Orana Early Childhood Intervention

Meet our Staff

Janelle Burke

OECI Manager – Bachelor of Education (ECE); Bachelor of Special Education

Janelle Burke - Manager

Janelle has worked with children with disabilities and developmental delays and their families for over 30 years. Janelle has been working at OECI since 1990 as an Educator and more recently as the Centre Manager. Prior to this Janelle worked at Dubbo & District Pre-School and has taught at both TAFE & Charles Sturt University in the Bachelor of Education Degree.

Janelle has been an active member of the NSW Chapter of Early Childhood Intervention Association for over 15 years and is currently the Secretary.

Janelle enjoys spending time with her two grown up daughters and doing patchwork in her spare time.

Doreen Peek

Team Leader and Educator – Diploma of Education

Doreen Peek - EducatorDoreen commenced working at OECI in 2004 as an Educator and is now the Team Leader & Co-ordinator for the Federal Governments Helping Children with Autism & the Better Start Initiatives.

Doreen has worked in many early childhood settings including Dubbo & District Pre-School where she was the Director at the Pre-School and brings many years of experience in working with children with additional needs and their families.

Doreen has tutored at Charles Sturt University in the Bachelor of Education Degree.

In her spare time Doreen assists on the farm and enjoys time with her four grandsons.

Sarah Heckendorf

Educator – Bachelor of Education and Special Education

Sarah Heckendorf -EducatorSarah commenced working at OECI in 2009 and is the Co-ordinator for the ECEC inclusion program.

Sarah has many years’ experience in the Early Childhood sector having worked in the both Long day Care & Community Pre-Schools in Dubbo. Sarah’s previous job was working at Dubbo West Pre-School as an Educator.

Sarah has taught at Charles Sturt University in the Bachelor of Education Degree.

Hobbies are limited for Sarah as she has three beautiful little daughters who keep her extremely busy.

Aly Laycock

Educator – Bachelor of Teaching ECE

Aly Laycock - EducatorAly has been working at the centre since 2011. Aly was a live in nanny for several years in Sydney and the Project Officer for Carewest’s Scan Project for Orana Far West prior to joining OECI as an Educator.

Aly enjoys working with the Pre-School aged children and preparing them for their journey into School.

Aly has recently become a first time mum and is enjoying this journey immensely.

Sharon Whale

Educator – Bachelor of Education (ECE), Masters of Special Education

Sharon Whale - EducatorSharon is one of the newest members of staff having joined the team in January 2014. Sharon has many years’ experience in the early childhood sector having taught in a range of preschools in Sydney and on the South Coast of New South Wales.  Sharon has been involved with children with additional needs in all the early childhood services she has worked in.

Sharon completed the Key Worker on line training last year and has bought this knowledge to the centre to assist us with the implementation of this role into our service.

Sharon was married earlier in the year & has moved to Dubbo to be with her husband.

In her spare time Sharon enjoys keeping fit, photography, paper craft and baking.

Christine Sienkiewicz

Physiotherapist – Bachelor of Applied Science: Physiotherapy

Chris Sienkiewicz - PhysiotherapistChris has been working at the centre since 2002 after working at the Dubbo Base Hospital and Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service where she worked with both adults and children.

Chris assists young children to reach their gross motor goals & is responsible for conducting the hydrotherapy sessions we offer at Fitness Focus.

In her spare time Chris drives a “Mum taxi” for her three children to all their various sporting activities and social events and then squeezes in a game of tennis for herself.

Merryn Anderson

Speech Pathologist – Bachelor of Speech Pathology

Merryn Anderson - Speech PathologistMerryn has been working at the centre since 2005 following previously working at Community Health, the Spastic Centre, and overseas in Scotland and Wales.

Merryn has a particular interest in feeding difficulties and has recently completed the SOS training.

Merryn is a very busy mum of four children, and enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and on a rare occasion being able to read a good book.

Rebecca Smith

Speech Pathologist – Bachelor of Health Sciences: Speech Pathology

Rebecca Smith - Speech PathologistBec has been at the centre since 2011 following a short stint at Community Health in Inverell.

Bec has a particular passion for augmentative communication devices and has achieved some wonderful results with some children.

In her spare time Bec enjoys craft of all sorts, cooking, playing music and organizing her new house that is under construction.

Megan Flint

Occupational Therapist – Bachelor of Health Science (Occupational Therapy)

Megan Flint - Occupational TherapistMegan has been with OECI since 2011. She has previously worked with adults in Inpatient and Community Mental Health for 3 years.

Megan has a particular interest in sensory processing and enjoys supporting children and their families with sensory and behaviour challenges. Megan has completed further training in the SOS approach to Feeding, DIR Floortime, and sensory processing including the therapressure program and therapeutic Listening and uses these techniques to support the families she works with.

In her spare time Megan enjoys shopping, reading and slowly renovating her home.

Mikaila Tasker

Behaviour Support Therapist –  Bachelor of Psychology with honours; Graduate Diploma of Education

MikailaMikaila commenced at the centre in January 2015 as a behaviour support therapist. Mikaila relocated from Sydney to the area in 2014. In Sydney, she was an Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) therapist, working with families with children with autism spectrum disorder.

Mikaila specialises in behaviour management strategies and behaviour intervention plans to be used at home and at childcare centres, preschools, and schools. Mikaila is currently training as a Stepping Stones Triple P facilitator.

Mikaila’s interests include yoga, crossfit, and fermenting food and drinks.

Hayley Atkins

Administration Assistant – Certificate in Office Administration

Hayley Atkins - Administration AssistantHayley has been with the centre since 2011 and has seen the centre grow dramatically during this time resulting in many more administration duties.

Hayley has a variety of duties and responsibilities across the service including the staff and the Board of Management

Hayley has completed MYOB training including Payroll.

Hayley’s hobbies include sewing; tennis and watching her children play sports.

Sarah Sanders

Educator – Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary) 

Sarah Sanders

Sarah commenced work at OECI in 2015, having graduated from Charles Sturt University Dubbo in 2014. Before joining the OECI team Sarah was working in a variety of settings including long day day centres, pre-schools and also doing casual work at various primary schools.

Sarah is looking forward to learning new skills and working with all of the families and children at OECI.

Sarah enjoys being active by playing netball, going to the gym and is kept busy training her two dogs.

Denese Hofman

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, Diploma of Teaching, Graduate Diploma in Special Education

Denese Hofman

Denese joined the OECI team in October 2015. She has previously worked in both the Health and Education sectors in Queensland prior to moving to Dubbo in 2011.

In her spare time Denese enjoys participating in sporting activities such as bushwalking and bike riding.

Denese also likes completing craft activities such as scrapbooking and patchwork.

Jemma Miller

Speech Pathologist – Bachelor of Health Sciences: Speech Pathology 

Jemma 1 web

Jemma joined the OECI team in January 2016.

Jemma previously worked as a Speech Pathologist for Ageing, Disability and Home Care in Western and Far West NSW.

Jemma has a passion for rural and tele-health; aiming to support families in receiving accessible and quality services in rural NSW.

In her spare time, Jemma enjoys vegetable gardening and exploring mountains near and far on bike, boat and foot.

Elise Wright

Speech Pathologist – Bachelor of Health Sciences: Speech Pathology

Elise 2 web

Elise joined the OECI team in January 2016, after graduating from Charles Sturt University Albury in 2015.

Elise is excited to be joining the team as a new graduate Speech Pathologist and is looking forward to working with all the clients and their families.

In her spare time Elise likes to spend time with family and friends, read and bake.

Jane Williams

Occupational Therapist – Bachelor of Applied Science: Occupational Therapy

Jane Williams - Occupational Therapist

Jane joined the OECI team in 2014 bringing with her a wealth of experience in the OT arena.

Jane has previously worked overseas in Ireland and at the Spastic Centre, Community Health & ADHC in Managing and supervision roles.