Emily Hayles – Principal Physiotherapist & Owner

Hi! I’m Emily, the owner and principal physiotherapist for Move and Play Paediatric Therapy. I founded Move and Play Paediatric Therapy in 2015 in order to meet a growing need for private paediatric specific physiotherapy services within the Mackay region, while also providing me with flexibility to look after my little girl.

I have worked in the area of paediatric physiotherapy for almost 10 years. I have extensive experience in managing the needs of infants and children with a wide range of conditions, from mild conditions and injuries to complex neurological conditions.  I have worked as a Senior Paediatric Physiotherapist across a number of settings in both Mackay and Brisbane, including hospitals and community health services.

I have a special interest in the treatment of children with developmental delay, movement difficulties, and/or disability, in particular cerebral palsy and brain injuries, and I have undertaken substantial postgraduate education and training in this area. I am a member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association and National Paediatric Group, and the Australian Bobath Neurodevelopmental Therapy Association.

As well as my clinical experience, I have also completed a Masters of Physiotherapy, through which I researched how parents of children with cerebral palsy experience health care for their child. As a result of this degree, I have published a thesis, a number of research articles on health care service delivery for children with cerebral palsy, and presented my research findings at national and international professional conferences.

Anna Deguara – Senior Physiotherapist

Hello. My name is Anna. I love working and playing with kids and am constantly inspired by them. I also like yoga, hiking and gardening.

I have worked in the paediatric field for 4 years with a wide range of developmental conditions, in Brisbane and more recently in Mackay. I have also completed post graduate studies and courses around Developmental Orthopaedics, Pilates Matwork, Neurodevelopmental Therapy, the ‘Floortime Approach’ of interaction, and taping in children.

I have a special interest in working with children with Vision Impairment and additional difficulties such as developmental delays and cerebral palsy, and have presented at a number of conferences about my experiences in this field. I am also passionate about helping all children to be active, whether or not they have a disability.

My dream is to help every child to realise their self identity through movement and play.

Rachael McConochie – Physiotherapist

Hi!  My name is Rachael and I joined the Move and Play Paediatric Therapy team in January 2018.  I graduated with my Physiotherapy degree in December 2017 and found my love for working with children whilst at clinical placement at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane in 2016.

Growing up in Mackay, I decided to return after graduation in order to be closer to my family and also to give back to the community that helped build me as a person.  Before going away to Townsville to pursue my career in Physiotherapy, I participated in sports such as netball, basketball and touch football, however my true passion was Irish Dancing where I competed at state and national levels and also qualified for the world championships numerous times.

I have a special interest in working with children with chronic respiratory conditions such as Cystic Fibrosis and Bronchiectasis and also children who are at risk or have sustained a sporting injury.

Natalia Heelan – Senior Occupational Therapist

My name is Natalia and I joined the Move and Play Paediatric Therapy team in January 2019. I was born and bred in Mackay and moved to Townsville to study Occupational Therapy at James Cook University, graduating in 2009. My husband and I moved to Rockhampton where we lived for the past 9 years and have come back to Mackay in July 2018 to be with our large family after having our beautiful daughter. We are now awaiting the arrival of our second child.

I have always loved playing with, and entertaining my niece and nephews. I found my niche working with kids during one of my uni placements at AEIOU Foundation for children with Autism. I have since held a passion for paediatric work. I have had a variety of jobs working with both adults and children in both private and public sectors. My most recent paediatric work was for Samantha Woods at Therapy Works For Kids in Rockhampton.

I think children are incredibly interesting and I love being able to help them grow and develop their independence and confidence. I love board games and ‘giggle wiggle’ would be my favourite toy to use with kids. At the moment I am loving being a mum, doing pilates and living close to the beach. I’m pretty sure if I wasn’t an Occupational Therapist I would have been a Paramedic.

Melissa Cachia – Physiotherapist

Hi! My name is Melissa and I relocated to Mackay in January 2019 to pursue my career in paediatric physiotherapy with the Move and Play Paediatric Therapy team. I was born and raised in a small town in northern British Columbia, Canada. In December 2018, I graduated from the University of Queensland with my master’s degree in Physiotherapy studies and in 2014 I graduated from the University of Calgary with my bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology.

From a young age, I dreamed of being physiotherapist and developed an interest in working with children through volunteer work with therapeutic horseback riding. I enjoy spending time outdoors horseback riding, hiking, and biking as well as participating in sports such as TRL, soccer, and ice hockey. I also have a passion for music and love to play violin, trombone and sing.

My aspiration is to partner with children and their families to assist each child in realising and reaching his or her full potential.

Kathleen Davey – Occupational Therapist

Hi! My name is Kathleen and I have just joined the team at Move and Play after graduating from my Occupational Therapy degree in 2018.

My interests include anything outdoors! Mostly: travel, gardening, and playing with my two beautiful pups.

Prior to becoming an OT, I studied 18-months of early-childhood teaching. During this time, I developed a passion for supporting children who experienced challenges in everyday life, due to their physical, cognitive, social or emotional barriers.

Since completing my degree, I have gained a particular interest in neurological development and rehabilitation; Autism Spectrum Disorder; and psychosomatic disorders.

Linda Bourke – Practice Manager

Hi! My name is Linda and I recently joined Move and Play Paediatric Therapy in a new role as Practice Manager. I have worked in varied business roles since graduating from Queensland University of Technology with a Business degree in my early 20’s.  I have worked in large organisations, government agencies and small businesses, most recently in the healthcare sector. I enjoy working in healthcare as I feel a great sense of achievement and purpose in improving the health outcomes for our clients.

I enjoy working with closely with the owners of a business, supporting them in all non-clinical aspects of their business including finance, HR and marketing. Providing a high level of business support to them means they can focus their energies on the clinical aspects of the business and ultimately achieve better outcomes for our many young clients (and their families).

I have always really enjoyed working with children, and am a parent of a very adventurous teenage boy, so joining the Move and Play team was a perfect fit for me. I am really enjoying working with the team of Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists and finding out what they do and why they do it. Their commitment to the children (and parents) they work with is inspiring.

Philippa (Pip) Siddell – Occupational Therapist

Hi! My name is Philippa and I was born in South Africa and lived there until I was 15 years old before my family and I immigrated to Alstonville, NSW to live on our macadamia farm. I studied Occupational Therapy (OT) at The University of Queensland before relocating to Mackay in 2010 for my first OT job.

I’ve always wanted to work in a profession that helped people and loved the health industry. It wasn’t until I started looking into the different Allied Health professions that I discovered Occupational Therapy and what a diverse profession it is. Not many people really understand what an Occupational Therapist can do because our profession is so broad but that’s what I love too….  No two days are the same!

I’ve had the opportunity to work across different clinical settings and through the age spectrum from babies to older adults, and really found a love for working with kids in 2013 when I worked at the Mackay Child and Family Health Service. Also since having my own 3 children, I’ve developed a real appreciation and joy in helping kids and watching them flourish to the best of their abilities.

In my previous job I had some wonderfully rewarding moments helping support children with developmental delays to access funding so that they could access early intervention to support their development. I also love working with children who are picky eaters and it’s so rewarding to see the pride kids have when they tell me they have finally mastered a new food.

When I’m not working, I love spending time with my family going to the beach, the park and watching my oldest son play soccer. I really love watching musicals and shows at the theatre and I also enjoy sewing when I manage to find the time to dust off my sewing machine.