Our Team

Meet our Sensational Team

Director
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Kathryn Torney

Bachelor of Health Science (Occupational Therapy)(Honours)
Graduate Diploma of Psychology
Sensory Integration Certified 2014 
Better Access to Mental Health endorsed
 

Kathryn founded Sensational Healing Occupational Therapy in 2018. Kathryn grew up in country Victoria and completed her degrees in Occupational Therapy and Psychology in 2007 and 2014 respectively.
She worked in the disability and child safety sectors for almost 10 years before moving into private practice. Kathryn has additional training in Ayres Sensory Integration, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, non-directive play therapy and Sensory Attachment Intervention. She is passionate about understanding how developmental trauma impacts all aspects of childhood development and determining how occupational therapy can assist to improve the daily lives of children who have been exposed to childhood trauma and domestic violence.

Kathryn decided to create Sensational Healing Allied Health to be able to give local families access to highly experienced allied health professionals in an amazing clinic space that allows for therapists to do wonderful work and help clients achieve their goals.

Kathryn and her partner Matthew are Ripley locals who live only minutes from the practice. They have strong beliefs about working closely with their own community and supporting local families. They have a gorgeous little boy Archer and are expecting a daughter in October 2021. Being from Victoria, Kathryn is a keen AFL fan but just don’t ask her anything about NRL as she will have no idea!

Occupational Therapists

Taryn

Taryn Van der Westhuizen

Masters of Occupational Therapy

Sensory Integration Certified

Taryn has been working in paediatrics since graduating in 2014. Her and her husband relocated to Brisbane in 2020 from South Africa. She has gained experience in working within sensory integration practices and school-based settings with children with various diagnoses. Her passion within occupational therapy practice is to allow children and families become independent and successful within their daily tasks.

Taryn loves learning about child development and has additional training in Ayres Sensory Integration, SOS feeding approach, DIR Floortime approach, neurodevelopmental therapy, Sensory Attachment Intervention and a variety of sound-based therapies.

Taryn is passionate about early intervention and has had experience working with premature infants in the NICU in South Africa. She believes that addressing sensory issues as early as possible will prevent future functional difficulties.

Outside of work, Taryn loves travelling to new places and exploring the wonderful outdoor opportunities here in Queensland.

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Jessica Allery

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours)

Jess is an Occupational Therapist and started working at Sensational Healing Allied Health as a therapy assistant in 2018. Jess transitioned to an occupational therapy role when she graduated from the University of Queensland at the end of 2019.

Jess has a keen interest in mental health, especially the impact that medical conditions and/or other diagnoses (e.g. ASD) have on daily functioning and mental wellbeing. As a result, Jess enjoys adopting a family-centred and holistic approach to therapy to ensure the best possible outcomes for her clients and their networks (e.g. families).

Jess enjoys a variety of activities but in particular, she loves cooking, horse riding and reading. Her favourite food is donuts, and she highly values the company of her family and friends. Jess is a Type One Diabetes advocate who participates in community events to raise awareness and funds for a world without Type One.

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Gabby Pluis

Bachelor of Psychology
Master of Occupational Therapy
Gabby has recently made the great escape from Sydney and moved to the wonderful sunshine state. She has been an Occupational Therapist since 2016 after graduating with her Masters in Occupational Therapy.

Gabby has mostly worked with families who have experienced family violence and is passionate about working closely with both children and parents to build their capacity to live healthy and happy lives and build close bonds with each other.

In her personal time Gabby enjoys yoga, playing sport and cooking up a storm in the kitchen. 

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Sarah Brown

Bachelor of Education (Primary)
Masters of Occupational Therapy

Before becoming an Occupational Therapist, Sarah worked for 10 years as a Primary Teacher. Sarah worked at a range of schools in Logan and Scenic Rim regions before her career change. 

Sarah has been working at the clinic since 2019 where she began as a Therapy Assistant while she completed her Masters in Occupational Therapy. Since graduating in 2020, Sarah has been a full time Occupational Therapist with Kathryn and the team.

Sarah has been working towards certification in Ayres Sensory Integration with hopes to complete this in in mid 2022. Sarah has also completed additional training in assessment fundamentals and comorbidities associated with people with Autism diagnoses. This lead to her completing certification in administering the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule; second edition (ADOS-2). Sarah hopes to further he skills in assessing for Autism by completing training in the Autism Diagnostic Interview – Reviewed (ADI-R). By These two assessments are best administered together to provide a well-rounded impression of an individual’s functioning.

Sarah enjoys working with children in various stages of life. Her previous vocation and unique skill set provide her with valuable experience working with children of school age. Sarah is passionate about helping children succeed while at school regardless of their functional challenges.

Outside of work, Sarah is a wife and mum to 3 young children. She enjoys cooking and getting crafty (especially around holidays!). She lives on 6 acres south of Brisbane, where her family have 3 cows and a dog. She also enjoys watching reality shows like ‘The Block’ and ‘MasterChef’. Something interesting about Sarah is that she grew up in Tasmania and has a BIG sweet tooth for chocolate and lollies.

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Kerri-Anne Harris

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy
Kerri-Anne is one of the newer Occupational Therapists of Sensational Healing OT joining our team in September 2020. Kerri-Anne graduated from the University of Queensland in 2009 with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy.

Since then, she has worked within multiple paediatric services where she has greatly valued her experience working with families to support their child’s development and functioning.

Kerri-Anne is a mother to three boys herself, her eldest is 9 and youngest has recently celebrated his 1st birthday.

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Jessica Leach 

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy.

Jess graduated as an Occupational Therapist from Griffith University, and started at Sensational Healing Allied Health in November 2021. Jess is passionate about working with children, young adults and families to promote wellbeing and meaningful participation in everyday life. She has a particular interest in supporting young females on the Autism Spectrum, who often face barriers to receiving diagnosis and support, to develop and thrive.  

Outside of work, Jess is passionate about art and music, enjoys reading and playing soccer, and prior to commencing as an occupational therapist, Jess worked at a vet clinic and loved spending time with animals big and small.  

 

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Nathan 

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy
 

Nathan is an Occupational Therapist that started with Sensational Healing Allied Health in November 2020. Nathan graduated from Griffith University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy. 

Nathan has a keen interest in working with children of various ages to help them achieve their goals to engage in their daily lives to the best of their ability. 

Outside of work, Nathan enjoys watching and playing soccer, going to the gym and spending time with his two puppies. 

Therapy Assistants

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Matthew Kane

Matthew is a senior therapy assistant and helped found Sensational Healing Allied Health in 2018. In a past life, Matthew was a member of the Royal Australian Navy as a marine technician, before making the move to allied health when the practice opened.

Matthew is passionate about supporting young people, especially young men, to experience positive mental health, build strong social connections and step outside their comfort zone. Matt enjoys incorporating some of his trade skills into his mentoring work with clients as well as using physical activity to help to build clients skills in improving their mental health.

Outside of work Matt loves hiking, fishing, camping and spending time with his young family.

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Vanessa Thornton-Thomas

Vanessa is a another of our wonderful therapy assistants who joined our team in 2020. Vanessa has a background in Allied Health Assistance and has some funky skills in circus training.

Vanessa also has an Associates degree in Health science (Leisure and Health) and has recently commenced her studies in Occupational Therapy.

 

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Zoe Christofis 

Zoe is enthusiastic about naps and meeting new people, especially if they have a pet! I am currently in my final year of a Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology) at QUT, minoring in counselling, with an ambition to complete Honours and Masters in clinical or developmental psychology. My passion for mental health started with my own experiences growing up with undiagnosed and untreated issues. As an adult, I persisted in bettering my own mental health and understanding, developing a passion to help others simultaneously.

Before Covid, I was a youth mentor with a YMCA Vocational School. The young people I met and the experiences gained from working in that environment charged my passion further. I had the pleasure of mentoring young people aged 14-18 from various disadvantaged developmental, behavioural, and educational backgrounds. Many of my mentees were affected by traumatic upbringings resulting in behavioural issues in school. I worked with a team of teachers, social workers, and counsellors to create a safe environment for staff and students. The majority of the students were diagnosed with ASD, ADHD, OCD, PTSD, MDD, GAD, and other developmental and emotional disorders. I mentored students for 5 hours weekly in emotion regulation, life skills, and talking to them to form a trusting relationship with a safe adult. My passion surrounding trauma and its effect on development grew from here, and I urge to continue in this line of work and research.

Through personal experiences and furthering my studies, I have come to find a passion in children’s development. I believe that empowering a young person and strengthening their relationship with family and community in a supporting environment is important to overall well-being.

Mental Health
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Kathy Cleland - Provisional Psychologist

Kathy initially trained as an early childhood educator and became curious about how our minds and brains function when she was working with children who had neurological differences. After starting her own family, Kathy worked with adults and adolescents with developmental disabilities before moving to Queensland in the late '90s, where a change of career took her into the publishing and advertising industry. However, Kathy's interest in how we think, behave, and function never waned, and she decided to return to university and study psychology. Kathy loves learning about how we learn, and she is currently studying a Master of Educational Neuroscience.

Kathy has a particular interest in neurodivergence and helping people, and their families, to improve their lives and wellbeing in a manner that supports the unique way that their brain works. Her focus areas include autism, depression and anxiety, issues related to complex trauma, as well as adjustment to challenging life circumstances. Kathy takes a relational approach, which is client centred, trauma-informed, and neurodiversity-affirming.

In her spare time, Kathy enjoys bushwalking, online forums, and coffee with friends (not always all at the same time).

Angela

Angela Zuehlke - Social Work

Angela has recently completed a Bachelor of Social Work and has previously completed a Diploma in Counselling. She joined Sensational Healing Allied Health as a Therapy Assistant in 2020 while finishing her degree.

Angela’s practice approach brings together her genuine interest and compassion for people with her unique professional ability to holistically consider individuals and families within their greater social contexts.

Angela aims to support people in identifying their own abilities and strengths, as well as any potential barriers to them achieving their fullest potential.

Angela is passionate about working with diverse family structures, including Step and Blended families. She is interested in further professional development in the areas of trauma informed care, mental health, separated families and alcohol and other drugs.

Personally, Angela is a Mum, Step-Mum and Fur-Mumma to 3 human children and 1 fur-child.

Customer Service and Administration

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Jaide Southee

Double Diploma in Human Resources and Practice Management

Jaide has recently joined our Sensational team in 2021 as our Practice Manager. Jaide has impressive practice management history working in General Practice and Dental. 
 
Jaide has a double Diploma in Human Resources and Practice Management, and is currently completing her Associate Business Degree. In her spare time she enjoys planning fun family and friend gatherings, being outdoors at the beach and playing netball.

Natasha

Natasha Billy 

Natasha has recently joined the Sensational Healing Team as our Senior Administration Officer. 

In 2020, Natasha graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Technology Sydney and has recently relocated from Thursday Island in the Torres Strait Islands. Natasha brings over 10 years of QLD Health experience in executive and corporate services and is passionate about health administration. 

Natasha is a mother of four children and is very family oriented. In her spare time is loves spending time with family & friends, travelling, photography and planning fun adventures for her family. 

Kind regards, 

Contact Details

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Mon to Fri 8:00 - 17:00

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