About Us

 

Welcome to Forest Allied Health

Forest Allied Health provides a diverse range of home-based Occupational Therapy (OT), Physiotherapy and Exercise Physiology services in the Northern Sydney area including the Northern Beaches, North Shore, Hornsby area, Epping, Ryde and Hills District.  Forest Allied Health provides home or community-based services for adults and young people so that you can be assessed within your home, work or leisure environment. To see the range of services provided please look at our Services page.

Operating within NDIS since 2017 as Forest Occupational Therapy, we are the same fantastic team just with a brand new name!

Forest Allied Health is committed to providing Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Exercise Physiology services that are person centred and goal driven. Your therapist will work with you to restore function, optimise safety and facilitate independence. We pride ourselves on providing comprehensive functional assessments and writing high quality reports to support applications for admission to the NDIS, applications for Assistive Technology, Supported Independent Living Funding, Specialist Disability Accommodation or to ensure appropriate supports are identified for NDIS Plans.
All our therapists are highly experienced, AHPRA registered and members of OT Australia.
Inquiries are welcome from individuals, family members and carers, GP’s, community care service providers, residential care facilities, support coordinators and other allied health or medical practitioners.

Our Therapists

Ilona Cook

Principal Occupational Therapist

Since graduating from The University of Sydney in 2000, Ilona has worked as an Occupational Therapist in a range of public and private hospitals, community-based services, aged care facilities, disability services and case management. Ilona established Forest Occupational Therapy in 2015 and has been working with NDIS Participants since 2017. At the commencement of 2021, with an expanding team of committed and talented therapists, Ilona was excited to launch Forest Allied Health.

Ilona is a dedicated and compassionate therapist who understands the needs and potential difficulties people may have due to either illness, disability, post surgery or a following a fall.

Ilona has a special interest in Dementia and is trained to deliver the COPE Program https://copeprogram.com.au/
In her free time Ilona enjoys relaxing with her husband, two children and two adorable Whippets, camping, binging TV series, BBQ’s by the pool and going on adventures with Scouts.

Sumei Wrigley

Occupational Therapist

Sumei has over 20 years experience working as an Occupational Therapist in both acute and rehabilitation settings, within hospitals and community and in both public and private sectors. Sumei has had the privilege of practicing Occupational Therapy in South Africa, England and Australia.
Sumei is a strong advocate for empowerment and she strives to achieve this by working towards making a positive difference to a person’s life by facilitating independence, improving safety and enabling maximum function. She is passionate about what Occupational Therapy offers and strives to be an advocate for all clients.
In her spare time, Sumei loves tending to her succulents, photography, reading and bushwalking with her husband and two children.

Annarie Hildebrand

Occupational Therapist

Annarie has over 20 years’ experience working in a variety of clinical settings in adult disability and mental health. Annarie has worked both in Australia and the UK. She has extensive experience including working as a rehabilitation consultant and case manager within various insurance schemes, providing expert opinion and medico-legal reports, and within hospital and community settings. Annarie is an APHRA registered Occupational Therapist and is FIM accredited.

Annarie is passionate about facilitating and supporting individuals and families to reach their maximum potential and capacity to live independently and reach their goals. Annarie has a specialist interest in mental health and home modification and enjoys the challenge of finding creative solutions for complex problems and situations.

In her free time, Annarie enjoys printmaking, ceramics, cycling and camping with her husband and three children.

Lucy Acheson

Occupational Therapist

 

Cathy Ciesla

Occupational Therapist

 

Jowita Lee

Occupational Therapist

 

Kirstin Hopkins

Occupational Therapist

Kirstin is an experienced Occupational Therapist with a special interest in Mental Health, who qualified in South Africa, before working in London and then settling in Sydney in 2009. Her experience includes acute inpatient, rehabilitation and community settings. Kirstin has worked in the private sector since 2019, providing OT services to NDIS participants with a psychosocial disability.

Kirstin works collaboratively and compassionately with her clients and their families/ carers, by supporting them to develop the skills they need to empower themselves, in order to live their best lives. Areas of experience include working with adults who have diagnoses of Schizophrenia, Mood disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Anxiety. She is a passionate advocate for respectfully supporting Neurodivergent individuals and their unique functional and sensory support needs. Kirstin is committed to ongoing professional development, particularly values learning from those with a ‘lived experience’, and regularly engages in training, courses and conferences, to ensure adherence to current best practice.

Kirstin is able to assist NDIS participants and their families/ carers with identifying appropriate levels of support and accommodation needs, as well as building capacity with respect to functional and vocational skill development. Kirstin works to support positive engagement with all her clients, including the use of sensory approaches to support emotional regulation and enable enhanced participation in day-to-day and other meaningful activities.

Kirstin is a mum to two busy boys who keep her on her toes! Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family, appreciating nature and the beautiful outdoors.

 

 

Samantha Salerno

Exercise Physiologist

 Since graduating from The University of Sydney in 2014 with a Masters of Exercise Physiology and a Bachelor of Exercise & Sports Science, Sam has worked as an Exercise Physiologist within the private hospital system. Sam has had the privilege of rehabilitating and providing exercise programs to a variety of individuals with chronic disease, illnesses & injuries.

Sam plays a key part in developing individualised exercise programs that are tailored and specific to the individual, their functional and physical short and long term goals & ultimately maintaining their independence.

Sam is a compassionate and enthusiastic therapist, who believes that exercise and physical activity should be fun and enjoyable and thrives on helping those on their health and physical journey, while developing a good rapport with her participants.

Sam enjoys spending time with her family and friends and being active herself in her spare time, while enjoying the beautiful outdoors and fresh air.

Julie McMurtry

Physiotherapist

 

Lauren Walker

Physiotherapist