Why choose Occupational Therapy at Cooee?

Who are our Occupational Therapists? Why did they choose their career? What are their top tips for parents and families? 

This month we are celebrating our Occupational Therapists at Cooee Speech Pathology.  This year OT week is from Monday 25 October to Sunday 31 October. The theme is participation, inclusion, independence. 

Occupational therapy is an allied health profession that values holistic therapy, that is client centred and goal oriented. Our OT’s at Cooee can support children and adolescents with a range of developmental skills including improving fine motor skills, gross motor skills, participation in activities of daily living, self-care, schooling, play, making friends, sensory processing and executive function skills. 

So let’s celebrate our OT’s at Cooee! We are so lucky to have 4 incredible OT’s supporting our team and families to engage in many valuable occupational roles. 


Meet Hanna


Hanna has been a part of the Cooee family since 2014.

Why did you become an Occupational Therapist? Why did you choose Occupational Therapy?

I chose OT as initially I wanted to be a physio, however I did a work experience placement and didn’t like how it seemed like the same thing over and over, so I went to the OT lectures at UQ open day and thought this suited what I wanted to do and placed the client at the centre of their journey. I chose paeds as this was the placement I enjoyed the most and because this field encourages creative thinking and creativity is another passion of mine.

What do you love about OT at Cooee?

I love that the OTs at Cooee are always coming up with new and exciting (and creative) ways to do things. I also love that we try to share ideas as much as we can, and that we all have different interest areas. I also love that our OTs are committed to their learning journey as much as our clients are. 

What are some of your interest intervention areas?

I love Child Centred Play Therapy, supporting executive function, high level DiR intervention, Sensory Integration and how it interplays with everyday occupations.

Let us know 2 quick tips for parents and families and resources that you frequently use: 

Top tips: 

  1. When your child emotionally dysregulates, take a deep breath and approach it from a place of curiosity and acceptance. The calmer you are, the calmer they will be. 
  2. When your child is struggling to complete a task, ask them questions about how they can modify what they are doing, rather than telling them what to do. Discovery is the greatest teacher of resilience. 

Two resources: 

  1. Remindables!!
  2. Paper and a pencil. You can do so much with paper and a pencil. Write out what is happening for a child, make a plan with your child, write a note of care for you child, draw with your child. The list goes on!


Meet Bre


Bre has been a part of our Cooee team since 2018.

Why did you choose Occupational Therapy? Why did you want to become an Occupational Therapist?

Choosing my degree in Occupational Therapy was based heavily off my lived experience growing up with my younger brother who has Down Syndrome. I was always very caring of and proud of my brother, and I always looked up to the team of adults who supported him through his developmental journey to provide the best possible outcomes. So, when it came to choosing a career, I always knew I wanted to work with children and their families to support them on their journey to participate in anything and everything they wanted to do. Occupational Therapy really spoke to me as a holistic, creative and innovative pathway that sees the child as a whole and doesn’t just look at their impairments. Working as an Occupational Therapist in paediatrics brings me so much joy in delivering holistic care to support their participation in their everyday occupational roles. 

What do you love about OT at Cooee?

Getting to work as an Occupational Therapist at Cooee allows me to work with a wonderful team of professionals that have innovative and creative ways of supporting children and families. We have a wonderful team culture that underpins how we show up for each other and influences how we show up for our families. Our team is dedicated to learning and keeping up with evidence based practice. We are also really lucky to get to work with an awesome team of Speech Pathologists and provide interdisciplinary care to so many of our families.

What are some of your intervention areas of interest?

I love working with children with severe disabilities, in particular physical impairments and high level intellectual disabilities. I also love supporting sensory processing, self-regulation, play skills and early developmental skills. 

Let us know 2 quick tips for parents and families:

  1. Don’t underestimate the influence and importance of playing with your child. Play has so many benefits for how your child learns about and engages with the world around them. Follow your child’s lead and gently build on their sequences to learn how to tolerate accepting others ideas. 
  2. Use movement breaks everyday. Moving the body helps support your child’s learning by promoting clear neurological pathways to learn new skills, children learn by doing! It also supports your child’s focus and attention by breaking up tasks and allowing the body to regulate to an optimum level of arousal for learning.


Meet Georgia


Georgia started with us in 2020.

Why did you choose occupational therapy/ Why did you become an occupational therapist?

I chose to become an occupational therapist because I’ve always had a passion for working with people to support them in reaching their full potential, and I loved the variety of the role! There are so many different areas you can work in as an OT. Being a holistic and person-centred discipline, no two sessions are ever the same!

What do you love about OT at Cooee?

We have a really fun team of Occupational Therapists who bring so much creativity and passion to their work with their clients which is really inspiring. There are a lot of opportunities for support through clinical supervision, coaching, in-house CPD’s and case conferencing.

What are some of your interest intervention areas?

I really enjoy working with children and young adults to develop their fine and gross motor skills, develop their independence in their activities of daily living and I have a special interest in feeding.

Let’s hear 2 quick tips for parents and families:

  1. To develop shoulder stability required for a dynamic pencil grasp – practice writing and drawing on vertical surfaces or slope boards
  2. To support the positioning of a pencil in your child’s hand, you can use supports such as a sticker to show where the index finger should sit or grab a rubber band and loop in a figure 8 around the end of the pencil and then around the child’s wrist (like a bracelet) to help the pencil sit back in your child’s hand, rather than pointing directly up to the sky!


Meet Helena


Helena has been with us at Cooee since 2020.

Why did you choose occupational therapy/ Why did you become an occupational therapist?

I chose paediatric OT because I want to make a difference to the lives of kids and their families. I love thinking creatively and being able to work with the whole family on their therapeutic journey while also helping children to develop confidence within themselves to reach their full potential. As an OT, I help children to reach their goals through really fun games and activities!

What are some of your interest intervention areas?

Some of my interest areas include working with kids to develop their motor and play skills.

Give 2 quick tips for parents OR what are 2 resources that you recommend to families:

  1. Engaging in playful fine motor activities such as threading, using putty or playdough, scooping cotton balls or poking small objects through small openings of containers to support fine motor skill development
  2. Using visual supports (pictures, drawings, visual schedules) and timers to support transitions between activities and engagement in non-preferred tasks.


If you have any questions or concerns or you would like to know more information about occupational therapy, please feel free to contact our Occupational Therapists or get in touch with us via email on [email protected] or call us on (07) 3265 4495.

Bre Surawski

Occupational Therapist