Our Presenters

Keynote Speaker

Dr Michael C Nagal PhD

(Associate Professor, School of Education at the University of the Sunshine Coast)

Presents: 'Nurturing a Healthy Mind: Doing What Matters Most for a Child's Developing Brain'

29th October 2016 - 11am in Lecture Theatre 8 (USC Campus)

About this Presentation:

Since the 1990’s advances in technology and scientific research have provided new insights into the neurological development of children. As a result of this work all aspects of education, parenting and child care have been reinvigorated with new understandings of how the brain grows and develops, how this might impact on behaviour and learning and ultimately how early experiences may shape who we become as we grow into adulthood.  Worryingly, neuroscientific research has also been used to perpetuate a number of neuromyths focusing on enrichment and building ‘better brains’.  This keynote address focuses on debunking a number of those myths by looking at contemporary research into how the brain matures and develops, how nurture impacts on nature and the implications of this as we work to have a positive impact on a child’s developing brain and mind.

About Dr Nagel:

Dr Michael Nagel is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of the Sunshine Coast where he teaches and researches in the areas of cognition, human development, behaviour and learning.  He is the author of ten books on child development and learning with a particular focus on the pediatric brain and used by teachers and parents in over twenty countries. His most prominent books to date include ‘Boys-Stir-Us:  Working WITH the Hidden Nature of Boys’, ‘In the Beginning: The Brain, Early Development and Learning’, ‘Nurturing A Healthy Mind: Doing What Matters Most for Your Child’s Developing Brain, ‘It’s a Girl Thing’ and ‘In The Middle: The Adolescent Brain, Behaviour and Learning’.  Dr Nagel has also delivered over 300 workshops and seminars for parents and teachers nationally and internationally


Nominated as Australian Lecturer of the Year each year since 2010, Dr Nagel has been a guest on ‘TV New Zealand Breakfast’, ‘Sunrise’, ‘A Current Affair’ and ‘The Project’, is a member of the prestigious International Neuropsychological Society, is the Queensland Director of the Australian Council on Children and the Media, sits on a number of education boards and committees and is a feature writer for ‘Jigsaw’ and the ‘Child’ series of magazines which collectively offers parenting advice to more than one million Australian readers.  When he is not busy professionally, he spends his time learning the important lessons of life from his own children, Madeline and Harrison.

Courtney Muckert

Senior Speech Pathologist/Program Coordinator

AEIOU Foundation for Children with Autism

Presents: 'Understanding Early Intervention for Children with Autism'

29th October 2016 - 2pm in Lecture Theatre 8 (USC Campus)

About Courtney: 

Speech Pathologist Courtney Muckert joined AEIOU Foundation as a graduate, working at Toowoomba and Camira centres before becoming a program coordinator. Her hands-on experience has provided a thorough understanding of the program. Courtney is passionate about early intervention and was drawn to work with AEIOU through the opportunity to work with children with autism, be involved in research activities, be part of a transdisciplinary team and gain knowledge from experts in the field of Behaviour Analysis; a qualification Courtney is planning to obtain.


Kylie Martin

Senior Speech Pathologist/Director

Chatter-boxes Speech Pathology

Justine Urbahn 

Paediatric Dietician

Justine Urbahn Family Dietician

Presents: 'Making Mealtimes Manageable: Strategies to help Fussy Eaters'

29th October 2016 - 10am in Lecture Theatre 8 (USC Campus)

About Kylie and Justine:

Kylie and Justine are both team members from the Sunshine Coast Children's Development Centre. Combined they have over 30 years experience in supporting children with special needs. Kylie and Justine run the Happy Eaters Food School for fussy eaters on the Sunshine Coast.

From the Happy Eaters Food School Website


"At our Happy Eaters Food School we see children with extreme picky eating problems. The parents of these children have often tried everything to get their child to eat! We have developed a flexible approach to help children with feeding disorders. At our Food School, small groups of children work with our therapists in a fun and interactive way."


"We incorporate sensory play activities, food chaining and desensitization techniques. Whilst children attend our Food School, parents are invited to attend sessions where they are given detailed strategies to help overcome feeding battles at home."

"Our goal is to broaden the range of foods a child is comfortable with and help them to change their patterns so eating becomes enjoyable. An initial assessment will help us to choose the best treatment for your child.

We have a multidisciplinary team and use a range of evidence based approaches such as Systematic Desensitization, Exposure Therapy and Behaviour Modification Techniques."



Roxanne Innes

Senior Clinician - Listening and Spoken Language

Speech Pathologist

Hear and Say

Presents: 'Turning Broken Dreams into Spoken Dreams'

29th October 2016 - 12pm (noon) in Lecture Theatre 8 (USC Campus)

About Roxanne: 

Roxanne joined the Hear and Say team at the Sunshine Coast in April 2004. Graduating from the University of Queensland in 1983 with a Bachelor of Speech Therapy, Roxanne has worked with children across a range of educational and medical areas, including cerebral palsy, child psychiatry and acquired head injury. However it was not until Roxanne joined Hear and Say that she had the opportunity to focus on the needs of children with hearing loss. In her role as a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist, Roxanne continues to be amazed by the advances in hearing technology which give deaf children the gift of sound. She delights in coaching parents to become their child’s most important teacher, and shares their joy as the child blossoms into a confident chatterbox who is fully integrated into the hearing world.

Hear and Say is one of the leading paediatric Listening and Spoken Language Therapy and Implantable Hearing Technologies (including cochlear implants) organisations in the world. For 24 years it has worked with parents to help teach children who are deaf to hear, listen and speak. Hearing loss is the most common disability in newborns, affecting approximately two in every 1,000 babies born each year. To maximise listening and spoken language development, children with hearing loss require optimal amplification in combination with specialised listening and spoken language early intervention. This presentation will discuss the importance of hearing in speech and language development, the reason why hearing aids or cochlear implants alone do not teach a child to listen, and the programs available to help children who are hearing impaired to fulfil their dreams of education, employment and social connections.


Dianne Graves

Educational Psychologist

Certified COGMED Coach

Presents: 'Think Focus and Grow - Cognitive Training for Improved Working Memory and Attention'

29th October 2016 - 1pm in Lecture Theatre 8

About Dianne:

Dianne is a Psychologist with a Master of Educational Psychology. She is also a certified Cogmed Coach and is committed to offering excellence in scientifically proven cognitive training that works: to improve attention and persistent benefits for learning, reasoning and real life success.  Dianne has worked for over 10 years in the area of family wellbeing and child mental health in public, school and private settings.  She has a strong interest in neuroplasticity and in applying principles from the field of Positive Psychology.  She is currently assisting children and adults to optimise their learning strengths, think about their own thinking and develop empowering emotional resilience. 

Carrolyn Ireland

Education Practice Advisor


Presents: 'Encouraging a Disposition for Learning'

29th October 2016 - 3pm in Lecture Theatre 8

About this Presentation: A look at how C&K services prepare children for lifelong learning. The importance of developing dispositions to be a learner, and the importance of play in embedding early literacy, numeracy and scientific learning for the best start in life.

About Carolyn:

Carrolyn has been in the Early Childhood profession for over 30 years and has worked for C&K for 8 years. She is passionate about the benefits of early childhood education and care for all children.Her main interests are embedding opportunities for learning in nature, supporting educators to document children’s learning and plan their programs based on children’s interests.

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