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about us

Our Psychologists utilise evidence-based therapeutic interventions that include:

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

  • Psychodynamic Therapy

  • Behaviour Therapy

  • Play Therapy

  • Emotion Focused Therapy

  • Solution Focused Therapy

  • Positive Psychology

  • Psychoeducation

Dr Samantha Ward BPsy.Sci M.Psych PhD MAPS
Educational and Developmental Psychologist
Founder & Director

Samantha has a particular interest in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Samantha also has extensive experience across a range of presenting concerns including anxiety disorders, behavioural difficulties, depression, developmental disorders, specific learning disorders, ADHD, family breakdown (separation/divorce) and/or conflict, and social and friendship difficulties.

Samantha adopts a strength based approach in her interventions and when appropriate, utilises a multi-disciplinary approach by forming positive collaborative partnerships with parents, school personnel, paediatricians, general practitioners, occupational therapists, and speech pathologists and by implementing a range of therapeutic supports and interventions within multiple settings including the home, school and community.

Samantha completed a Bachelor of Psychological Science from the University of Queensland, completed a Masters in Educational and Developmental Psychology from Queensland University of Technology, and completed her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from Queensland University of Technology.


Samantha's PhD, entitled “Improving Autism Detection: The Role of Practitioner Reported Influences and a Combined Parent-Clinician Informant Screening Instrument”, examined practitioner reported factors that may impact the timing of ASD diagnostic evaluations and continued the development of an early screening measure to detect children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.


Ward, S.L., & Gilmore, L. (2010). The Autistic Behavioural Indicators Instrument (ABII): Development and instrument utility in discriminating autistic disorder from speech and language impairment and typical development. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 4, 28-42. doi: 10.1016/j.rasd.2009.07.003

Ward, S.L., Sullivan, K. A., & Gilmore, L. (2016). Practitioner perceptions of the assessment and diagnosis of autism in Australia. Australian Psychologist, 51, 272-279. doi:10.1111/ap.12211

Ward, S.L., Sullivan, K.A., & Gilmore, L. (2016). Agreement between a brief autism observational instrument and established ASD measures. The Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist, 33, 127-138, doi:10.1017/edp.2016.1

Ward, S.L., Sullivan, K.A., & Gilmore, L. (2017). Adapting the Autistic Behavioural Indicators Instrument (ABII) as a parent questionnaire (ABII-PQ). Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 42:4, 385-390. doi: 10.3109/13668250.2016.1252037

Ward, S.L., Sullivan, K.A., & Gilmore, L. (2018). Combining parent and clinician ratings of behavioural indicators of autism spectrum disorder improves diagnostic classification. Early Child Development and Care, 188:6, 748-758, DOI: 10.1080/03004430.2016.1235567

Dr Emily Hines Bsc (Psych) (Hons) D.Psych (Clinical) MAPS
Clinical Psychologist

Emily has a particular interest in the assessment and intervention of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance use disorders and trauma survivors across the lifespan.

Emily also has clinical expertise in adjustment disorders, eating disorders, developmental disorders, and relationship difficulties.

Emily predominantly uses Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and places a strong emphasis on the therapeutic relationship as an agent of change. She utilises clinical assessment interviews and standardised self-report assessment measures to provide DSM-5 diagnoses, and monitor treatment gains across the course of therapy.


Emily is qualified to conduct a range of assessments including cognitive, learning, adaptive behaviour and ADHD assessments for children, adolescents and adults.

Emily received her Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) from Queensland University of Technology and obtained her Honours undergraduate degree from the University of Queensland.

Rookaya Akkari BPsy.Sci
General Psychologist

Rookaya is a warm and down to earth psychologist. She is able to build a strong therapeutic alliance and genuine connection with her clients, which puts them at ease and allows them to feel comfortable to express themselves fully. Rookaya has a strong passion for reducing the stigma of mental health and does so throughout her practice. Rookaya’s optimistic, collaborative and strength focused approach to therapy enables her to help guide clients to reach their full potential and live fulfilling lives.


Rookaya is registered with AHPRA as a General Psychologist. Rookaya attended the Western Sydney University and  completed a Bachelor of Psychology. Rookaya has 5 years of experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly both in private practice, NDIS and within community settings. 


Rookaya has experience with anxiety, depression, trauma, Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, coping skills, complex behavioural presentations and their management, ADHD, ASD, Intellectual Disability, and Global Developmental Delay and Psychometric Assessments. She is also experienced working with CALD communities.

Kelli Harris BPscyh MAPS
General Psychologist

Kelli is a general psychologist with 30+ years working across the lifespan. She is experienced in assisting children, adolescents and adults through a broad range of issues, including, anxiety, depression, phobias, stress, interpersonal conflicts and relationships, sexual issues, chronic pain, weight issues, parenting, and postnatal issues. Kelli has vast experience working with couples and families, along with individual clients.


Kelli primarily utilises the evidence-based models of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT). She has worked with QPS personnel over the past 10 years under the Early Intervention Treatment Program.


Kelli can also conduct a range of assessments.


Kelli is passionate about working with her clients in order to help them discover their full potential and authentic self.

Robyn Pfingst BTeach BEd GradDipPscyh PostGradDipPsych MasterProfPsych
General Psychologist

Robyn is a Child and Adolescent psychologist and an experienced senior teacher. Robyn works as a Child and Adolescent psychologist in private practice. She has also taught extensively across both the private and public education sectors, and worked as a school Guidance Officer.


Robyn works with children and adolescents between three and eighteen years of age. Robyn uses a range of therapeutic modalities including; Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, and Solution Focused Therapy. Robyn works with children and adolescents experiencing challenges with emotional regulation; attentional difficulties/disorders; autism level one and two; anxiety; depression; trauma; school refusal; learning difficulties/disorders; and obsessive/compulsive tendencies. Robyn has a strong desire to contribute to productive working relationships between the therapist, school, and home, to ultimately achieve best possible outcomes for her



Robyn also provides assessments for her clients including; ASD assessments, ADHD assessments, Learning assessments (WIAT), Cognitive assessments (WISC-V and WAIS-IV), Adaptive assessments (Vinelands) and NDIS assessments. Robyn has a particular interest in the assessment of girls on the autism spectrum.


In her spare time, Robyn enjoys catching up with friends and family, playing tennis, bush walking, and swimming.

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