Who We Are

Dr Anne Chalfant

Dr Anne Chalfant

Director and Clinical Psychologist

  • B.Sc.Psych.(Hons.)
  • M.Clin.Psych.(Hons.)
  • D.Clin.Psych, MAPS, MAACBT
  • Member APS College of Clinical Psychologists

Anne is an internationally regarded Clinical Psychologist and researcher.  She has a wide range of experience in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of developmental, intellectual, emotional and behavioural difficulties within children.  She has presented at international conferences and is often cited in Australian radio and print media for her expertise on child development and parenting.  Anne has presented frequently on “Parenting” on talk-back radio as a guest expert for both Radio 2GB and Radio 2UE in Sydney.

Anne consults to schools, health organisations and universities both within Australia and overseas.  She has roles as a lecturer, Clinical Supervisor and training consultant at the University of New South Wales, the University of Western Sydney and Macquarie University.  She has also conducted training at the Centre for Autism and Developing Brain (CADB), which is a collaborative program between New York-Presbyterian, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.  It is one of the best clinical and research programs in the world for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Anne has been involved in developing and conducting research projects on various aspects of child health and development including the treatment of anxiety in children, early intervention programs and effective parenting programs. In recognition of her expertise, reputation, and demonstrated commitment to excellence, education, and research she was given the title of Honorary Associate at Macquarie University, Australia in 2014.

Anne is considered an international expert on anxiety difficulties in children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  She is a full member of both the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) and the Australasian Society for Autism Research (ASfAR). As a part of her Doctoral research, she co-authored the first, manual based, cognitive-behavioural intervention program for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and anxiety difficulties in conjunction with Macquarie University.  In 2004, Anne was awarded the Australian Psychological Society National Clinical Psychology Conference Prize for Early Career Research. In 2011, she published the book, “Managing Anxiety in People with Autism”, which subsequently became a finalist in the 2012 International Book Awards in the Psychology section.  It has sold thousands of copies worldwide.


BettinaChristl

Bettina Christl

Registered Psychologist

  • Dipl.-Psych, M.Intl Pub.Health, M.SC.Clin.Psych, D.Clin.Psych

Bettina is a compassionate and dedicated psychologist. She is passionate about helping children with developmental difficulties and bringing about positive changes in the life of these children and their families.

Her therapeutic approach aims to build on the existing strengths of each child and their family, to grow children’s resilience and support their optimal development.

She has worked with adults, adolescents and children in a variety of settings, including community health, hospital, and university clinic settings. Her therapeutic approach is evidence based and uses techniques from Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy and Family Therapy.

Bettina has gained experience working with children with ASD and other developmental difficulties at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. She has experience conducting neuropsychological assessments for children, adolescents, and adults.

Bettina has a strong background in research, including the early detection of autism spectrum disorder, as well as the impact of perinatal adversity on mother-child attachment and early child development. In the past, she has been working as research assistant at the School of Psychiatry, UNSW.


Nikita Singh

Registered Psychologist

  • BSc (Psych); BAppSc (Psych)(Hons); MPsych(Clinical)

Nikita is a warm, passionate and committed Registrar in Clinical Psychology. Her strong appreciation of client-centred, family-focused practice has motivated her to pursue a career working with young people and their families. She is experienced in facilitating training for parents with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and delivering empirically-validated group interventions for parents of children with internalising and externalising difficulties, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Oppositional Defiance Disorder. Nikita has worked as a Psychologist supporting children, adolescents and adults diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families. She is dedicated to delivering empirically-validated interventions and has a broad range of therapeutic experience, including Positive Behaviour Support, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Mindfulness.

She adapts a strength-based framework in practice and endeavours to draw on an individual’s strength to help them reach their full potential. In order to achieve this, Nikita strives to engage the individual, their family and other support networks, including schools. Nikita has experience working collaboratively with schools, where she has completed behavioural observations, developed individualised behaviour management plans and delivered professional development training for school staff.

She recently completed a Master of Psychology (Clinical) at Deakin University in Melbourne, where she was awarded the Head of School prize for the most outstanding thesis. Her research project evaluated a school-based program designed to enhance the social-emotional skills of adolescents in order to prevent depression. She contributed to the development and publication of a school-based program called Resilient Families which has been rolled out in 14 schools in Victoria.

Leah Park

Leah Park

Speech Pathologist

  • B.AppSc (Spch Path) MSPAA
  • Practicing Member of Speech Pathology Australia
  • Certified Practising Speech Pathologist (CPSP)
  • Member of Health Professions Council, UK

Leah has worked as a Paediatric Speech Pathologist for more than 10 years. She enjoys working with children and their parents to help develop functional communication skills. Leah places a strong emphasis on family-centred practice, so that each child’s specific communication needs within the family are acknowledged and taken into account when planning intervention. Leah has extensive knowledge and experience in both assessment and intervention of children with a wide range of communication and developmental difficulties, including; speech and/or language delays/disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders (including Asperger’s Disorder), literacy difficulties, fluency difficulties, developmental delays (including Global Developmental Delay), physical difficulties/impairment and hearing impairment.

Leah values working directly with parents in order to help them develop their own skills which will lead to enhanced communication between them and their child. This enhanced communication can then help their child’s language develop to the best of their ability. Leah is accredited by the internationally regarded Hanen Centre in Canada to run the ‘It Takes Two to Talk’, ‘More than Words’ and the ‘TalkAbility’ Hanen parent training programs.

Leah is also one of the registered practitioners and trainers for the MULTILIT Reading Tutor Program (Revised) at Annie’s Centre. Early speech and language difficulties can be one of the key factors in children not reaching their potential with reading and literacy skills. Leah is experienced in providing intensive support and systematic instruction to children with delays in literacy skills.

Prior to joining Annie’s Centre, Leah worked at The Sydney Children’s Hospital and has also worked in the UK (both London and Scotland) for six years. Leah brings a diverse range of experience with her to Annie’s Centre, which all children and families she works with will benefit from.

Ben

Ben Bailey

Speech Pathologist

  • BSPath (Newcastle)
  • Practicing Member of Speech Pathology Australia
  • 
Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist (CPSP)

Ben is an enthusiastic and committed paediatric Speech Pathologist. He is experienced in the assessment and treatment of children presenting with oral language delay/disorder, speech sound disorder (including Dyspraxia), fluency disorder, literacy difficulties and developmental delays/disorders (including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)). Ben has strong experience in the administration of the MULTILIT reading tutor program and the application of Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) systems such as PECS, and proloquo2go.

Ben is a strong believer in family-centred practice and acknowledges the pivotal role parents play in all aspects of clinical practice, including goal setting and therapy planning.

Committed to ongoing professional development, Ben is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney where he is currently investigating literacy development in children diagnosed with ASD and computer-based literacy interventions. He has presented on this topic at international conferences.


Shristy Bastola

Senior Behaviour Therapist and Early Intervention Consultant

  • 

B.Sc. Psychology

Shristy is a committed and compassionate Senior Behaviour Therapist who specialises in intervention plans and therapy for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families. She strives to ensure that both individual and social group therapy sessions are productive yet enjoyable for the children through a play-based approach.

Shristy advocates the importance of the family’s role in achieving therapy goals; providing all the required knowledge and tools to families through the parent coaching program in order to promote consistency and generalisation across all environments. She tailors every intervention plan and program to each individual child and family’s specific needs, drawing from the evidence based principles of Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) and the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM). Shristy frequently liaises with other relevant health practitioners to ensure that the goals for the targeted areas of development are updated and beneficial to the overall well-being of the child.


Alison Edmonds

Speech Pathologist

  • BSPath (Honours) (University of Newcastle)
    Practicing member of Speech Pathology Australia

Alison is a passionate, caring and committed paediatric Speech Pathologist. Alison has experience in the assessment and treatment of children presenting with a range of communication and developmental difficulties, including; speech sound disorders (including Childhood Apraxia of Speech/Dyspraxia), expressive and receptive language disorders, literacy difficulties, developmental delays (Global Developmental Delay, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down’s Syndrome) and fluency difficulties.

Alison is dedicated to delivering a family-centred approach which positively facilitates the learning and development of each child by strengthening their communication skills and participation in everyday life.

Alison is trained in 9 levels of Key Word Sign (KWS), a form of Augmentative and Alternative Communication, and has experience utilising KWS to reinforce speech and language development alongside therapy within early intervention.

Alison has strong clinical skills and knowledge in the administration of the MULTILIT reading tutor program.

Through her university (UoN), Alison had the opportunity to work at an early intervention centre in Fiji as part of her final fourth year university paediatric placement. During this time Alison developed strong clinical skills and experience working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy and Down’s Syndrome, as well as providing professional development for special education teachers.


Sakina Khan

Senior Behaviour Therapist and Early Intervention Consultant

  • BSc Psychology (University of Auckland)
  • PGDipSci Psychology (Applied Behaviour Analysis) (University of Auckland)

Sakina is a dedicated and diligent Senior Behaviour Therapist with a genuine passion for making positive changes in the lives of her clients and their families. She has five years of experience working with children with a wide range of behavioural difficulties in Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Australia, in both 1:1 and school settings.

Being a caring, creative, and compassionate therapist with a strong background in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), Sakina draws from principles of the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) and adopts a holistic style in her play-based therapy. She strongly believes in the value and effectiveness of early intensive behavioural intervention as she has seen the positive outcomes for children and their families first hand.

She continues to strive to better the learning process and welfare of the families she works with and is excited to continue pursuing her passion to one day become a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst.


Candy Liu

Senior Behaviour Therapist and Early Intervention Consultant

  • BSc Psychology

Candy is a dedicated and warm-hearted Senior Behaviour Therapist. She has a strong background in early intervention and incorporates principles from both Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) as well as play-based approaches like the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM). Over the past six years, Candy has had the pleasure of working with children of many ages, abilities, temperaments and strengths in a range of settings including: teaching, early intervention, research, individual and group settings, school-based and in-centre, both within and outside of Australia.

Alongside her work at Annie’s Centre, Candy has strong research and clinical interests in Developmental Psychology. Candy is currently completing her Honours in Psychology at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia. Her research examines probabilistic decision making and cognitive development in pre-schoolers. Under the UNSW Summer Vacation Research Scholarship, Candy has also conducted a research project that examines the relationship between different parenting practices, child conduct problems and affective traits in pre-schoolers.

As a research assistant at the UNSW Parent-Child Research Clinic, Candy assists clinicians with the assessment and treatment of clinically significant behavioural problems and emotion processing deficits in children aged 3-7.

Candy is kind-hearted and compassionate in her therapeutic approach. She firmly believes that warm and responsive caregiving can make a world of difference to a child’s development.


Georgia Farrar

Senior Behaviour Therapist and Early Intervention Consultant

  • BSc Psychology (currently completing Honours)

Georgia is currently completing her Honours year for a Bachelor of Psychology at UNSW. Georgia is a dedicated behavioural therapist who works with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families. Georgia is committed to delivering enjoyable yet constructive behavioural sessions and takes a play based approach to learning.

Georgia believes in working with each family to target their child’s specific goals to ensure they are being implemented across all environments. Georgia has a caring and compassionate approach to therapy and has a natural ability to interact with children. By drawing on principles from the Early Start Denver Model (EDSM) and Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), Georgia aims to develop programs specific to each child’s needs.

Georgia continually aims to find ways to enhance the learning process for both her clients and their families. She has seen how effective early intervention therapy can be and is dedicated to one day becoming a clinical psychologist herself.


Janske Bergmans

Senior Behaviour Therapist and Early Intervention Consultant

  • BSc. Pedagogical Science / MSc. Pedagogical Science

Janske is an energetic, loyal and dedicated Senior Behaviour Therapist who has gained her education at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Amsterdam. She has a special interest in early intervention therapy for children with developmental- and behavioural problems and supporting their families. She is open and enthusiastic to her clients, and makes sure that the sessions are full of enjoyable activities to tap into the child’s goals and improve their skills.

Janske has gained over 8 years of experience at different (day) clinical settings for both children and youth (4-18 years old) across the Netherlands and within Australia. She has also worked as a School Counsellor, where she conducted both diagnostic assessments and interventions. Her therapeutic approach is based on principles of the evidence-based Applied Behaviour Analysis and Positive Behaviour Support. Janske strongly believes in family-focused early intervention, and aims to collaboratively work towards children’s goals by closely liaising with parents, school and external organisations. She thinks this is critical to optimise the children’s skill acquisition and generalisation. She also advocates case conferences within the multidisciplinary team to further improve the program goals and therapy interpretation.

Janske has a special interest in diagnostic assessments, anxiety management in children (with Autism Spectrum Disorders) and parental counselling/training.