Our Team

Jenni Embleton
Mel Craswell
Director/Speech Pathologist
Office Manager

Jenni studied Speech Pathology at the University of Queensland and has worked with young children for 18 years. Jenni has always loved working with children with developmental delays, autism, and feeding difficulties.


She has worked as a Speech Pathologist in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors in Canberra, Dubbo, London, and Sri Lanka.

Jenni started Early Bird Therapy in 2013 with the aim of building a multidisciplinary team that truly understands and responds to the needs of families. She currently spends most of her time working to build the skills of everyone in the Early Bird Therapy team.

Kate Penrose
Early Childhood Educator

Mel has been providing administration services at Early Bird Therapy since 2017. Mel makes sure that everything at Early Bird runs smoothly.

Mel is a Canberra local who particularly enjoys working with families and solving administrative problems.

Mel can assist you with:

  • new client enquiries

  • scheduling appointments

  • accounts and invoicing

  • understanding the NDIS and Medicare

  • how to self-manage NDIS plans

  • providing support and information

Hillary Miranda
Speech Pathologist

Kate is an experienced early childhood and specialist educator and early intervention key worker. Kate is skilled in helping families to understand their child and finding ways to develop skills through everyday family activities. She is particularly interested in assisting vulnerable and at-risk families.

Kate brings a wealth of experience to the Early Bird Therapy team, having previously worked in the education system and managing a therapy team in the not-for-profit sector.

Kate sees children aged 0-6 and provides a mobile service to work with families in natural, non-clinical settings.

Nadia Erasmus

Hillary is the newest member of the Early Bird team, joining us after working in the public sector.

She has a Masters of Speech Pathology from Flinders University, as well as a degree in Linguistics with an emphasis on teaching English as a second language.

Hillary is an enthusiastic therapist who has an innate understanding of children. Her greatest skill is knowing when to relax and have fun with children and when they need a loving push to help them achieve more.

Hillary also speaks Tagalog and Japanese and particularly enjoys working in the areas of speech, language, feeding, and Autism.

Taylor Pitson
Speech Pathologist
Allied Health Assistant

Nadia has a Bachelor of Speech Pathology from Southern Cross University on the beautiful Coolangatta coast. Nadia moved to Australia from South Africa in 2007 and also speaks Afrikaans.


The best way to describe Nadia’s therapy style is FUN, and children always come out of her sessions with a smile.

Nadia has a passion for helping young children and working with families to achieve their child’s best communicative outcomes. She especially enjoys working with children who have speech and language delays. Nadia is working to develop her skills in the special interest area of paediatric feeding.

Taylor has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Canberra and is currently working towards her honours in Psychology. 


She is registered with the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board as a Registered Behaviour Technician. She has experience in developing specialised intervention for children with disabilities based on the principles of Positive Behaviour Support, Social Role Valorisation, and Relationship Development Intervention.


Taylor has a gift for talking to children in a way that makes them feel valued and excited to learn. We've never met a child who doesn't love Taylor!

Taylor has a passion for inclusion based education and has a wide range of experience working with children with severe and complex behaviour.

Claudia Whitcombe
Speech Pathologist

Claudia is a dynamic Speech Pathologist who excels at working with children with complex needs. She enjoys working with children across a range of ages.

Claudia has a Bachelor of Health Science (Speech Pathology) from Curtin University and moved to Canberra from Perth in 2016.

Claudia has a natural ability to make children feel at ease and she particularly enjoys helping more reluctant children to come out of their shell. Claudia has special interests in Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) and challenging behaviour.

Heather Gordon
Administration Assistant

Heather is one of the most organised members of the Early Bird team. She has a wealth of experience in health administration and makes sure that our therapists know what they're doing.


Heather likes to spend the time to get to know all of our families and is ready to help whenever you need.

Sian Woo
Allied Health Assistant

Sian is working towards her Master of Speech Pathology from the University of Canberra. We're looking forward to the end of this year when she'll be a fully-grown speechie.

Sian's gentle approach to interacting with children means that they instantly feel comfortable and safe in her presence.

Sian is still deciding what areas of Speech Pathology she is particularly interested in, but for now enjoys working with children with speech and language delays.