Qualia Occupational Therapy for Children has been operating in the inner west of Sydney since 2010.
We provide comprehensive intervention services to assist children with areas of difficulty (including learning, developmental and motor skills) as identified by a child, parent or teacher. Therapy is meaningful, addressing areas that are most important to a child and their family.
Our therapists participate in regular professional development and love working with families and children. Our experienced team offers practical skills and empathy when working with children.
Qualia (pronounced kwa–li–ah) is a theory explaining how unique individuals each perceive the world differently in relation to their sensory, emotional and environmental influences.
After completing an undergraduate degree in occupational therapy at the University of Sydney, Avalon moved to Perth and worked for two years in a paediatric private practice. While there, she received extensive training and mentoring from two of the most established and knowledgeable paediatric occupational therapists. Inspired to continue learning, Avalon returned to Sydney and completed a Masters in Occupational Therapy to specialise in paediatrics. Avalon started Qualia in 2010 with the wish to create the highest quality service for children and their families. To ensure Qualia maintains the best support, Avalon has continued her relationship with the university, occasionally teaching in the paediatric stream. Avalon is also currently completing a PHD in the field of paediatrics, measuring organised writing and the impact of cognitive strategy on performance.
Avalon is married to the lovely Perth fellow she moved interstate for all those years ago and has three beautiful children – Henry, and twins, Madeline and Odette. Understandably, Avalon is certainly able to empathise with a busy family life and maintaining a work/life balance each day.
Avalon’s favourite game to play with a child is hopscotch and if she could time travel she would travel to the future!
Sophie-Anna is a co-director of Qualia. She has specialised in paediatrics for many years and has experience working in a variety of settings, including at the Children’s Hospital Network, within schools, preschools and home environments. Sophie-Anna is committed to evidence based practice and continually engages in professional development to ensure she is best equipped to assist children to reach their potential.
Sophie-Anna is the co-chair of the OT Australia NSW/ACT Paediatric Special Interest Group and is passionate about developing occupational therapy as a profession. Outside of work, Sophie-Anna is mum to 3 lovely little people – Dorothy (4) and George (2) and baby Penny. Sophie-Anna loves playing music, sewing and craft, with (and without!) children by her side.
When Soph was a young girl she loved painting a fairy tree in her garden for the fairies to live in. If she was a fruit, she would be grapes because she loves to have people around her!
Sarah is a passionate and caring occupational therapist, who completed her masters degree at University of Canberra. Sarah has worked in a range of paediatric settings throughout the last ten years and has a strong passion for working with children. She is committed to working collaboratively with schools, teachers and families. Sarah loves seeing the change in confidence within kids when they reach their goals. In her spare time Sarah enjoys playing netball, going to plays and spending time with her friends.
Sarah loves to play dress ups with children she works with. When she was little, her favourite toy was a doll called Rosie.
Kate is an enthusiastic and empathetic occupational therapist, who has a passion for working with children and their families. Kate graduated from The University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) First Class Honours. As part of her honours research project, she studied the friendships of children and youth with ADHD which was published as a journal article in 2023. Kate is currently completing her PhD in Occupational Therapy through Curtin University. Her thesis is titled; “From classmate to playmate: Peer-mediated interventions for social functioning delivered in schools”. The aim of her project is to adapt a clinic-based intervention into a school-based intervention to support the social functioning, social participation and school connectedness of primary school students.
Kate is excited to collaborate with parents, carers and teachers to develop the strategies that work best for their child in their daily life. Kate has experience working in primary schools, facilitating group programs at Qualia, and has volunteered at Cerebral Palsy Alliance. She adopts a strength-based approach to enable children to reach their goals in therapy and at home. She enjoys every opportunity to equip children with the tools to achieve their goals through fun activities.
Kate loves to play AFL and netball with her friends! When she was younger, Kate loved dancing and listening to music!
Elle is an energetic and passionate therapist who has graduated from The University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy).
Elle loves her work as an occupational therapist for children, and she has also worked with children across many other settings, including as a swim teacher, dance teacher, and school tutor. Elle will always believe in each child’s strengths and work towards building their confidence and independence through fun and creative therapy interventions. Elle loves incorporating the child’s interests into therapy sessions to make them engaging and enjoyable. She believes in a collaborative approach with caregivers, teachers, and healthcare teams to support each child and their family.
Elle also loves the outdoors and being active, especially swimming or surfing at the beach! If she could wish for anything in the world, she would wish to become a mermaid!
Renee is a fun and caring occupational therapist who has always had a passion for working with children. She is driven to guide children and families to achieve their goals in a creative and engaging manner. She has completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) at the University of Sydney and stayed busy as an allied health assistant and swim teacher while she was studying, providing her with a range of experience working with many children.
Renee discovered her enthusiasm for providing support to children after she attended an OT session for her younger cousin. It was then that she believed a career in occupational therapy was for her. Ever since, she has loved seeing the impact and joy which achieving goals brings to families and children, as she, too, knows how amazing it is to see family members achieve their therapy goals.
In her spare time, Renee loves to embark on adventures in nature, play soccer and try new places to eat. Her favourite season is summer as she loves road trips to different beaches and spending time in the sun with loved ones.
Annie studied Master of Occupational Therapy at the University of Sydney and believes passionately that OT enables people to achieve their goals in life. Annie enjoys working with children, to play and to be creative in therapy. She also believes it is important to work with the parents, teachers and carers to help them with supporting the child. Annie has experience working with children with diverse diagnoses in different settings.
In her spare time, Annie enjoys travelling, watching movies and catching up with friends.
Naomi is a passionate and positive therapist who enjoys helping children with developing their daily living capacities. She graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) First Class Honours.
Her previous work experience as an allied health assistant and private tutor has equipped her with patience and responsibility, enhancing her abilities as a therapist. During her leisure time, Naomi enjoys dancing and exploring the culinary delights of Sydney with her friends. Her favourite food is Chinese hot pot!
Elisa has a passion for working with children and their families to achieve goals in a supportive, fun and creative manner.
She has completed a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at the Australian Catholic University. She has gained over three years experience working as a Disability Support Worker, where she has worked alongside children, families and allied health teams to provide personalised care and programs.
In her spare time, Elisa loves to play netball and attend pilates. She loves spending time with her family and friends, especially when discovering new places to eat! She also loves travelling and learning about new cultures.
Liz discovered her passion for working with children while completing the Master of Occupational Therapy at the University of Sydney. During this time, she worked as an OT assistant at a private paediatric clinic and undertook an extensive paediatric placement at a different practice.
Liz loves how joyful and unexpected working with children can be – you never know what they might say next! – and is passionate about building capacity and confidence in the areas that are meaningful to them and their families.
Having grown up on a farm, Liz enjoys being outside in her spare time and visiting family in Wagga during her holidays.
Rosy completed her Masters in Occupational Therapy at Brunel University, London. As part of her degree, Rosy was lucky enough to have a placement in a private paediatric clinic, which she loved! Since qualifying in 2015, Rosy has worked in the disability sector in various different settings, including hospitals, schools, day services and home environments.
As a parent of one fantastic daughter, Rosy knows the importance of seeing your child happy and thriving. Rosy is passionate about helping children reach their goals using a strength-based approach and lots of fun along the way.
Rosy grew up on a farm and loves to be outdoors, especially hiking and being in or on the water. Rosy loves playing games, one of her favourites is the Gruffalo board game which at one point her daughter made her take everywhere with them!
Joanna joined us as an Occupational Therapy Assistant, having recently completed her Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance. Prior to this, Joanna had a successful career as a qualified Financial Accountant and has since realised that her passion lies in working with children.
Joanna is an enthusiastic and amicable professional who strives to create a fun and nurturing environment by effectively supporting and encouraging children to successfully achieve their goals. She also has experience supporting children in an online capacity to gain confidence in their practical knowledge of the English language.
Joanna loves traveling, nature, wildlife and cooking. In her spare time, you can find her on the yoga mat, playing with her bird Rico, or relaxing with her husband.
Sirena is an enthusiastic and passionate occupational therapist who graduated from the University of Queensland in Brisbane. She strives to provide family centred and culturally competent services to support children in reaching their fullest potential. Her practice is driven by her passion for client and family education and collaboration, to equip them with the skills to progress towards their goals beyond the clinical setting. Sirena hopes to be an encouragement and empowerment to clients and their families during her partnership with them.
Outside of the clinic, Sirena tries to attend reformer pilate classes regularly to make up for all her food adventures!
Anna is a Clinic Administrator for Qualia, with an accomplished background in events and sales management. She enjoys traveling, which included spending three years living abroad in the Philippines with her family. During this time, she worked with various charitable organisations that supported children. Anna now resides in the Hunters Hill community where her two boys recently completed their high school education. Anna is thrilled to work with the Qualia team to assist and support children and their families.
With a passion for fashion, Anna loves a shopping expedition on the weekends and enjoys staying fit by swimming (even in winter!) and running miles on the treadmill.
Becci is a Clinic Administrator at Qualia and has many years’ experience in administration in education, corporate companies and small businesses along with a Certificate IV in Frontline Management. She lives in Sydney’s Inner West with her husband and two children. In her spare time she enjoys music, travelling and trying out the best cafes. Becci also volunteers with her dog, Sydney the Schnoodle, through a local therapy dog organisation, Delta Therapy Dogs. She is always happy to help with any enquiries.
If Becci could time travel, she would go to London in the 1960s. If she was a fruit she would be a kiwi fruit, not because she is fuzzy but because her dad used to call her Kiwi!