Our team

A comprehensive occupational therapy service helping people with chronic conditions to develop skills, enhance function, manage symptoms, and overcome barriers to achieve a better quality of life.

Left to right: Elyse Graham, Emma Farrugia, Jacqui Self, Manreet Singh, Peta Delaney, Jacintha Bell, Ian Cheok, Linda McAllister, Rebecca Chapulsky and Angela House.

Jacintha Bell

BSc (OT)
Principal Occupational Therapist

Jacintha is our principal occupational therapist, graduating with a BSc (Occupational Therapy) from Curtin University WA in 2001. She has over 18 years of experience as an OT. She has worked in psychiatric hospitals, community mental health services and pain clinics. Jacintha is experienced in assessment and treatment in the areas of mental health and chronic pain.
Jacintha has family members with chronic conditions, and she sees the challenges they face. Jacintha became an OT because she wanted to help people with chronic conditions to do the things that are important to them, and have a better quality of life.
Jacintha is registered with the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia. She is a member of Occupational Therapy Australia, the World Federation of Occupational Therapy and the Australian Pain Society.
Jacintha often provides professional development in the areas of mental health and chronic pain to other health professionals and has tutored at both undergraduate and postgraduate level within the School of Occupational Therapy at Curtin University. Jacintha is a Mother with three young sons. One of her sons has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, so she has first-hand experience with managing this condition. Jacintha’s other passions are reading and dancing.

Special Interests:
All chronic pain conditions (e.g. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Chronic Widespread Pain), Ehlers-Danlos/Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, Neuromodulation, Functional Neurological Disorder, Severe and complex mental health conditions (e.g. Treatment resistant anxiety and depression, schizophrenia).

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Elyse Graham

BSc (OT)
Senior Occupational Therapist

Elyse is a qualified Occupational Therapist who graduated from Curtin University WA in 1998 with a BSc(OT). She has since worked in Occupational Therapy positions across both the South & North Metropolitan regions of Perth, gaining over 20 years experience in working with individuals with mental health and chronic pain conditions. Elyse has worked in inpatient psychiatric settings as well as adult community mental health services and since 2015 has worked for Lifeworks Occupational Therapy, a Perth based OT practice with a particular focus on working with individuals who experience chronic conditions including chronic pain and mental health conditions.

 

Elyse has extensive experience in assessment and both individual and group interventions, including psycho-education, counselling, life skills training, case management, rehabilitation and crisis intervention. She has a strong interest in developing people’s skills in the self management of their condition in order for them to be able to engage more effectively in their daily life activities and achieve their occupational goals. Outside of work she enjoys reading, bushwalking and camping with her family.

Elyse is registered with AHPRA and is a member of Occupational Therapy Australia, the Australian Pain Society and the Occupational Therapy Pain Interest Group.

Emma Farrugia

BAppSc (OT)
Senior Occupational Therapist

Emma is one of our senior Occupational Therapists, graduating with a BSc (Occupational Therapy) from Curtin University WA in 2000. She has had over 19 years’ experience working as an OT across areas of adult mental health, chronic pain, and neurological and physical rehabilitation.
Emma has worked in both hospital and community settings in Perth and in London, and has tutored at an undergraduate level at the School of Occupational Therapy at Edith Cowan University. She has had significant experience in individual and group assessment and interventions, and in individual case management for chronic conditions.
Emma is registered with the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia and is a member of Occupational Therapy Australia, Australian Pain Society, and several special interest groups. Emma became an OT as she is passionate about enabling people to live their best lives and overcoming whatever barriers stand in their way. Her other passions include sewing and travel.

Special Interests:
Neurological disorders and neuroplasticity (e.g. stroke, head injury, MS, Parkinson’s Disease), mental health conditions (e.g. anxiety, depression), chronic pain (including Complex Regional Pain Syndrome), neuromodulation, functional rehabilitation, home environment assessment and modifications.

Heidi Perera

BSc (OT)
Senior Occupational Therapist

Heidi is an experienced and qualified Occupational Therapist, graduating from Curtin University in 2001. She has a career spanning over 15 years in both community and inpatient mental health settings within the public health system. She is a registered Occupational Therapist with the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia and is a member of Occupational Therapy Australia.

Heidi has a strong background in case management, individual and group therapies, functional assessment, psychoeducation and counselling. She is trained in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS). She also has post-graduate qualifications in loss, grief and trauma counselling. Heidi is particularly interested in the impact of trauma on the body.

Heidi is hardworking and passionate about the functional needs of those experiencing chronic conditions, and helping them learn the skills they need to achieve their goals.

Special interests: Mental health, complex trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, chronic disease, mindfulness, sensory modulation, yoga.

Annabelle Taylor

BSc (OT)
Senior Occupational Therapist

Annabelle has worked in the occupational therapy profession for a up to 20 years in a variety of settings, including acute psychiatry, spinal injury, and musculoskeletal and work-related stress. She has spent her time assisting people with work related illness and injury to find recovery and return successfully to work. This includes office ergonomics, manual handling, return to work, support counselling. She is a skilled facilitator with an outcome-focused, problem-solving approach.

Annabelle recently went on to study yoga and opened her own yoga practice, teaching people with anxiety and stress, arthritis and chronic pain. She continues to teach members of the community who actively wish to maintain their health. The skills of self-regulation and self-awareness are tools helpful for all people to facilitate personal growth, mental resilience and maintain fulfilment with life.

Ian Cheok

M. Occ Thy ; BSc (Computer Science)
Senior Occupational Therapist

Ian completed his Occupational Therapy training at Curtin University, receiving the Head of the School Award and and Outstanding Mentor Award. Additionally, he has received training in chronic pain management from McGill University and The Neuro Orthopaedic Institute. Prior to his role in occupational therapy, Ian had graduated from the University of Western Australia with a degree in Computer Science, and had worked for 15+ years in the areas of user experience design and software engineering. He brings a unique blend of clinical and technology skills to the team based on his experience.

At LifeWorks, Ian’s focus include chronic pain care, mental health recovery and neurorehabilitation. He also has a deep interest in immersive and assistive technologies in healthcare. He has worked with numerous community-based organisations and private practices to deliver occupational therapy services and implement healthcare technology projects. Ian has also been involved as a Clinical Supervisor to 4th year Honours OT students from Curtin University and Edith Cowan University.

Ian strongly believes that when people are able to participate in activities they truly enjoy, their health and well-being will be greatly improved. He thrives in helping others express the best version of themselves by honouring their unique personality and working around their strengths.

In his free time, Ian enjoys hiking, music, yoga and spending time with people who like to laugh out loud with each other.

Special Interests:
Chronic Pain Care (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Chronic Widespread Pain, Phantom Limb Pain), Mental Health Recovery, Neurorehabilitation (Functional Neurological Disorder, Stroke, Acquired Brain Injury), Immersive & Assistive Technologies in Healthcare (Therapeutic Virtual Reality)

Jacqui Self

BSc (OT)
Senior Occupational Therapist

Jacqui graduated from St Loyes School of OT , UK in 1990. She has worked in the UK, NZ and Australia. Jacqui is registered with the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia. She has over 25 years of experience as an OT, working in community mental health, paediatric and adult disability and childhood trauma. She has a special interest in chronic pain management. As well as being passionate about enabling people to live their life independently she also has family members who struggle with living life with chronic pain and mental health challenges. Jacqui is a mother of 3 and she lives in the Hills on a property where she owns and rides horses.

Special interests:
Chronic pain management

Caitlan Plowright

BSc (OT) (Hons), BComm
Occupational Therapist

Caitlan graduated with first class honours in Occupational Therapy from Curtin University in 2019. Since graduating Caitlan has gained experience working in a private neurological rehabilitation practice working with clients of all ages and has over 5 years’ experience working with children with developmental disabilities. Caitlan is registered with Occupational Therapy Australia, Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency and is part of several special interest groups. Prior to becoming an Occupational Therapist, Caitlan studied a Bachelor of Commerce and worked in Marketing and Communications. Caitlan is also a 200hr Registered Yoga Teacher, she is passionate about including elements from her studies in yoga and mindfulness into her clinical practice. Caitlan loves working with individuals to determine their strengths, values and meaningful occupations; then using that as a therapeutic medium to improve their functioning, well-being and overall health. Caitlan believes that treating in a holistic manner translates into more meaningful outcomes for her clients.

Special interests:
Mental health, chronic pain, neurological rehabilitation, paediatric therapy, child development, post-natal depression, sensory approaches and yoga.

Simon Gao

BPsych(Hons), MOccTherapy
Senior Occupational Therapist

Simon has over seven years’ experience as an Occupational Therapist working with people of all ages, from children aged 3+ to teenagers, adults, and older adults with complex health needs in mental health, disability, paediatric, geriatric, and private sectors. He has had a strong focus on training and professional development while leading therapy teams in various clinical settings as well as teaching undergraduate students at a tertiary education level, assisting with multidisciplinary team members to deliver the best possible practices to their clients.

Simon is adept of supporting clients experiencing from a wide variety of health issues and subsequent behavioural concerns, including mental health, neurodevelopmental/neurodegenerative conditions, trauma, and chronic pain. Particularly, Simon utilises a unique clinical view from a conjunction of his OT and psychology backgrounds to best support clients with psychosocial disability. Simon is a member of Occupational Therapy Australia, Australian Psychological Society, and Australian Pain Society respectively, and also speaks Mandarin.

Simon believes that people with disability can overcome their barriers, regain their functioning, achieve their individualised goals, and ultimately improve their quality of life and independence with the right supports. Simon is passionate to walk alongside their clients during their recovery journeys. Simon also has a particular interest in the area of information processing and emotional vulnerability and resilience. He is hoping to develop an innovative intervention for youth with autism to reduce their anxiety and improve their employability skills.’

Annika Lydiate

BSc (OT)
Senior Occupational Therapist

Annika completed her Occupational Therapy degree at Edith Cowan University in 2018, and is currently undertaking a Masters degree in pain management through the University of Sydney.

Annika has experience working with clients across the life span with acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain conditions. At Lifeworks, her focus is in chronic pain management.

Annika is passionate about empowering her clients to be at the centre of their care, so they can not only manage their conditions, but thrive and participate in activities truly meaningful to them. She believes in a holistic approach to truly understand what is contributing to her client’s conditions. Annika’s other loves are swimming, the beach and good coffee.

Special interests: Chronic pain management