Team Profile

Michelle Newby

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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.

Beatrice

Beatrice is a registered occupational therapist. 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 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

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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.

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!

Taya

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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 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.

Sharon

Sharon is an Occupational Therapy Assistant and is due to finish her Occupational Therapy degree at the end of 2021.


Previously Sharon has worked as a special education teacher and as a support officer in schools, working predominantly with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD) and children who have experienced significant life trauma. She 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 decided that Occupational Therapy would allow her 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 an Occupational Therapy Assistant and is due to finish her Occupational Therapy degree at the end of 2021.

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.

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.

Mary

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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.

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

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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.