Board Of Directors

Dr Marie Atherton

Marie is a Senior Advisor Professional Standards at Speech Pathology Australia, and a lecturer in speech pathology at the Australian Catholic University. Marie’s association with Trinh Foundation began in 2009 when she travelled to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam with Sue Woodward to support the clinical education of a small group of health professionals interested in the speech therapy profession. Between 2010-2012 Marie was based in Vietnam as the Course Coordinator of the first university-based speech therapy training program in Vietnam to assist graduates across the full scope of speech pathology practice. Marie commenced doctoral studies at Melbourne University that explored the emerging profession of speech therapy in Vietnam through the experiences of a group of Vietnam’s first graduates. Since completing her studies in 2019, Marie has continued to be involved in initiatives to support the growth of the profession in underserved communities.

Ms Bronwyn Coop

Bronwyn is a consultant specialising in policy, governance, management and strategy development. She has had an extensive career in public sector roles in information management, policy, governance and library services – at the State Library of NSW in policy, governance, planning and research and managed a number of government special libraries. Later in her career, Bronwyn worked in NSW Health including managing policy, corporate governance and information management in health practitioner regulation. Bronwyn began training as a speech pathologist and is committed to equity and community development.

Dr Anne Hill

Anne is an Honorary Associate Professor in Speech Pathology in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at The University of Queensland. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Anne is a certified practising speech pathologist with extensive clinical experience. Her interest in speech therapy in Vietnam began with her role in planning and implementation of interprofessional placements in Vietnam for students of speech pathology, occupational therapy and physiotherapy at The University of Queensland, including being an in-country clinical educator, mentoring of clinical educators, and collaborating with partner organisations in Vietnam. Anne’s research has focussed on teaching and learning for students in the health sciences and has primarily investigated student learning outcomes in the areas of simulation, interprofessional education and students’ development of cultural responsiveness.

Dr Sally Hewat (On Leave)

Associate Professor Sally Hewat is the Head of Speech Pathology Discipline at The University of Newcastle. Sally’s leadership roles have included Head of Program, Deputy Head of School (Research), Assistant Dean Research Training and Assistant Dean International. Sally’s work has been supported by international and external funding exceeding $2M and has been recognized through five University awards; including two VC citations for outstanding contribution to student learning. Sally’s leadership has enabled international mobility and education for Australian speech pathology students, securing more than $380k in short-term mobility funding to support more than 70 students over the past 6 years to undertake assessable clinical placements across the Asia Pacific Region. Sally is recognised nationally and internationally as an innovative academic leader in transnational education, curriculum development and the preparation of speech pathology students for practice. Sally is an Accreditation Assessor for Speech Pathology Australia; she led the 2018 SPA Clinical Education in Australia project and was an integral member of the national Simulation in Speech Pathology project (2014-2018). Sally’s recent work has focused on the development of speech pathology in the majority of world countries and under-served communities. Sally volunteers on the Board of Directors of the Trinh Foundation Australia to support the development of speech therapy in Vietnam. Sally has been recognized with a prestigious award and medal from the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for her ongoing support and development of the speech therapy profession. Sally is also working in collaboration with Orient Speech Therapy, on the development of the first speech therapy curricula for China.

Ms Kate Margetson

Kate is a PhD candidate at Charles Sturt University and certified practising speech pathologist with over 10 years clinical experience in South West Sydney. Her association with Trinh Foundation Australia began in 2015 when she volunteered at Da Nang University of Medical Technology and Pharmacy. She has since worked as a technical consultant for TFA on a project addressing the development of Augmentative and Alternative Communication in Vietnam. Recently she worked on an Australian Research Council Grant exploring Australian Vietnamese-English speaking children’s speech development and home language maintenance. Her PhD research focusses on assessment and differential diagnosis of speech sound disorders in Vietnamese-English speaking children.

Mrs Katie Mcmillan

Katie was Director of Speech Pathology for Far North Queensland, based at Cairns Hospital, for 20 years. Here, she provided leadership to a large team of speech pathologists working across regional, rural and remote areas, including many first nation communities. Prior to working in the health sector, she worked in private practice and in schools. With a passion for innovation and a drive for quality service provision, Katie has implemented research in the field of tele-audiology, established several extended scope practices for speech pathologists, formalized training pathways in advanced clinical areas, and ensured effective mentoring and supervision processes. A large body of work focused on improving equity of access to care for health services.

Ms Cara Mira

Carla is a director of a private based paediatric speech pathology clinic in Melbourne. With over 17 years of clinic experience in both Australia & the UK, Carla has previously volunteered with Trinh foundation in-country and as a project officer for the last decade. Carla has a passion for providing equitable, accessible and evidence-based intervention across multicultural communities.  Carla’s passion is supporting children with the most complex of communication needs led her to completing her master’s degree in education and post graduate studies in Intensive Interaction. She supports other clinicians and paraprofessionals on the intensive interaction approach. 

Dr. Sarah Verdon (On Leave)

Sarah is the Head of Speech Pathology at Charles Sturt University. Sarah is a speech pathology lecturer and researcher who is passionate about embracing the diversity of children from different cultures, languages, socioeconomic backgrounds and levels of ability to create opportunities for all children to have a strong start to life and reach their full potential. She oversaw the development of the Speech Pathology Australia national position paper and clinical guidelines for “Culturally Responsive Practice in Speech Pathology”, which is used to inform and direct professional practice in this field. Sarah began her association with Trinh Foundation as an in-country volunteer in 2011 and has worked as a director since 2015 with a focus on mentoring long-term volunteers and strengthening the organisation through professional development and the development of resources.

Ms Katie Walker-Smith

Katie is the Director of Speech Pathology, Children’s Health Queensland, based at Queensland Children’s Hospital. She has over 20 years of clinical and management experience with a particular interest in paediatric dysphagia and management of children with cleft palate. Katie has been actively involved with Trinh Foundation Australia since an opportune introduction in Ho Chi Minh City in 2009. She has worked in clinical roles throughout Australia and the United Kingdom and in a volunteer capacity in the Philippines, East Timor, Mexico and Vietnam.

Ms Joanne Walters

Joanne is a Lecturer and Clinical Education Coordinator for the Speech Pathology (Honours) program at the University of Newcastle (UON), Australia. She is a certified practising speech pathologist with an interest in paediatric speech sound disorders. In her role as clinical education coordinator, she is responsible for strategic planning and implementation of the clinical education program. Joanne is particularly interested in exploring and engaging with diversity in clinical education through innovative models of clinical education such as simulation that enhance the student learning experience. Her interest in Vietnam began with students from UON undertaking clinical placements since 2008 supported by the Trinh Foundation. Since then Joanne continues to have ongoing involvement In Vietnam through supervision of UON students on international placements, mentoring of clinical educators, developing resources and working closely with organisations in Vietnam to support children with communication difficulties.

Dr Gwendalyn Webb

Gwendalyn is a Lecturer for the Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours) program at the University of Newcastle (UON), Australia. She is a certified practising speech pathologist with diverse interests in the areas of early child language development, intercultural communication and working with Aboriginal Australians. Her interest in Vietnam began with students from UON undertaking international clinical placements which were initially facilitated by Trinh Foundation Australia. Since then Gwendalyn has continued her involvement in Vietnam through student supervision, mentoring of Australian volunteer speech pathologists working in Vietnam, provision of workshops to teachers and parents and developing resources.