Team Profile

Michelle Newby

Michelle Newby is Clinical Director of Stepping Stones Therapy for Children and is enjoying living back in Newcastle after many years of work and study abroad, including the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Azerbaijan and China.

Michelle is a registered Occupational Therapist with extensive experience in the field of paediatrics. She graduated from the University of Newcastle in 1998 with a Bachelor of Health Science (Occupational Therapy), and has also completed a Master of Science with Distinction (Health and Social Research) from City University, London in 2007. Since 2018, Michelle has been a PhD (Occupational Therapy) Candidate at the University of Newcastle. She is using her doctorate to examine the developmental challenges of children with Paediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS), including the impact that sensory processing has on daily performance.

Passionate about helping children to achieve their potential, Michelle has a strong family centred approach. She has extensive experience in working with children of all ages and levels of ability, and particularly those with dyspraxia and other coordination challenges; sensory processing disorders; developmental delay; developmental trauma, those on the autistic spectrum; those with PANS/ PANDAS; ADHD; and children with neurological disorders (e.g.: cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury). Michelle has a special interest in working with babies, toddlers and children who have been born preterm, and has worked on neonatal units and within neonatal follow-up programs.

Michelle is committed to providing high quality, evidence based care to her clients. She has post-graduate certification in Sensory Integration (UK), Paediatric Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT-Bobath), Cognitive Orientation to daily Occupational Performance (COOP) and the PEERS Social Skills Certification Training. She has also undertaken training in developmental trauma and sensory processing, feeding therapy (SOS), handwriting remediation, visual perceptual training, postural management and infant massage amongst others. As Clinical Director, Michelle provides regular supervision and mentoring to the other members of our Stepping Stones team and also to external therapists.

Tiarne

Tiarne is a registered Occupational Therapist and is an Associate Clinical Leader. She graduated from La Trobe University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Health Sciences / Master of Occupational Therapy Practice. Tiarne grew up within the Gippsland region in Victoria, and moved to Newcastle in 2018 to start her career in Occupational Therapy.

Since completing her Occupational Therapy degree, Tiarne has had experience working in a paediatric setting and has enjoyed working with children of all ages and abilities across a range of settings. She has completed additional training in developmental trauma, sensory processing and Cognitive Orientation to Occupational Performance (COOP). Tiarne has a keen interest in supporting children living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), sensory processing challenges and developmental delay.

Throughout Tiarne’s practice she believes in being holistic and maintaining a family and goal centered approach. She also holds a strong passion for implementing evidence-based practice to empower children and their families to be the best that they can be!

Beatrice

Beatrice is a registered occupational therapist and provides services to children in Noosa and surround QLD. She completed a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy receiving first class honours at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland in 2018. Her keen interest in supporting children and families to reach their full potential has seen her make the move interstate. Beatrice is a member of OT Australia and participates in ongoing professional development courses to expand her knowledge and skills in the area of Paediatrics. She has completed training in areas including sensory processing, DIR Floortime, developmental trauma, handwriting, toileting sensory processing, feeding therapy (SOS) and emotional regulation.

Beatrice has paediatric experience in various settings including private practice, community, school and cross-cultural areas (Vanuatu). She has experience assisting children with a range of different conditions and varying challenges, and really enjoys working collaboratively with the child and family to support them grow and develop. Beatrice is enthusiastic about providing positive outcomes for children and their families in an evidence and play-based way, with goal-directed therapy at the forefront of session.

Marla

Marla is a registered Occupational Therapist. She graduated from the University of Newcastle in 2018 with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours). Marla grew up in the country town of Elands on the mid north coast and moved to Newcastle in 2013 to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy.

Marla has a keen interest in supporting children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), attention and hyperactivity challenges (e.g.: ADHD), sensory processing challenges, developmental trauma and developmental delay. She has completed additional training in developmental trauma, sensory processing and social skills training (PEERS Certification), and has a special interest in supporting children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) or with challenges processing sensory information.

Marla has a strong family and goal centred approach and enjoys supporting and empowering children and their families to thrive and be the best they can be.

Simone

Simone is a registered occupational therapist. She graduated from the University of Newcastle in 2019 with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy.

Simone commenced her OT career in a children’s clinic in Sydney before returning to her hometown of Newcastle to join the Stepping Stones team. She has completed additional training in developmental trauma, sensory processing, handwriting assessment and treatment.

Simone enjoys working with children and adolescents of all ages and levels of ability. She has a special interest in supporting children on the Autism spectrum, ADHD, those with sensory processing challenges and developmental delay. Simone has a family centred approach to therapy, and loves working with children and carers to develop individualsed therapy goals. She is passionate about helping to reach their greatest potential and to engage in life to the fullest.

Taya

Taya is a Registered Occupational Therapist. he graduated from the University of Newcastle in 2020 with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy.

Taya grew up in the northern New South Wales country town of Glen Innes and moved to Newcastle in 2017 to study Occupational Therapy. She has always enjoyed working with children, holding a variety of volunteer roles as a student in Occupational Therapy clinics and sporting groups.

Taya has completed additional training in developmental trauma, sensory processing and handwriting assessment and treatment. Her special interest areas include supporting children to develop to their full potential; working with children and adolescents of all ages with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); and working with children of all abilities to improve their handwriting quality.

Tendai

Tendai is a Registered Occupational Therapist. He graduated from the University of Newcastle in 2020 with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy. He grew up in Zimbabwe and moved to Newcastle with his family in 2007.

Tendai has always had a strong enthusiasm for working with children of all ages and abilities. He has held a variety of volunteer roles as student in Occupational Therapy clinics and preschools. He has a special interest in supporting children on the Autism spectrum, ADHD, and those with sensory processing challenges and developmental delay.

He also has a keen interest in integrating his sporting skills and experiences to support children with Developmental Co-Ordination Disorder. Tendai has completed additional training in DIR Floortime, developmental trauma, sensory processing, handwriting assessment, and treatment. He is passionate about delivering a strong family centred and goal centred approach to help children achieve their highest potential.

Georgia

Georgia is a registered Occupational Therapist. She graduated from Australian Catholic University, Brisbane, in 2020 with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy.

Georgia grew up in country town Armidale and moved to Brisbane, QLD, to study. Her first experience working with children was when living in England in 2016 and she has had an interest in working in the field of paediatrics ever since. She commenced her OT career within a community setting in her hometown, before relocating to Newcastle to join the Stepping Stones team.

Georgia has completed additional training in developmental trauma, sensory processing and home modifications. She has a keen interest in supporting children and adolescents with Developmental Co-Ordination Disorder, developmental trauma and hearing difficulties. Throughout practice, Georgia adopts a strong goal-centered and hands-on approach.

Sharon

Sharon is a Registered Occupational Therapist. Sharon graduated from the University of Newcastle in 2021 with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy.

Previously, Sharon has worked as a Special Education Teacher and as a School Learning Support Officer. Sharon has experience working with children with autism spectrum disorder  (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiance disorder (ODD) and children who have experienced significant life trauma. Sharon is passionate about equity in education and believes that every child deserves quality accesses to their education and to experience success.

Sharon decided on a career change after the birth of her two children and found that Occupational Therapy allows the opportunity to provide individualised and holistic care to children and their families, enabling them to reach their potential in education and life. With two children of her own, one of which has had significant health concerns and medical intervention, Sharon has a deep understanding and empathy for children, their needs, and their families.

Serena

Serena is a Registered Occupational Therapist. Serena graduated from the University of Newcastle in 2021 with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy.

Serena has grown up in Newcastle and is attending the University of Newcastle. She has always enjoyed working with children, holding a variety of volunteer roles as a student in Occupational Therapy retreats and sporting events. She has completed additional training in developmental trauma and enjoys working with children of all ages. 

Serena has a keen interest in supporting children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), attention and hyperactivity challenges (ADHD), and sensory processing challenges. She believes in maintaining a family and goal centred approach to help children reach their potential.

Amelia

Amelia is a registered Occupational Therapist. Amelia graduated with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) from Monash University in 2021. Amelia has had paediatric experience in several settings, including within the clinic, schools and the community.

Amelia has an interest in supporting children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, developmental delay, sensory processing difficulties, Developmental Coordination Disorder and working on fine motor and gross motor skills.

Amelia is passionate about the role of occupational therapy in paediatrics and helping to enable children to be able to participate in and perform the occupations they want to. Amelia loves working in a family-centred approach so that the family can feel included in and help support their child’s therapy and help them to reach their goals.

Bronte

Bronte is a qualified occupational therapist who graduated from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy with first class honors in 2021.

Bronte grew up in Tamworth and moved to Newcastle in 2018 to attend university. Bronte has had a variety of experience working with children, from dance teaching to an intensive literacy program, before and after school care and volunteer roles within the university. She is especially passionate about providing child and family focused therapy so all children can thrive, experience joy and be the best people they can be!

Bronte has a special interest in emotional regulation, developmental trauma, developmental delay, autism spectrum disorder, and assisting all children to maximize their classroom engagement by enhancing skills such as handwriting.

Amy

Amy is a Registered Occupational Therapist. Amy graduated from the University of Newcastle in 2021 with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours).

Amy grew up in Nelson Bay and moved to Newcastle in 2021. Amy has had paediatric experience in several settings, including within clinics, schools, community, and the home environment.

Amy has an interest in working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and developmental delay. She has a key interest in sport and enabling participation for all children. Amy is passionate about working with children and teenagers. She has a client and family centred approach to enable children to reach their potential and increase participation in their community.

Divya

Divya is an Occupational Therapy Assistant and is due to finish her Occupational Therapy degree at the end of 2022.

Divya was born in New Zealand, before moving to Newcastle in 2010. Divya has completed placements via the University of Newcastle in both school-based occupational therapy as well as private paediatric clinics.

Divya loves to work with children and families of all walks of life. She has always loved playing and interacting with children. Divya believes in goal-oriented therapy, whilst ensuring that the children have fun when engaging in sessions and that parents are educated and informed about what we do in therapy sessions. Divya believes in supporting all children and families to enable them to engage in the activities and tasks which are meaningful to them.

Sam

Sam is an Occupational Therapy Assistant due to finish his Occupational Therapy degree at the end of 2022.

Sam has grown up and lives in Singleton whilst attending the University of Newcastle for his final year. Sam loves all things sport, dog’s and games.

He’s has always held a love and sense of fun in working with children and families to achieve their occupational potential. Sam has a passion for strength-based therapy and has a keen interest in supporting children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, anxiety and working with children of all abilities to achieve any goal, like improving handwriting quality. Sam has a client and family centred approach, whilst striving to create a positive and safe environment in his work

Mary

As Practice Manager and Administrator, Mary is a member of the Stepping Stones Leadership team. Mary has lived and worked in Newcastle & the Hunter since the early 90’s. She is a Master’s Qualified Librarian who has worked as a Children’s Librarian, Library Manager and in Research Library positions.

Mary loves watching children grow into their own special personalities. As part of the admin team Mary brings along data management, organisational, customer service and communication skills.

Mary has 2 children and to give her the flexibility to raise them to school age she and her husband started a fresh & gourmet food business together. After 10 years they decided to change focus and here she is at Stepping Stones.

Mandy

Mandy is Stepping Stones’ part-time Practice Manager and she brings with her a wealth of administrative experience across various roles and industries. Mandy has also worked as an early childhood educator and a computer programmer and has a family with two energetic young boys.

When not working at Stepping Stones, Mandy works as a Professional Organiser helping her clients to declutter and organize their homes and offices. Mandy is passionate about making things simpler, and living with what you use and  love.

Mandy loves getting to meet all of the Stepping Stones’ families, organising the clinic and assisting the Stepping Stones team to provide a wonderful service for families.

Kate

Kate is Stepping Stones’ part-time Administrator. She holds a Diploma of Business Studies and brings years of experience from Government, Banking, and Health Insurance sectors. Kate enjoys problem solving and making sure things run smoothly and efficiently so our families and therapists can focus on their treatment. The best part of her job is being able to see the pride and excitement on the faces of our clients as they achieve their goals.

Kate grew up in the Hunter Valley but has called Lake Macquarie home for more than 15 years. When she isn’t supporting our team, Kate enjoys camping and making memories with her young daughter, husband and their pets.

Tim

Tim Moore brings more than 20 years’ experience in a variety of industries to the role of Finance Director at Stepping Stones. Completion of his Masters of Business and Technology in 2014 has assisted Tim in handling the finance, IT, and administration sides of clinic operations.

Coming from a corporate background in business analysis, project management and business development, and having helped to implement numerous successful projects, Tim understands the importance of delivering exceptional customer service. With 2 young children of his own, Tim is very empathetic and understands the needs and challenges of Stepping Stones’ families.

Tim loves working with the dynamic team at Stepping Stones and helping families in all aspects of their child’s occupational therapy needs.