Each member of the On Track Team has dedicated their career to helping children and have worked in community health, Child Adolescence Mental Health Service, Early Childhood Intervention Services and school settings.
We are highly trained and skilled in assessment and diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental delays as well as providing comprehensive multidisciplinary diagnosis and subsequent therapy.
Danella Taylor – Psychologist
Danella is the founder and principal psychologist of On Track Therapy Group. She established On Track Therapy in 2009. Danella is passionate about working holistically with children, adolescents and their families. She established On Track Therapy to empower families in achieving their goals and helping children thrive. The team at On Track Therapy Group represents this vision and passion. We all work together with families to create a team around the child that helps support and develop each child’s unique abilities and skills.
Danella specialises in developmental and emotional childhood disorders, including Autism, Asperges Disorder, anxiety, depression and conduct disorders. She has worked with children, adolescents and their families for more than 17 years.
Some of Danella’s career highlights include:
- Provided expert consultation for the Australian government department of Early Childhood Intervention Service in Community Health, where she led the establishment of a community-based assessment clinic.
- Part of the first multi-systemic team in a United Kingdom clinical trial, following training in the therapy in the United States. She worked in London for eight years with disadvantaged children and adolescents and their families.
- Worked in Child Adolescence Mental Health Service for five years where she set up a service for disadvantaged young people and their families with extremely challenging behaviour.
Developed and delivered a comprehensive training package for social workers, nurses, educators and other professionals.
Vicky Tsiakalakis – Psychologist
Vicky has had experience with working with school aged children across the state of Victoria for the past 6 years. Vicky initially held a position with the Department of Human Services in the Behaviour and Intervention Service Team (BIST) and then worked with a private company for 6 years. During this employment period she worked exclusively with school aged children (Prep – Year 12). In this setting, Vicky worked in schools as a psychologist providing counselling and assessment services as well as providing consultation to teachers and school staff. As part of her role as a psychologist working within schools she also conducted assessments and wrote applications to provide further support for students with additional needs as part of the funding processes in Government, Catholic and Independent schools. Vicky also often worked in collaboration with other professionals such paediatricians, psychiatrists, speech pathologists, case managers, social workers and teachers. As part of her role, Vicky gained extensive experience with psycho-educational assessments including cognitive and educational tests.
Vicky is experienced in counselling and has a great interest in anxiety management. She has developed and delivered psychological interventions for school aged students. She is passionate and experienced in facilitating therapy groups (focuses included the following but not exclusively to; resilience, body image, anger management, anxiety, and social skills). She is a qualified Cogmed Coach and has experience delivering the Cogmed Working Memory Intervention to individual clients and schools.
Jessica Andrewartha – Speech Pathologist
Jessica has had experience in working with children in both the school and early intervention setting. She has provided speech pathology services to children with a variety of language, communication, fluency and feeding difficulties. Prior to commencing her Masters of Speech Pathology Jessica completed a Bachelor of Music.
In addition to individual sessions Jessica has also had experience running therapy groups. These groups have included working collaboratively with other therapists such as Occupation Therapists, Behavioural Therapists and Music Therapists. She has run a variety of different groups such as; social skills groups, early language groups, as well as music and language groups.
Jessica is always striving towards making therapy a positive and fun experience. She uses a variety of songs, music, dance and games for all children to help achieve their goals and reach their full potential.
Simone O’Driscoll – Occupational Therapist
Simone O’Driscoll graduated from the University of Western Sydney in 2007 with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) Honours. Her strong interest in Paediatrics saw her awarded First Class Honours for her dissertation titled ‘The Views of Paediatric Occupational Therapists regarding research priorities in Paediatrics’.
Simone has gained experience in private practice, Early Intervention, child care, kinder and school settings both in Melbourne and Sydney. She enjoys employing family centred practice to meet the goals of clients. Simone has experience working with children whom have a variety of diagnoses including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, Global Developmental and Intellectual Delays, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome and Dyspraxia.
Simone develops intervention plans to assist in the development of a child’s core stability, fine and gross motor skills, visual perception, motor planning, self-regulation and social/emotional regulation. Intervention plans strive to improve the well-being of clients and their families. Simone has also been involved in the facilitation of group programs.
Melanie Gratton – Qualified Teacher
Melanie is an experienced childhood educator with a sound knowledge of development who has worked with children/ students from birth right through to post school age. She has a vast background working with a diverse range of children in various educational settings in both the public and private sector and is very passionate about every child being given authentic, nurturing opportunities to enrich development and build positive lifelong outcomes.
Melanie has been involved in many community projects with local government, private business and the department of education to improve the educational outcomes of all children. She has a deep enthusiasm for continued professional development and has most recently been involved in innovation and leadership action research through the department of education to ensure greater outcomes for all children.
Fiona Chrispijn -Speech Pathologist
Fiona is a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist and a trained Special Education/Early Intervention teacher. She has a Master of Speech Pathology from Latrobe University in Bundoora and a Master of Education and a Graduate Diploma in Special Education from the University of Melbourne. As a speech therapist Fiona has worked in schools, in private practice and community health and sees children in kindergartens/child care, school at home or in the clinic Fiona has extensive experience in working with children with a broad range of communication and learning difficulties, including children with autism and developmental delay.
Fiona is very committed to working with families and their children and focuses on the interests and personality of children to gain the best outcome for their speech and language development. Fiona is constantly updating her skills through training and workshops and has completed the Lidcombe Program to treat stuttering in children, plus the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), PROMPT therapy for speech sound disorders, and is certified in the Hanen programs It Takes Two To Talk and Target Word.
Andrea Ponce – Paediatric Occupational Therapist
Andrea graduated from La Trobe University in 2010 with a double degree in Occupational Therapy/ Psychological Science.
She has experience in working as a Paediatric Occupational Therapist in private practice, kinder and school settings. She also had the opportunity to work in Santiago/ Chile as an Occupational Therapist at sensory integration infant and child development centres where she gained skills working with various children and their families from different cultural backgrounds. Andrea has experience working with children with a variety of diagnoses including Global Developmental and Intellectual Delays, Autism-Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Angelmans Syndrome, Attention Deficit and Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), Dyspraxia and Sensory Processing Disorders.
Andrea enjoys working with children and their families to help reach their goals and independence. She helps them in areas including fine and gross motor skills, handwriting, visual perception, motor planning and organizational skills, attention, sensory regulation, and play/ social skills. She takes an interest in using a sensory integration approach in her interventions to help with sensory processing difficulties such as over-sensitivities to sights, sounds, textures, flavours and other sensory inputs, spatial/ body awareness and self-regulation. This approach has also been useful in developing emotional regulation, attention, learning and greater participation in daily life.
James Willy – Psychologist
James has worked at the Department of Education and Training for 8 years focused mainly on cognitive assessment and applications for funding for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability and Behavioural Difficulties. James has worked at On Track for the last 3 years predominantly supporting social skills groups for primary school age children. James enjoys watching children develop their skills in being friendly and displaying “expected” behaviours with peers and adults. James’ areas of interest include Autism Spectrum Disorder, Anxiety, Cognitive Assessment, Theory of Mind, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Technology, Mindfulness and Positive Psychology.
Yuki Sands – Occupational Therapist
Yuki has over 15 years experience working as a paediatric Occupational Therapist in Japan and Melbourne. During her early career in Japan Yuki worked as part of child developmental support teams in community health centres and hospitals. Since moving to Melbourne in 2010 Yuki has worked in private practices, providing occupational therapy service to children and their families in a variety of settings including kindergarten, childcare, primary school, and home visits. In addition to individual therapy she has also been involved in facilitating group programs collaborating with other professionals such as Speech Pathologists, Psychologists and qualified teachers. Yuki has experience working with children with a range of diagnoses including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, Global Developmental Delay, handwriting and fine/gross motor difficulties, learning disability, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and various other developmental or behavioural difficulties.
Yuki is passionate about creating engaging, play based activities. She would like children to have a fun and successful experience in her sessions while assisting them in improving their fine and gross motor skills, self care skills, play and social skills.
Brigita Balbata – Speech Pathologist & Primary Teacher
Brigita Balbata has over 11 years of paediatric Speech Pathology experience. She has worked in both the UK and Australia with individuals from birth to adulthood. She has completed a postgraduate certificate in Sensory integration and more recently a masters in Primary Teaching.
Brigita enjoys working with children of various abilities and has a wide amount of experience working with children who have additional needs. She is experienced in alternative and augmentative communication modes and is PROMPT trained. Her enthusiasm and passion makes for a fun session!
Amanda Bruce – Speech Pathologist
Amanda is passionate about helping children to reach their full potential. She has worked with children of all ages with a variety of conditions, including children with complex communication disorders. Amanda has experience in the assessment and management of speech sound disorders, language delays and disorders, fluency (stuttering) and feeding. Amanda has a keen interest in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and is Key Word Sign trained. She enjoys working with families in a collaborative manner to provide Speech Pathology services using a fun and holistic approach.
Yiorgo Sgourakis – Psychologist
Yiorgs has been working with children and adolescents for nearly 15 years, having previously worked with young offenders through organisations including the Department of Health and Human Services (Youth Justice), Youth Projects (YNOT program), and Australian Community Support Organisation (PSBS). For the past 5 years, Yiorgs has been employed as a Psychologist with the Department of Education & Training, working at both primary and secondary schools in the Manningham & Boroondara regions. During this period, he provided counselling services for the students, and regularly undertook psycho-educational assessments. Yiorgs was also required to undertake assessments and write and submit applications on behalf of students who were potentially eligible for funding under the Program for Students with Disabilities. A significant part of his role at the schools related to managing difficult behaviours in the classroom, which often involved working with students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Behavioural Disorders, working closely with teachers and parents in the process. This position of employment with the Department also required Yiorgs to regularly collaborate with other external professionals (e.g. Speech Pathologists, Psychologists & Paediatricians) who were providing additional support for students at these schools. Yiorgs developed and delivered a number of Personal Development Training sessions for staff at each of these schools, relating to areas such as managing students with anxiety, school refusal, and suicidal ideation. He also carried out several sessions for parents and students relating to topics of interest to these groups, including depression, anxiety, resilience and mental fitness. Yiorgs has an interest in the areas of ASD, anxiety and depression, and is passionate about working with children and adolescents to help them confront and overcome difficult life situations, and to develop both resilience as well as a positive level of psychological wellbeing that they will be able to independently maintain.
Tegan Howell – Speech Pathologist
Tegan graduated as a speech pathologist from La Trobe University. She has experience working with preschool and primary school aged children who have hearing loss and autism. She has experience providing therapy in individual, group and class environments. Prior to becoming a speech pathologist Tegan was an allied health assistant working with progressive neurological disorders and a creative arts facilitator working with adults who have differing abilities.
Tegan enjoys working with a wide variety of abilities and has experience working with augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and Auslan. She is passionate about everyone having the right to communicate and is continually attending professional development and keeping up to date with evidence based practice in these areas.
Jacinta Conway – Education Consultant & Learning Intervention Specialist
Jacinta is a trained Primary School teacher and has taught in a range of school settings since 2002. She has taught in both government and independent schools, as well as teaching in the UK for almost five years. Whilst in the UK, she worked closely with Special Educators and developed an interest in Learning Interventions. She has since trained in a range of evidence-based literacy programs, including The Spalding Method, the Multilit programs, Macqlit and has more recently consolidated this knowledge by undertaking her Masters in Learning Interventions at the University of Melbourne. Jacinta has been implementing Literacy and Numeracy interventions for more than ten years now. With a special interest in social capabilities and how behaviour affects learning, she is now looking to integrate social capabilities into learning interventions, to provide a more holistic approach for sustainable learning.