Katrine leads our practice with over 20 years of dedicated clinical experience and is our senior Speech Pathologist who offers an extensive range of support for both paediatric to adult across o range of clinical conditions affecting communication, literacy, voice and swallowing/eating. Katrine’s skills extend further as she is the CEO of Optimal Communications and Optimal Phonics Pty Ltd being the research and development arm of her work that has developed the Phonic All Star Speech and Literacy correction program. Leaving no obstacle unturned, Katrine has also developed Zip It Up for Kids sponsorship program to support children with communication challenges. One of her most exciting and fulfilling accomplishments was in the design and development of the Once Upon a Time Therapy Centre with her partner, Kerry Myers in 2013. From here, they have re-birthed the group therapy program CLUB YICKETTY YAK and launched the first stages of the ONLINE speech Therapy programs, SPEECH TUBE, which enables access and support for more people to the vital service that Speech Pathologists offer.
Katrine is a graduate from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Speech Therapy (Speech Pathology) in 1993. Over 2 decades now in practice, Katrine has experience of 23 years in private practice and in the development and building of the Optimal Communications Company that is today.
Throughout these years, Katrine also gained experience:
- Acute and community rehabilitation as part of the original therapy rehabilitation team at Allamanda Private Hospital Rehabilitation Unit
- Childhood developmental speech and language disorders at Community Health service
- Disability on the paediatric team at Disability Queensland
- Assessment, treatment and screenings for children at Gold Coast Kindergartens
- Providing assessments, management and advise regarding swallowing/eating disorders and neurological disorders (static or degenerative in nature) for Gold Coast nursing homes
- Education, Lecturing, Workshops and training for groups, courses and centres in the fields of speech and language, professional voice, management of swallowing disorders
Being a project developer, Katrine is always seen with her mind and heart involved in developing therapy/intervention programs, and equipment which are featured via the internet to share with others in the profession and who benefit from the creative and academic products of her toil. This includes but is not limited to the Phonic All Star Speech & Literacy Correction Program, Club Yicketty Yak Speech Therapy Groups, Ideas with Altitude inspirational written pieces, Peter Blundy-No Limits-no Boundaries Project, Reasons Why you want to be me Project… all of which are integrated into the holistic service that is offered at Optimal Communications.
Her recent project involving the support of her partner, Kerry Myers, is Speech Tube which enables vital information, training and activities to reach the children and families that desperately need support the most.
Katrine and Kerry developed-built and funded the The Once Upon a Time Therapy Centre now located at Southport based on their new partnership with focused interests which has enabled Club Yak to come to life again and to see the birthing of the internet activity.
Katrine currently is responsible for the support, training and development of the clinical skills of her associate Speech Pathologists, however, many current Gold Coast Speech Pathologist have passed through our Optimal Communications practice and gained the benefit of intensive mentorship over the history of the clinic.
Katrine Elliott-senior Speech Pathologist-Optimal Communications provides BLOG reports and discussions that assist families and clients to learn, expand on concepts and to open new viewpoints in the filed of communication and Speech Pathology and how it has an important impact on our community. Always providing lots of beneficial content, Katrine is prepared to say what is needed to be said from the mind-heart-and soul to motivate and inspire families and clients in the importance of corrective therapy for children and adults as she is experienced in seeing the impact on people’s lives if this is undertaken or not undertaken. Speech Pathology is only one of many hats that she wears and Katrine draws from that personal knowledge and experience to share that generously and openly in many projects she undertakes in the field of education, rehabilitation, health, arts and humanity.
Lauren originally from the UK graduated from City University of London with a BSc (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy. “She is now fully evaluated and recognised by Speech Pathology Australia as a Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist.”
Since then Lauren has worked in the public health sector of the National Health Service in England for an Adult Community and Acute Speech Therapy service. She has experience in treating adult voice disorders, swallowing impairments, progressive neurological conditions and brain injury clients. Prior to graduation Lauren was also part of various early years and educational teams across London whilst training to be a Speech Therapist.
In August 2016 Lauren and her partner decided to make the move from the UK to the Gold Coast! This was in order to experience the Australian healthcare provision both in the public and private sectors; and to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the coast and hinterland.
WHAT MAKES ME DIFFERENT
Lauren has a keen interest in keeping up to date with the latest clinical research in the field of Speech Pathology and strives to apply the latest findings to her client’s sessions. She believes that by providing evidence based therapy is the key to success and is more than happy to discuss this with her clients at their request.
In 2014 Lauren was asked to create a Specialist Guide for Speech and Language Therapists working with people who suffer from Multiple System Atrophy (a type of Parkinsonian disease). After a gruelling 12 months of research, writing and editing, Lauren’s guide was published by the Multiple System Atrophy trust as a freely accessible download for other clinicians who wanted guidance when working in that field. The condition is still relatively rare and therefore up to date resources and information are often limited. Lauren hopes to continue to contribute to the literature in the future and maintains a close link with the charitable trust.
Lauren believes that all clients should be given the chance to voice what they wish to see as an outcome of therapy. It is proven that if both the therapist and the client are working towards a shared goal then the goal is likely to be achieved more quickly! All clients should have the opportunity to provide their own opinion on treatment and how they feel progress is going; that’s why Lauren ensures goals are discussed and constructed in a measurable and realistic manner.
As a therapist who enjoys keeping up to date with the latest technology, Lauren hopes to be at the forefront of educating, providing and sharing information to help aid communication development. Devices known as Alternative Augmentative Communication aids (AAC) are constantly evolving and changing, therefore it takes an experienced clinician to be able to guide and advise the clients on the best choice for them. She also believes that remote therapy through the use of systems such as Skype will be an area that will grow over the next few years for all clinicians, and she is wishing to be a part of this exciting new movement of making therapy easily accessible for all.
Charlotte is from Ireland but spent the early part of her life in the U.K., moving to the Gold Coast in early 2016. She graduated from the University of Limerick with an MSc in Speech and Language Therapy in 2015 and since then has worked with a range of clients in speech pathology spanning the areas of paediatric disability, developmental communication, adult acquired impairment and minority population voice work.
Before undertaking her postgraduate studies Charlotte volunteered with a family autism group in which children could develop their social skills through teamwork, music, and drama while their parents received peer support. She also volunteered as a conversation partner for the elderly and participated in several community development projects.
WHAT MAKES ME DIFFERENT
Charlotte takes pride in delivering client-centered care that is personalised to service-users’ needs and abilities, whatever their age. She firmly believes that children’s play is their work and adapts paediatric therapy sessions to suit the developmental level and abilities of the children involved, with a strong focus on their strengths and motivations. Working through evidence-based programmes with a touch of creativity, kindness and fun is a rewarding way to achieve goals and reach successful outcomes.
Charlotte is proud of her professional contribution to Express YOUR Gender, a Dublin-based social enterprise, supporting trans people to develop their authentic self through holistic therapy services and voice work. Charlotte is pro-inclusivity and against discrimination of any kind and takes pride in advocating for those without a voice.
Prior to working in the field of speech pathology, Charlotte recognised how important communication and language were, these being the human elements that connect people all around the world. It was this realisation – the challenges and vulnerability facing those without a voice – that motivated her to pursue a career supporting children and adults to find or regain their voice (including through alternative communication). Charlotte considers herself an advocate for those who historically have been misunderstood, ignored or marginalised due to their communication difficulties.
Charlotte is keen to educate herself further and develop her practical abilities in evidence-based programmes designed to assist people with their individual communication needs. She plans to complete an A.A.C. (Alternative Augmentative Communication) course in the coming months and would like to develop several projects in the future, including a trans voice workshop and local community speech and language initiatives.