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Who We Are


Christine Johnson - Western Sydney Uni

Christine Johnston

Christine Johnston is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at Western Sydney University and a member of the Transforming Early Education and Child Health Research Centre. Christine teaches and researches primarily in the areas of early childhood intervention, family-centred practice, person-centred practice, individualised funding and evidence-based practice.

A strong thread throughout her research program is that of linking research to practice and working in partnership with families and professionals. This was notably the case in the ARC Vision and Living Skills (VaLS) Project in partnership with what is now Vision Australia. The project combined a strong theoretical base with a concern for practical applications and intervention. The project culminated in the production of a training package for parents and professionals which has been translated into four European languages. Christine maintains a strong involvement in the early childhood intervention field both nationally and internationally through her teaching, her work with professional groups and her research.

Danielle Tracey

Danielle Tracey is a Professor in the School of Education and the Translational Health Research Institute at Western Sydney University. Professor Tracey has a strong international reputation in the fields of educational and developmental psychology, disability studies and evaluation.

Her career objective is to understand and advance the physical, psychological and social wellbeing of vulnerable people and communities, especially people with disabilities.

Professor Tracey has held national and international competitive grants from the Australian Research Council and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She works in partnership with communities to construct and complete meaningful research that fosters real-world impact. This expertise is underpinned by her substantial experience as an Educational and Developmental Psychologist and program manager in the community sector.

Her most recent project sees her partnering with scholars in Papua New Guinea to enhance the pre-service and in-service teacher training in Papua New Guinea to achieve inclusion and participation for vulnerable children and communities


Kerry Dominish

Kerry Dominish, is currently the CEO of EarlyEd, an early childhood intervention service based in Sydney. Kerry brings to this role a background in Speech Pathology and a wide range of experiences working in the health, community and early childhood intervention sectors in Australia and overseas.

A key feature of her career has been developing resources to ensure families and professionals have access to the information they need to support children in their care. More recently this has involved using web based and social media platforms to provide family members and professionals, with opportunities to share their own knowledge, perspectives, and experience.

Through membership on early childhood intervention Boards Kerry is actively involved in promoting evidence-based practices particularly those that recognise the importance of support for the whole family. Kerry is also regularly involved with projects that provide all children with opportunities to play and learn in their local community.

John Forster

John Forster has been Chief Executive Officer at Noah’s Ark in Melbourne, Australia, since March 2000. Noah’s Ark supports over 2000 children with disabilities and their families. Supports are in the home, in children’s services and at school. Prior to Noah’s Ark, John managed child and family, employment and aged care services.

John believes young children with disabilities should have a full life. Noah’s Ark has promoted changes to attitudes and services through its innovations. John is a past national President of Early Childhood Intervention Australia and has been a member of many government advisory bodies.

John is co-author of The Key Worker: Resources for Early Childhood Intervention Professionals (2012) and other resources and articles. He has a child with a disability.

Tim Moore

Dr Tim Moore is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Community Child Health (CCCH) at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. He heads a small team with responsibility for monitoring, reviewing and synthesising research literature on a wide range of topics relating to child development, family functioning and service systems. He has been the principal writer on numerous CCCH reviews, reports and policy briefs, many of which have had a significant impact on policy and practice, nationally and internationally.


Tim trained as a teacher and psychologist at the University of Melbourne, subsequently completing his Doctoral studies at the University of Surrey on self esteem and self-concept in children. He was a founder member of Early Childhood Intervention Australia (Victorian Chapter) and served as its President for 10 years. He has convened numerous ECIA state and national conferences, and has played a leading role in the development of policy and training in the early childhood intervention field.  

Matthew Breaden

Matthew Breaden is a Research Officer at Western Sydney University. He is also a Registered Music Therapist and has worked with children and adults of all ages in allied health centres, private practice, school, and home settings.

Matthew focuses on strengths-based approaches to intervention and has a particular interest in ecological approaches to therapeutic work, including the involvement of families. His PhD investigated the applicability of using Figurenotes in music therapy by children with autism and their families.

Working Group

Jennifer Thollar, Parent

Jenny Thollar is the mother of a now 19 year old daughter who was diagnosed as having a Global Developmental Delay. Jenny and her family live in rural NSW.

Barbara Thollar, Grandparent

Barbara Thollar is the grandmother of four granddaughters, one of whom was diagnosed as having a Global Developmental Delay. She moved to rural NSW to be more able to support her daughter and granddaughter.

Kirsten O'Shea

Kirstin O'Shea, Parent

Kirstin O’Shea is the mother of a 6 year old daughter who received a Global Developmental Delay diagnosis when she was 3 ½ years old. This diagnosis was followed by ones of Intellectual Disability, Autism, ADHD, language disorder and anxiety.

Janine Lindberg

Janine Lindberg, Parent

Janine Lindberg is a working mother of three children. Her eldest, now 20 years old, was diagnosed as having a Global Developmental Delay.

Clare Gibson

Clare Gibson, Parent


Elyshia Sutherland, Parent

Elyshia Sutherland is a social worker for an Aboriginal organisation and proud mother of 2 children 7 and 8 who both have a diagnosis of Level 3 Autism, ADHD and Anxiety. Elyshia is passionate about early intervention, long term equality and education.