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Working together to improve the lives of people with brain impairment

ASSBI Student Ambassadors

ASSBI would like to thank ALL the students who have volunteered as Student Leaders and Ambassadors for 2018. We hope that you have enjoyed your time with ASSBI and hope that you will stay with us as student members when your Ambassadorship finishes in January 2019. Membership is still only $80 ($144 for 2 years).

We are now recruiting Ambassadors for 2019, to apply to be an ASSBI Student Leader or Ambassador CLICK HERE

ASSBI has student representatives in most States of Australia as well as in New Zealand, Malasia, Scotland and South Africa.

We have both undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of universities and disciplines, Speech Pathology, Clinical Psychology, Neuropsychology, OT, Physiotherapy to name a few.

Student roles with ASSBI include a National Student Co-ordinator, Regional Team Leaders and Student Ambassadors.  

The National Student Co-ordinator is responsible for supporting ASSBI's student team leaders and ambassadors across Australia and NZ. The student Co-ordinator is supported by the student liaison officer and liases with the executive committee regarding student events and provides updates to students about opportunities for students.

Team Leaders & student ambassadors are responsible for coordinating and organising events to promote ASSBI in their region throughout the year.

All student representatives receive free ASSBI membership for one year, while Team Leaders and the National Student Co-ordinator also receive a complementary ASSBI conference registration during their tenure.

Student Liaison Officer


National Student Co-ordinator 2018-2020

Contact: student@exemail.com.au
Jonathan is a candidate of the Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Neuropsychology) at Monash University. His doctoral research project is exploring ways of improving the detection and management of sports-related concussion in elite and amateur Australian football players, with the supervision of Dr. Catherine Willmott, Dr. Biswadev Mitra and Dr. Andrew McIntosh. Jonathan has previously worked as a research assistant on the Take CARe child concussion project at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI); and on the Youth Headgear Study at the Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience (MICCN). Jonathan completed the Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Psychology at the University of Melbourne and the Bachelor of Science at Swinburne University with a major in Psychology and a co-major in Psychophysiology


tia hardie

Team Leader 2018-2020
Physiotherapy, Flinders University

Tia is going into her third year of a Health Sciences (Principles of Physiotherapy)/Masters of Physiotherapy degree at Flinders University. During her degree thus far, she has been engaged in topics related to neurology and principles of learning, along with experiences working with children living with a disability. These experiences have ignited her drive to one day specialise in neuro-rehabilitation, and as a student ambassador for the ASSBI, she is excited for the amazing opportunity to further her passion for neurological physiotherapy.

zoe Lee

Student Ambassador 2018
Physiotherapy, Flinders University

Zoe is commencing her third year in the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Principles of Physiotherapy)/Master of Physiotherapy. Her passion for brain impairment stems from her exposure through volunteer work which involved working with patients of varying conditions. Zoe is particularly interested in neurorehabilitation and its ability to improve peoples’ quality of life; the functional capacity of people living with brain impairments; and the journey to patient recovery.

demi martin

Student Ambassador 2018
Disability and Developmental Education, Flinders University

Demi is commencing her fourth year in the Bachelor of Disability and Developmental Education (Honours) program at Flinders University. She has experience working alongside individuals with intellectual disabilities, autism, and Motor Neurone Disease in Australia, Brunei, and Canada. These experiences have sparked her interest in brain development and neuro-rehabilitation.


charlotte mai hood

Team Leader 2018-2019
Speech Pathology, The University of Queensland

Charlotte commencing her third year in the Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours) program at The University of Queensland. She is currently assisting on a systematic review of Aphasia Quality of Life Measures and is a part of the student committee for the Australian Aphasia Association and Australasian Society for Aphasia conferences. She has undertaken volunteering in the North of Vietnam with children who have a range of conditions including Corpus Callosum Agnesis, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Hydrocephaly, Autism and Developmental Delay. Charlotte’s passions lie in paediatric neuro-rehabilitation.

samantha carman

Student Ambassador 2018
Occupational Therapy, University of Queensland

Samantha is currently completing her fourth year of Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) at the University of Queensland. She has a particular interest working with children with learning difficulties to discover and learn new skills to further their development.  Samantha is looking forward to further developing her knowledge and skills in this area during her placements this year in Brisbane and East Timor.

julia layer

Student Ambassador 2018
Physiotherapy, University of Queensland

Julia is a current 4th year Physiotherapy (Honours) student at the University of Queensland. Julia has a keen interest in how physiotherapy can help with the re-education of key movement patterns for disorders originating within the body’s nervous and neuromuscular system. Julia has seen first-hand how physical rehabilitation can be rewarding for people with Parkinsons disease and Stroke and wants to specialise in neurology upon graduation. This year Julia has placements around Brisbane including a Neurology placement at The Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. 


Student Ambassador 2018
Physiotherapy, University of Queensland

Caitlin is currently completing her fourth year of bachelor of physiotherapy (honours) at the University of Queensland. Her key interest involves the management of cerebral palsy, and how the varying presentations of this condition impacts the child during the important developmental stages of their life. Additionally, Caitlin is passionate about the pathway of rehabilitation in all neurological impairments formed by a multidisciplinary team. Caitlin looks forward to her neurological physiotherapy placement later this year where she will further expand her knowledge and develop key skills in this area.


natalie castalanelli

Team Leader 2018-2020
Neuropsychology, University of Western Australia

Natalie is a current Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Neuropsychology) candidate at the University of Western Australia. Under the supervision of A/Prof. Michael Weinborn (UWA) and Dr Belinda Brown (Murdoch University), Natalie’s doctoral research examines the interrelationships between physical activity (high vs. moderate intensity), cardiorespiratory fitness, cognition (executive function), and related neuronal health/ plasticity in older adults. With experience across both drug and alcohol and dementia settings, Natalie has worked with individuals from diverse life stages and backgrounds in both clinical and research capacities.


Student Ambassador 2018
Psychology, University of Western Australia

Rachael is currently completing a combined masters/doctorate program in Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Western Australia. Along with a supervisory team of Dr Michael Weinborn, Dr Stephanie Rainey-Smith and Dr Romola Bucks, her doctoral research begins to investigate how cognitive variability within an individual is related to Alzheimer’s disease. Rachael has practical experience with individuals with both acquired brain injury and dementia from a number of hands on volunteering roles.


Student Ambassador 2018
Psychology, Murdoch University

Kelsey is currently in her third year of her Bachelor of Science, majoring in Psychology, at Murdoch University. Her major interest is in neuroscience, and she is currently working towards her first publication, which is a systematic review investigating the relationship between multilingualism and Alzheimer’s Disease. Kelsey plans to go on to complete Honours and Postgraduate studies in the hope of becoming a clinician, researcher or academic.


AN Truong

Team Leader 2018-2019
PhD, University of Sydney

An is a PhD candidate at the Regenerative Neuroscience Group (Brain Mind Centre, University of Sydney). Her research interests focus on brain neurogenesis and regeneration in neurodegenerative disorders, in particular Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. An’s current project aims to elucidate the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms of skin-derived neural precursors as a novel source of autologous stem cells for regenerative therapies. An was recently awarded a Travel Scholarship to present her work at the 2016 International Society of Stem Cell Research Meeting in San Francisco, USA. An is also the 2017 recipient of the Leslie Rich Scholarship for Dementia Research. Outside her academic interests, An is passionate about promoting neuroscience to the wider community and regularly participates in professional activities such as the annual Brain Awareness Program by the Australian Neuroscience Society and the Scientists in Schools Program by the CSIRO. An hopes to bring this enthusiasm and a young researcher’s perspectives to ASSBI and assists in promoting the organisation’s influence and objectives both within Australia and internationally.


Student Ambassador 2018
Psychology, University of Technology, Sydney

Samantha is a Master of Clinical Psychology student at the University of Technology, Sydney. Samantha’s master's thesis is a systematic review into the predictors and correlates of a fear of falling in adults following stroke; supervised by Prof. Ian Kneebone and Prof. Roshan das Nair. Samantha has also had experience working alongside individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders, traumatic brain injury, intellectual disability and chronic pain, within research and community contexts. These experiences inspired Samantha to want to help improve the mental health outcomes for individuals with neurological disorders and their families.

Michelle christine attard

Student Ambassador 2018
Speech Pathology, La Trobe University, Sydney

Michelle submitted her PhD thesis through La Trobe University in late 2017. Her thesis explored the efficacy of an interdisciplinary community-based group model for people with chronic post-stroke aphasia and their spouses. Michelle has developed a clinically relevant manual based on the project which is freely available online. She also moderates Aphasia Community, a service designed to support clinicians involved in community aphasia groups. Michelle has also been working with people with acquired brain injury and their communication partners as part of the TBIconneCT communication skills training research trial.


Student Ambassador 2018
Speech Pathology, University of Sydney

Penelope is a current Higher Research Degree (Speech Pathology) candidate at the University of Sydney. Her research focuses on the treatment effects of choral singing in patients with communication disorders of neurological aetiology, under the supervision of Prof Kirrie Ballard and Dr Mark Halaki. Penelope’s research focus combines the expertise she gained during her prior career as a classical singer and choral conductor with her training as a speech pathologist. In addition, Penelope works as a research assistant for Prof Kirrie Ballard on a project examining treatment methods for children with childhood apraxia of speech. Penelope works clinically as a speech pathologist for children with physical and intellectual disabilities in Orange, NSW.

 Team Far North Queensland 

Claire McMillan

Team Leader 2018-2019
Neuropsychology, James Cook University

Claire McMillan is a current Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) (Neuropsychology) candidate at James Cook University, Townsville. Her PhD research involves the development of a Positive Health framework to better understand long-term recovery after chronic subdural haematoma, under the supervision of Dr Maria Hennessy, A/Prof Laurence Marshman, Prof Heidi Zeeman & A/Prof Nerina Caltabiano. Claire has a key interest in improving services for patients with acquired brain injury and currently holds a position as a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Townsville Hospital, conducting research into the mental health outcomes of TBI patients.


Student Ambassador 2018
Speech Pathology, James Cook University

Amanda is entering the fourth year of her Speech Pathology (Honours) degree in 2018, and is looking forward to completing adult and paediatric placements this year. Amanda is particularly interested in working in the adult acute setting with patients requiring speech and language intervention following a brain injury. Amanda’s Honours project is aiming to describe the current speech pathology referral practices and processes in place for mechanically ventilated/tracheostomised patients in Australian ICUs, and the service that speech pathologists provide to these patients

 Team Melbourne 


Student Ambassador 2018
Occupational Therapy, Monash University

Harriet is currently studying a Masters of Occupational Therapy at Monash University after completing a Bachelor of Cognitive Neuroscience in South Australia. She has a keen interest in acquired and traumatic brain injury and Neurological rehabilitation. Harriet has acquired experience with children on the spectrum however she hopes to gain more experience within the neurological rehabilitation field whilst undertaking placement and once graduated. 

laura jolliffe

Student Ambassador 2018
Occupational Therapy, La Trobe University

Laura is an occupational therapist and research fellow in the Acquired Brain Injury Rehabilitation Research Program at Alfred Health. She currently holds an NHMRC post-graduate scholarship to complete her PhD at La Trobe University under the supervision of A/Prof. Natasha Lannin and Prof. Tammy Hoffmann. Laura’s program of research investigates the science of knowledge translation in brain injury rehabilitation.

lachlan miller

Student Ambassador 2018
Occupational Therapy, La Trobe University

Lachlan is currently completing the final year of his Bachelor of applied science Master of Occupational Therapy at La Trobe University. He is particularly interested in neurorehabilitation and more specifically in regard to stroke rehabilitation. Lachlan has become increasingly interested in this area after learning about and seeing the improvements that can be made with therapy. Lachlan is eager to improve his knowledge and understanding in the area so that he is able to help people recover to their full potential.

 Team Newcastle


Team Leader 2018-2020
Psychiatry, University of Newcastle

Winifred is a current Doctor of Philosophy (Psychiatry) candidate at The University of Newcastle. Her doctoral research is investigating mental health of the mining industry in Ghana and Australia under the supervision of Dr Jane Rich, A/Prof Carole James, Prof Brian Kelly and Dr Kwasi Amponsah-Tawiah. Winifred is a Clinical Psychologist by training and has experience working with individuals with mental health challenges including children and adults with brain impairments affecting their cognitive functions.

pauline eldridge

Student Ambassador 2018
Speech Pathology, University of Newcastle

Pauline is
commencing her final year of Speech Pathology at The University of Newcastle. After studying and completing placements with traumatic brain injury patients and stroke neurorehabilitation patients, she has found this is a profound area of interest. Pauline hopes to strengthen her knowledge and experience within working with both children and adults who have a brain impairment that is currently affecting their speech and/or language. She hopes that through improving her understanding, she can deliver high quality clinical treatment whilst providing individualised and inventive means of care.

bianka leigh landrigan

Student Ambassador 2018
Speech Pathology, University of Newcastle

Bianka is commencing her second year in the Bachelor or Speech Pathology (Honours) program at University of Newcastle. Witnessing first-hand the rehabilitation associated with acquired brain injuries, including the dramatic improvement speech and language services provide to Australians affected by neurological conditions, Bianka was inspired to persue a career as a SLP.



e: admin@assbi.com.au
t: 0425 220622

PO Box 64, 
NSW 2031

About the Society

Working together to improve the lives of people with brain impairment.

ASSBI is a multidisciplinary society dedicated to improving the quality of life of people with brain impairment and their families. 

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