We would love to introduce ourselves. Our team started back in 2008. We work closely together supporting and mentoring each other to ensure our skills are always developing.
Hi, I am Alison. I originally established Independent Kids - Occupational Therapy in 2008.
I have worked with children for over 30 years. I feel so privileged to have had the experience of working with some amazing therapists and meeting so many inspiring children and families throughout my career.
I originally trained at the University of Sydney and returned there to do my Graduate Certificate in Paediatric Occupational Therapy. I am passionate about training and acquiring new skills.
My best teachers are the children and families I work with. I believe a client centred approach is the key to the success of what we do. My aim is to assist children, young adults and their families reach their full potential, whether that is at home, school, the community childcare or transitioning into the workforce. I have long standing experience in sensory issues and their related behaviours, social skills, planning (praxis) and learning abilities. I use many different approaches but strongly believe that any successful therapeutic intervention comes from strength in relationship.
I am incredibly lucky to work within such a talented and caring team and so many wonderful children and their families.
Hi, I'm Anna. After completing my Occupational Therapy degree in 2001 at the University of Queensland I worked in a private paediatric practice, as well as hospitals in and around Brisbane. In 2011 my husband and I decided to settle with our young family in beautiful Hobart. When I discovered Independentkids OT I was immediately attracted to its family and child centred ethos. I was excited to begin working here in 2012 and love working alongside such caring and supportive colleagues. My areas of interest include learning disability, handwriting, sensory processing and relationship based early intervention for autism. In addition to working in the clinic, I also visit schools and child care centres so as to provide support across a range of settings. Professional development is incredibly important to me, not only as it extends my own knowledge and understanding, but because it also enables me to offer parents and carers the best tools with which to support their child’s development. I strive to make OT a fun and relaxed experience for children and their families.
Hi, my name is Belle and I have recently relocated to Tasmania from NSW. I have graduated with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy in 2019 at Southern Cross University, Queensland. I have a history of working with children with ASD as a therapy assistant and I have worked in a variety of hospitality settings in Australia and the UK. Throughout my degree I have had professional placements in a number of locations including a rural school based setting, a community mental health facility, a rehabilitation centre in Vietnam and a hand therapy clinic. I have also spent time volunteering at Camp Jabiru where I provided Occupational Therapy specific interventions to children with sensory dysregulation. At IKOT I continue to develop my therapeutic skills and practice with the most evidence based resources and training. I have a particular interest in sensory processing patterns and disorders, learning how we interpret the environment around us and how we regulate our own behaviours and emotions. I look forward to meeting more families and children throughout their journey and in being part of the IKOT team here in Hobart.
Hi I am Kerriane,
I joined the IKOT team mid 2018. I have a history of working in childcare and come with experience in working with children from a range of backgrounds and with intellectual and physical disabilities and their families. This led me developing an interest in Occupational Therapy and to pursuing a degree in Occupational Therapy. I graduated from Southern Cross University on the Gold Coast, Queensland in 2017. Soon after I completed my degree I decided to make the move to Hobart. I did a short stint in residential aged care when I arrived in Hobart. I then heard about IKOT through my colleague (Fiona). I quickly made contact, leading to me joining the team. I have always had a passion for working with kids. I have a special interest in autism spectrum disorder and I am currently studying a post graduate certificate in Autism. I am also passionate about early intervention, positive behavioural support and social skills development. I am strongly influenced by the social thinking curriculum and DIR Floortime. I personally feel so privileged to be a part of IKOT and to be working alongside this team of skilled and passionate therapists.
Hi, I'm Rachel and I have worked alongside Alison Hopwood since 2009.
I am a Tassie girl but studied at La Trobe University in Victoria, graduating in 1994. I have worked in various places around Australia and the United Kingdom but am now happily back in Tasmania where I share my time between home life and IKOT.
I love working with children and their families and have done so for most of my time working as an OT. One area of interest is sensory processing and how this influences our capacity to regulate, attend and engage with who and what is around us. How social cognition interplays with this is another strong focus area. Praxis and using our body for function can be a challenge for many children, and it’s this organisation of behaviour that I love to understand and support.
Our practice strives for excellence and is supported by regular continuing professional development and peer support. I am happy to be working as a clinical supervisor for our new staff and wonderful new team of therapy assistants. Our team is getting bigger, but it is a strong and happy team that works to support our families as best we can.
Hi, I am Alicia. I started working for Independent Kids back in 2008 for three years and have since returned in 2018. I have a Fine Arts background and have a Bachelor of Education (with Honours). My Honours research focused on Special Education and was based on using visual arts as a tool to encourage individuals with autism to communicate. This research paper was published in 2017.
Over the last 19 years, I have gained practical experience in working with assessment, educational programming, and management of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. My interests include Positive Behaviour Support strategies, social-emotional learning and creating resources for visuals learning styles.
In the past, I have worked closely with, and provide advice, consultancy, and support to parents and teachers in the implementation of intervention programs for students with Autism.
I have also implemented parent and professional training programs to support young children with Autism and/or Pervasive Developmental Disorder. I have been a keynote speaker at the University of Tasmania, Inclusive Practice, and NSW health service presenting in the field of autism.
Currently, I create resources to support families in addressing certain behaviours, to increase functional living skills and independence, or explain social situations and hidden rules.
I thoroughly enjoy working with such an incredible, caring team at Independent Kids.
Hi I’m Kelly. Therapy Assistant at IKOT and Teacher Assistant with the education department.
I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts and still enjoy working with textiles in my free time.
I have 4 boys aged 23, 21 and 2 x 17. I discovered my passion for working with children as parent help, which then became a job at my children’s school. My youngest two had severe speech difficulties which drove my interest in Speech Aides work including AAC.
I love working with young people in most areas (gardening with others is not my forté). I enjoy conducting small group programs such as yoga, art, cooking, life skills, fine and gross motor.
I love my job, it is NEVER boring, usually interesting, sometimes difficult, mostly fun and ALWAYS rewarding.
William Miles (Will)
“Heyo, my name is William, and I’m the receptionist at our Battery Point clinic; I’m the first face that most clients see and the voice that comes out of their phone, and I’m always ready and happy to meet and assist new people. I love meeting all our clients and seeing the progress that they make, some gradual, some rapid, but all of it very heartwarming and amazing, our Therapists do an amazing job and I get to see the results of that every day, it’s very fulfilling.
When I’m not on the front desk, or often times while I am, I also provide IT support to the staff at IKOT; and I’m known to be the bringer of snacks and biscuits, which are stored in various places around the office.
I’ve been in customer service for my whole career, I’ve gone from call centre sales, door-to-door sales, waiter work, housekeeping, bartending, working with hearing aids…the list goes on, really, It’s nothing if not full of variety; I always come back because I genuinely enjoy helping people, fixing things, and putting puzzles together.
Outside of work I enjoy going on walks to the beach with my lovely Labrador, Max; or relaxing at home with my partner and 4 Cats; it’s not an action packed lifestyle, but it certainly keeps things ticking along.
I look forward to meeting you and welcoming you to the Independent Kids Family!”
Hi, I am PJ (Prajwal Pradhan- I had to change my name since I started working with children population in a school in Melbourne), moved from Sydney almost two years ago to the world’s best city with my wife and two daughters.
I love working with IKOT, especially working with the talented bunch of occupational therapist colleagues around me😊.
I graduated as an occupational therapist in 2006, and since I have worked in various Occupational Therapy related services and have acquired a range of experience working with children, adolescent and adult population. Further, I have completed my postgraduate certificate training in Child and Adolescent Mental Health via the NSW Institute of psychiatry. I have a particular interest in working with children and adolescent population.
In Sydney, I maintained a private practice in the paediatric population, especially with Autism Spectrum Disorder and challenging behaviour parallelly with my other Occupational Therapy related interests. I was lucky to be trained under the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) for eight months delivering ESDM services- early intervention model for children with autism at KU Marcia Burgess Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre. Further, I am also trained in Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA). I have researched sensory integration Inventory-Revised for Individual with Developmental Disabilities as a part of my graduation completion.
I am also an endorsed mental health clinician. I provide focused psychological counselling and management of anxiety, especially with children and adolescent with Autism Spectrum Disorder using a range of therapy, including occupational therapy-based approaches and targeted psychological interventions.
I believe in family empowerment and capacity building through working collaboratively with the families.
Hi, I’m Alison (the other one!) and I love working as an OT with young people. I’m passionate in supporting clients and families to understand their concerns, form goals, and work towards them together. Target areas often include play and social skills, self-care tasks and learning. Outcomes are often amazing – like sharing attention and a 2-way connection in play, writing a name, having toileting success, tolerating wearing shoes and socks or having a shower, or gaining equipment or strategies that makes learning, work or self-regulation easier. I really enjoy what I do. I’ve been working as an OT in the area of paediatrics since 1998. This has been in a variety of non-government, government and private practices. I’m a proud Hobartian. I studied OT at the University of South Australia and returned home to start work in Southern Children’s Services (Tas Govt funded) in what is now called St Giles. I worked in Melbourne for 5 years including work in children’s services at Scope and Yooralla (Victorian non-government disability organisations) and in private practices. I returned to Hobart in 2008 with my husband, and we now have two energetic, cheeky lads who amaze, exhaust and entertain us daily! I’ve loved working at IKOT since late 2010, as I balance my Mum and OT roles. It is a warm and welcoming practice with resourceful, effective and kind therapists to support you. Its exciting to imagine potential changes and new skills just around the corner!
Hi, I’m Bec. I moved from Adelaide mid 2019 to join IKOT. I graduated with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy in 2003 from UniSA, and a Master of Occupational Therapy (paediatrics) in 2013 from Sydney University. I also obtained a Graduate Diploma in Arts Psychotherapy in 2017. I am passionate about the relationship between the arts and health, creativity and wellbeing and the capacity of the subconscious for new insight. I like to incorporate arts and creativity into my sessions and believe the best way to learn is through playful exploration!
I have worked in the education system for 6 years in both urban and rural regions and in private practices, NGO’s and disability arts organisations in Australia and Cambodia. I’ve also worked as a clinical educator/academic for 5 years at UniSA training OT students. I have undertaken training in aquatic therapy, kid’s yoga, kid’s mindfulness meditation and circus skills for people with integration difficulties. I enjoy running group therapy sessions and draw upon the DIR Floortime model, Intensive Interaction and the Social Thinking Curriculum. Before moving here, I worked as an access coordinator for the second largest Fringe festival in the world! I love living in Tasmania with my two affectionate cats, Frankie and Theo, and enjoy water colour painting, making websites, crosswords and getting out in the natural environment when I can!
My name is Fiona and I graduated with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy from La Trobe University in 1994. I have worked in the public sector, private and contracts across country Victoria and four states in USA. I have finally laid my hat in Tasmania and have been here for 10 years. By far, I have spent most of my working life with children, in schools, outreach, clinic, locked facilities and home. This has been my greatest passion.
I enjoy connecting and working with families and children in a team approach to come up with solutions and strategies and I often prefer working in your living environments. I find that I learn/benefit as much, if not more from you, the clients as you may benefit from our interaction. I have trouble narrowing down speciality or preferred areas, though I have spent a lot of time working with children using a sensory processing and integration model. I work to update my skills to be current and I am currently focussing on updating and learning new skills in social cognition and feeding problems. I will constantly pick my beautiful and talented colleagues brains. It is such a welcome luxury to be working with such a large number of skilled paediatric specialists at IKOT. I can honestly say that I have finally found my dream job and am enjoying it thoroughly.
Personally, I have a 7 year old son and elderly cat named Madam Fluffy Pants, who rules our house and little family. We live in the south and are passionate about trains, being in the garden, music, getting outside on scooters, feet and bikes. I look forward to meeting more of you in the Independent Kids Family and continuing the journey. Cheers!
Hi, my name is Klaira. I am new to Independent Kids after graduating as an Occupational Therapist from Southern Cross University in 2019. During my degree I completed clinical placements in a variety of settings including adults in hospital, aged care, adults in the community and community-based paediatrics. I first discovered my interest to work in paediatrics many years prior to university when I volunteered at a youth camp for over 6 years, working with children from a variety of home settings and backgrounds. Since then I have also become an Aunty to 3 amazing children who constantly surprise me and make me laugh. I have also been fortunate to gain experience with children with a variety of needs when completing a clinical placement with a paediatric clinic and volunteering with a special school on the Gold Coast. During my time working with children, I have developed a further interest in Social Thinking and sensory strategies. I am excited to learn more about these areas and to build on the skills and knowledge I have developed during my degree.
Kathy Oliver (Knott)
Hello my name is Kathy, I am the Office Manager at Independent Kids. If you need to know anything, please call or chat to me about it. I really am happy to discuss anything at anytime. I love welcoming new clients to our premises, their little faces always light up when they see the gym and meet their therapists for the first time. When not answering the phone, making bookings or helping clients I also manage all the other parts that make the clinic work. This is something I have made a career of, having worked in the education system for nearly 30 years previously.
I love working with the girls at Independent Kids. They always have the client’s best interests at heart. They are a vibrant group and are always there to support each other.
When not working at Independent Kids I like to take my dog, Geordie on long walks or support my partner, restoring his boat. I love reading and catching up with friends over a coffee. I also enjoy time with my boys (men) and their partners and hopefully soon, grandchildren.
Hey I am Lee, I am the Practice Manager at Independent Kids. I have a varied work background having spent time in hospitality the fitness industry. Most recently I worked in the local government sector in Sydney where I gained experience in staff, grant and venue management as well as developing and facilitating community programs. I completed my degree in Business Management in 2018, studying through Swinburne University.
My role at IKOT is varied to say the least. Whilst I am heavily involved in overseeing the day to day operations of IKOT, the main focus has been developing policies and procedures to ensure that the business can operate in a sustainable and compliant manner under the NDIS. I am also utilising skills I developed through my fitness industry experience by providing personal training sessions to two amazing young men.
I love the client based focus that has been developed over the years at IKOT and ensure that this is forefront in my mind as I conduct my work. The highlights of my day are the interactions I get to have with the kids that come through the door - I am very good at giving out stickers and stamps from the secret stash at reception.
Hi my name is Zack, I started work with IKOT in 2018 on a on and off basis, but began consistent work in July 2019. I have a real interest in IT, movies and drama/acting. I’m using my IT skills to undertake a project at IKOT which is to convert all paper files into a digital format.
I enjoy the IKOT work environment because the other team members are always happy to help if I need it and the workplace environment is nice and relaxing. I like the work that I do as it’s in my field of interest and enables the other staff to better perform their duties efficiently. I’m also contributing to making IKOT more environmentally friendly by eliminating the use of paper and plastic from the business.
I have recently finished college, and this is my first ever job. My favourite subjects in college was Technical Theatre Production and a VET course which was a Cert II in Creative Industries. I’m planning on commencing TAFE studies in 2020 focusing on IT related subjects.
I graduated from Curtin University in Western Australia with a Bachelor of Science (Physiotherapy) in 1997. Soon after graduating I moved to Launceston to work at the Launceston General Hospital before moving to Hobart 3 years later. Since then I have worked in a variety of fields including neurology, community and disability and in differing workplaces across Hobart, London and NSW central coast. Over the past 10 years I have worked for the Tasmanian Health Service before moving into private practice with Independent Kids. I am a member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association and have completed a Certificate in Allied Health Research with University of South Australia. I enjoy learning and completed Enhancing Skills in Paediatric Physiotherapy through Monash University in 2019.
I love being a physiotherapist and working with children and their families to achieve goals that make a difference. It’s different for every child and it might be working on being able to stand independently or being able to walk up stairs or improving physical fitness, balance or coordination to join in a sporting activity. My aim is to identify a child’s strengths and supports around them and then empower them to reach the next step towards the end goal.
I am the proud foster parent of three children, two of whom receive support through the NDIS. So I have an understanding of the NDIS from a parents perspective as well as a professional one. My partner and I have been foster carers for 8 years and have found this incredibly challenging but deeply rewarding. I also have some understanding of what it's like to be a parent of children with additional needs and all the joy and frustration and energy that this requires. As a family we enjoy the beach, our faithful labrador Essie, fishing and vegie gardening (well I do most of the gardening).
Hi, I’m Elyse.
After completing my Bachelor of Arts degree at UTAS, I moved over to Melbourne to complete my OT degree at Monash.
Following that, I worked at Scope in Melbourne, before moving to London where I managed OT services in the Borough of Brent. Upon returning to Australia, I moved to Torquay with my now husband and my dog Punkus, working for Gateways Support Services in Geelong.
Being a Hobart girl, the pull to come home was always there, so when my husband got a job teaching in Hobart, we jumped at the chance to come home.