Meet 'The Spark' team of Occupational Therapists
Get to know our wonderful team of Paediatric Occupation Therapists (OT's) by reading their profiles below.
Each team member has a useful 'Meet your OT' one page profile (click the green buttons below to download the PDF file). This printable team profile is a great resource to show your child prior to their first appointment. Your child can see what their OT looks like and find out a bit about who they are and what their favourite colour, food and animal is!
Tina Bruce - Occupational Therapist (OT) and Director of The Spark Therapy Services
Tina Bruce is one of three sisters and has always loved being around people. Her early experiences of being bullied at school developed a deep empathy for others and drew her to occupational therapy. She graduated in 2000 and after university, travelled and worked in London for 7 years. She loves the creativity, joy and playfulness that working with children brings. Tina enjoys supporting families and children to build their self-awareness, knowledge and nurture their relationships and connection time. Play, humour and fun are essential elements of her sessions.
Tina has a curious mind and loves to learn. She is always seeking to develop her knowledge and understanding of how she can best support families and their children. She has completed post graduate studies in Sensory Integration, Neuro-Developmental Treatment, self-regulation, challenging behaviour, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Developmental Coordination Disorder, Executive Function, Social Thinking, Learn to Play, Developmental Individual Difference (DIR) Floortime (foundation and stage 2), Mindfulness, Attachment Theory, Trauma Informed Practice, Coaching in Early Intervention and the Safe and Sound Protocol (based on Poly Vagal theory). She always has a stack of books related to work on her bedside table!
The Spark Therapy Services is a vision that Tina has worked towards. She is so grateful to work with an amazing team of therapists, who care deeply about working with children and families in a meaningful way. Her long term goal is to create a Family Well-being Hub, creating community and supporting children and their families to build strong relationships and flourish.
Tina is a mother of 2 wonderful girls. She loves being a mum, spending time with her family, outdoor adventures, craft and dancing.
Serenity McEwin - Occupational Therapist (OT)
Serenity McEwin graduated from Occupational Therapy at Deakin University in 2014, and welcomed her daughter in 2015. Learning to be a mum whilst becoming an OT was such an exciting time for her as she felt each role helped her to be better in the other.
Serenity is a big kid at heart who is motivated by creating positive, fun and meaningful learning experiences for children. Serenity is dedicated to maximising and developing the potential of children and their families. It is important to her that children leave a therapy session happy and their families leave feeling supported and confident to replicate strategies at home. Serenity loves nothing more than watching kids develop the skills necessary to achieving their goals. Sharing the moment a child does something they’ve found challenging for the first time is the biggest privilege of her job.
Serenity is passionate about fostering self regulation and social/emotional awareness in children to deepen their connections within their families, their play and their community. Serenity has undertaken further studies in Learn to Play, DIRFloortime, ABA Therapy, Learning without Tears, Social Thinking, resilience development, anxiety management, emotion coaching and positive behaviour support, sensory regulation, trauma informed care, fussy eating, and executive function.
When she’s not at work you’ll find her playing with her daughter Audrey, spending time with friends and family (usually eating and drinking yummy things), at the gym thinking about her next pizza and dreaming of her next trip to Disneyland.
Jessica Angus - Occupational Therapist (OT)
Jessica Angus graduated from Australian Catholic University in early 2018 with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours). She entered her university study not planning on working with young children, however her experiences on her paediatric placement in Vietnam during 2017 changed all of that! Seeing the endless optimism and inquisitive nature of the children she worked with created a deep seeded passion for early intervention.
Jessica considers herself a child at heart and loves to create a fun and playful atmosphere to therapy sessions. She is a firm believer in family-centred practice, taking great care to ensure that all therapy is catered to the individual needs of each family she works with. Jessica strives to help build children’s self-confidence by creating a positive and supportive therapy environment.
Jessica is an avid learner, always wanting to immerse herself in learning new therapy strategies and developing her skills as a therapist. Her latest learnings have occurred in Trauma Informed Practice, Learn to Play, Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), executive functioning, parent coaching and DIRFloortime.
When Jessica isn’t at work you can find her socialising with her friends and family, debating whether or not to go to pilates, trying new hiking trails and watching too many Netflix series.
Angela McCosker - Occupational Therapist (OT)
In 2010 Angela moved to Melbourne from regional NSW, seeking a change from her 7 year career as a secondary school teacher. Angela McCosker completed a post-graduate Masters degree in Occupational Therapy at La Trobe University, in 2012.
Since then, she has enjoyed working within an inpatient palliative care hospital setting; a specialist autism school and recently private practice.
With a preference for family centred, relationship building therapeutic approaches, Angela has the ability to communicate and engage with a wide range of individual strengths and challenges. She is passionate about understanding the individual needs of her clients and families.
Seeking out opportunities to develop her skills, Angela has completed additional training associated with feeding, sleep, toileting, social thinking concepts and handwriting.
Brooke Goldsworthy - Occupational Therapist (OT)
Brooke Goldsworthy is a passionate Occupational Therapist, who graduated from Swinburne University of Technology with a Master of Occupational Therapy. Brooke discovered her passion for supporting children through her previous experience as a disability support worker and an integration aide at a primary school.
Brooke is dedicated about supporting children to develop the skills and abilities they require to independently complete the activities they want and need to do in order to live a meaningful life. She believes in a strengths-based approach to therapy, utilising each child’s unique abilities, interests and resources enabling them to reach their full potential. Brooke aspires to work in partnership with families, developing practical strategies and empowering them to achieve their therapy goals.
Brooke has completed additional training in; DIR Floortime and parent coaching.
In her spare time, Brooke loves spending time with her family and friends, reading the latest new release or planning her next outdoor adventure.
Giselle Bautista - Occupational Therapist (OT)
Giselle graduated in 2012 and has been practicing occupational therapy since. She has been working in private practice overseas and since moving here to Melbourne. She is a registered mental health practitioner and has been working with children and adolescents.
Giselle believes in using a child and family-centred approach to enhance children’s strengths, support them with their challenges, and help achieve their full potential. She values building positive relationships with children, establishing rapport through use of their interests. She believes increasing their motivation to participate and engage in the process paves way to improvements in goals. Giselle also values working closely with parents and families, making sure that therapeutic supports fit the family dynamics well.
In her leisure time, Giselle loves taking photos of landscapes and their neighbour kangaroos!
Trish Holley - Occupational Therapist (OT)
Trish has always had a heart for kids, and been passionate about helping them. She grew up on a small sheep farm in East Gippsland with her parents, her three sisters and her three brothers....as well as with assorted cats, dogs, chooks, ducks, horses, cows, sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits etc. At 17, she moved to Melbourne to go to teachers’ college to become a Secondary Phys. Ed and Psychology teacher, and she has lived there ever since. She taught at several schools before having a family. During her family years she organised toy libraries, ran playgroups, helped provide parenting workshops, as well as studying Fine Arts and Primary Teaching. She ran a Gymbaroo centre for several years before doing a Masters of Education, and finally doing a Masters of OT.
Trish has always had a concern for children who are not doing as well as they could be, and for the parents who care for them. Her M.Ed. research project looked at underlying physical developmental reasons why children might be struggling with learning at school. She has a broad understanding of physical development and neurodevelopment, and the way that both of those interact as a child grows. She has looked in-depth at Self-Regulation and the way that we manage our stressors and our energy, and she has a great understanding of the impact that that can have on social and physical development, and on behaviour. Trish loves sharing her knowledge and experience to encourage and help children, parents and families to understand and support each other at home, and to assist teachers and support staff to help and encourage their students at school. She loves the way that OT can utilise all of her skills and experience in a holistic way.
Trish loves spending time with her family, bike riding, reading, being at the beach or outdoors, travelling, and she is constantly learning and thinking about different ways to help people. She is often dreaming up adventures, or creating art or craft projects in her mind, and she sometimes actually manages to do them in real life when time permits!
Keshia Aickin - Occupational Therapist (OT)
Keshia Aickin studied a Bachelor of Psychological Science before completing her Master of Occupational Therapy Practice at La Trobe University in 2022.
While studying, Keshia worked as an allied health assistant at a private paediatric practice and this role ignited her love for working with children. Since then, Keshia has completed her final Occupational Therapy placement at The Spark and has joined the team to follow her passion.
Keshia loves using her outgoing, bubbly personality to make sessions playful and engaging for children. She values creating a positive relationship with each child and their family, as this is the foundation from which learning, growth and development will flourish. She also aims to empower parents with the knowledge and strategies that can help them best support their child.
Keshia values a strengths-based approach, which emphasizes that each child has unique strengths and interests that can be used to their advantage to reach their full potential. She particularly loves the energy that is created when a child achieves a goal they have been working towards!
Keshia has completed additional learning Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), coaching, understanding and supporting complex behaviour.
In her free time, Keshia can be found in the great outdoors and is often hiking, camping and road tripping with friends.
Belinda Cuomo - Occupational Therapist (OT)
Belinda Cuomo grew up in a small country town in Western Australia and always knew she wanted to work with kids. She graduated from Curtin University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours). While completing her honours Belinda became passionate about the need for and power of research. She completed a PhD in 2021 looking at parent journeys to therapy services for children with developmental delays.
Belinda has worked as a school-based occupational therapist, a research assistant and as a university researcher and lecturer. She moved from Perth to Melbourne in late 2022 and is excited to be working directly with children and families again with The Spark team.
Belinda is a strong believer in family-centred practice, walking alongside families and taking the time to truly understand their needs. Being part of family journeys and seeing kids flourish and grow in their skills is an immense privilege.
In her spare time, Belinda enjoys spending time with her husband, park walks with her dog Rigby, attempting art and craft projects, cooking tasty things, and trying to find the best coffee in Melbourne!
Michelle Roberts - Occupational Therapist (OT)
As a youngster, Michelle was diagnosed with a condition that would not only challenge her but introduce her to an occupation called ‘OT’. This experience inspired her to become an Occupational Therapist and help other children. Apart from lots of hand splints (some a little strange looking!), the strongest memory of that period in her life was the therapeutic and meaningful relationship she shared with her OT which also included her mum (and family). This was the catalyst that drove her to work hard in therapy to improve and reach her goals. The relationship was equally important to her mum. The support she felt from the OT was critical to helping her implement exercises at home, advocate for Michelle’s needs and keep her energy and spirits up.
Since graduating in 2000, Michelle has enjoyed a rich and varied career working as a Paediatric Occupational Therapist in community health services, hospitals, early intervention and private practices across Victoria and New Zealand. She feels fortunate and privileged to be a part of children and family’s lives and be a partner in their therapy journey.
Michelle is passionate about lifelong learning. She is particularly interested in addressing children’s physical and mental wellbeing and supporting parents on their parenting journey. She is a trained Infant Massage instructor (IAIM), accredited children and teens yoga teacher and trained facilitator in ‘Tuning into Kids’. Other professional development includes supporting children with anxiety, fussy eating (mealtime matters), parent coaching, sensory processing, Neuro-development treatment (NDT) for toddlers, mindfulness for children, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) with Teens and children with ASD, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), self-regulation, Collaborative and Proactive Solutions (CPS), Social Thinking, Learning to play, Hanen training (SPARK), DIR floor time approach (introductory module) and various courses on Trauma Informed Practice.
Michelle is also a mum of three kiddos (one boy and twin girls) and with her family enjoys road trips, camping, bushwalking, surfing, yoga, running, bike riding, reading and making jewellery.
Lauren Byrne - Occupational Therapist (OT)
Lauren lives with her family, including three beautiful children and a cheeky groodle on the Mornington Peninsula. She understands the challenges of being a working parent, managing busy schedules, balancing daily life and competing demands.
Lauren graduated from La Trobe University in 2000 and has spent time working in Australia and the UK in various settings including acute hospital, community rehabilitation, occupational rehabilitation and government services. In recent years, she has heard many stories of families struggling to find OT services for their children, which led her to change her focus to paediatric work. She has been an OT for more than 20 years predominantly working with adults and she’s excited to have the opportunity to use her knowledge and experience to help children and families.
She loves to connect with kids through humour, craft, play and sport. She is passionate about discovering each child’s individual strengths and nurturing their growth and development. Lauren has experience working across multidisciplinary teams and looks forward to collaborating with families, teachers and other health professionals to achieve the best outcomes for each child. She has undertaken learning in Self-Regulation, Autism, Neuro-biology and positive parenting.
Lauren grew up playing netball, basketball and tennis, and going to the footy to cheer on her beloved Saints. These days, she spends her weekends cheering on her kid’s teams and still loves to get outside and shoot hoops, play tennis or kick the footy with her family. She also loves long walks, going to the beach, reading a good book and drinking coffee.
Marisa Leisos - Occupational Therapist (OT)
Marisa completed a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at La Trobe University before changing her career path and moving into Occupational Therapy. She graduated with a Master of Occupational Therapy Practice in 2023. She’s always loved working with kids and felt that occupational therapy was able to give a more practical approach to helping children and their families achieve their goals.
Marisa also works as a swimming teacher which first ignited her passion for working with children and teaching new skills while having fun. She enjoys instilling confidence in the children she works with and helping them conquer any challenges they thought were impossible. She knows that each child learns in their own way and at their own pace, so it is important to have an individualised approach.
In her spare time Marisa loves to hang out with her two dogs, Koda and Kipu, read books and bake yummy desserts. She also enjoys swimming and photography.
Carolyn was born and raised in the south-east of England and worked in London for ten years at a television research company. Here she met her husband, and they moved to Melbourne in 2004.
Carolyn worked for a media research company in Melbourne and then took a break from work following the arrival of her daughter. She was delighted to be given the opportunity to return to work and assist this fantastic team of occupational therapists in the valuable service they provide. The role has not only allowed her to put a lot of her skills to good use—including writing and editing—but has also given her the chance to acquire some more. Thanks to the launch of The Spark Therapy Services, Carolyn has had the very enjoyable experience of building her first time website.
Carolyn has three wonderful children who are growing up far too quickly! In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and in quieter moments loves writing children’s stories and researching her family history.