The Empowered Kids Team

Meet our friendly team of mobile occupational therapists working with children, families and schools in the Gold Coast and Northern NSW area.

Bonnie Lee B.HSc(OT)

Director / Occupational Therapist

About Bonnie

Bonnie completed her Bachelor of Occupational Therapy in New Zealand and has 13 years of experience working with children. She specialises in paediatrics and has an interest in a variety of conditions including; Executive Function Disorders, Developmental Delays, Dyspraxia, Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), Low Muscle Tone, Visual Processing and Learning Difficulties, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Anxiety and Autism (ASD).

Bonnie is passionate about identifying the underlying factors that frequently influence a child’s development, performance, and behaviour at home and at school. She believes in supporting children in developing their skills, increasing their self-confidence and encouraging a positive attitude and growth mindset towards future learning and life skills.

Bonnie enjoys being outdoors and is passionate about travelling. Although Bonnie now considers the Gold Coast home, she loves returning to New Zealand to visit family and friends.

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Additional Details

Bonnie has completed additional training and certification in the following treatment approaches:

  • Social Thinking® Masterclass – Zooming in on Social Thinking® (Michelle Garcia Winner)
  • Stress, Anxiety, Resilience in children (Dr Chapparo and Dr Lowe)
  • Qualified Cogmed Coach

  • DIR Floor time
  • The Alert Program
  • The Traffic Jam in My Brain
  • Move to Learn Program
  • The M.O.R.E Course (Motor components, Oral organisation, Respiratory demands, Eye Contact and Control)
  • Sensory Defensiveness: A comprehensive treatment approach. Including the Therapressure Technique (Wilbarger approach)
  • Building Blocks for Movement and Praxis (Dr. Teresa May-Benson)
  • PRPP (Perceive, Recall, Plan & Perform) Assessment and Intervention Model (Chapparo and Ranka)
  • Play and Autism (Dr Karen Stagnitti)
  • Tool Kit 4 Kids (Diana Henry)
  • Visual Perceptual Skills in the Classroom (Dr Chris Chapparo)
  • Powerful Classroom Strategies From Neuroscience Research (Dr Judy Willis)

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Kristy Harris B.Occ.Thy.

Director / Occupational Therapist

About Kristy

Kristy has a strong interest in helping children to overcome the challenges impacting their participation in important daily activities such as learning, playing, and social interactions. This includes children experiencing difficulties with executive function skills, emotional regulation, social skills, and general academic pursuits.

Kristy believes that the pathway to a fulfilling future begins in childhood with a positive educational experience, which all children deserve. This includes building strong foundations to learning, developing friendships, and having fun!

Kristy is actively engaged with Southern Cross University where she supervises occupational therapy students and contributes to the Occupational Therapy program. She is also a member of OT Australia and an associate member of Indigenous Allied Health Australia.

Being married with 3 young girls, like many parents Kristy’s spare time is spent doing homework, cleaning, and making school lunches. However, when she’s not working, she is a proud Manly Sea Eagles supporter (don’t hold it against her), and enjoys going home to the country to spend time with extended family. Kristy feels privileged to be welcomed into the lives of the families she works with, and feels truly blessed to have a career that she loves!

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Additional Details

Kristy has completed additional training and certification in the following treatment approaches:

  • Social Thinking® Masterclass – Zooming in on Social Thinking® by Michelle Garcia Winner
  • The Alert Program
  • The Traffic Jam in My Brain

  • DIR Floortime
  • Stress, Anxiety, Resilience in children by Dr Chris Chapparo and Dr Susan Lowe
  • Building Blocks for Movement and Praxis by Dr. Teresa May-Benson
  • Helping Children with Autism – OT Australia
  • Working with and Learning from First Australians – Koori Occupational Therapy Scheme
  • OT Tools For Schools
  • Conquering Wee’s and Poo’s
  • Key Word Sign
  • Move to Learn Program

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Sarah Lang BSc(Hons) OT

Occupational Therapist

About Sarah

Sarah completed her Occupational Therapy degree in Scotland in 2004 with her honours project researching how OT’s can improve a child’s quality of life in paediatric palliative care.

Sarah has worked in a range of areas, however helping children and their families has always been a particular area of interest. She is passionate about supporting families and schools by tailoring therapy to suit each unique child and their specific challenges. Sarah ensures that therapy is fun and meaningful which assists a child to reach their full potential.

She believes that empowering children can have a tremendous impact on a child’s performance, both in the home and school environment and can have a lasting effect as they move through life.

She is also particularly inspired by the many positive benefits that yoga and mindfulness can have on children and is a qualified children’s yoga instructor.

Sarah loves living by the ocean and enjoys stand up paddle boarding, yoga and camping with her husband and young daughter.

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Emma Hoare B.Occ.Thy (Hons)

Occupational Therapist

About Emma

Emma completed her Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at Southern Cross University on the Gold Coast. Emma has always been passionate about paediatrics and as an occupational therapist aims to provide children of all abilities with the best opportunities to allow them to achieve their goals.

Emma has had a special interest in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) for many years. This interest continued throughout her studies and as a result she formed her honours thesis research on the ‘Professional development needs of early childhood educators to provide an inclusive classroom for children with ASD.  From this research, she developed a free online resource for early childhood educators with information about ASD and strategies that can be implemented in the classroom to support inclusive education.

Emma is passionate about early intervention, neuroplasticity, inclusive education, positive behaviour support and social skill development. She enjoys working collaboratively with families, educators and other health providers to achieve optimal outcomes for children, families and schools.

Emma loves spending time with her partner, family, friends and two silky terriers, spoiling her three nieces, keeping active, playing netball and swimming in the ocean.

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Sara Hansen

Admin Support

About Sara

Sara is the ‘Chief of Admin’ with Empowered Kids, and is an integral part of the team! She brings a wealth of experience to her role including a Bachelor of Education Early Childhood with a minor in Human Resource Planning, and a Diploma in Children’s Writing.

She has extensive administrative experience and is passionate about supporting the Empowered Kids team to provide the very best services to our clients. In addition to her administrative support to families and therapists, Sara has a keen interest in developing resources to support children in their play, engagement and their emotional intelligence.

When not supporting the Empowered Kids team, Sara is a pop culture enthusiast with a fondness for movies and superheroes. She loves early morning walks around the beautiful beaches of the southern Gold Coast, and being a little bit silly with her partner and ten amazing nieces and nephews.

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Rachel McCulloch B.Occ.Thy

Occupational Therapist

About Rachel

Rachel completed her Occupational Therapy degree at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. Rachel has always loved working with kids and during her studies she worked at the Screech Theatre in Brisbane to support children and teenagers to grow in their confidence and embrace their differences.

Rachel has a special interest in feeding therapy, early childhood development, pretend play development and emotional regulation. Rachel has training in DIR floortime therapy and has also enjoyed a recent course by Karen Stagnitti on developing pretend play skills in children. Rachel is passionate about building confidence in children and using their strengths to help them grow and flourish.

On the weekend, Rachel loves spending time with her husband Jordan (who is also an OT!). She also enjoys arts and crafts, playing guitar and gardening. 

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