Our allied health professionals are specialists in supporting people with spinal cord injuries and other physical disabilities. They include physiotherapists, occupational therapists and registered nurses who work in partnership with you to develop holistic solutions to enable you to reach your potential.
Key allied health services
We provide allied health services in the following key areas:
Access to expertise and funding
We provide assistance with applications to government concession and subsidy schemes:
- to buy and modify private vehicles (VOSS)
- for prescribed aids and equipment (CAEATI and MASS).
- to help with modifications in the workplace (Employment Assistance fund).
- for assistive technology prescriptions including incontinence assessments, driving assessments and splinting (NDIS).
Specialist personal advice and assessments
- Individual assessments to evaluate your needs and help you to meet your lifestyle choices
- Bowel, bladder and pressure area advice and management
- Home modification assessments and designs, and referrals to home modification service providers
- Workplace assessments to help you overcome barriers in your place of work
- Driving assessments (in some regions)
Mobility, seating and assistive technology solutions
We are the mobility and seating, and assistive technology specialists. We can assist you with:
- Seating and postural assessments, including pressure mapping, to ensure you have the best choice of product and fit
- Trial and prescription of aids, disability specific technology and equipment that can improve independence and lifestyle, for example mobility, pressure care, continence, personal care, transfers and environmental controls.
- Hand splinting including typing, writing and resting pans.
- Equipment for leisure and recreational pursuits.
If you’re eligible, we can even help you prepare funding applications so you can afford the prescribed aids and equipment you need.
Our equipment hire service provides a useful option when equipment breaks down or is required for travel or other reasons.
Our specialist physiotherapy service is an integrated approach to advanced neurological and musculoskeletal rehabilitation.
Reduce pain, regain and enhance muscle movements, treat overuse injuries and prevent injury recurrence.
Return to your work, sport and hobbies at a higher level with our support.
If you are a member, you will receive a 10% discount on all physiotherapy services.
Meet the Team
We’d like to introduce you to our experienced and multidisciplinary team of Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, and Registered Nurses.
Yvette may be one of the newest team members, but she is well equipped to maintain our high standards of service. With Bachelor’s Degrees in Health Science and Occupational Therapy, and having completed her placement with Spinal Life as part of our Cairns unit, she has hit the ground running and been delivering excellent results for her clients.
This includes a client with complete C4 quadriplegia who is back fishing after Yvette’s assistance helped fit a boat hoist and custom fishing chair with chin control and electrical reel.
Examples like this show the determination for results that saw Yvette represent Australia in water polo. She’s not all machine though and does like getting her Betty Crocker on and doing some baking.
Rebecca has more than 15 years of experience working as an OT across 2 continents. With her Bachelor of Occupational Therapy from the University of Queensland, she started working in Community Health north of Brisbane before moving to London.
There she spent most of her working time with a wheelchair and seating service. With a newly discovered interest in seating, and its potential effects, Rebecca returned to Australia. She worked for a time with the Department of Housing before joining Spinal Life 11 years ago.
Having just returned from maternity leave after the birth of her third child Rebecca is already back in action and assisting clients. This includes making an everyday difference for a lady forced to spend most of her time in bed by managing the issues that arise from this.
Peter has worked as a Registered Nurse for more than 20 years. With a degree in Nursing and post-graduate qualifications in Health Promotion, Peter has spent time as both an acute hospital nurse and a community nurse.
15 years ago, Peter worked as a volunteer nurse in a developing country. This experience shaped his view of his job and he draws on those experiences every day.
Peter has worked with Spinal Life Australia for the last 8 years. His role has seen him work with clients on continence, skin, and wound management. A recent client who had significant wounds is now able to maintain a normal daily life with the support of Peter and informed family members.
Driver Trained Occupational Therapist
Patricia has a Masters in Occupational Therapy Studies from the University of Queensland. After graduating Patricia has been working as part of multidisciplinary teams in the community.
She has a strong background in equipment prescription for clients with neurological conditions, such as SCI and CP.
A recent example is her work in simplifying a complex, custom-made backrest to a simple modification of an off the shelf model. This allows her client to replace the backrest more easily and spend more time on his interests.
Patricia, a native Spanish speaker, brings her cultured perspective to all client relationships. She firmly believes that every client’s unique goals are achievable.
Driver Trained Occupational Therapist
Maxine received a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) and a driving course in Sydney. She has since worked in a wide variety of practice areas, including inpatient and outpatient settings, for the last decade.
With a passion for hiking and travelling, Maxine has taken the opportunity to work overseas to hone her craft. This led to her taking the opportunity to work as an OT at the Kings College Hospital in London.
Now with Spinal Life for the last 3 and a half years, Maxine is making a real difference for her clients. Including a gentleman who was told he would never drive again, but with Maxine’s support has successfully completed driving lessons using hands controls and is well on his way to achieving his goal of driving independence.
Starting her professional career as a hairdresser allowed Lauren to move from Melbourne to London. Working at a London school for children with vision impairment led to an urge to do more to help people. Lauren returned home to study a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at LaTrobe University.
Lauren has since worked in Employment Services as a workplace assessor, with Vision Australia assisting people with vision impairment, and finally with Spinal Life, where she works on equipment prescriptions, workplace and home assessments and modifications, driving assessments, and vehicle modifications.
With her diverse skills and experience Lauren has some amazing stories of outcomes achieved with clients. A recent example is a cattle farmer and horse trainer in regional QLD who has been able to return to work on his 400-acre property. This involved trial and prescription of an off-road standing powerchair, farm vehicle mods, a custom saddle and riding boots, and a thorough assessment of the property.
Joanne has turned her Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) into a career as an OT spanning more than 30 years, primarily working with services that impact people undergoing injury rehabilitation and living with disability. Although she also had a chance to do an accessibility audit on the South East Victorian wineries, which led to a helpful guide for people with disabilities.
The last 5 years with Spinal Life Australia has seen Joanne assisting clients in achieving their goals by reviewing and prescribing equipment, and home and workplace mods.
A great example is when she recently secured a 4WD power wheelchair for a builder with paraplegia. Along with his new tow bar mounted scooter rack for independent loading and transfers, he is now able to access work sites and get back into the work environment.
Occupational Therapist & Registered Nurse
Janette’s story starts with her training as a nurse at Austin Hospital in Melbourne. She worked in acute, readmission, and rehabilitation in the Spinal Injuries Unit before taking up a role as the Northern Territory Spinal nurse, where she was responsible for the whole territory.
Later returning to university, Janette now also has a Bachelor in Occupational Therapy from James Cook and a Graduate Diploma in Clinical Rehab from Flinders.
Recently she has supported a client in getting an assist dog and making the home modifications to allow this. Of course dogs need walks, so she also arranged a customised beach wheelchair and now the client has been on her local beach for the first time.
Having conquered Kokoda, over 1000 skydives, and 3 children, Janette is fully prepared to help her clients achieve their goals. Whatever they may be.
Physiotherapist – Allied Health Services
Gail completed her Bachelor of Physiotherapy at the University of Queensland. She has since worked in a diverse array of positions in the field.
She has been the Physiotherapist in Charge at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. She has also operated a private practice at Orthopaedics North West Hospital. Gail has been at Spinal Life Australia working for the Allied Health Services area for the last 8 years.
A mother of 4 and grandmother of twins, Gail’s work takes a long-term focus in finding the best outcomes for her clients. One recent client, a lawyer, was pushing a manual wheel chair through the CBD, up and down steep inclines. Gail worked with the client to access Power Assist options and has significantly reduced their chance of injury.
Operations Manager – Allied Health Service
Belinda is the capable head of the Spinal Allied Health team. With a Bachelor in Occupational Therapy, a Diploma in Human Service Management, and a Diploma of Management, she is an experienced operator.
Earlier in her career Belinda spent time coordinating a mobile outreach team to support people with disabilities in rural and remote areas, working in paediatrics, and providing employment assistance for people with disabilities.
Over her 12 years with Spinal Life, Belinda’s role has evolved, now focusing on managing her specialist multidisciplinary team. It is Belinda who ensures Spinal Allied Health clients receive top quality service with tailored supports to achieve their outcomes.
Belinda has 21 years’ experience as an Occupational Therapist, and still likes to find the time to work with clients. Including recently when she worked with a client to utilise a ceiling hoist for transfers instead of ropes.
Anthony gained his qualifications as a physiotherapist at the University of Toronto. Since then Anthony has gained a wealth of experience in the field.
His specialised internships were in spinal cord rehabilitation and acute neurological ICU. He has since worked in outpatient care, and at the Bridgepoint Health Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto, and Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, where he has worked in:
- spinal cord injury rehabilitation,
- complex neurological rehabilitation,
- nerve damage, neuropathy,
- stroke rehabilitation and more.
Anthony’s philosophy is about achieving the best outcome for every client. A current client went from 6 months of being unable to safely stand or transfer after a decline in function, to standing and transferring independently by working closely with Anthony.
Anthony uses his experience, skill and passion to help every client achieve their goals comfortably and safely.