Making communication a real partnership

About Us


Partners in Communication provides a variety of communication-based services for a wide range of clientele.

The practice was started in 2009 by Sharon Gill and has grown to include the team you meet today. Sharon, speech pathologist and director of PIC, has extensive 30-year experience across a variety of sectors. Trained in a wide range of therapeutic interventions, her special interest now is working in the Social Cognition area and she runs and oversees individual and group intervention across the practice. Sharon’s pilot research project is the innovative SSmarTs program, a social cognition program for teenagers and their parents. She completed the Clinical Training Program, Level 1 with Michelle Garcia Winner and the Social Thinking team in San Jose and presented at their Provider’s Conference in San Francisco in 2018. Sharon is committed to a family-centred model of therapy and is currently studying a Masters of Family Therapy to further enable her to provide comprehensive and holistic support to PIC clients.

The PIC team is a passionate bunch of therapists, highly educated assistants and administrative staff alike! We work as a team behind the scenes for each therapist’s client, frequently evaluating efficacy of intervention and consulting with families to ensure we are meeting needs. Our mantra is to support our clients to thrive in their individual context, extend their boundaries and develop the confidence to become the best person they can be. We value evidenced-based methodologies and engage in regular professional development, constantly supporting one another’s education and skill extension. We are part of many professional networks and maintain close relationships with our referring partners. It would be our pleasure to speak with you about our services.


Meet Our Team




Sharon Gill

About Sharon Gill

Sharon is an experienced and committed speech-language pathologist who is passionate about all areas of communication and in ensuring her team  provides a quality evidence based service to all clientele.

She has extensive experience in early intervention, in both primary and secondary schools and has worked for over 20 years across a variety of sectors including Community Health, the Education Department and in private practice. In addition to the PIC practice in Melbourne, she and her team also services the Geelong area.

Sharon is accredited to work within the Helping Children with Autism, Better Start and NDIS funding programs. In keeping with her strong commitment to a multidisciplinary approach, she works together with Occupational Therapists and Psychologists to provide both individual services and group programs.

Her personal interest is working in the Social Cognitive Communication domain and she runs social communication groups for varied age groups, including adults.

In addition to clinical practice, Sharon has developed a program in social communication for teenagers and their parents. This program is currently accredited as a pilot research project and the results will inform intervention practices for this client group.

Sharon continues to enhance her expertise through participation in national conferences, national and international seminars and training programs that include:

  • Post-grad diploma in Learning Disabilities

  • Hanen – It Takes Two to Talk, More Than Words and Talkability trained.

  • PROMPT – 3 day Introduction workshop.

  • PECS

  • ESDM – Introduction to the Early Start Denver Model.

  • PODD – Introductory workshop.

  • Social Thinking® - Clinical Training Program, Level 1A, San Jose, USA.

  • Secret Agent Society (SAS) 2nd Ed. social skills program – certified facilitator.

  • Tuning in to Teens™ Program - certified facilitator.

  • Presenter at the 2018 Social Thinking® Provider Conference San Francisco


Speech-Language Pathologist

Svetlana Usatov

About Svetlana Usatov

Svetlana Usatov is a certified practising speech pathologist, who is particularly passionate about literacy development and social communication. She is an advocate for evidence-based practice across all sectors, including private practice as well as the education system. She also has experience supporting children and families from complex and socially-disadvantaged communities. 

Svetlana has participated in numerous workshops and seminars, including the following:

  • Secret Agent Society Facilitator Training (Social Skills Training Institute)

  • Tuning into Teens - Emotionally Intelligent Parenting (Christiane E. Kehoe, Mindful Centre)

  • Tracking Better (R) Regulation Workshop (Deeta Kimber, Mindful Centre)

  • Anxiety and ASD (Fiona Zandt, Mindful Centre)

  • Social Thinking Training, Nancy Clements (Social Thinking)

  • Alert Program Facilitator Training (Sue Williams & Sherry Shellenberger)

  • More Than Words, Talkability (Hanen)

  • Understanding and Responding to Child Abuse and Exploitation (Cacet Global)


Speech-Language Pathologist

Lisa Newman

About Lisa Newman

Lisa is a Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist who has over 25 years experience working with children with varied communication difficulties. She has worked with families from a wide variety of cultural and language backgrounds. Lisa is passionate about working with families to achieve the best outcomes for each child’s communication development. She enjoys providing creative therapy within an individual or group context, and strongly believes in play therapy with young children.

Over the years, she has provided therapy across a number of settings, including, clinics, crèche, and kindergartens, primary and secondary and special schools. Lisa has special interest in early intervention in developmental speech and language delays, early literacy development and language based learning difficulties.

Lisa has participated in many professional development workshops and seminars, including the following:

  • Teaching Social Thinking in the Preschool and Early Primary Years (Social Thinking® Australia)

  • Diagnosis, Assessment and Intervention of children with autism (Jacqueline Roberts)

  • Zones of Regulation: Newest Thinking and Teaching Tools (Michelle Garcia Winner and Leah Kuypers)

  • Mechanics of Feelings in ASD (Dr Deeta Kimber)

  • Practical Strategies for working with Anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorders (Fiona Zandt)

  • Executive Function Skills and Strategies (Sarah Ward)


Speech-Language Pathologist

Kerri Newfield

About Kerri Newfield

Kerri is a Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist who received her Bachelor of Applied Science and Masters in Speech Pathology at La Trobe University. She is enthusiastic about applying her knowledge of quality evidence-based practices to ensure optimal outcomes for clients and their families in both social communication groups and individual therapy. She has received both clinical and volunteer experience across a variety of sectors. This includes working with primary school aged with a range of speech, language, literacy and social communication difficulties, and adults with communication and swallowing difficulties within the hospital setting. Kerri is also an ongoing volunteer for Flying Fox, an organisation providing social opportunities to people with a disability. She has a keen interest in all areas of paediatric communication and feeding/swallowing difficulties.

Kerri has participated in numerous workshops and seminars, including the following:

  • Emotions - All that we feel and more than we think! (Michelle Garcia Winner, The Social Mind)

  • Social Detective, Superflex® & Friends take on Social-Emotional Learning (Ryan Hendrix & Kari Zweber Palmer, The Social Mind)

  • Cued Articulation Workshop (Sounds for Literacy)

  • Auslan for Beginners (Flying Fox)

  • Infant Feeling Foundations: Assessment & Management (Babble & Munch Speech Pathology)

  • PEG Feeding and Tracheostomy Management (Better Care Consulting)


Speech-Language Pathologist

Tess Carew

About Tess Carew

Tess is a Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist who received her Master's Degree from La Trobe university. Tess has experience working with children with speech and language delays in numerous settings such as primary schools and various communication clinics. Tess has a great interest in working with children with social deficits in particular she enjoys running social skills groups for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Tess enjoys working alongside other allied health professions and caregivers in order to help children reach their full communication potential. Tess is a highly driven and creative clinician.

Tess has participated in numerous workshops and seminars, including the following:

  • Inclusion of Students with Speech, Language and Communication Needs (Vic. Dept of Ed & Training)

  • Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder (Vic. Dept of Ed & Training)

  • Understanding dyslexia and Significant Difficulties in Reading (Vic. Dept of Ed & Training)

  • Revved Up (Stride)

  • Calm Kids 2 - Mindfulness for Autism, Asperger's, ADAD & Anxiety P-12 (Kate Cooper)


Office Manager

Linda Leo

About Linda Leo

Linda is the part-time Office Manager of Partners in Communication. She became part of the team in August 2015. Her responsibilities cover many aspects of the business, including billing, appointments, Group Sessions, and Client Liaison. Prior to Partners in Communication Linda was busy raising her 2 boys, previous to that she was  in IT Communications.


Assistant Office Manager

Fiona Hickey

About Fiona Hickey

Fiona is the part-time Assistant Office Manager of Partners in Communication. She became part of the team in May 2017. Her responsibilities cover many aspects of the business, including billing, appointments, group sessions, and client liaison. Prior to Partners in Communication Fiona was busy raising her 3 children. 

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Design and Communications

Jai Gill

About Jai Gill

Jai has been working behind the scenes at PIC for years now, however has recently been spending more time at the front desk. She looks after the website, communications and HR. Jai is in her final year of studying osteopathy and is a keen swimmer, cyclist and runner. You may sometimes catch her on the phone or at reception along with her office dog!

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Administration Assistant

Andrea Morris

About Andrea Morris

Andrea is the newest addition to the PIC admin team, supporting reception with administrative tasks and phone calls. Andrea enjoys cooking and the fantasy genre!




Occupational Therapist

Karyn Joel

About Karyn Joel

Karyn has worked as a Paediatric Occupational Therapist for over ten years, and is currently a part of Melbourne Kids Therapy. She completed a Master of Occupational Therapy Practice in 2004 having previously studied an Arts Degree with honours in Psychology. Karyn has experience working with children of all ages across a range of settings. She has set up a school based occupational therapy program, worked in Early Childhood Intervention (ECIS), as a Tafe lecturer and in various project positions. Karyn is an experienced presenter delivering education sessions to parents, teachers and allied health professionals.


Clinical Psychologist

Monica Korpershoek

About Monica Korpershoek

As a consultant, Monica provides excellence in clinical and professional supervision and training. She is a resilient and skilled Clinical Psychologist with over 23 years experience working in a range of settings including paediatric, child and adolescent mental health, community, inpatient, and private practice. Approved by the Psychology Board of Australia to act as a supervisor, Monica has years of experience working with some of the most highly regarded facilities internationally. She has specialised in child and adolescent mental health, psychodynamic psychotherapy, working within complex systems and evidence based psychological therapies.


Speech-Language Pathologist

Marcella Van Mourik

About Marcella Van Mourik

Marcella is a speech-language pathologist with over 25 years experience. She has specialised in child and adolescent mental health after  working in education for many years and in private practice. She has a keen interest in autism spectrum disorders, social communication, language-learning difficulties and literacy. Additional training includes:

  • Masters in Special Education

  • Developmental Psychiatry Course

  • Child, Adolescent and Family Therapies

  • Secret Agent Society (SAS) 2nd Ed. social skills program - certified facilitator

  • Tuning into Teens - certified facilitator

  • Hanen - It Takes Two to Talk




Brendan Tan


Edward Pascoe


Zara Gates


Lauren Kalisch

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David Berlinski