The Paediatric Research Engagement Theme is composed of researchers from a number of allied health professions including, Audiology, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Pathology.

We seek collaborative research opportunities in the areas that support everyday life of children, young people and their families, for example school readiness and transition, family centred-practice, auditory functioning, communication and movement control. The age groups of children we work with are diverse from infancy to post-school to reflect the dynamics exist in these areas. Our researchers work in partnership with national and international research communities.


Research in this theme aims to promote health and wellbeing of children and young people with disability, illness and injury and that of their families. Our research supports these children and young people and their families to participate in everyday activities and obtain meaningful life experiences. For example, some of our researchers currently work with families of children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) to investigate their developmental needs.

Staff overview

Chair: Leanne Johnston, Associate Professor, Physiotherapy

Deputy Chair: Jenny Ziviani, Professor in Occupational Therapy

Deputy Chair: Tomomi McAuliffe, Associate Lecturer, Occupational Therapy


Academic and Research Staff

Rebecca Armstrong, Lecturer, Speech Pathology

Emma Crawford, Lecturer in Occupational Therapy

Natalie Collins, Lecturer, Physiotherapy

Jodie Copley, Associate Professor, Occupational Therapy

Carlie Driscoll, Audiology

Katie Ekberg, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Audiology

Sjaan Gomersall, Senior Lecturer, Physiotherapy

Anna Hatton, Lecturer, Physiotherapy

Joseph Kei – Associate Professor in Audiology

Julie MacDonald, Associate Lecturer, Physiotherapy

Cathy McBryde, Lecturer, Occupational Therapy

Carly Meyer, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Audiology

Tanya Rose, Senior Lecturer, Speech Pathology

Nerina Scarinci, Head of Speech Pathology

Dunay Schmulian, Lecturer, Audiology

Liz Springfield, Lecturer, Occupational Therapy

Monique Waite, Research Fellow, Speech Pathology


Clinic Staff

Amy Fagan, Clinical Operations Manager

Anne-Maree Caine – Clinical Education Liaison Manager

Research projects


Funding Body


Shearwave elastography to quantify impact of age, development and pathology on the neuromuscular system


Queensland Children’s Hospital Foundation & UQ Major Equipment and Infrastructure


Leanne Johnston, Kylie Tucker, Honey Heussler, Miran Goo

CyFiT Telehealth: web-based data management and clinical support system

Australian Cystic Fibrosis Research Trust & Queensland Health: Health Practitioner Grant

Leanne Johnston, Trevor Russell, Kellie Stockton, Ray Lang

Does a high volume, performance focused swimming program elicit meaningful, therapeutic change in people with cerebral palsy? A proof-of-concept study

Queensland Academy of Sport, Australian Paralympic Committee & Swimming Australia Limited

Sean Tweedy, Emma Beckman, Mark Connick, Leanne Johnston

Children's Motor Control Research Collaborative (CMCRC): EXCITE program


Cerebral Palsy Alliance

Leanne Johnston, Kylie Tucker, Andrew Claus

PRE-EMPT: The effectiveness of community physiotherapy intervention for preterm infants at risk of neurodevelopmental delay and cerebral palsy

Queensland Health: Health Practitioner Grant & Queensland Children’s Hospital Foundation

Chelsea Mobbs, Leanne Johnston, Alicia Spittle

Coaching caregivers of children with developmental disabilities: A cluster RCT

Health Research Council of New Zealand

Fiona Graham, Debbie Snell, Jonathan Williman, Anna Ranta, Jenny Ziviani

ENVISAGE: Enabling VISion And Growing Expectations – A program to support parents of children newly diagnosed with a neurodisability

Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Peter Rosenbaum, Laura Miller, Andrea Cross, Christine Imms, Jenny Ziviani

Implementing an evidence-based adherence protocol to the cystic fibrosis service: Acceptability, costs and sustainability

Children’s Hospital Foundation Health Services Research Grant

Bianca Richards, Jenny Ziviani, Tanya Douglas, Megan Simons

Participate-CP: Optimising participation in physically active leisure for children with cerebral palsy: A randomised controlled trial.


Leanne Sakzewski, Catherine Elliott, Iona Novak Jenny Ziviani, Annette Majnemer, Stuart Trost

Fetal alcohol syndrome disorder: assessment and intervention

Australian Health Department

Dianne Shanley, Doug Shelton, Mark Patrick, Subramanian, Riordan, Heidi Webster, Karen Moritz, Jenny Ziviani, Dana Newcomb

ENVISAGE: New ideas for parenting a child with an early onset neurodisability in the 21st century


American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine

Laura Miller, Peter Rosenbaum, Christine Imms, Jenny Ziviani, Andrea Cross, Vicki Cavaliers, Rachel Martens

REACH: A randomised trial of Rehabilitation Early in Congenital Hemiplegia


Roslyn Boyd, Jenny Ziviani, Iona Novak, Nadia Badawi, Leanne Sakzewski, Stephen Rose, Sue Greaves, Catherine Elliott, Andrea Guzzetta

Engagement in the pediatric rehabilitation process: Its nature, measurement and role in the determination of outcomes.


Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Gillian King, Virginia Wright, Jenny Ziviani, Lisa Chiarello, Roger Ideishi, Anne Poulsen, Heidi Schwelinus


Australasian cerebral palsy clinical trials network: AUSCP CTN.


Roslyn Boyd, Iona Novak, Euan Wallace, Nadia Badaw. Steven Rose. Paul Colditz, Jenny Ziviani, Catherine Elliott, Susan Stott

Improving diagnosis of otitis media in children attending a busy ENT clinic using an innovative technology

West Moreton HHS & Faculty of Health & Behavioural Sciences

R Choi, Joseph Kei, C Nipperess-Sims C, C Downing

Innovative diagnosis for and prevention of otitis media in Australian infants

NHMRC Project Grant

Joseph Kei, Carlie Driscoll, Asad Khan

Normative wideband acoustic immittance measurements in Caucasian and Aboriginal children

New Technology Funding and Evaluation Program: Queensland Health

Sreedevi Aithal, Venkatesh Aithal, Joseph Kei

Conductive hearing loss within universal newborn hearing screening programs


Alison Collins, Rachael Beswick, Carlie Driscoll, Joseph Kei

HDR students




Project Title/Description

Jacqui Barfoot


Prof Jenny Ziviani,Dr Pam Meredith, Dr Koa Whittingham

Early childhood interventions for children with developmental delays, including cerebral palsy: Adopting a relationship focus

Nataya Branjerdporn


Dr Leanne Sakzewski, Prof Jenny Ziviani, Dr Emma Crawford, Dr Kath Benfer

The parenting outcomes and process evaluation of a community-based health worker delivered program for infants at high risk of cerebral palsy in a low resource context

Andrea Burgess


Dr Leanne Sakzewski, Prof Jenny Ziviani, Prof Roslyn Boyd

The developmental of trajectory of self-care skills in children with cerebral palsy -- and the impact of bimanual hand function.

Julia Caldwell


Prof Jenny Ziviani, Dr Pam Meredith, Dr Koa Whittingham

Exploring interpersonal mindfulness in parenting in Australian mothers from pregnancy to early infancy

Katy Caynes


AsPr Leanne Johnston, Dr Tanya Rose

The Functional Communication Classification System (FCCS): reliability and utility for children with Cerebral Palsy

Robyn choi


AsPr Wayne Wilson, AsPr Joseph Kei

Evaluating auditory function in children with learning difficulties

Georgina Clutterbuck


AsPr Leanne Johnston, Dr Megan Auld

SPORTS STARS: practitioner-led sports participation for children with Cerebral Palsy

Alison Collins


Dr Carlie Driscoll, Dr Rachael Beswick, AsPr Joseph Kei

Evaluating the strategies and outcomes of newborn hearing screening in Queensland

Rosalee Dewar


AsPr Leanne Johnston, Dr Andrew Claus, Dr Kylie Tucker, Dr Robert Ware

Postural control dysfunction in children with Cerebral Palsy: assessment and impact on function.

Cerys Downing


AsPr Joseph Kei, Dr Carlie Driscoll

Wideband Acoustic Immittance in Children with and without a Conductive Pathology

Iain Dutia


AsPr Sean Tweedy, Dr Emma Beckman (HMNS), Dr Mark Connick, AsPr Leanne Johnston

The effect of performance-focused swimming training on clinical outcomes in young people with cerebral palsy who have high support needs 

Yolanda Fernandez


Prof Jenny Ziviani, AsPr Monica Cuskelly, Dr Laura Miller

Children with developmental difficulties: positive engagement in leisure activities and implications for physical and psychosocial well-being

Olivia Galea


Dr Shaun O'Leary, Dr Julia  Treleaven

Do impairments exist beyond expected recovery time following Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and what is their relationship with self-reported symptoms?

Jenniffer Garcia


AsPr Jodie Copley, Dr Merrill  Turpin, AsPr Sally  Bennett

Improving quality of occupational therapy practice in Chile by building reasoning and research capacity of Chilean occupational therapist

Lisa Gardener


Prof Jenny Ziviani, Dr Merrill Turpin, AsPr Helen Bourke-Taylor

Responsibility sharing for optimal adolescent participation in diabetes self-management at high school

Rose Gilmore


Dr Leanne Sakzewski, Prof Jenny Ziviani

Social skills training for teenagers with acquired or congenital brain injuries. A randomised controlled trial investigating the effectiveness of the PEERS social skills group program in an Australian context.

Miran Goo


AsPr Leanne Johnston, Dr Kylie Tucker

Assessment of muscle tone in children with developmental disabilities

Jess Hill


Prof Jenny Ziviani, Dr Carlie Driscoll

Animal assisted occupational therapy interventions and in-session engagement of children on the autism spectrum.

Elizabeth Hornsby


AsPr Leanne Johnston, Dr Kylie Tucker

Improving functional performance of children with Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder

Annette Kaspar


AsPr Joseph Kei, Dr Carlie Driscoll

Paediatric Ear Disease and Hearing Loss in the Solomon Islands in the Solomon Islands

Lachlan Kerley


Dr Pamela  Meredith, Dr Paul  Harnett

Understanding the links between sensory processing and attachment patterns: Considering the role of childhood experiences and autonomic functioning

Miranda Kneebone


AsPr Leanne Johnston, Dr Kirsty Stewart, Prof Jenny Ziviani

The lived experience and functional impact of dyskinesia for young people with Cerebral Palsy

Ray Lang


AsPr Leanne Johnston, Prof Trevor Russell, Dr Kellie Stockton

CyFIT: telehealth-based outpatient physiotherapy for children with cystic fibrosis

Katelyn Melvin


Dr Carly  Meyer, AsPr Nerina  Scarinci

Engaging families to effectively support the early communication of their children in populations at high risk of communication disability

Chelsea Mobbs


AsPr Leanne Johnston, Dr Alicia Spittle

PRE-EMPT (PREterm Early intervention for Motor outcomes Physiotherapy Treatment): The effectiveness of community physiotherapy intervention for preterm infants at risk of neurodevelopmental delay and cerebral palsy

Perrin Moss


Prof Trevor Russell, Prof Jenny Ziviani, Dr Nicole Hartley

Telementoring: A realist evaluation of Project ECHO in the delivery of health services in Queensland

Joshua Myers


AsPr Joseph Kei, Dr Alicja Malicka, Dr Sreedevi Aithal

Diagnosing conductive dysfunction in infants using wideband acoustic immittance: Development and validation of predictive models

Sarah O’Reilly


Prof Jenny Ziviani, Prof Jenny Strong

Investigating the use of elastic based tapes for management of hypertrophic scar formation to the trunk post burn injury

Emma Schimke


Prof David  Copland, Dr Anthony  Angwin

The effect of sleep on novel word learning in healthy adults.

Ahmed Shahnawez


AsPr Asad Khan, Prof Jenny Ziviani

Evaluation of an intervention to promote active life-style of schoolchildren in Bangladesh

Kelly Storka


AsPr Jodie Copley, Prof Jenny Ziviani, Dr Cathy McBryde, Dr Pam Meredith, Dr Natasha Reid

Investigating intervention needs for children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and their families: Development of an intervention framework.

Zheng Yen Ng


Dr Monique Waite, Dr Katie Ekberg, Prof Louise  Hickson

Service provision in audiology and therapy for multilingual families

Featured publications

Name of Publication


Defining physical literacy for application in Australia: A modified Delphi method, Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 38 (2) 105-118. (2019)

Richard J. Keegan, Lisa M. Barnett, Dean A.  Dudley, Richard D. Telford, David, R. Lubans, Anna S. Bryant, William M. Roberts, Philip J. Morgan, Natasha K. Schranz, Juanita R. Weissensteiner, Stewart A. Vella, Jo Salmon, Jenny Ziviani, Anthony D. Okely, Nalda Wainwright, John R. Evans

Can canine-assisted interventions affect the social behaviours of children on the autism spectrum?: s systematic review. Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders6 1: 13-25. (2019)

Jessica Hill, Jenny Ziviani, Carlie Driscoll, Judy Cawdwell-Smith

CyFiT telehealth: protocol for a randomised controlled trial of an online outpatient physiotherapy service for children with cystic fibrosis, MC Pulmonary Medicine, 19 (1) 21. (2019)

Ray Lei Lang, Christine Wilson, Kellie Stockton, Trevor Russell, Leanne Johnston

Getting inTOUCH: outcomes of a knowledge translation intervention for tactile assessment knowledge, barriers, and practice in paediatric therapists working with children with cerebral palsy, Disability and Rehabilitation, 41 (19) 1-9. (2018)

Megan L. Auld, Leanne M. Johnston

Development of a diagnostic prediction model for conductive conditions in neonates using wideband acoustic immittance, Ear and Hearing, 30 (6) 111-1135. (2018)

Joshua Myers, Joseph Kei, Aithal Sreedevi, Aithal Venkatesh, Carlie Driscoll, Asaduzzaman Khan, Alehandrea Manuel, Joseph Anjali, Alicja N. Malicka

Diagnosing middle ear pathology in 6-to 9-month-old infants using wideband absorbance: a risk prediction model, Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research,  61 (9) 2386-2404.

Joshua Myers, Joseph Kei, Aithal Sreedevi, Aithal Venkatesh, Carlie Driscoll, Asaduzzaman Khan, Alehandrea Manuel, Joseph Anjali, Alicja N. Malicka

Exercise interventions improve postural control in children with cerebral palsy: a systematic review, Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 57 (6) 504-520. (2015) Rosalee Dewar, Sarah Love, Leanne Johnston
Muscle tone measures for children aged 0 to 12 years: a systematic review Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 60 (7) 660-671. (2018) Miran Goo, Kylie Tucker, Leanne Johnston
Efficacy of upper limb therapies for unilateral cerebral palsy: A meta-analysis, Paediatrics, 133 (1) e175-e204. (2014) Leanne Sakzewski, Jenny Ziviani, Roslyn Boyd

Can canine-assisted interventions affect the social behaviours of children on the autism spectrum?: s systematic review, Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 6 (1) 13-25 (2018)

Jessica Hill, Jenny Ziviani, Carlie Driscoll, Judy Cawdell-Smith
Hearing and auditory processing abilities in primary school children with learning difficulties, Ear and Hearing, 40 (3) 700-709. (2019) Seong Min Choi, Joseph Kei, Wayne Wilson
Prevalence of otitis media and risk-factors for sensorineural hearing loss among infants attending Child Welfare Clinics in the Solomon Islands, International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 111 21-25. (2018) Annette Kaspar, Obiga Newton, Joseph Kei, Carlie Driscoll, De Wet Swanepoel, Helen Goulios


  • CPL (Formerly the Cerebral Palsy League)
  • St Peters Lutheran College Indooroopilly
  • CanChild
  • Holland Bloorview Kids Hospital


  • 2019 – Most Downloaded Papers in Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 2017-2018 ‘Top 20’ – Miran Goo, Kylie Tucker, Leanne Johnston
  • 2018 – Mentorship Award, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences – Jenny Ziviani
  • 2018 – Higher Degree Research Supervision, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences – Leanne Johnston
  • 2017 – Elected Fellow of the Research Academy, Australian Occupational Therapy Research Foundation – Jenny Ziviani
  • 2017 – Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Inbound Research Mobility Scheme Inbound Research Mobility Scheme – Joseph Kei
  • 2017 – Teaching and Research Excellence (Physiotherapy) – Leanne Johnston
  • 2016 – Elected Fellow of the Academy of Research, American Occupational Therapy Foundation – Jenny Ziviani
  • 2016 – Research Excellence: Australian Physiotherapy Association (Queensland) – Leanne Johnston
  • 2016 - Most Downloaded Paper in Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology – Rosalee Dewar, Sarah Love, Leanne Johnston


For all general current HDR student queries and enquiries related to applications contact the HDR Liaison Officer: or +61 7 3365 7123

For all enquiries related to research in the School, contact the Senior Administration Officer (Research): or +61 7 3365 2074