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Director - Malathi Ferdinando

“My diverse qualifications uniquely enable me to provide a comprehensive and integrated speech pathology service to schools.  Speech Pathology for Schools aims to not just provide a speech therapy service in a school but to integrate a data driven outcome within a school community. We work collaboratively with you to improve student outcomes.” Malathi Ferdinando

Mala is passionate about using evidence based research to support school aged students to improve their learning outcomes. Mala is a qualified teacher and has worked as a speech pathologist in an educational context for over 20 years. She is convinced that collaboration is the key to working with students and enjoys working with teachers, students and parents. She values sharing her passion with the dedicated team of Speech Pathologists at SPS. When not working Mala enjoys traveling, reading, baking and dancing. Recent travels include Croatia and Sri Lanka

Qualifications & Experience

  • Bachelor of Applied Science - Speech Pathology - La Trobe University

  • Graduate Diploma of Education - Christ College (now Australian Catholic University)

  • Bachelor of Arts - Monash University

  • Graduate Diploma in Health Research - La Trobe University

  • Post Graduate Certificate in Early Literacy Intervention - Melbourne University

  • 20 years of Speech Pathology service at Catholic Education Melbourne, where Mala was integral in establishing and developing the speech pathology service.

Our team

Speech Pathology for Schools employs experienced clinicians to ensure that maximum benefit is provided to schools. We believe that the quality of our team is important in implementing a quality service. All staff are supported to undertake the specifically designed school programs.

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Martina is passionate about inclusion and is dedicated to improving the lifelong outcomes of all students through improved language, literacy and social skills. She is an experienced Speech Pathologist with over 10 years experience working across the disability and education sectors, including special education. Martina loves to collaborate with, upskill and learn from educators and other professionals to help improve the academic and well-being outcomes of children. She values team work, integrity and honesty and brings these values to her work at SPS. In her spare time, Martina loves spending time with her family, going to the dog park with her German Shepherd, Coco, and binge watching Netflix..


Abana is passionate about provision of evidence based literacy intervention particularly in the areas of; reading, spelling,narrative language and phonological awareness. She has many years of experience working with children and adolescents in a community setting and is trained in Hanen’s More Than Words and It takes Two to Talk programs. She values a multidisciplinary approach to intervention and believes that it takes a community to raise a child and that better and long lasting outcomes occur when everyone is actively involved. She is excited to be part of SPS which prides itself in the provision of evidence based practice and use of the Response to Intervention Approach when delivering services in schools. Abana also speaks Tswana and outside of work she enjoys reading, travelling, shopping, doing Zumba and playing soccer.


Aleesha is a creative and passionate Speech Pathologist dedicated to supporting students’ academic progress and learning potential through evidence-based practices. Aleesha’s extensive skillset as a qualified primary school teacher and Early Childhood educator mean that she has a clear understanding of child development, student needs and how to flexibly integrate speech pathology and education. Aleesha strongly believes that ‘communication is key!’ and is viewed as a collaborator and a team player. This belief is inextricably linked with SPS views and Aleesha actively contributes her knowledge while learning from other team members. Outside of work, Aleesha is a bit of a 'foodie' who also enjoys music, and dancing, reading and visiting her family in Queensland and Sydney.


Pamela is a certified practicing speech pathologist with over 19 years’ experience working with school-aged children in government and special schools in Australia. She implements the RTI model linked to the Victorian Curriculum in schools. She has a particular interest in language and literacy skills in primary and adolescence, transdisciplinary learning and coaching of teachers/speech pathologist/speech pathology students.  In 2014 she began the Whole Class Language Interest Group for speech pathologists and leading teachers/principals implementing tier one oral language programs. She has developed a website of resources for speech pathologists and teachers, including scope and sequences linked to the Victorian Curriculum (  She has presented at several conferences, provided presentations through SPA, spoke at the new Language and Literacy Conference in 2018 and was key note speaker at the Leader's in Literacy conference in Tasmania, 2019.


Samantha is passionate about working with children of all ages and values working as part of a team to deliver evidence-based, child-centred practice. She enjoys collaborating with educational staff and parents, and believes this is crucial to the provision of effective and holistic services. Over the past 10 years, Samantha has worked in primary and secondary schools, private practice, Early Intervention Services, and Community Health Services. In joining SPS, Samantha is excited to be part of a team that is innovative and is changing the way Speech Pathology is delivered in schools. Outside of work, Samantha enjoys learning Spanish, travelling, rock-climbing, hiking, and playing various musical instruments.


Katie is passionate about working with children who experience speech, language, literacy and pragmatic language difficulties by working collaboratively with parents, teachers and other health professionals. Katie is a Speech Pathologist who has worked extensively with children aged 2-18 in a private practice setting, with a particular focus on school aged children presenting with difficulties in the areas of phonological awareness, reading, spelling and writing. Katie prides herself on her ability to build a strong rapport with children and their families to ensure a safe and comfortable environment to support her students holistically. At SPS, Katie is able to work directly with students using evidence based practice and work closely with school staff such as teachers and learning support officers. Outside of work, Katie enjoys travelling, playing sport and spending time with her family, in particular her 1 year old niece. 


Violetta is passionate about helping children reach their potential and build strong communication skills for life. She has gained experience working with children and adolescents diagnosed with speech, language and literacy disorders in clinical and school settings. She has experience working with families from diverse backgrounds and has additional training in THRASS, Key Word Sign and Lidcombe Programme for Stuttering. When working in a team at SPS, Violetta brings knowledge about evidence-based practice and helps create a positive learning environment to help students reach the best outcomes. Violetta also speaks Russian and outside of work, she enjoys traveling and playing tennis.


Clare is a graduate from LaTrobe University.   She has applied her knowledge and skills both regionally and in Melbourne.  Clare has worked to support a diverse caseload and continues to build her professional expertise with an interest in Autism.  She enjoys sharing this knowledge across SPS and our schools.  She has a passion to always being abreast of the latest thinking in the science of speech pathology.   Clare enjoys reading and spending time with loved ones.


Helen has a passion for working within both primary and high schools using speech pathology practices to boost students' learning outcomes. Helen thoroughly enjoys the variety of working in schools; from working closely with students and their families, assisting teachers to cater for all needs, and upskilling teachers and teachers aides in the areas of speech, language, literacy and social skills.  Helen views building relationships as paramount in any aspect of her work; including those with the students and their families as well as the school staff. Helen enjoys getting to know how each school works and its goals and then tailoring a speech pathology program to suit those needs. Outside of work, Helen loves music and dance, going to the beach, and enjoying coffee or brunch from local cafes.

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Robin is an energetic speech pathologist, dedicated to helping school-aged students improve their communication and literacy skills. He has experience working in clinics and schools throughout Victoria. Robin enjoys working directly with students, but he also feels that sharing his knowledge with influential adults in a student's life (such as family members and teachers) is an effective way to support their academic and social success. Robin values the way each member of SPS brings a distinct set of skills and experiences to their work, and that through sharing these with one another, everyone's clinical skills can continue to grow. Outside of work, Robin loves playing tennis, watching footy and going to the movies.


Evelyn is an enthusiastic therapist who is committed to supporting school-aged students in developing their communication and literacy skills. She has five years of experience working in both school and clinic settings and has a special interest in literacy. Evelyn loves planning fun and engaging therapy sessions for her students and enjoys working with schools and parents to improve student outcomes. She values SPS's commitment to providing schools and students with the highest standard of care and work. In her spare time, Evelyn enjoys doing aerial silks, baking and watching TV shows.


Stephanie is a passionate speech pathologist who is dedicated to providing evidence-based intervention across all areas of communication. Stephanie has experience working with children and adolescents in clinical, mainstream and special education settings. She has additional training in delivering Sounds Write literacy intervention. She is committed to continual lifelong learning to create a fun and positive learning environment, as well as supporting children with their communication goals. She values collaboration with all members of the team at SPS and integrating speech pathology in a school setting. When not working, Stephanie enjoys spending time with family, friends and her fur babies!


Monica is an enthusiastic and dedicated Speech Pathologist, focused on providing evidence-based intervention to support communication in children and adolescents, across a variety of contexts. Monica is committed to supporting children across the areas of speech, language, literacy, and social-emotional cognition, so they can best recognise and utilise learning opportunities throughout their years of schooling. Monica enjoys working collaboratively with students, teachers and families, to provide optimal learning opportunities, and strengthen a child's self-advocacy skills. Monica appreciates how SPS values life-long learning and ongoing collaboration, and is excited to continue developing her skill set. When Monica is not working, you'll find her brunching at her local cafe's, or singing with her band at corporate events.

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April is a certified practicing Speech Pathologist and a Registered Occupational Therapist. April has practiced speech therapy in a number of settings to include: public schools, private schools, and university clinics in Australia and overseas. The majority of her experience has been in private practice where she has worked extensively with toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged children. April has specialist knowledge in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of a variety of communication disorders to include: receptive/expressive language disorders, articulation disorders, tongue thrust, stuttering, autism spectrum disorders, social skills, and other developmental delays. April uses individual and group-based approaches working closely with children, their families, and key stakeholders at school to facilitate effective communication skill outcomes. April enjoys watching international films, learning the cello, and practicing Karate.


Jody has worked as a speech pathologist for over 25 years in a variety of community-based settings, including schools, community health clinics and hospitals, and coordinated an Early Childhood Intervention Service (ECIS) which operated within a kindergarten. She enjoyed working collaboratively with professional and community service providers and developing relationships and supporting a full range of services, clients and families. Jody has also run community groups which promote language development and has extensive experience in working with children with a broad range of communication and learning difficulties, including children with autism and developmental delay. Jody is committed to her ongoing professional development, and is passionate about working with educators, families and their children. When not working, Jody loves to walk her dog, bushwalk with friends, and plan her next outdoor adventure!


Miki has an enthusiastic passion and interest in supporting vulnerable learners, closing the learning gap, and making a difference in the lives of disadvantaged students. She is passionate about wanting to deliver innovative speech pathology services to support students, increase teacher capacity and implement evidence-based programs and interventions in a schools. In her free time, Miki enjoys reading, knitting, walking her dog Leo and spending quality time with friends and family.

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Kharlea is an engaging and dynamic speech pathologist who enjoys working alongside school-aged students to find their learning potential in the areas of language and literacy. She possesses valuable experience in providing clinical support across the lifespan to children and adults in various settings including within schools, clinics, homes and telehealth. Kharlea has a friendly, collaborative approach when working alongside students, families and teaching staff, where she particularly enjoys learning about people’s passions and interests to guide her therapy approach. She values the importance that SPS places in ensuring that they are providing a collaborative, tailored approach according to each school’s needs and interests. In her spare time, Kharlea enjoys exercising, eating out at restaurants, travelling, baking and binge-watching TV shows.

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Keerthana is a Speech Pathologist, who is passionate about working in a variety of community settings. She has experience in working with children, adolescents and adults who have been diagnosed with a disability. Keerthana has an extensive interest in working in schools, to help students achieve their language and literacy goals, by collaborating with teachers, families, and other allied health professionals. Keerthana always aspires to keep learning and evolving her skill set. She values the support provided by SPS, allowing speech pathologists to implement the most current and evidence-based forms of practice. Keerthana enjoys spending time with her family, travelling and taking on new challenges.


Michelle has over 20 years experience working extensively with pre school and school aged children both in Australia and overseas. She is committed to supporting the development of students' speech, language and literacy skills through evidence based intervention, and believes in the importance of fostering relationships with schools, teachers and families in order to achieve the very best outcomes. She is excited to be a part of the SPS team where she can collaborate with the other team members as well as provide schools and students with a tailored approach to meet individual needs. Michelle also speaks French and outside of work enjoys learning Italian, travel and reading.

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Craig has a diverse working background prior to becoming a speech pathologist. Ranging from client care and personal facing roles in insurance to training and working as an actor. It was initially an interest in voice training and therapy that lead him to speech pathology. Since graduating as a speech pathologist Craig has provided therapy to NDIS clients of all ages. Most recently he has worked in speech pathologist role at a Victorian State Primary school for the three years prior to joining SPS. Craig particularly enjoys working within schools to support students, teachers and their school achieve their language and literacy goals.

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Alisha is a Speech Pathology Assistant, currently in her final year of her Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours) degree at Australian Catholic University. She has a passion for supporting speech and language development, to enrich the lives of students and improve all aspects of their communication. Alisha values the collaborative nature of SPS, embedding tailored Speech Pathology practice within schools and engaging with students, parents and teachers. Alisha has previous experience working in early intervention, particularly in the area of language development for children with autism. At SPS, Alisha is committed to lifelong learning, to continue creating a fun and engaging environment for students. Outside of work, Alisha enjoys reading, going on daily coffee walks, dancing, and spending time with family and friends.  

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