Exemplary Allied Health Professionals with caring and supportive attitudes

Meerkats by nature don’t work alone and we are no different.

Scott Kay

Rehabilitation Counsellor – B. Psych, BA Arts (Hons), M. Edu

Scott has a varied background in both Psychology and Education coupled with multi-state business management experience. With advanced vocational knowledge and capacity building capabilities is objective is always to help those with disabilities to live their best lives and experience what the world has to offer! Scott is in training to become a Registered Psychologist and loves working with both young and old alike to achieve optimal health and life goal attainment.

I love helping people find and keep jobs, building micro-enterprising skills, capacity building and video games but I hate hitting my head on low hanging branches!

Julia Paltridge

Occupational Therapist – B.A.Sc (OT), Dip. Clinical Pilates, Accredited FIM Clinician

Julia has a track record of making things work in times where everyone feels stuck. As a goal oriented Occupational Therapist and highly-regarded businesswoman she knows how to get the best out of people and she particularly loves helping young women to achieve their health and life goals. She is sought out for her abilities to simplify complex situations and create both opportunities and joy for her participants. She is looking forward to rolling out her Clinical Pilates program in 2021 to assist participants to discover freedom and confidence in movement.

I love Pilates, FCAs, Goal Setting and Attainment, and almond milk lattes
but I hate getting sand in the bed after my daily beach run!

Adele Richards

Physiotherapist – B. Physiotherapy, M. Health Science (Business)

Adele is a physiotherapist with over two decades of experience both as a manual therapist in private practice and within the occupational rehabilitation sector. Her positive outlook, friendly, inquisitive nature and can-do attitude allow Adele to quickly build rapport and achieve goals efficiently and effectively. Adele loves assisting clients to identify their strengths to make the most out of life!

I love Functional Capacity Assessments, Assistive Technology Assessments, fluffy puppies and travelling but I hate cucumber and capsicum!

Amanda Bouhamdan

Occupational Therapist – B.OT (Hons)
Amanda is a dedicated and enthusiastic occupational therapist with experience in case management, neurorehabilitation, supporting independence and home modifications in community transition care, and paediatrics. She has a keen interest in supporting people who have sustained brain injuries and neurorehabilitation. Amanda is passionate about the best possible outcomes for her clients and assisting them with maximising their independence, improving their upper limb and cognitive function to participate in meaningful activities of daily living, and engaging within the community. Amanda values open and compassionate communication and developing therapeutic relationships, as well as finding solutions to complex problems and improving quality of life.
‘I love capacity building and helping people feel heard, açaí bowls, spending quality time in nature, and energy healing, but I hate that as an adult it feels like there is never ending washing to do!’

Amelia Denton

Developmental Educator – B.Disabiltiy&DevEd
Amelia is a Developmental Educator who has been working as a Disability Support worker for the past four years. Amelia has experience supporting individuals of all ages and various disabilities. She is highly passionate about all individuals having self-advocacy, self-empowerment and choice and control over their lives. Amelia enjoys upskilling and teaching self-care, communication, social skills, emotional regulation, and activities of daily living. Amelia really enjoys supporting individuals to identify a goal and then working with them to achieve it. Amelia is super excited to be part of the regional team and getting on the road to see her clients that live in remote and very remote parts of South Australia!
I have a great love for adventure and travel, all things pasta, shoes, and trashy reality TV. I am not a fan of winter, but I am a fan of wearing my slippers all day long.

Bec Gigney

Physiotherapist – B.Physio
Rebecca has been a physiotherapist for 20 years. She has worked in hospitals and private practice in both Australia and the United Kingdom and has a wealth of knowledge particularly in the musculoskeletal field. She is a lifelong learner and loves to use her knowledge to see her clients reach their goals and live their best life.
I love spending time with my partner, two children and dog. Laughter, love and sunshine are the best medicine!

Claudia Watson

Developmental Educator – B.Ed (Sp. Ed) / B.Dis
Claudia has always had a passion for working within the disability sector, which has only grown over time, as she has spent more time working within the field. Claudia is very excited to be part of the team and looks forward to supporting individuals in achieving their goals. As part of her role as a DE, she is dedicated to empowering individuals with disabilities, building social inclusion and improving quality of life through the promotion of life skill development. Claudia is a lifelong learner and has a natural desire to help others.
I love going out on adventures, but also love staying in for a movie or games night, but who can’t play a game of UNO without having to get the rules out!

Dave Wishart

Physiotherapist – B.Physio, Accredited FIM clinician
Dave is a well rounded Physiotherapist with significant experience working in the acute, subacute, and community health settings. His varied clinical experience, combined with his previous trade employment history means he is able to build rapport with anyone, and is used to handling complex problems on the fly. Dave loves helping people with their physical function and acheive their goals, whatever they may be.
I love bush walks and photography, but I’m not the biggest fan of lettuce or being stuck in traffic.

Elizabeth Wishart

Occupational Therapist – B. Human Movement, M. Occupational Therapy, Accredited FIM Clinician

Elizabeth is a well-rounded and well-loved Occupational Therapist with a special interest in driving and capacity building. Elizabeth has been undertaking assessments with her clients for nearly 10 years and hasn’t slowed down a bit. With a quick sense of humor, Elizabeth quickly establishes fantastic rapport with her clients and enjoys seeing them live their best lives.

I love Driver Assessment and Training, Activities of Daily Living Assessment, doggos and deadlifts at the gym but I hate earwigs!

Emma Samson

Speech Therapist – B.SpPath, CPSP
Emma is a Speech Pathologist who has experience working with both adults and paediatric clients privately and through the NDIS. Emma values lifelong learning and aspires to go over and above to build strong rapport with clients as she believes this underpins a successful therapeutic relationship. For her paediatric clients, you can expect a lot of play-based therapy – think obstacle courses, hide and seek and lots of games! For adults, she values listening to what is important to the client and how she can support those goals.
I love challenging myself to try something new, puppy cuddles and lots of food! I strongly dislike cold mornings though!

Jessica Napoletano

Social Worker – BA Social Work/BA Social Planning

Jess is a high energy social worker with a passion for working with people to develop their life skills. Whether it’s putting together a budget, finding and keeping a job, or developing social skills there is no challenge too big or small for Jess.

I love Life Skill Development, Vocational Counselling, Behavioural Support, and singing
but I hate the smell of burnt toast!

Kimberley Fisher

Occupational Therapist – B.A.Sc (OT)

Kimberley has nearly 15 years’ experience as an OT working across South Australia and is now based in Victor Harbor, but will go wherever she is needed! Kim’s extensive experience in a community and hospital setting has allowed her to work with people from all walks of life. This has also allowed her to help people with an incredibly vast array of physical, psychosocial and neurological disabilities. Kim is a mum of two and loves her active life on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Her kind and gentle nature makes everyone around her feel so at ease.

I love Home Modifications assessments and making environments safer for my clients, candles burning all the time and all-day breakfasts but I hate wearing shoes and finding the dishwasher tablet hasn’t dissolved properly!

Lee Meyer

Occupational Therapist – B. HSc (OT)
Lee has experience within occupational rehabilitation and the aged care sector, working with various clients with physical and psychosocial conditions. She enjoys building rapport with her clients and uses a holistic approach to ensure the best outcomes are achieved, allowing them to reach their goals to increase independence and quality of life.
I love Functional Capacity Assessments, helping others the best I can, travelling, trying new cuisines, and being a fur mum to my dog Bailey, but I hate all the dog hair that gets stuck to everything!

Maddy Cooper

Speech Therapist – B.SpPath
Maddy is a Speech Pathologist who works with paediatric clients both privately and through the NDIS. She aspires to build strong relationships with her clients as she believes this the key to achieving everyone’s goals! Play based therapy is what you will see in sessions with Maddy, because it’s not work if you’re having fun!
I love learning and challenging myself to try new things, I also love adventuring to new places, good coffee but strongly dislike the cold!

Mark Gowland

Rehabilitation Counsellor – Grad Dip Rehab Counselling, Cert IV WH&S

Mark has over 25 years’ experience working with people who have experienced acquired disability in achieving their employment goals. Warm-hearted and honest in his approach, Mark approaches his work with his client’s goals as the number one priority.

I love Vocational Counselling, helping people find and keep jobs, and camping with the family but I hate early morning alarms!

Samantha Desborough

Developmental Educator – B.Disabiltiy & DevEd
Samantha has 10 years’ experience in the disability sector including community engagement, social support, and multidisciplinary team work. She has a keen interest in working with young people to achieve their best lives and brings not only academic experience, but lived experience as both a parent and foster parent of children with disabilities. Samantha is a fully registered Developmental Educator and loves supporting participants as a formal practitioner after many years as a Support Worker. Sam’s general therapy interests include capacity building/daily living skill development, accessing education and employment and family education.

I love helping young people find and keep jobs, my dog Oscar and cooking, especially cake decorating but I hate ants! If I see one ant, I will vacuum the whole house!

Sam Fletcher

A keen team player, Sam brings a passion for coaching and capacity building well-developed through his sporting background. Having played in both Australia and America, Sam knows the value in high quality coaching and always keeps an eye out for his team mates (which could include you!). Though gentle in his approach, he gets people and what makes them tick both on and off the court and looks forward to helping you smash some of those goals!

I love capacity building, small goal setting, the great outdoors, relationship building, and teamwork skill development but I hate spiders and heights (unless I’m hanging from the rim!)

Jacinta Dempsey

Community Liaison Specialist
Jacinta’s career started at a young age of 18 as a support worker in residential care. This is where her love for youth & disability really become evident. She took time to find my niche in the sector by working in different sectors – education, mental health, NDIS, suicide prevention, therapeutic services and community engagement.
Jacinta has well and truly found her passion working in the disability sector. Regional community work and supporting gaps in services is something she loves to work on. Jacinta absolutely loves working with local community to bring together inclusive and accessible projects, hosting and facilitating some regional based events such as IDPWD and most recently Inclusive Sporting.
You will find Jacinta at Optimal Support doing a range of things from community liaison to project management and even some Allied Health Assistant/Mentoring work – her dream roles all mixed into one!
I love spending time with my little family. Camping, spending time at the beach and coffee dates are my favourite things to do. I hate bringing in the food shopping from the car and when people make tea with less than 1/3 milk!

Rachel Roach

Allied Health Assistant – B.HealthScience
Rach is our star Allied Health Assistant who works closely with Sally and the rest of the Allied Health team. You will find Rach in the office with Sally working on all the back of house admin as she is a very organised person, or out and about working with clients to supplement the therapy they receive from our OTs, DEs and Physios. We love to find ways for participants to get the most value out of their plans, and this means that a lot of the programs we develop can be implemented with the support of an Allied Health Assistant such as Rachel, with oversight and supervision of the Allied Health team. Rach loves helping people of all ages and says ‘it’s amazing to see the impact you can have on someone when it could be just sitting with them watching TV or listening to their stories’. Rachel is a very active person and she enjoys helping clients reach their physical goals as well.
I love hiking and camping but I hate seafood!

Sally Eblen

Administration Manager

Sally is our totally indispensable admin goddess who we would all be lost without! Sal has many years’ experience in helping maintain the foundation of a business and keeping it strong. She is the link in the business that ensures smooth flow of information between our clients and team members. She helps the team with the day to day running of the business and their needs, scheduling appointments with clients and keeping things organised for us.

I love lifting weights, plant-based food, helping others and making them feel valued but I hate riddles like ‘what came first – the chicken or the egg?’ because of course it’s the egg!

Let’s get started

We’ve made getting started as simple as possible. Simply fill out the quote form with participant and provider details and tell us a few details about the participant. We’re looking forward to helping you kick some goals.