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student ambassadors


Dr Nicci Grace

Student Liaison Officer

Nicole Feast

National Student Co-ordinator 2024-


Nicole Feast is a clinical neuropsychologist who is passionate about assisting others to better understand and enhance their cognitive (i.e., thinking) abilities. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and a Master of Psychology (Clinical Neuropsychology) from The University of Melbourne, and is currently a PhD candidate at The University of Western Australia with funding support from the Forrest Research Foundation. Prior to commencing her PhD in 2023, Nicole worked within a multidisciplinary team of allied health and medical clinicians at the WA Department of Health.

Her PhD research focuses on investigating whether neuropsychological assessment can enhance outcomes for individuals with brain conditions, through high-quality clinical trial research. Neuropsychological assessment involves evaluation of an individual’s cognition (e.g., attention, memory, problem solving) to identify strengths and weaknesses, support accurate diagnosis, and inform treatment planning in a variety of neurological and mental health conditions, including stroke, head injury, dementia, and schizophrenia. Research on the outcomes of neuropsychological assessment is limited, which has impeded efforts to advocate for greater access to clinical neuropsychology services in Australia, whereby adequate assessment and intervention for cognitive impairments remains an area of high unmet need for many individuals. The current clinical trial thus has the potential for real-world impact by informing evidence-based clinical practice and policy related to the management of brain conditions, both in Australia and worldwide.

Feel free to connect with and reach out to Nicole on LinkedIn –


Kimberly Chew

Team Leader 2024-
Clinical Neuropsychology, Monash University

Kimberly is a PhD (Clinical Neuropsychology) candidate at Monash University, supervised by Dr Kate Gould and Professor Jennie Ponsford. Her current research focuses on co-designing and evaluating a cyberscam recovery treatment for people with acquired brain injury. Beyond her PhD, Kimberly is also a research assistant at Monash-Epworth Rehabilitation Research Centre (MERRC) within co-design and translational ABI research. Kimberly hopes to continue working collaboratively with people with living experience and to work as a clinical neuropsychologist in the brain injury population. 

Lara Piccoli

Student Ambassador 2023-24
Clinical Neuropsychology, Monash University

Lara is a PhD candidate in Clinical Neuropsychology at Monash University, conducting research at BrainPark under the supervision of Dr Rico Lee, Dr Lucy Albertella, and Professor Murat Yucel. Her research involves using novel technologies, including virtual reality and gamified cognitive tasks to investigate the cognitive-affective mechanisms of alcohol use disorder. She additionally works as a research assistant at the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science. Lara hopes to continue contributing to addiction research whilst pursuing a career as a clinical neuropsychologist in mental health and/or forensic settings.

Madeline Gibson

Student Ambassador 2024
Clinical Neuropsychology, Monash University

Madeline is currently undertaking a PhD in Clinical Neuropsychology at Monash University, conducting research under the supervision of Associate Professor Matthew Pase and Dr Stephanie Yiallourou. Madeline is passionate about providing dignity and respect to older adults affected by cognitive impairment, including dementia and stroke. Her research focuses on understanding how distinct changes in blood pressure over the course of the day and night relate to brain health. This research aims to provide further understanding of blood pressure as a potential intervention point for dementia prevention. She hopes to increase awareness of modifiable lifestyle interventions for the prevention of dementia.

Madeline welcomes opportunities to connect on LinkedIn:


Kylie (Ky) Southwell

Team Leader 2024-
Speech Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney

Ky Southwell is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney, under the supervision of Professor Leanne Togher and Dr Melissa Brunner. Her research focuses on developing co-designed cognitive communication interventions for adolescents following a moderate-severe brain injury. Ky is also the project manager of the icare Brain Injury Psychiatry Program (iBIPP) at the Brain and Mind Centre (USYD), as well as a research assistant in the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Communication lab in the Faculty of Medicine and Health (USYD). She holds a Master of Speech Pathology degree from the University of Queensland (QLD), a Graduate Diploma of Science from the University of Southern Queensland and La Trobe University (QLD/VIC), and a Bachelor of Music from the Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University (QLD). Ky is passionate about co-designing tailored, motivating, and inclusive cognitive communication treatment programs and research methodologies in collaboration with people with lived experience of a brain injury.

Alex Manea

Student Ambassador 2024
Speech Pathology, The University of Sydney

Alex is currently completing a Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) degree at the University of Sydney (USYD). As a disability support worker and volunteer for youths living with intellectual and physical disabilities, she has a passion for improving the quality of life of people living with an impairment. Alex also possesses a keen interest in research, completing an internship at the Children’s Cancer Research Unit at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and joining an international USYD project regarding therapy for childhood apraxia of speech. Alex hopes to specialise in treating clients with traumatic brain injury and is excited to learn more about the rehabilitation of language impaired individuals following sports-related injuries, such as concussion and chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Ashna Nadan

Student Ambassador 2024
Speech Pathology, The University of Sydney

Ashna is currently completing her fourth year of a Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) (Honours) at The University of Sydney. This degree has fostered a passion and interest in the field of brain impairment. Through her development of research skills, Ashna aims to contribute on improving the outcomes for people with brain impairment and provide more accessible and quality evidence-based intervention.

Jasmine Sandilant

Student Ambassador 2024
Clinical Neuropsychology, Macquarie University

Jasmine is a committed and driven psychology student who completed her Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) last year at the University of Newcastle. This year, she has embarked on her Masters of Clinical Neuropsychology at Macquarie University. Jasmine's primary interest lies in understanding brain function and anatomy, particularly in how relevant tests and assessments can be employed to identify impairments and formulate effective action plans in response. Her interest in this field excelled in her research project and her involvement in experimental work, where she collaborated with individuals potentially diagnosed with dementia, autism spectrum disorder, and intellectual difficulties.


Sarah Haskard

Team Leader 2024
Psychological Science, University of Newcastle

Sarah graduated with a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) from the University of Newcastle in 2022. She is currently undertaking her PhD program on dementia awareness within Australia. Specifically, her research focuses on understanding and creating an educational intervention for the public to increase their knowledge of dementia. Sarah has worked and volunteered with people with ABI, mental illness, and disability, seeing the impact first hand sparked her interest in neuropsychology. She is passionate about advocating for those in need, empowering individuals and developing her professional skills.

Jack Towsey

Student Ambassador 2024
Nursing, University of Newcastle

Jack is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Newcastle. He is a dedicated and passionate Nursing student and has interests in both perioperative and critical care Nursing. He is currently working as an Assistant in Nursing within the operating theatre department at a large tertiary referral hospital in his local area.

In addition to being a Student Ambassador for the Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment (ASSBI), Jack is the founder and current President of the University of Newcastle Student Nurses & Midwives Society, a Peer Assisted Study Session (PASS) leader for the human bioscience courses for Nursing and Midwifery students, Peer Mentor and Student Ambassador at the University of Newcastle

Jack plans to pursue a career in both clinical Nursing and research, with a particular focus on the field of trauma. Jack is particularly interested in both the acute and ongoing management of individuals who have sustained injuries such as traumatic brain injuries (TBI), skull fractures, and blunt cerebrovascular injuries (BCVI).

Emma Gifford

Student Ambassador 2024
Psychological Science, University of Newcastle

Emma is currently completing her Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) at the University of Newcastle. She is an aspiring Clinical Neuropsychologist, which is grounded in her love for psychology, neuroscience, and the ability to help others.

Throughout her studies, Emma has accumulated numerous experiences that have shone a light on the fears and frustrations experienced by people who have cognitive concerns. Her experiences are based in the fields of: acquired brain injury, sports concussion, older adults, and mental illness. As such, Emma is passionate about raising awareness, as well as her own professional growth, so that she may assist those experiencing cognitive challenges to achieve their goals and live more meaningful lives.

Alexandra Landels

Student Ambassador 2024
Psychological Science, University of Newcastle

Alexandra is currently completing her Bachelor of Psychological Science at the University of Newcastle and has a passion for learning about the intricacies of the human mind. She has firsthand experience working with a family member who was impacted by a severe brain injury and witnessed the resilience and strength of navigating the challenges of neurological trauma. This experience led her to become interested in the complexities of the brain and to continue further learning in the workings of psychological assistance to TBI victims. Through her life experience insight, Alexandra is dedicated to making a meaningful difference in the lives of those affected by brain injuries and their families.

Alexandra is an aspiring Clinical Psychologist, with a keen interest in OCD and Neuropsychology. 


Chester Baluyot

Team Leader 2024
Occupational Therapy, Flinders University

Chester has worked in the disability sector for a number of years with varied experience in case management, brain injury, psychosocial, and supporting people with behaviours of concern. Chester is passionate about developing and increasing his experience in coming alongside people who have sustained a brain injury and how planning supports reflect on self-determination and recovery focused care. Chester is currently studying Master of Occupational Therapy and will graduate in 2025. In his spare time, Chester enjoys hiking, travel and meeting likeminded people along the way.

Bill Kazis

Student Ambassador 2024
Psychological Science, University of Adelaide

Bill is currently undertaking an Honours degree in psychological science at the University of Adelaide after graduating from a Bachelor's in psychology in 2023. His research is focused on neuropsychology, specifically on the neurological networks that underpin concurrent anxiety in autism. He has tutored young students with autism and learning disabilities in the past, which has given him a passion to raise awareness and further understand the challenges that neurodivergent individuals face in their lives, and the ways in which we can help. He wishes to pursue a career in clinical neuropsychology in the future, fuelled by a passion for psychology, neuroscience and mental health.

Clare Vorel

Student Ambassador 2024
Occupational Therapy, Flinders University

Clare Vorel is a Master of Occupational Therapy student at Flinders University. Clare is highly passionate about empowering people living with Dementia, and currently works in aged care as a Dementia Support Assistant. Clare has a Bachelor of Community Health and has volunteered in aged care for a number of years. Clare has lived experience of family members with neurological conditions, and is highly passionate about how meaningful occupations can therapeutically benefit people living with brain impairments. Clare hopes to undertake research and practice in this area in the future.

Eliza Le Mire

Student Ambassador 2024
Psychological Science, Flinders University

Eliza Le Mire graduated with a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Advanced) from the University of Adelaide in 2023. She is currently pursuing her Honours Degree in Psychology at Flinders University, where she is investigating psychological factors associated with delayed screening for colorectal cancer. Eliza has worked in the mental health field for a number of years, both professionally and as a volunteer. She has a particular interest in providing empathetic support to individuals with disabilities, genetic conditions, and medical conditions affecting mental health. In her spare time, Eliza is a visual artist and enjoys cycling, yoga, gardening, and bushwalking. Eliza is also a student member of the Australasian Neuroscience Society, the Australian Psychological Society, the APS College of Clinical Neuropsychologists, and the APS College of Clinical Psychologists.





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