OurTeam
Chelsea Beegling Zoe Little Eloise Morton Vanessa Aitken Dr. Micah Perez Emily Howard Bridget Barnett
CHELSEA BEEGLING

OUR EXPERTS ARE EXPERTS

At MLEA our people all have at least ten years’ clinical experience. We maintain a clinical case load and take part in ongoing professional development. This keeps us current with the latest research, clinical recommendations and treatment practises; and ensures our expert testimony remains current, evidence-based and relevant.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPISTS

Occupational therapists (OTs) work out the functional requirements of different jobs and assess clients’ ability to return to work. They design programs and interventions to help employees get back to work after injury or trauma, and support employers to create safe and productive workplaces.

Vanessa_Aitken

VANESSA AITKEN,

FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR

Ba.Occ.Thy; Grad Dip Ergonomics
Accredited Occupational Therapist, Member of OT Australia, VCAT Board Member, ALA Member, MLSQ Member

“At MLEA, we believe that doing the right thing is always the right thing. This ethos extends to the way we treat our staff, our customers and individuals. It means having the courage to always speak the truth and act with integrity. We have a responsibility to be informed, up-to-date and above all, honest. This is the standard we hold ourselves to in everything we do.”

With 30 years’ practising occupational therapy, Vanessa has built a reputation for providing high-quality case management and occupational therapy services. Her assessments, reports and expert witness testimony are based on objective and authoritative opinion that stems from her broad and extensive experience.

As well as managing the MLEA business, Vanessa’s priorities include working actively with clients and providing professional supervision and ongoing development for her expert team. Vanessa is passionate about advancing occupational therapy and works with The University of Queensland to train and develop students.

Emily_Howard

EMILY HOWARD

B.Occ.Thy; Grad Dip Sexology
Accredited Occupational Therapist

“My role is to identify how people with injuries or disabilities could benefit from therapies or assistance at home. It’s good to know that I’m doing something worthwhile -  without my work, some people might go without the help they need. I also really love the team here at MLEA. It’s a fun, supportive place to work.”

Emily has 12 years’ experience as an occupational therapist in hospitals, community, and private practice. She is skilled in neurological and orthopaedic assessment and rehabilitation; end of life and palliative care; assessment and differential diagnosis of the hand and upper limb; and assessment and management of sexual disfunction resulting from injury, disease and disability.

Emily has well-developed skills in environmental assessment and modification. Through her varied caseload she works to maximise the functional independence and safety of her clients.

Dr_Micha_Perez

DR. MICAH PEREZ

PhD; M.Occ.ThySt; B.Sci
Registered Occupational Therapist, Member of OT Australia

“In my role I help people from all walks of life to better understand their pain and difficulties; and recommend things that can make their lives easier, even when they have been forever changed by injury or disability. I love MLEA’s culture of continually striving to be the best at what we do and the way we encourage each other to adapt, change and grow over time. ”

Micah works at MLEA for half the week, and spends the remainder doing clinical paediatric work in private practice. Her occupational therapy experience includes private practice, community, academic, and research. She has worked with clients with musculoskeletal, orthopaedic and neurological injuries, as well as paediatric clients with developmental delay and complex conditions such as Cerebral Palsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Micah’s caseload is varied and reflects her interest in paediatric occupational therapy. She mentors occupational therapy students and new graduate occupational therapists.

Bridget_Barnett

BRIDGET BARNETT

M.Occ.ThySt; BA Human Movement and Psychology
Accredited Occupational Therapist

“I became an occupational therapist because I wanted to help people regain wellness and continue with a healthy and purposeful life. At MLEA I get to work alongside high-level professionals and continue developing my skills, while supporting people to have independent, productive and satisfying lives.”

Bridget brings more than 15 years experience as an occupational therapist to her role at MLEA. Starting out in neurorehabilitation before moving into upper limb therapy and paediatrics, Bridget began to develop medicolegal assessment and reporting expertise from 2009. She has a particular interest in catastrophic and neurological injury in both adults and children. Since 2014, Bridget has lectured in occupational therapy at The University of Sunshine Coast.

Claire_Welshe

CLAIRE WELSHE

B.Occ.Thpy
Accredited Occupational Therapist, Member of OT Australia

Claire has 20 years’ experience as an occupational therapist in hospitals, the community, homes and workplaces.  She has worked with clients with musculoskeletal, orthopaedic, spinal, neurological and psychological injury; across all age ranges. Claire has been an expert witness in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. She consistently provides reliable, well-supported expert opinion.

PSYCHOLOGISTS

Psychologists specialise in dealing with mental phenomena and processes, including emotions, perceptions, intelligence, consciousness, and their impact on behaviour and function.

Chelsea_Beelging

CHELSEA BEEGLING

BPsySc; MAPS
Vocational Psychologist

“MLEA has a very supportive culture – we work very closely as a team. It’s great to have a flexible work environment too, but the best thing is the great people.”

Chelsea is an experienced psychologist with a broad clinical skill set. Chelsea is MLEA’s employability specialist, skilled in psychometric testing measures and clinical assessment. Chelsea also has a particular interest in occupational rehabilitation and has spent many years training under industry experts in neuropsychology and occupational therapy. She’s also assessed many Total and Permanent Disability cases, for both insurers and plaintiff lawyers.

Chelsea enjoys maintaining her clinical practice skills as a child, adolescent and adult psychologist. She is a qualified animal-assisted therapist, meaning she works with a therapy dog in her capacity as a treating psychologist. She currently provides her services across the community, both in treatment and assessment capacities.

ADMIN AND SUPPORT

Zoe_Little

ZOE LITTLE

Practice Manager

"The thing I love most about my job is the people. Both the great team here and all the different clients from different backgrounds. The work is so interesting – each day is different with new cases and new things to learn and do.”

As MLEA’s office manager, Zoe ensures the liaison between clients and our experts runs smoothly. She competently manages all bookings, paperwork and follow-up in a timely, friendly and efficient manner.

Zoe has a strong interest in allied health support and holds a Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance. She enjoys supporting the administration and professional staff from the point of client referral through to report finalisation.

Eloise_Morton

ELOISE MORTON

Research Officer

“In grade 12 I was trying to decide whether to study Occupational Therapy or Physiotherapy. After just one work experience afternoon with Vanessa at MLEA, I knew Occupational Therapy was for me. I was inspired by the way that occupational therapists help people get back to doing the things they need and want to do. I’m looking forward to graduating and working full-time as an occupational therapist in 2020.”

Eloise is a student of Occupational Therapy at the Australian Catholic University.

She joined MLEA in 2017 and is an integral part of the administration team, providing front office support and research assistance to professional staff. She liaises with lawyers, interviews clients and obtains current research literature to support evidence in MLEA’s reports.