

Sam and his wife Kelli-Anne are parents to five beautiful children; Olive, Hazel, Bennett, Patterson and Marigold. Sam is an avid video blogger and loves sharing child development tips on social media (Follow Sam for Updates! Facebook - Sam Gourley Occupational Therapist or Instagram - @samgourleyot).

Tahnee Hicks

Tahnee grew up in Central Qld before finding home in the Sunshine Coast community. She discovered her passion for occupational therapy after witnessing the developmental progress her friends’ child gained through early intervention.

Tahnee is energetic yet compassionate in her approach and her interests lie in developing family-centred goals to assist build capacity and developing skills through harnessing therapeutic connections. She endeavours to combine her passions of dance and occupational therapy to create a safe space on the Sunshine Coast for children in wheelchairs or any physical or cognitive ability to connect and learn through dance and play.

When she is not working with children, she can be found playing with her nieces and nephew, at a dance, barre or spin class, or on the beach with her partner and their dog Shadow.

Tahnee has a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) from the University of the Sunshine Coast and maintains full registration with AHPRA.

Tayla Gesch

Born and raised on the Sunshine Coast, Tayla is an empathetic and passionate Occupational Therapist. Undertaking a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Tayla is dedicated to develop her clients’ independence and ensuring their life is fulfilling & meaningful.

Tayla brings a broad range of experience in supporting children and adults with a variety of physical, sensory, cognitive and neurological disorders. She employs a wide selection of evidence based practices to support and provide the best outcome for her clients. Tayla enjoys working closely with the client, their families and other supports to provide the most collaborative intervention and enable the client to succeed in all areas of life.

Along with her partner, Tayla enjoys walking her Toy Cavoodle dog, Theo, along the beach & participating in local, community sport including, Oztag, AFL, and soccer.

Tayla Gesch has a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy from the University of the Sunshine Coast and maintains full registration with AHPRA.

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