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Parent Reference Group

Our Parent Reference Group provide valuable parent/carer perspectives with regard to planning, implementation and delivery of services.

The Parent Reference Group can be contacted by emailing

Claire Parker


Claire’s daughter has cerebral palsy and Asperger’s syndrome and has been receiving services from Therapy Focus for ten years. As Claire’s daughter moves from secondary schooling into the wider community, she will be accessing the range of adult services that Therapy Focus now offers. Claire looks forward to using her family’s lived experience of this transition to benefit the community and the Board of Therapy Focus.

Claire has long been involved with the Health Department, having worked as an independent researcher for KEMH and also been a member of their Community Advisory Council. As such, Claire has substantial experience of both sides of the clinician/patient equation.

Amanda Reed

Amanda holds a number of qualifications in Community Services and has worked primarily in the children's services sector for 22 years. For the past 10 years Amanda has worked at SMYL Community Services as a Lecturer, and is privileged to work with a group of like-minded people. She has a strong interest in capacity building, values family, social justice and equity, and holds a passion for inclusion - particularly of families in remote communities.

Amanda's association with Therapy Focus began in 2010 when her son, who has cerebral palsy, Autism, Intellectual disability, vision impairment and Global Development Delay, entered the schooling system. She is delighted to be a member of the PRG and is looking forward to sharing her knowledge to support Therapy Focus in achieving better outcomes for families.

Frances Marsden

Frances came into contact with Therapy Focus when her son, diagnosed with autism, was picked up in 2014 for school aged intervention services.  The strong relationship the family developed with their therapists was the motivation to be a part of the Parent Reference Group; to better understand the organisation and to work in partnership to provide the best support and strategies for her sons future. Frances believes that her role is to educate people about autism and advocate for her son and others.

Frances has a Diploma of Business Management and has worked in the retail and hospitality sector as a manager for the last 20 years.  Currently she is volunteering as a puppy educator with PAWS to raise an assistance dog.

Emma Chessell-Keevers

Emma is mother to two children aged 6 and 9. Her 9 year-old daughter has Down syndrome and has been receiving services from Therapy Focus for three years. As a parent, Emma greatly values working collaboratively with school and service providers towards agreed goals, and promoting community inclusion by sharing her own experiences and leading by example. She also believes in the importance of providing adequate services to support positive physical and mental health outcomes for parents and carers of people with disabilities.

Through her roles as a website content coordinator and an independent skincare and cosmetics consultant, Emma is passionate about the importance and impact of good customer service and effective communication. She is excited to bring her skills and values to her role as a member of the Parent Reference Group.

Deborah de Geeter

Deborah is a mother of 9 year old twin boys. One of her boys, Christopher was diagnosed with Global Developmental Delay (GDD) at age 2. He now has Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and he attends school through an Education Support Centre.

Christopher started services with Therapy Focus 5 or 6 years ago and Deborah said she was really happy with the progress he had made over the years of having therapy.

She said she was excited to become a part of the Parent Reference Group as she was very happy with Christopher's services and felt she had a lot to contribute to the group and could also get a lot out of it.
Deborah works as a Nanny and is really committed to supporting and nurturing children and enabling them to reach their potential.

Margaret Mtambara

Margaret is a mother of two sons, aged 18 and 17 and her daughter is almost 7 and was born with a disability. Her main diagnosis is Lobar Holoprosencephaly; which is a neurological condition and she has 6 other conditions. As Margaret’s daughter transitions to the NDIS in 2019, she said she will be moving her therapy to Therapy Focus because of the many recommendations from happy families in their circles.

Margaret works as a high school teacher and she is the full time carer for her daughter. Margaret said she was excited to be in PRG as she is passionate about parents’ and carer’s voices being heard and at the same time creating opportunities to empower them. Margaret hopes to bring diversity and excitement to her new role.

Evelyn McKay

Evelyn is a proud Noongar woman born in Perth with connections to the South West areas of Busselton and Geraldton, as well as Northampton. She is a mother of five with a son who has autism and epilepsy, and another son who has ADHD and anxiety. Evelyn is also the Founder and Chair of the Aboriginal support group, Be My Koorda, which means 'be my friend or brother'.

Evelyn joined the Parent Reference Group to be the voice of other Aboriginal parents who are unable to contribute to the group. She believes in making a difference in the community by representing children and their families to be included and supported as they navigate the NDIS.

Elie Sassine

Elie is the full-time carer for his teenage son who has autism spectrum disorder. The Sassine family started receiving services from Therapy Focus in 2010 in an effort to help their son develop communication and daily living skills, and to help him live life to the best of his ability.

Elie joined the Parent Reference Group with his wife Samar to advocate for parents of children with special needs and to witness firsthand what their influence can help achieve.

Samar Sassine

Samar helps to care for her teenage son alongside her husband Elie, who is also a member of the Parent Reference Group. Like most parents who have a child with special needs, Samar is passionate about ensuring her son lives his life in safety and happiness, knowing that there are people who will support and care for him.

Samar joined the Parent Reference Group with her husband to learn all that she could for her son, and to give back to the organisation that has supported her family with the things they could not do on their own.

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