Our Team

Our team at Melbourne Child Development is dedicated to providing the highest standard of services to children and their families. With experienced and passionate clinicians, supported by a friendly and caring client services team, the combined vision for services at the Practice is to investigate, create means, and facilitate a child, adolescent or young adult’s ability to achieve their communication and learning potential.

Our clinicians work with children of all ages and backgrounds, and who have a broad range of language, communication, and health needs.

Each practitioner comes from a unique background of training and prior work, and has specific special interest areas and additional qualifications, resulting in a team that is diverse in its perspectives and therapeutic approaches. Working in close collaboration with one another, this diversity combines to create a dynamic and skillful group of practitioners sharing their knowledge and expertise.

Robyn is the Principal Clinician and Director of Melbourne Child Development and has over 40 years clinical & management experience in Speech Pathology in public health, education, and independent practice. Her vision together with her team is to provide the highest standard of allied health service to families to investigate, create means, and facilitate a child, adolescent or young adult’s ability to achieve their communication and learning potential.

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Robyn Stephen

Principal Clinician and Director

Robyn Stephen

Principal Clinician and Director
Qualifications
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology)
  • Trained provider and facilitator of the Secret Agent Society program
  • Cellfield Reading Intervention Provider
  • DIR Floortime Practitioner
  • Social Thinking Clinical Trainee
  • Certified provider of Hanen programs
  • PROMPT Certified Clinician
Professional Associations
  • Certified Practising Speech Pathologist with Speech Pathology Australia
  • Victorian Independent Speech Pathologists Network ( VISPnet)
  • Alliance of Speech Pathology Practices Victoria ( ASPPvic)

Robyn has been a Speech Pathologist for 40 years and was one of the pioneers of Speech Pathology in Private Practice in Australia. She could see that families wanted their child to have the best communication skills possible for their future schooling, relationships and employment. Families were distressed waiting for help on public waiting lists. Robyn set about providing a service that offered her dynamic skills as a Speech Pathologist, shaping the best available scientific evidence to the needs of the child and family. She has been Director and Principal Clinician of Robyn Stephen and Associates Speech Pathology for its 24 years of excellent service to children and their families.

Robyn has supervised and mentored over 50 Speech Pathology staff members during this time, many of whom have gone on to establish their own successful practices. A mother of 5 children and a grandmother to 3 little granddaughters, Robyn understands and strives passionately to achieve a family centred approach for children and their families at her Practice. This inspired the renaming and expansion of the Practice in 2018 to Melbourne Child Development where a multi-discipline team can now support families holistically and conveniently in the one centre. As Director and Principal Clinician at Melbourne Child Development Robyn is vigorous in the provision of a psychologically empowering workplace with supervision and mentoring for the team so they can provide best practice to honour the hope and trust that families place in the team at Melbourne Child Development.

Robyn has an extensive knowledge of infant, child and adolescent communication development in all its forms, words, emotions, non-verbal language, text and written, social and alternative means. She feels privileged to have learnt so much not only from continual professional development but from the children and families she has helped over her career so far. She is driven to share this knowledge with as many people as possible. Robyn has achieved this on many occasions as a supervisor and mentor, guest speaker, lecturer, consultant to the Department of Education, member of advisory groups and steering committees and through her Directorship of Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) from 2011 to 2017 including 3 years as Vice -President of SPA.

Robyn has an honorary appointment at the Royal Children’s Hospital to practice at Melbourne Paediatric Specialists where she is one of the founding members of a multidiscipline developmental and autism assessment team.



Tony has over 30 years of broad commercial and tax experience spanning large multi-national enterprises, venture backed expanding businesses and smaller growing local business that have a strong social purpose.

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Tony Stephen

Chairman and Director Finance

Tony Stephen

Chairman and Director Finance

Non-executive chairman supporting the board, strategy and finance functions.

Qualifications

Bachelor of Laws and Commerce Melbourne University LLB/BComm

Registered Tax Agent

Professional Associations

Member Australian Institute of Company Directors MAICD

Certified Tax Advisor, Taxation Institute of Australia CTA

 

Tony has over 30 years of broad commercial and tax experience spanning large multi-national enterprises, venture backed expanding businesses and smaller growing local business that have a strong social purpose.

After practicing as a Chartered Accountant as a partner with Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) for 25 years, Tony has been actively involved in providing business and tax advisory services to high growth business and social enterprises. This has included significant involvement in the venture capital and start up sectors and acting in the capacity of a non-executive director for many businesses in the IT, finance, professional services and health services sectors.

Tony has maintained an active community involvement over the years including chairing Local Government community advisory committees, being chairman and treasurer of the several school boards, and various business mentoring and training roles including in the childcare services sector.



Genevieve Ackland is an experienced Speech Pathologist who worked for The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development within schools as well as several leading Private Practices in Melbourne before commencing with Robyn Stephen & Associates in 2014.

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Genevieve Ackland

Clinical Manager & Senior Speech Pathologist

Genevieve Ackland

Clinical Manager & Senior Speech Pathologist
Qualifications
  • Bachelor of Speech Pathology M.S.P.A.A
Professional Associations

Certified Practising Speech Pathologist with Speech Pathology Australia

Genevieve Ackland has over 10 years experience working as a Speech Pathologist. She previously worked for The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development within schools as well as several leading Private Practices in Melbourne before commencing with Melbourne Child Development in 2014.

Genevieve has worked with clients from preschool age to adolescents and she has a passion for working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She currently also practices in the private consulting suites at Melbourne Paediatric Specialists and is part of the Developmental and Autism Assessment Team at the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Genevieve has experience working in the areas of:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis and intervention
  • Delayed speech and language
  • Pragmatics/Social skills
  • Fluency (stuttering)
  • Voice
  • Auditory processing difficulties
  • Reading/learning disorders and;
  • Funding assessments/applications.

Genevieve has additional training in:

  • The Developmental Individual Relationship (DIR) – Floortime; a model of understanding the child as a whole and developing emotional engagement for the most effective learning
  • Lidcombe Program for Early stuttering
  • Hanen (It Takes 2 to Talk)
  • The Secret Agent Society Social skills program
  • Picture Exchange System training

Genevieve is a gentle and patient Speech Pathologist who loves working with children of all ages. She is professional and committed to providing excellence in speech pathology services. Genevieve’s focus is very much client centred and she aims to make a positive difference to each client and their family.



Kate Down has extensive experience across a diverse range of settings, including work within public hospitals, community health, and in private practice. Kate joined Robyn Stephen & Associates in 2014, bringing with her a comprehensive work background and unique areas of special interest.

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Kate Down

Clinical Manager & Senior Speech Pathologist

Kate Down

Clinical Manager & Senior Speech Pathologist

Qualifications 

  • Bachelor of Science
  • Master of Speech Pathology

Professional Associations 

Certified Practising Speech Pathologist (C.P.S.P) with Speech Pathology Australia 

Kate has extensive experience across a diverse range of settings, including work within public hospitals, community health, and in private practice. Kate joined Robyn Stephen & Associates in 2014, bringing with her a comprehensive work background and unique areas of special interest. 

Kate has experience working with clients across the lifespan, with a passion particularly for working with infants and young children. She works closely with families and caregivers and places collaborative relationships with child and caregivers at the centre of her practice. 

Kate’s areas of special interest include: 

  • Infants
  • Feeding
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Literacy
  • Facilitating parent coaching sessions

In addition to her ongoing clinical contributions, Kate continues to pursue her ongoing passion for research in the field of Speech and Language Development. Her works have been published in academic journals and presented at the Speech Pathology Australia National Conference in 2012 and 2016. 

Kate has additional training in: 

  • The Developmental Individual Relationship (DIR) – Floortime; a model of understanding the child as a whole and developing emotional engagement for the most effective learning
  • Infant Mental Health
  • Feeding
  • PROMPT
  • Lidcombe Program for Early Stuttering
  • SCIP – Social Communication Intervention Program
  • Trained provider and facilitator of the Secret Agent Society


Liselle Grant joined the Robyn Stephen & Associates Speech Pathology team in 2013, bringing with her a rich and diverse background. As a Senior Speech Pathologist at MCD Liselle delights in working with children and adolescents of all ages on their speech, language, play, and pragmatic goals.

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Liselle Grant

Deputy Clinical Manager & Senior Speech Pathologist

Liselle Grant

Deputy Clinical Manager & Senior Speech Pathologist
Qualifications

· Masters of Speech Pathology

· Masters of Communication

· Masters of Teaching (Primary and Secondary)

Professional Associations

· Certified Practising Speech Pathologist with Speech Pathology Australia

· Provisional Victorian Institute of Teaching [VIT] Registration

Liselle Grant joined the Melbourne Child Development (MCD) Speech Pathology team in 2013, bringing with her a rich and diverse background including over 20 years of experience in business communications and management (incorporating 8 years as a State Manager in the corporate sector). As a Speech Pathologist, Liselle initially worked at Eastern Health with adults in a sub-acute/rehabilitation setting, prior to moving into Paediatric Speech Pathology.

As a Senior Speech Pathologist at MCD Liselle delights in working with children and adolescents of all ages on their speech, language, play, and pragmatic goals. Over the years, she has developed enthusiastic special interests in both assisting clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), as well as helping clients with literacy and learning difficulties.

As an adjunct to her Masters of Speech Pathology and Masters of Communication, Liselle has also completed a Masters of Teaching. She is now a qualified Primary and Secondary level School Teacher (specialising in English and Humanities) with provisional VIT teaching registration. Liselle utilises a family-centred approach to Speech therapy enabling parents/carers to incorporate strategies into functional everyday settings. Liselle enjoys maximising client outcomes by working in a collaborative multi-disciplinary partnership with families, medical/health professionals, and educators.

Liselle works with clients who present with: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (diagnosis and intervention); delayed speech and language; pragmatic/social skill difficulties; speech sound disorders; dysfluency and stuttering; voice issues; Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS); Auditory Processing difficulties; and literacy and learning disorders. She also undertakes funding assessments/applications.

Liselle frequently incorporates DIR Model® and Floortime® approach principles to assist clients’ social-emotional development and has completed additional training in:

  • The Lidcome Program® – to assist young children who stutter
  • Both Spalding® and Thrass® – to assist phonological awareness and literacy development
  • Social Thinking ® – to help address clients’ pragmatic goals
  • “It Takes Two to Talk” and “More than Words” Hanen® training – to develop clients’ play and language skills
  • Prompt® – which can be used to treat speech production disorders.

Liselle finds tremendous satisfaction and joy in working with children/adolescents, and their families, to support their development and to achieve their potential.



Sophie has a passion for early intervention and has found the role of parent coaching and capacity building within this space extremely rewarding throughout her career. Sophie is an enthusiastic and approachable speech pathologist who is always committed to providing client and family centred care within a fun and engaging environment. 

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Sophie Bird

Speech Pathologist

Sophie Bird

Speech Pathologist

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Applied Science
  • Master of Speech Pathology

Professional Associations:

  • Certified Practising Speech Pathologist (CPSP) with Speech Pathology Australia
  • Certified Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) Therapist with The Mind Institute, UC Davis

Sophie has experience working as a speech pathologist in both Sydney and Melbourne, specialising in the area of early intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder. She previously worked within a multidisciplinary team delivering the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) evidence-based intervention for 2–5-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder within group and 1:1 settings.

Sophie has a passion for early intervention and has found the role of parent coaching and capacity building within this space extremely rewarding throughout her career. Sophie is an enthusiastic and approachable speech pathologist who is always committed to providing client and family centred care within a fun and engaging environment.

Sophie has experience working in the areas of:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis and intervention
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
  • Speech sound disorders
  • Receptive and expressive language delays
  • Pragmatics/social skills
  • Early literacy development
  • Speech and language assessments

Sophie has additional training in:

  • The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) – an intensive, evidence-based and naturalistic early intervention program for 2–5-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder.
  • The Nuffield Dyspraxia Programme
  • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
  • Karen Stagnitti ‘Learn To Play’ Program


Sarah joined the Melbourne Child Development team in 2020. Sarah brings a passion for working with children of all ages, developed through her extensive experience as a ‘specific learning needs educator’ in the school environment. She enjoys working closely with children and families in order to provide quality care whilst implementing evidence-based speech pathology interventions.

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Sarah Nathan

Speech Pathologist

Sarah Nathan

Speech Pathologist

Qualifications:

  • Master of Speech Pathology
  • Master of Education – Specific Learning Needs
  • Diploma of Education – Secondary
  • Bachelor of Arts

 

Professional Associations:

  • Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist with Speech Pathology Australia
  • Victorian Institute of Teaching Registration

 

Sarah joined the Melbourne Child Development team in 2020. Sarah brings a passion for working with children of all ages, developed through her extensive experience as a ‘specific learning needs educator’ in the school environment. She enjoys working closely with children and families in order to provide quality care whilst implementing evidence-based speech pathology interventions.

As a Speech Pathologist, Sarah has a keen interest in speech, language, literacy and social skills. She has a caring and empathetic approach, ensuring rapport is readily established with children. Given her many years as an educator, Sarah understands that therapy must go beyond the clinic room. She therefore believes it is essential to assist children and families to adopt effective strategies and bring about helpful change in both home and school settings to improve the children’s skills and participation. Sarah herself on supporting families to achieve this, in particular, advocating for children’s individual needs.

Sarah continues to strengthen her knowledge-base through regular Professional Development (PD) and through collaboration with her highly experienced multidisciplinary colleagues.



Emily joined the Melbourne Child Development Team in 2021. Emily has experience working with children from infancy to early adulthood with a range of presentations. Emily's areas of interest include speech sound disorders, early language, social skills, stuttering and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Emily is committed to ongoing professional development and keeping up to date with current evidence based practice.

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Emily Hunt

Speech Pathologist

Emily Hunt

Speech Pathologist

Qualifications 

  • Bachelor of Applied Science, Master of Speech Pathology  

Professional Associations: 

  • Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist with Speech Pathology Australia 

Emily is a paediatric Speech Pathologist with a Bachelor of Applied Science and Masters in Speech Pathology. Emily has experience working with children from infancy to early adulthood with a range of presentations. Emily’s areas of interest include speech sound disorders, early language, social skills, stuttering and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Emily is committed to ongoing professional development and keeping up to date with current evidence based practice.  

Emily has experience providing services and support within different environments including schools, hospitals (both acute and sub-acute), and community health. She also has experience using telehealth services. 

She is passionate about forming genuine connections with children and their families to facilitate success. Emily focuses on client-centred practice to ensure each child has the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential. She aims to make therapy sessions fun and engaging for children and their families. 



Stephanie believes that success in therapy is achieved by first establishing a good collaborative relationship with the child and their family. This involves forming client goals together and creating a fun and engaging environment. Stephanie is committed to ongoing professional development and has completed formal training in literacy intervention with Spalding Education Australia.  

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Stephanie Allan

Speech Pathologist

Stephanie Allan

Speech Pathologist

Qualifications: 

  • Master of Speech Pathology 
  • Bachelor of Applied Science  
  • Bachelor of Psychological Science  

Professional Associations: 

  • Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist with Speech Pathology Australia 

Stephanie is a passionate speech pathologist who has worked with individuals across the lifespan, developing a particular interest within the paediatric population. Stephanie’s areas of interest include speech sound disorders, developmental language disorders, orofacial myofunctional disorders and literacy.  

Prior to completing her Master of Speech Pathology, Stephanie completed a Bachelor of Psychological Science at Monash University, where she learnt valuable skills in supporting the mental wellbeing of clients and their families. During her studies, Stephanie worked as a disability support worker, supporting children and adults with intellectual disability to develop social and life skills. 

Stephanie has experience working in a variety of settings including hospitals, schools, kindergartens, community health, and client homes. She also has extensive experience conducting assessment and therapy sessions using telehealth services.   

Stephanie believes that success in therapy is achieved by first establishing a good collaborative relationship with the child and their family. This involves forming client goals together and creating a fun and engaging environment. Stephanie is committed to ongoing professional development and has completed formal training in literacy intervention with Spalding Education Australia.  



Moya is enthusiastic about developing collaborative working relationships with clients and families to support behavioural, social, educational, and emotional wellbeing outcomes. Moya aims to ensure her therapeutic approach is client-led and compassionate and is committed to ongoing learning to meet client’s emerging needs and to promoting connectedness and resilience.

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Moya Matthews

Psychologist

Moya Matthews

Psychologist

Qualifications

  • Graduate Diploma of Psychology
  • Graduate Diploma of Professional Psychology
  • Master of Educational and Developmental Psychology
  • Education and Developmental Psychology Registrar program
  • NDIS behaviour support practitioner (provisional status)

Professional Associations

  • AHPRA Registration – Psychologist (PSY0002164561)
  • Australian Psychological Society, College of Educational and Developmental Psychologists (Member)

Moya is enthusiastic about developing collaborative working relationships with clients and families to support behavioural, social, educational, and emotional wellbeing outcomes.

She has worked in the following areas:

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Intellectual and physical disabilities
  • Global developmental delays
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Gender dysphoria
  • Grief
  • School readiness
  • Behaviour management
  • Social skills
  • Family difficulties

Moya has worked in private clinical practice with clients across all ages providing intervention, telehealth services, and diagnostic assessment. She also has experience providing tailored psychoeducational/behavioural assessment in primary and secondary schools to address students individualised learning needs. She has also facilitated groups for adolescents and young children, and supported student wellbeing in the tertiary education setting as a peer mentor.

Moya aims to ensure her therapeutic approach is client-led and compassionate and is committed to ongoing learning to meet client’s emerging needs and to promoting connectedness and resilience.

She utilises Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and incorporates mindfulness, body awareness and play therapy, along with resources and teaching tools from: Social Thinking ®; The Zones of Regulation ® Leah Kuypers; ACT for Adolescents Dr Louise Hayes; and has provisional registration as an NDIS behaviour support practitioner.



Anthony joined the team at Melbourne Child Development in February 2020. He brings enthusiasm for working with our families and children, and a diverse skill set to the MCD team.

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Anthony Chebaia

Allied Health Assistant

Anthony Chebaia

Allied Health Assistant

Anthony joined the team at Melbourne Child Development in February 2020. He brings enthusiasm for working with our families and children, and a diverse skill set to the Melbourne Child Development team. Anthony is currently studying Psychology at The University of Melbourne and aspires to practice as a clinical psychologist upon completion of his studies. With 3 years of experience as a medical receptionist and 2 years of experience as a children’s martial arts instructor, Anthony brings a sense of both professionalism and fun to the MCD team!



Coming Soon

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Robyne Dimant

Practice Manager

Robyne Dimant

Practice Manager

On leave

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Emily Peev

Practice Manager

Emily Peev

Practice Manager

Coming Soon



Steph has been working as part of the Melbourne Child Development client services team since February 2019. She loves greeting families with a friendly smile, in addition to working in the background on the MCD newsletter and website.

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Stephanie Dalo

Client Services

Stephanie Dalo

Client Services

Steph has been working as part of the Melbourne Child Development client services team since February 2019. She loves greeting families with a friendly smile, in addition to working in the background on the MCD newsletter and website. She joined the team shortly after her return to Melbourne, having spent the past 5 years living overseas. 

In Malaysia and Tanzania, Steph worked as an English Language teacher at language centres, training colleges, schools, and kindergartens. She has a Bachelors Degree in International Studies from RMIT University and a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. 

In 2019 she completed training as a Childbirth Educator and now runs independent antenatal classes for couples teaching the Hypnobirthing Australia TM Positive Birth Program through her business, The Nurtured Seed.  



Coming Soon!

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Sharon Douglas

Client Services

Sharon Douglas

Client Services

Ellie Tomlin

Client Services

Ellie Tomlin

Client Services