Dannii Gilhome – Director and Founder of Cheeky Monkey Speech

Dannii is a speech pathologist, and is also the director and founder of Cheeky Monkey Speech, and has been working in the field close to 15 years. She has extensive experience working in the community health setting, an autism specific early intervention service and in private practice. Dannii is passionate about working alongside children and families to ensure that individualised support is provided. Dannii also volunteers her time in a support role for Speech Pathology Australia.

Lauren Ball – Speech Pathologist

Lauren completed her Bachelor of Speech Pathology at La Trobe University, and joined the Cheeky Monkey Team at the start of 2011. Prior to starting at Cheeky Monkey, Lauren worked in both mainstream and specialist school settings, as well as private practice. Lauren has experience in articulation disorders, early communication, social skills, play skills and delayed receptive and expressive language skills. Lauren enjoys working with a varied caseload and has a passion for making her therapy fun, motivating and family centred. In her spare time Lauren enjoys learning about health wellness and cooking.

Melissa Hedstrom – Speech Pathologist

Melissa completed her Bachelor of Speech Pathology at LaTrobe University, and joined the Cheeky Monkey Team in January 2012. Prior to starting at Cheeky Monkey Mel worked in an Early Intervention setting and spent time working in the UK across a range of settings including community health, early intervention and specialist school settings. Mel enjoys assessing and providing family centred therapy for preschool and early primary school children who have language delays, play and social skills difficulties and articulation disorders. Mel has also studied Kinesiology and enjoys cooking and listening to health and wellness podcasts on the weekend.

Cara Baker – Speech Pathologist

Cara has completed a Bachelor of Health Sciences and a Master of Speech Pathology at La Trobe University, joining the Cheeky Monkey team in May, 2016. Prior to starting at Cheeky Monkey, she enjoyed working with preschool and school aged children across the school, kinder and home settings. Cara enjoys working with preschool and school age children and their families to develop family centred goals and therapy plans. She enjoys working across the areas of language development, articulation, literacy, play skills and social skills, and has a particular interest in incorporating a child’s personal interests into sessions. Cara enjoys coaching and competing in calisthenics, yoga and listening to true crime podcasts in her spare time.

Anna Kjer-Nielsen – Speech Pathologist

Anna completed her Master of Speech at the University of Melbourne. Anna loves working with pre-school aged and school-aged children, and their families. Anna is particularly interested in working in the areas of play, social skills, language, literacy and speech. She is passionate about providing functional therapy in individual, group and kindergarten settings. In her spare time Anna enjoys yoga and op-shops, and gardening.

Meg O’Brien – Speech Pathologist

Meg completed her Master of Speech Pathology at the University of Melbourne, and joined the Cheeky Monkey team in 2020. Prior to commencing at Cheeky Monkey, Meg enjoyed working across a range of settings, such as home, kinder and school with preschool and school aged children. Meg is particularly interested in supporting preschool and school aged children and their families in the areas of language, speech, literacy and social skills. She believes it is vital to work collaboratively with families to develop individual therapy tailored to their personal interests. In her spare time Meg enjoys spending time with her family and friends, Pilates and spending time by the beach.

Loretta Mancs – Administration Manager

Loretta joined the Cheeky Monkey team in 2019. She has a background in administration and completed her Diploma of Nursing in 2017.  Loretta is a Mum to her 2 children and 2 step children. In her spare time she enjoys going to the football to support the Richmond Tigers.

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