Board Members

  • Magnus Hammarsal

    Magnus Hammarsal

    (chair person)

    I am Swedish by origin but trained as a Speech Language Therapist at University College London and worked in the UK prior to coming to New Zealand in 2000. I have worked in a variety of settings, I had mixed posts working in both paediatrics and adult healthcare in the UK. I then had a stint working privately in New Zealand before moving onto Counties Manulka DHB and then TalkLink in 2003. Since then my focus has been on Assistive Technology assessment and provision working for the TalkLink team for nearly 15 years now.

    I have been on the ATANZ board for four years now and have been in the Chairperson position for the last two years. I feel that both Talklink and ATANZ provide vital and complementary services to the Assistive Technology community and try to juggle my ‘two hats’ to make sure that both clients and professionals are as well supported as possible in their daily lives.

  • Routhelle Gaerlan

    Routhelle Gaerlan

    I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology from the University of the Philippines – Manila in 2006. I practiced there for two years working with children and adults with communication and swallowing difficulties before moving to New Zealand in late 2008. I have worked for three different DHBs since I moved here and I have also been able to obtain my Postgraduate Certificate in Rehabilitation.

    Currently, I am a Community SLT with the Adult Community Services under Auckland District Health Board. Communication is a vital part of everyone’s lives. I believe that everyone should be able to access communication, and engage their ideas in any way or form. We all already use different modes of communication in our day-to-day lives from the use of emojis, gifs, and even on different social media platforms like Snapchat - where the use of words is not necessary to convey a message. The improvement of technology and integration of mainstream devices could be maximised to meet our clients’ needs. I look forward to the years when augmentative communication and use of assistive technology is part of the ‘norm’ and are not viewed as ‘specialised medical devices.

  • Hilde van Santen

    Hilde van Santen

    I have worked as an SLT with children with special needs at special schools, rehab centres and in early intervention since 1992 in The Netherlands and since 2004 in New Zealand. I have worked at the Kidz First Child Development Team and Parkside School following many years at Carlson School for Children with Cerebral Palsy. Currently I work at Maitai Special School in Nelson. In my spare time I have done a fair bit of volunteer work overseas as an SLT. I also support other SLTs with supervision.

    Given that I have worked with children with significant communication needs I have always enjoyed the challenge of supporting them with Augmentative and Alternative Communication. I feel that communication is a basic need for any person to connect with others and to express themselves. I have been CAT 2 accredited for several years and am enthusiastic about the new developments within technology that are more flexible, socially acceptable and allow many more communicators to express themselves. I joined the ATANZ BOT to give therapists in the AAC community, such as OT’s and SLT’s at special schools, in Early Intervention and in private practice a voice.

  • Chris O’Hara

    Chris O’Hara

    I trained as an Occupational Therapist in the UK and graduated in 2006, before moving to New Zealand in 2008. I have experience working across a range of acute hospital settings in both the UK and New Zealand, and as a community OT in Gisborne. I joined TalkLink in 2014 to allow me to work and further increase my knowledge in the field of Assistive Technology. I have completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Accessibility & Inclusive Design, and have a strong passion in the use of technology and environmental design to increase independence, communication and community inclusion. As part of my role at TalkLink I have presented lectures to student OT’s on Assistive Technology to increase knowledge of this area of practice.

    I am excited to join the ATANZ BOT to help support the important work it does, in an ever developing area which can be of significant benefit to people’s lives. I am also motivated to increase the knowledge around, and use of Assistive Technology, within the wider Occupational Therapy profession.

  • Justine Simpson

    Justine Simpson

    I joined the Ministry of Education in the early 1990’s. My professional background is in Speech Language Therapy and Primary Teaching working with children with special needs in schools and early childhood centres both in New Zealand and London. On my return to New Zealand I have worked for the Ministry of Education in a number of roles, currently holding the position of National Assistive Technology Coordinator. I am currently on the Enable accreditation panel accrediting CAT level 2 assessors.

    I bring with me a very strong personal belief in inclusion. I have always believed that children learn differently and at their own rate and I think the school should be a welcoming place for all children to learn. Working as a speech language therapist, ‘communication’ has always been a fundamental part of my role, focussing on augmentative communication solutions for children, as well as assistive technology practice has lead me to my current position as the National Assistive Technology Coordinator, Special Education.

  • Jessamy Bell

    Jessamy Bell

    I am a Speech Language Therapist. I was born in Zimbabwe and moved to New Zealand in 2001. I graduated from Massey University and worked at Wilson School in Auckland before moving to TalkLink Trust in 2013. I have been extremely interested in Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) and assistive technology since my final student placement at Wairau Valley Special School and then through working at Wilson School. This interest spurred me on to complete a Post Graduate Certificate in Emergent Literacy for Children with Complex Communication Needs who use AAC to communicate. I will complete my Masters of Speech Language Therapy in 2018 focusing on the preceptions and experiences of children who use AAC and attend an AAC focused camp with their families.

    I joined the ANTAZ BOT in August 2015. I am excited to be a part of ATANZ at this dynamic time, where technology is changing so quickly. I am also excited about the growing number of therapists becoming CAT Level 1 accredited and how ATANZ can possibly support these therapists through supervision and offering professional development opportunities.

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ATANZ
C/- TalkLink Trust,
Po Box 44053 Pt Chevalier,
Auckland 1246