REBECCA (BEC) PENFOLD – DIRECTOR AND OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
Bec has had extensive experience in providing Occupational Therapy to children, adolescents and adults since graduating in 1999. She is proud of Coastwide Therapy’s 4 clinics which offer innovative, goal directed and family centred approaches here on the Central Coast. Rebecca was born and bred on the Central Coast and resides here with her husband (Shayne – which is the operations manager) and two children Ben and Sarah.
She has spent over 20 years working with individuals with varying levels of physical and intellectual disabilities, Autism, Cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, mental health, drug and alcohol addiction, behavioural issues and countless other unique differences - across the lifespan. Before starting Coastwide Therapy Services in 2011 she was the Senior Occupational therapist at ADHC – Ageing, Disability and Homecare.
She works across all clinics and provides both face to face service and consultations at individuals homes, schools, preschools and within other services. Through her career in disability services she has worked collaboratively with Speech Pathologists, Physiotherapists, Psychologists, Behaviour Intervention Clinicians and Educationalists who continue to work closely with Bec and her team.
Bec heads up a team of committed, dedicated and caring therapists who always go over and above for their families. She provides supervision, guidance and mentoring to her team of OT’s and is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experiences with them. Bec presents a range of workshops at her clinics, in educational settings and to external service providers and is dedicated to empowering people through a greater understanding, as to what really makes kids tick. She produces a podcast – “It’s all fun and games until….”with her longtime friend and speech pathologist – Jill Rosen, which focusses on parenting, child development, therapy ideas and all things in between.People describe her as energetic, passionate, dedicated and caring and this is seen not only in her role as Director but also in her most valued role - a mum. She is constantly thinking outside the box, coming up with new and innovative ideas to create the best therapy service on the Central Coast. She sees people’s unique differences as a strength and advocates for inclusion every day. She is driven to provide therapy to clients and their families within in a holistic, goal directed model where they feel heard, empowered and inspired to help their child meet their goals.
CARRIE WITHERS – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
Meet - Carrie Withers OT extraordinaire who has been with our team for many years. Carrie works across our Toukley and Killarney Vale clinics and does home, school and preschool visits along the way. Carrie also provides services to some of our adult clients for equipment prescription..... she is one very busy lady.
I have known Carrie long before I started Coastwide Therapy Services ..... she was, in fact, my boss at Ageing, Disability and Homecare many moons ago. She previously lived in the UK where she headed up an OT program at a university for many years. She comes with a huge amount of knowledge, dedication and an understanding of the disability sector like no other. She has been an OT for, well.....let’s just say a kazillion years as to not give her age away.
She has a soft, gentle caring nature that little people and their families just love.
She is always the first person to offer a hand and I genuinely think she would give you the shirt off her back if you ever needed it. To say she goes over and above for clients, feels like an understatement.
She is constantly buying new resources, coming up with new session plans and spending hours (she doesn’t always have) writing reports to support the families she works with. She supervises and mentors some of our OT’s - something that we think is super important and take very seriously here at Coastwide Therapy.
First and foremost she is a mum to 2 adult boys and a beautiful teenage girl. She loves them fiercely and I know she works so hard to give them the opportunities and life that they have. Her dedication to her family and to her role in our team is inspiring.
Her knowledge, clinical skills and drive means that she is an awesome OT who I’m so thankful jumped ship - out of her management roles and back to the face to face therapy stuff that really makes her tick. I’m so thankful that when she jumped, she landed on our doorstep. We love having her on our team, but mostly love having her as part of our family.
SUE WATSON – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
Meet - Sue Watson awesome OT, Yoga master and our longest standing team member (outside of Shayne and Bec). She has stuck by us since 2013 and is so loved by every team member, no one more than me. She is a mum to her little boy first and foremost and she also works out of our Woy Woy clinic, seeing little people at home, school and preschool too.
She brings with her an air of calm, always; kids sense it, adults feel it and I just love it. She came to our team already with lots of experience in the disability sector, how blessed we were to find her. She is a supervisor and mentor to some of our newer team members and her positivity shines through.
She is always thinking outside the box and is a trained yoga teacher for kids, she runs playground skills groups, girls group, toileting groups, fussy feeding groups and social skills groups just to name a few. Her individual sessions are tailor made and based on client need, which means she see’s all kids as unique and different adapting her sessions to meet each of them where they are at.
Her clinical knowledge is second to none and her ability to empower parents and educators is something she is passionate about. She does this so effectively because she is down to earth, she gives people time, she listens intently.....before; (together with the family) helping them find the next step forward.
I respect her so much as a clinician and she is certainly one of the family. I know how loved she is by all her family’s because I hear it all the time. It has been a consistent theme over many years. I know how respected she is by her team mates and I just feel very lucky that she has decided to stick with us for so long. I’m super proud to call her a champion OT and also my friend.
DANIELLE RIPPON – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
Danielle Rippon is another one of our OT’s with a huge heart, gentle nature and calm soul which makes her a cracking therapist. She works out of our Woy Woy clinic and also see’s kids at home, school, preschool and runs some great sessions in the community.
Her giving nature means she volunteers her time outside of her busy days as an OT, at her local SLSC training kids in and out of the ocean. She is a Central Coast local and can often be found at the beach even when the weather is ugly, giving her time, selflessly to others.
Her giving nature is reflected in her work where going over and above for her family’s is a daily occurrence. She is the queen of op shopping and the resources she manages to find for her families, are just incredible.
She is always thinking outside the box when it comes to delivering therapy, working on everything from safely exposing our fussy eaters to new foods, through to travel training and helping our adolescents be more independent in the community..... and everything in between. She runs several of our groups and is a champion at teaching kids how to bike ride, tailoring therapy to the individual child based on THEIR goals.... not delivering a one size fits all service (something I love about all our OT’s).
I love being around her and every time I’m with her, I leave feeling like I have been heard, like she is genuinely interested and I feel inspired.... which is the exact feedback we get from families about her. So lucky to have her on our team, as are each of the families and educators she works with. She has been an amazing asset to our Coastwide Therapy family and we just love her.
MADDIE SMITH – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
Meet- Maddie Smith our OT who has the energy of an energiser bunny and a passion for helping kids to match. She works across our Toukley, Killarney Vale and Woy Woy clinics and visits lots of kids at home, school, preschool along the way too. She is an absolute pocket rocket whose smile is contagious and runs plenty of groups in the community too.
Maddie has been part of our team for a few years now and her yearning for clinical knowledge is second to none. She is always reading (and I mean she rivals me in the reading department and that’s saying something), finding new and creative ways to deliver therapy to her kidlets. She loves finding a bargain resource or better still making one, to share with her team mates and the families she supports. She is super organised and often in supervision puts me to shame with how on top of things she is. Her passion for life is palpable and reflected in her work when she gives 110% every day; to everyone.
She is funny, a little crazy (which you need to be when working on our team) and she is dedicated. She is one of those really active humans, combing super busy days at work with long walks or gym sessions and really gets what work/ life balance should look like.
Maddie is an absolute treat to have on board and she is so loved by all the families she works with, along with all her team mates, who feed off her energy. Educators and families alike often feedback to us about the difference she makes to the kids she see’s. She is a great self reflector and is always looking for ways to challenge herself to somehow deliver an even better service.
She is always putting her hand up for groups and runs our sense rugby program, fussy feeders groups, gross motor groups, bike riding sessions and loves finding kids on her caseload she can couple up and run dyads with. She is a super skilled clinician and I have loved watching her grow in this paediatric space in the last few years. We think she is an absolute champion, just as so many of you do.
NICOLE BROWN – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
Meet - Nicole Brown she is one of our beautiful OT’s and she is our quiet achiever. If you’re someone that comes to clinic, then this is not a face you would have seen too often, as Nicole is an amazing mobile therapist that see’s kids mostly at school, but also at our Wyoming and Killarney Vale clinics.
She is a mum to 5 of her own kids and to say she knows what makes kids tick is an understatement from a professional and personal point of view. Nicole joined our team in 2017 after having a break from OT to raise her family and when she approached us to take her on I jumped at the chance. She is a great advocate for independence, helping kids engage and participate in school life – which not only includes all the curricula based stuff like handwriting, visual perceptual skills and executive functioning, but also the social skills, self help skills, following routines and transitioning through tasks.
She has a beautiful quiet, calm and caring nature and is always reflecting and thinking about ways to best engage kids in the things they both need and want to do. She is super-efficient and great at time management, juggling mum life and a busy OT career – all of which she seems to just take in her stride. It’s a hard gig being a mostly mobile OT, but she is such a valued team member for her knowledge, her skills and her commitment to the family’ she supports. We are super chuffed to have her on our Coastwide Therapy team.
PARIS PURCELL – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
Meet - Paris Purcell another of our awesome OT’s who works out of our Wyoming and Woy Woy clinic and visits schools, preschools and homes everywhere in between. Paris started with us in 2019 but lots of our families knew her from her previous role at ASPECT. I actually offered Paris a job a year before she started with us - because whilst I knew she was going away travelling, I liked her vibe and decided to get in early.
I was drawn to Paris’ free spirit, her passion, her drive and her need to always want to know more. As an OT this makes her caring and dedicated and she is able to develop rapport with children and their families super easily. She shares my family values - you know the one that states that “family comes first, always” which allows her to truly sit with the families she works with - through the good, the bad and the ugly.
She is fun, energetic and has a smile that I can somehow see through the phone when I’m chatting to her. She has a passion for helping kids understand how their brains and bodies work together and is driven to teach little people about emotional and self regulation. I love hearing from parents and educators about how much they love Paris’ nature, her way with kids and her clinical knowledge. She is always up for a new idea or challenge and takes most things in her stride with a sense of calm. This is one staff member I absolutely chose because of her nature and how I thought she would fit in our team - for those that know her, you will understand why this was a genius decision (if I do say so myself). So blessed to have such a great OT as part of our Coastwide Therapy Family, she has totally worth the wait.
ELISE SHADE (BLADWELL) – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
Meet - Elise Bladwell another of our OT crew who works out of our Killarney Vale and Wyoming clinics mostly, but also pops down to our Woy Woy clinic too. She often see’s children at home, schools and preschools across the Central Coast too. She started with us in 2019 and hit the ground running, building a caseload, getting married and honey mooning all within the first few months.
Elise was a student with us in 2018 and she fitted in so well with our team that I had to offer her a job when she graduated. At the time we didn’t have enough clinic space to fit her in and hence Wyoming clinic was born, seems like a backwards way to do it, but I couldn’t be happier.
She has a heart of gold and is harder on herself than anyone else could be - which makes for a great reflective therapist who is constantly looking for new interventions, activities and ideas for therapy sessions and to share with her team mates.
She is kind, caring and always there for her families, walking right along side them on their journey. I have heard so many families talk about how empathetic she is which is such a beautiful quality to have and one that makes this job so much more than “just a job”. She is my height equivalent (which is no mean feat given I’m 6ft tall) and I just love having her on our team. So lucky to be able to handpick each and everyone of our Coastwide Therapy crew.
ALICIA WALSH – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
Meet- Alicia Walsh - one of our brilliant OT’s who started with us at the end of 2018 and boy did she make her mark when joining our team. She works across our Toukley and Killarney Vale clinics and plenty of schools, preschools and homes in between. She is a ball of energy and it’s hard not to be motivated in her presence.
Alicia is a champion netball type (one of those crazy centres that is always on the go) and to play sport at such an elite level and manage a career, takes some serious organisation – which she has in spades – it is reflected in her work every day. She is super efficient and driven, always asking questions, seeking feedback and looking outside the box for her families. She runs our Sense Rugby program and other groups in the community throughout the term like bike riding and gross motor skills combining both physical and social skills to give kids the experience of teamwork (something she knows innately).
The feedback from families and educators about her work (clinical and her reports) is always beautiful and I’m so thankful that she is part of our team. She is always up for a new idea or a new challenge and manages to squeeze into a day what some people might fit in a week She is caring, kind and passionate and we just love having her around
REBECCA HUNT – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
Meet - Rebecca Hunt she is another one of our OT’s crew (yep another Rebecca, just to confuse everyone). Rebecca has been an amazing addition to our team since 2019 and we have had such beautiful feedback from so many of her families.
You might not know but a she was a teacher by trade (or degree really, but you know what I mean) - before deciding to jump into another degree and do Occupational Therapy. If that’s not the best of both worlds in one professional, when working with kids, I don’t know what is. She is a super hard worker and understands how OT’s can work collaboratively in schools for best outcomes for kids. She heads up our program within schools involving screeners and weekly small group programs for children who wouldn’t otherwise have access to therapy services. It’s so awesome to work with schools who think outside the box.
She see’s kids at our Toukley and Wyoming clinics mostly and a kazillion schools, preschools and homes in between. She is passionate and self directed always listening, watching and reading information to expand her knowledge and ultimately deliver the best service to her families. She is a great team member who is always up for peer mentoring, for sharing her knowledge and her ideas. We love having her down to earth, caring and can do attitude as part of our team and the feedback from families is always beyond amazing.
MADDIE CARRIER – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
Meet - Madeleine (Maddie) Carrier who burst onto our team in 2019 with only one pace- full steam ahead. Lots of people don’t know but I actually offered Maddie a job in 2018 but told her there wasn’t a position available till April 2019. She replied with “it’s ok, I will wait, I really want to work on your team”…. And that’s exactly what she did. She waited, she read, she listened, she sat in on sessions, she worked with some of our kids as a support worker.... and when it was time, she literally slipped into her OT role like it was made for her. If that’s not commitment, I don’t know what is.
She works across our Killarney Vale and Wyoming clinics and see’s little people at home, school and preschool across the coast. She is quite literally always positive, and you can’t help but smile in her presence. Kids just absolutely love her and her ability to develop a rapport with a whole caseload of kids and their families, was absolutely seamless, it’s like she has been here forever. She is a self-directed learner and always goes over and above for her families to ensure best outcomes for the kids she works with.
She is caring and empathetic and the positive feedback from carers and educators alike has come in thick and fast since she started. She is the first to put her hand up to help out, she is organised, efficient and loves to keep our kazillion resources in order. To come into a team and take over a whole caseload is a huge challenge but she took it all in her stride and got on with it. Our families are so lucky that she decided to wait to join our team because she is an absolute cracker and we love having her around.
TAHLIA CURTIS – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
Meet- Tahlia Curtis – a gentle, caring and considered OT who joined our team in 2020. Tahlia grew up on the central coast but for the last 5 years she has been living in Albury. She has come into our crazy team so easily and is loved by everyone. She works at our Toukley and Killarney Vale clinics and like everyone else also see little people in their homes, preschools and schools. She is part of our school program where she provides screeners and small groups each week to children who wouldn’t usually have access to therapy services.
She moved back to the Central Coast in 2018 after marrying her partner Mason and has been with us ever since. She was drawn to be an OT from personal experience - when her nephew was born with APERT syndrome. This personal, lived experience gives a sense of understanding that usually comes from many years of being an OT – but Tahlia is a natural. She is caring, self directed and always wanting to know more. Her efficiency puts me to shame and she is always extending herself for her families. She may be one of our newest team members but the positive feedback has flowed thick and fast since she started on our team.
MELISSA HAIN – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
Meet – Mel Hain another of our beautiful OT’s who has lived on the Central Coast for most of her life. Her passion for OT started when she spent many hours going to OT sessions with her sister and just loved what OT’s did. This lived experience gives her a sense of understanding that usually takes years to develop and the unique experiences and insight she brings to our team is so valuable.
She joined our team in 2020 and works across our Killarney Vale, Wyoming and Woy Woy clinics- and visits lots of schools, preschools and family homes along the way. She is dedicated, caring and full of energy. She has a yearning for learning and our family’s just love how quickly she has been able to develop a rapport with them. She is so excited to be able to work with kids who have unique needs, share her experiences and to help them reach their full potential.
JEMIMA GARVEN – EDUCATIONALIST/ THERAPY ASSISTANT
Jemima completed her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Teaching at the Australian Catholic University and after working for 10 years as a Visual Arts teacher, Jemima pursued her original interest in learning difficulties, Autism Studies, and disabilities. She has since completed postgraduate qualifications in special education though Macquarie University, and is continuing with Autism Studies and learning difficulties. Jemima has worked in a variety of school settings including primary special needs, collaborating with a multifaceted therapy teams from which she gained experience working on communication, sensory needs, positive behaviour management, schedules, and learning difficulties.
Jemima has completed emotion based social skills training, and is continuing to pursue her interest in multisensory learning. She enjoys the opportunity to create learning situations that are play based and encourage communication and multi-skill development. Jemima is passionate about building community inclusion and stronger informal networks for families. Her recent roles have been around building individual and community capacity for inclusion, including the Special Needs Nippers programs for both the Avoca Sharks and Toowoon Bay Stingrays. She also works with families to create a better understanding of disability inclusion and support within school settings. Jemima employs person-centred practices and loves to assist individuals to flourish, and families to achieve their goals.
She is a mum to a beautiful little girl and a is a passionate, caring human being who has bought a beautiful energy to our team since joining us in 2018. She is so knowledgeable, insightful and always willing to share the latest book, resource or information she has found with her team mates – we love having her on board.
INDIA PAFF – THERAPY ASSISTANT
India is studying OT at the Australian Catholic University and has been working on our team since 2019. She is a bundle of energy, nothing is ever too much and she is super efficient. She juggles University studies along with supporting lots of our little people at home and in the community. She has a strong passion for enabling others to reach their potential and achieve their goals through a practical, creative and client-centred approach. She believes that sessions should be fun, engaging and a learning experience that is centred around play which she does effortlessly. She is motivated, dedicated and passionate about running sessions for children that are not only super fun, but provide specific therapeutic benefits for the individual. She is self directed and you will often see her in sessions with our OT’s, at professional development sessions and at every social gathering. She is well and truly imbedded in the Coastwide Therapy family and will be joining our team as an OT at the end of 2020 – which we couldn’t be more excited about.
SHAYNE PENFOLD – OPERATIONS MANAGER
Shayne is proud of the business he has built with his wife Bec Penfold. Together they are passionate about going over and above to service families across the Central Coast. Prior to commencing the business in 2011 Shayne worked in Sydney for 17 years, firstly a printer before moving into the medical industry. He worked for KCI – medical; in varying roles including manager of customer services and operations manager. This extensive business experience has been an essential contributor to the success of Coastwide Therapy Services.
He is a dedicated dad to their two children- Ben and Sarah; and juggles home life and work life for the Penfold’s. He is passionate, caring and supportive of not only the families we work with but of each of our team members. He is a respected and valued team member who we simply could not do without.
KATIE SCHUBACH – ADMINISTRATION
Katie works out of our Killarney Vale clinic and is most often the voice you will hear on the phone when you call. She is a mum to two gorgeous boys, one of whom has ASD. She has walked your journey and is able to give genuine empathy when listening to your story. She has a huge smile; an infectious laugh and she keeps us all grounded.
She has a love of systems and since starting with us in 2017 she has been a driving force to many of the changes in our business that has allowed us to be more efficient. She helps our therapists stay on top of the things they hate most, paperwork and I know, as a clinician, I would be lost and drowning in paperwork if it weren’t for Katie. She is my right-hand woman and I know that every team member just loves her, not only because she is great at what she does but because she is passionate and caring and always thinks outside the box for our Coastwide Therapy family.
KAREN HOOK - ADMINISTRATION
Karen she works mostly at our Killarney Vale clinic and is an integral part of our team. She is a mum to her beautiful daughter and brings a wealth of book keeping and reception skills to our team helping us stay on track and be more efficient. She is dedicated to supporting our families along with all our therapists and is the queen of calculations. She has extensive experience working in a range of local businesses and we genuinely value her skills and her pommy humour in our Coastwide Therapy family. She makes us laugh every day and her laugh is infectious.
MARGARET SLADE – ADMINISTRATION
Mags works at out Killarney Vale clinic and manages our scheduling and waitlists – a job not envied by others. She, like Katie, will likely be the first voice you hear on the phone when you call. She is a mum to a gorgeous young man who with his love of facts, special interests and his huge smile; also has ASD. Her personal experiences means she is a whiz at navigating the NDIS and she supports families trying to navigate this sometimes tricky system. She gives us a lovely look at both sides of the NDIS coin – being a parent and also being part of a provider team. She is caring, compassionate and relates to families with ease as she too, has walked your journey. She is a great asset to our team and we love having her on board.