Caitlin Breheny - Director

Caitlin Breheny

Director

Caitlin Breheny studied Speech Pathology and Audiology at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Caitlin moved to Australia after graduating and began her career working in early intervention with the Autism Association of WA. This career move ignited a passion for empowering families faced with disabilities and supporting each child holistically through family-centred practice. Having lived and worked in rural, remote Western Australia for over thirteen years, Caitlin is familiar with the difficulties and challenges faced by families needing to access health services in these regions. Her determination to provide more options for families in Karratha and its surrounds drove her to open up Connect Paediatric Therapy services in 2016 to bring evidence-based, multidisciplinary services to the Pilbara. Caitlin and her husband have three boys aged between 7 and 12 years old. When she is not at work, she enjoys venturing with her family on a boat or in a caravan, exploring the beautiful Pilbara.

Elysia Canning - Operations Manager

Elysia Canning

Operations Manager

Elysia Canning grew up in Perth and moved her family to Karratha in 2007. After graduating from Curtin University as a Speech Pathologist, she spent two years working in metropolitan hospitals before making the life-changing decision to move to the north-west. This move started a passion for working as part of an allied health team providing early intervention and working with children with disabilities and communication difficulties. After seven years with Pilbara Population Health providing outreach services across the west Pilbara, Elysia started a speech pathology private practice. Her love of sport took her to a stint with the former Department of Sport and Recreation. Elysia then led the Pilbara’s transition from the WA National Disability Insurance Scheme to the Australia-wide model with the Department of Communities (Disability Services). With her ongoing commitment to community engagement and a shift into the corporate world, Elysia was the Department of Communities’ Executive Manager.

Elysia started with Connect in October 2020 as Operations Manager. She aims to provide strategic leadership in her two areas of passion – providing allied health services and supporting people with disabilities.

Emily Guest - Clinical Services Manager

Emily Guest

Clinical Services Manager

Emily is a country girl. She grew up in a small country town in the Wheatbelt and moved to the Pilbara in 2016. Emily completed her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy at Curtin University and has experience working in private and public health sectors. Emily has done further training in Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) feeding, DIR floor time, Circle of Security – Parents, Zones of regulation, The Alert Program and Social Thinking. She has an interest and a strong passion for working with families around mealtimes and emotional regulation. She enjoys working in early intervention and using a strength-based approach in her practice. You will often find Emily outdoors, boating, camping, fishing and doing some photography of the beautiful Pilbara landscapes.

Speech Pathology

Meet Our Speechies
Caitlin Breheny - Senior Speech Pathologist

Caitlin Breheny

Senior Speech Pathologist

Caitlin Breheny studied Speech Pathology and Audiology at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Caitlin moved to Australia after graduating and began her career working in early intervention with the Autism Association of WA. This career move ignited a passion for empowering families faced with disabilities and supporting each child holistically through family-centred practice. Having lived and worked in rural, remote Western Australia for over thirteen years, Caitlin is familiar with the difficulties and challenges faced by families needing to access health services in these regions. Her determination to provide more options for families in Karratha and its surrounds drove her to open up Connect Paediatric Therapy services in 2016 to bring evidence-based, multidisciplinary services to the Pilbara. Caitlin and her husband have three boys aged between 7 and 12 years old. When she is not at work, she enjoys venturing with her family on a boat or in a caravan, exploring the beautiful Pilbara.

Sandy Lin - Speech Pathologist

Sandy Lin

Speech Pathologist

Sandy is originally from Taiwan, where she completed her Bachelor Degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology. She worked for over 3 years as a Speech Pathologist in Taiwan with both adults and children before relocating to Perth in 2017 to study for her Masters of Speech Pathology. As part of her studies, she completed placements in Western Australia in rural areas, which inspired her to relocate to Karratha. Sandy has an array of clinical experience in hospitals, schools, aged care and community clinics. She has also completed further PROMPT training, Hanen – It Takes Two to Talk and Social Thinking. Sandy has a passion for providing early intervention, working with children who experience speech delays and disorders, and helping children understand the social world. Sandy loves living in Karratha and getting involved in the community. She spends her spare time learning difference languages, playing instruments, travelling, watching movies and spending time with her cat.

Gina O'Connor - Speech Pathologist

Gina O’Connor

Speech Pathologist

Gina grew up in the green mountains of Gippsland in Victoria before moving to Melbourne to study a Masters of Speech Pathology at La Trobe University. While studying, Gina worked as a therapy assistant for children with complex communication needs, including children with autism and ADHD. Gina has a keen interest in early language and literacy. She recently completed Social Thinking training and is passionate about taking a social-emotional approach to communication; and strongly believes that communication should never be separated from the person as a whole, which is why she loves working so closely with other Connect clinicians. When living on the East Coast, Gina was a keen surfer and mountain climber; however, she has enjoyed going camping and exploring the region since moving to the Pilbara.

Emily-Jane Whitbourn - Speech Pathologist

Emily-Jane Whitbourn

Speech Pathologist

Emily-Jane relocated to Karratha with her family from South Australia, where she completed her Bachelor of Speech Pathology degree. Emily-Jane has experience working as an Allied Health Assistant, specialising in speech and communication and has a keen interest in Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Emily-Jane has a passion for supporting individuals with complex communication needs to develop their voice and reach their communication goals. In her spare time, you will catch Emily-Jane spending time with her family, creating in the kitchen, working on craft projects or exploring the Pilbara.

Occupational Therapy

Meet Our OTs
Emily Guest - Senior Occupational Therapist

Emily Guest

Senior Occupational Therapist

Emily is a country girl. She grew up in a small country town in the Wheatbelt and moved to the Pilbara in 2016. Emily completed her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy at Curtin University and has experience working in private and public health sectors. Emily has done further training in Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) feeding, DIR floor time, Circle of Security – Parents, Zones of regulation, The Alert Program and Social Thinking. She has an interest and a strong passion for working with families around mealtimes and emotional regulation. She enjoys working in early intervention and using a strength-based approach in her practice. You will often find Emily outdoors, boating, camping, fishing and doing some photography of the beautiful Pilbara landscapes.

Sarah Hall - Senior Occupational Therapist

Sarah Hall

Senior Occupational Therapist

Sarah was born in South Australia but spent most of her Primary years in Esperance before moving overseas to Bahrain with her family for high school. She is married with two children, a dog, a cat and many fish.

Sarah initially graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology then went on to do a Masters in Occupational Therapy, graduating in 2005. Her first job was working at Carnarvon Hospital for 5 years before travelling overseas and working in the UK for 18months. On returning to Australia in 2011, she got a job at Population Health in Karratha and has been here ever since.

The 2-year plan has come and gone a long time ago! She has much experience across a varied caseload from birth to death but has moved more and more towards working with kids in the last couple of years. She has trained in Floor Time-DIR, SOS Mealtimes, Making sense of senses, Learn to Play, CO-OP and has had lots of experience in complex equipment prescriptions.

Her passions are working in Mealtimes and with picky eating and working with families at the beginning of their journeys with disability. Recently her CO-OP training has also re-awakened her passion for working with older children to solve difficulties in their everyday lives.  She is extremely passionate about closing the gap in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

In her free time, Sarah likes going out on the boat with her family, traveling to new places, reading (when she gets the time) and eating!

Sarah Owens - Occupational Therapist

Sarah Owens

Occupational Therapist

Sarah grew up in a small country town in Western Australia called Beverley, with two older siblings and her mother. Sarah relocated to Perth to study and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy with Honours. She has experience in clinical placements in rural remote locations of Western Australia, hospitals and soft tissue. She has also completed further training in The Zones of Regulation and the ALERT Program. Her passions lie within helping individuals and families to succeed in all areas of their lives.  She has an interest in working in early intervention. Sarah loves drinking coffee, playing tennis and netball, and exploring what the Pilbara countryside has to offer. You will also often find her listening to podcasts and learning about new awesome facts.

Rebecca Graham-Dawson - Occupational Therapist

Rebecca Graham-Dawson

Occupational Therapist

Rebecca is originally from Perth, where she completed her Masters in Occupational Therapy at Curtin University. As part of her studies, Rebecca was fortunate enough to complete a paediatric clinical placement in rural Western Australia, which inspired her to move to Karratha in 2021. Rebecca has previous experience in a multidisciplinary team in Perth, working with a range of clients with diagnosed disabilities. Rebecca has also worked as a mentor for university students with Autism and volunteered at a neurorehabilitation facility for adults with acquired brain injuries. Rebecca has a passion for working with children and their families to support their success, participation and engagement in all areas of their lives, with a strong interest in working in early intervention. You will often find Rebecca outdoors, camping, bike riding, playing with her two dogs and exploring our beautiful region.

Amelia Herbert - Senior Occupational Therapist

Amelia Herbert

Currently on Parental Leave

Senior Occupational Therapist

Amelia is originally from Melbourne but has lived in the south-west of Perth for the majority of her life. She moved to Karratha over 2 years ago with her young family that keep her very busy. She completed her Master of Occupational Therapy Services in Perth and is now one of our Senior Occupational Therapists at Connect PTS. She has over 7 years of paediatrics experience. She has completed the Circle of Security Training, which she is very passionate about and working with clients and their families to achieve all their goals. Amelia feels so blessed to work with all the wonderful Pilbara families and feels she is constantly learning from them. You will often find Amelia spending time with her family and friends or heading out to the islands on the boat doing lots of fishing.

Lyndall Crichton - Occupational Therapist

Lyndall Crichton

Currently on Parental Leave

Occupational Therapist

Lyndall is originally from South Australia, where she completed her Masters in Occupational Therapy at the University of South Australia in 2018. After graduating, she spent time working in a private mental health hospital where she facilitated group therapy sessions to educate, support, and enhance the coping skills of individuals with various mental health disorders. Lyndall has completed further training in Zones of Regulation, Social Thinking, TEACHH Strategies and The ALERT Program. She is passionate about working with children using a family centred approach to enhance their ability to participate in meaningful activities, with a strong interest in teaching social competencies and understanding the social world we live in. She particularly enjoys working with upper primary and high school-aged children. In her spare time, Lyndall enjoys spending time at the beach and going boating, camping and walking her dog, Poppy.

Physiotherapy

Meet Our Physios
Nina Whyte - Physiotherapist

Nina Whyte

Physiotherapist

Nina grew up in Perth and studied physiotherapy at Notre Dame. She was lucky enough to work with children in paediatric rural, sports and hospital settings, among several other diverse areas, including musculoskeletal, neurological, and cardiothoracic. Her passions lie in optimising movement to allow children to achieve their goals and participate in leisure activities with their peers. You might run into her at the gym or pool, playing social sports or exploring the beautiful Pilbara.

Karina Caldwell - Senior Continence & Women’s Health Physiotherapist

Karina Caldwell

Senior Continence & Women’s Health Physiotherapist

Karina has been enjoying living in Karratha since 2012, when she moved up with her husband and 2 sons. Initially completing her Bachelor of Science (Physiotherapy) at Curtin University in 2002, Karina has extensive experience in musculoskeletal treatment, rehabilitation, and Pilates-based exercise, having worked both in Perth and the United Kingdom.

Karina has always had a strong interest in supporting women and families, particularly in the childbearing years and completed her Masters in Continence and Women’s Health in 2012. Since this time, Karina has exclusively focussed on this area and has experience treating men, women and children and is particularly interested in supporting people with complex cases and needs.

In addition to her work, Karina is a board member for Cosmos HealthCare which provides medical training and support to communities overseas such as Zimbabwe and Papua New Guinea. Last year Karina spent 3 weeks in Zimbabwe as a volunteer and team leader with Cosmos visiting the area affected by Cyclone Idai and in rural communities around Bulawayo.

Karina is passionate about creating treatment solutions that are effective and sustainable and unique for each individual.

You might see Karina umpiring netball, drinking coffee, or spending time with her energetic boys in her spare time.

Janine Hunt - Continence Physiotherapist

Janine Hunt

Physiotherapist

Janine moved to Karratha in 2016 and is the mother of 3 young children. She graduated from The University of Sydney with a Bachelor Degree in Physiotherapy in 2006. Janine has experience working with both adults and children in the hospital and private practice settings. Janine has extensive experience working in the public health sector in various locations, including orthopaedics, rehabilitation, surgical and cardiorespiratory. Janine has developed a keen interest in children’s continence and has furthered her training in this area and completed the APA level 1 Paediatric Physiotherapy course. Janine has a passion for supporting individuals with complex needs and supporting them to achieve their individual goals.

Janine enjoys exploring the beautiful Pilbara outdoors with her husband and 3 energetic children in her spare time. She loves camping, going to the beach and spending time with family and friends.

Dietetics

Meet Our Dietitians
Dietician - Elise Strange

Elise Strange

Senior Dietitian

Elise is a country kid at heart and has spent much of her adult life living in remote regions of Australia, with the last seven years being in Karratha.

Elise has been working in paediatric dietetics for the last seven years now, and before this, she worked in a tertiary hospital in Brisbane. In recent years, she has undertaken various courses to further her expertise in supporting children and teens with selective/picky eating. She has also undertaken additional training in breastfeeding, infant and toddler feeding, and allergies and intolerances.

As a mother of two young children, she understands the everyday demands raising children has on parents. She is particularly passionate about supporting families to help create mealtimes that are a time of connection and joy, from birth through to adulthood.

She loves spending time with her boys, Pilbara winters, reading, and food. She has a love of learning and is always on the lookout for new learning opportunities.

Mental Health

Meet Our Team
Provisional Psychologist - Luke Steere

Luke Steere

Provisional Psychologist

Luke was born in the Pilbara (Newman) but spent most of his life in Perth before heeding the call of the dirt and moving to Karratha in 2020. He has completed a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) at the University of Western Australia, a Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology at Western Sydney University in Bankstown, and a Master of Psychology (Professional) at Curtin University in Perth. During this time, Luke spent time working in education as a Student Support Officer for the School of Special Educational Needs: Behaviour and Engagement (SSEN:BE), as a support worker for Alzheimer’s Australia, and children and youths with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Luke completed his Masters’ practicum as a psychologist in schools in 2019, working in both the primary and high school settings. Luke has interests in cross-cultural practice, particularly working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and child and adolescent mental health.

Millie Caddy - Mental Health OT

Millie Caddy

Mental Health OT

Millie was born and raised in Melbourne, Victoria. She moved to Karratha in October 2020, after completing her final year placement in the Kimberley (2018) and falling in love with the stunning landscapes and incredible lifestyle that the west provides.

Millie completed a Bachelor of Applied Science and a Masters in Occupational Therapy Practice at Latrobe University before commencing a 2-year work placement program in Mental Health. Before moving to Connect, she worked across the adult public mental health services continuum, working in both community, residential and inpatient settings. She has always been interested in working in adolescent mental health and loves the functional lens of ‘doing’ that occupational therapy brings to the mental health sector.

She is extremely passionate about her work and has a special interest in working with young people and adults who have previously had difficulty engaging with mental health services. She loves working with people to help them identify and utilise their strengths, assisting them in fostering a strong sense of self and creating meaningful connections.

My hobbies include playing football, camping, and exploring the Pilbara in my 4×4.

Literacy

Meet Our Literacy Specialists
Literacy Specialist - Natalie Newton

Natalie Newton

Literacy Specialist

Nat is originally from Perth but has now spent over 14 years living in the Pilbara and Midwest. She graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Education and has completed further training in Sounds-Write and PECS. Nat is very passionate about empowering individuals and families to reach their literacy goals. She aims to teach the skills and strategies to scaffold each individual’s success while making learning literacy fun and engaging for everyone. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, getting out and about and exploring the Pilbara, travelling and teaching her children about different cultures and lifestyles.

Literacy Specialist - Anja Hadley

Anja Hadley

Literacy Specialist

Anja has been living in Karratha since 2005 with her husband and three children. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Primary Education and then a Post Graduate Degree in Education in Special Needs at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. After graduating, Anja worked as a relief teacher in London for 2 years, working in a mainstream and special needs setting. She went on to work as a special need’s teacher in a primary school in South Africa. She was part of a multidisciplinary team for children with ADHD, cerebral palsy, and other learning difficulties. Anja also has experience working as an Indigenous tutorial facilitator at KSHS. She has completed further training in Sounds-Write and is undergoing study in the area of mental health. She is passionate about supporting children to reach their true potential by working in a multidisciplinary team. Anja loves travelling, reading, photography and going out on the boat with her family and friends.

Allied Health

Meet Our Allied Health Assistants
AHA Team Leader - Blaine Willcocks

Blaine Willcocks

AHA Team Leader

Blaine has recently moved into a new position at Connect PTS following her Behaviour Support Training’s successful completion and being recognised as a provisional behaviour support practitioner through the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Commission. Blaine has been working with many of our families as an Allied Health Assistant before December 1st, when the commission rolled out in WA. In this role, Blaine was identified as having a skill of engaging children with challenging behaviours and supporting families to be curious about what is driving the behaviour whilst also supporting ways to reduce behaviours that negatively impact the individual and those around them.

Blaine has a Bachelor of Psychology through the University of Arizona in the United States.

During college, Blaine discovered her passion for working with children whilst employed as a research assistant in a speech pathology lab. This led her to work with children on the autism spectrum as an ABA therapist after graduation. Throughout her 3 years as an ABA therapist, Blaine discovered a passion for learning about autism, understanding behaviour, and working with families. Blaine is now transitioning to a full-time role as a Behaviour Support Practitioner whilst receiving ongoing mentoring to become a fully certified practitioner as defined by the Commission.

Dahanara Munroe - Allied Health Assistant

Dahanara Munroe

Allied Health Assistant

Dahanara was born in New Zealand but grew up in a small rural town in the Great Southern, WA, with her 5 siblings and mum. Dahanara is completing her Bachelor of Education (Primary) with a keen interest in Indigenous Education. She has volunteered with various foundations that aim to change the education structure for our first nations people, the most recent being in Tom Price, where she fell in love with Pilbara land and culture.

Dahanara hopes to play a part in making education accessible and engaging for all Australians while also preserving Aboriginal culture, language and stories. Ensuring cultural security and inclusivity in everyday life is a huge underlying value for her.

Dahanara’s spare time is mostly filled with phone calls to family living all around Australia. If she is not on the phone with her sisters, she walks her two fur babies, exploring the Pilbara or painting.

Kathy McDermott - Allied Health Assistant

Kathy McDermott

Allied Health Assistant

Originally from Perth, Kathy moved to Karratha with her family 12 years ago and now calls Karratha home. Although Kathy has a background in regional development and administration, she has spent the last four years working as a chiropractic assistant at various Chiropractic Clinics in Karratha. It was during this time that she discovered her passion for communication and connection. This has inspired Kathy to study Speech Pathology at Curtin University.

In her spare time, Kathy enjoys watching sunrises and sunsets, long walks at Hearson’s Cove when the tide is low and catching up with friends. She also enjoys spending time with her five children.

Kathy is excited to be a part of the Connect Paediatric Therapy Services team, learning new skills, meeting new people, and making a difference.

Positive Behaviour Support

Meet Our Positive Behaviour Supports
Caitlyn Breheny - PBS Practitioner

Caitlin Breheny

PBS Practitioner

Caitlin Breheny studied Speech Pathology and Audiology at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Caitlin moved to Australia after graduating and began her career working in early intervention with the Autism Association of WA. This career move ignited a passion for empowering families faced with disabilities and supporting each child holistically through family-centred practice. Having lived and worked in rural, remote Western Australia for over thirteen years, Caitlin is familiar with the difficulties and challenges faced by families needing to access health services in these regions. Her determination to provide more options for families in Karratha and its surrounds drove her to open up Connect Paediatric Therapy services in 2016 to bring evidence-based, multidisciplinary services to the Pilbara. Caitlin and her husband have three boys aged between 7 and 12 years old. When she is not at work, she enjoys venturing with her family on a boat or in a caravan, exploring the beautiful Pilbara.

PBS Practitioner - Blaine Willcocks

Blaine Willcocks

PBS Practitioner

Blaine has recently moved into a new position at Connect PTS following her Behaviour Support Training’s successful completion and being recognised as a provisional behaviour support practitioner through the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Commission. Blaine has been working with many of our families as an Allied Health Assistant before December 1st, when the commission rolled out in WA. In this role, Blaine was identified as having a skill of engaging children with challenging behaviours and supporting families to be curious about what is driving the behaviour whilst also supporting ways to reduce behaviours that negatively impact the individual and those around them.

Blaine has a Bachelor of Psychology through the University of Arizona in the United States.

During college, Blaine discovered her passion for working with children whilst employed as a research assistant in a speech pathology lab. This led her to work with children on the autism spectrum as an ABA therapist after graduation. Throughout her 3 years as an ABA therapist, Blaine discovered a passion for learning about autism, understanding behaviour, and working with families. Blaine is now transitioning to a full-time role as a Behaviour Support Practitioner whilst receiving ongoing mentoring to become a fully certified practitioner as defined by the Commission.

Support Staff

Anita Haira - Practice Manager

Anita Haira

Practice Manager

Anita is originally from New Zealand and is of Maori descent. She moved to Australia over 7 years ago and has now made Karratha home. Anita has extensive experience working in customer service with over 15 years in retail management. However, she wanted to step out of her comfort zone and extend her customer service skills, leading her to Connect. Anita is passionate about working with the public, building rapport with people and providing a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone. In New Zealand, Anita was a lead vocalist for a local band, she comes from a very musical family, and although she is no longer in New Zealand, she still very much enjoys singing in her spare time.

Leyla Sharp - Administration Assistant

Leyla Sharpe

Administration Support Officer

Leyla was born in Waikiki, Western Australia, then moved to Karratha with her family at 3 years of age. She has now lived here for 16 years and is still enjoying the Pilbara lifestyle. Since completing year 12 at St Luke’s College, she has been searching for something she enjoys and is passionate about. Leyla has found she loves engaging with people and families. Since joining the Connect team, her love in this area has grown. She is currently studying a Certificate IV in Business Administration at North Regional TAFE and is eager to transfer her learnings into the workplace. Netball has been a passion of Leyla’s for many years, and she has been fortunate enough to have represented Karratha in several North West Regional Championships. Spending time with family and friends is one of her favourite pass times and is something that she values very much.

Henry Cattan - Finance

Henry Cattan

Finance Coordinator

Henry was born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and grew up in the United States.  He has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Arizona. Before moving to Karratha in 2019 Henry worked as a Portfolio Analyst for an electrical utility. Henry has experience in planning, data analysis, and forecasting. He is excited to be working with Connect Paediatrics Therapy Services supporting the billing and finance aspects within the company.

Jessica Webster - Human Resources Officer

Jessica Webster

Human Resources Officer

Raised in Darwin, Jess moved to Karratha at the end of high school and has never left. Choosing to live in Karratha, she completed her Batchelor of Business (HR) & Bachelor of Psychology externally and has worked predominantly in the disability sector for both NGO’s and State Government Departments in the Karratha community. When Jess is not sourcing highly skilled clinicians to be a part of the Connect team, she enjoys spending her time out on the boat exploring the Dampier archipelago with her family and friends.

How Can We Help?

Have a question? Want to book an appointment? Our friendly team can help.

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Connect with us

(08) 9143 1906

reception@connectpts.com.au

UNIT 7/28-32 De Grey Pl, Karratha WA 6714

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Families can access our services privately (with private health rebates and Medicare benefits) and through the National Disability Insurance Scheme.