SA Divisional Council

The role of the South Australian Division Council is:

  • To represent the interests of the members affiliated with the Division;
  • Provide focused input and feedback to the Division Manager relating to:
    • The prioritising and management of issues affecting SA members
    • Practice issues, including implementation issues arising from new standards or legislation and potential areas for improvement pertinent to the allied health sector, and occupational therapy in particular, and
    • Longer-term issues important to the allied health sector in which OTA can play a lead role.

Each Council member is responsible for specific portfolios. They welcome and value member input and feedback. Please feel free to contact them on any matters relating to their portfolio.

Council is committed to supporting all SA members. We value your feedback. Please let us know what we do well and where we can improve our services and products by contacting OTA.


Elizabeth McHugh |

Hello, my name is Elizabeth McHugh. I am very excited to be joining and chairing the OT SA Divisional Council for the next 2yrs to continue to build up the valuable work of previous council members to explore, collaborate, articulate and advocate around contemporary practice issues facing the profession in the changing es. I see the my role as being one to facilitate bridging the voices of therapists at the coal face through the Divisional Council and association to be heard at the table of the decision makers through strong lobbying and practice based evidence.

To share a bit about me; I graduated from UniSA in 2010. My practice interest and background lies in adult mental health having worked across community services pre and post integrated teams and in psychosocial programs. I am currently working in the Older Persons Mental Health sector and love working with older people specifically living in the community with complex comorbid psychiatric and aging related challenges including cognitive impairment. From this work I have a rapidly developing passion for dignity in risk in OT practice; exploring the ecology and advocacy for clients wishing to remain in the community. In my spare time; I love to cook and share a table with my nearest and dearest, sometimes this is just with my greyhound Freya! I am currently working on ‘Mastering the Art of Weekending’ – my own activity scheduling program to spend more time exploring our great city and regions and doing things that make me smile and feed the soul on weekends…the housework can wait.

Sue Gilbert-Hunt |

Susan Gilbert Hunt is a senior lecturer in occupational therapy at the University of South Australia. She has a strong commitment to education and learning through practice based or clinical placement opportunities. The Association has so much to offer students and new graduates and over the next two years she hopes to develop closer links with this cohort to inform some of the activities the Association offers.

Stacey George |

I have worked nationally and internationally in acute , inpatient and community rehabilitation. I am now Acting Head of the OT discipline at Flinders University and work clinically in the driving clinic at Repatriation General Hospital My specific goal for the Association in the next 2 years is to support the profession to take advantage of the opportunities brought about from the policy changes across all sectors.

Natalie Waterman |

Natalie has been a practicing occupational therapist for the past year working in the hospital setting within inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation with adults and the geriatric evaluation and management unit as well as paediatrics private practice. She has recently returned from volunteering as an occupational therapist in rural Kenya working with approximately 85 children who underwent orthopaedic surgery. Her passion for community development also led her to run a fundraiser which allowed her to work with the staff in Kenya to purchase new resources for the children’s home. Natalie is looking forward to exploring emerging practice areas for occupational therapists and developing support for new graduates and experienced therapists in a changing industry.

Edwina Shannon |

I have worked as an OT in South Australia since 1984. I completed a Masters of Health Science degree in OT in 1999. Since 1988 I have worked in the area of pain management and return to work services. I have worked in private practise in this area at the Complex Injury Group (formerly the Memorial Hospital Pain Unit) since 1991. Since 2003 I have also provided activities of daily living assessment services for medico-legal purposes. I completed the OT Driver Assessment course in 2004 and have done driver assessments regularly since that time. I was the recipient of the Les Brazier Research Award in 2014, undertaking research in evaluating the effectiveness of Graded Activity Programs for people with chronic pain.

I hope to bring to council experience of working as an OT in the private sector, and of being self employed, with all the benefits and problems that go along with this, including negotiating with insurers and regulated bodies. I look forward to learning about how the council works and hope that I can make a valuable contribution.

New Graduate

Annabel Hodson |

I am a recent graduate of the Master of Occupational Therapy, enjoying my new role in a rotational hospital position with the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network. I am looking forward to bringing a new graduate perspective to the Divisional Council and working towards identifying how OT Australia can best support students and new graduates as they transition from university to the workforce.

New Graduate

Olivia Hutchings |

Olivia Hutchings graduated from the University of South Australia in 2016 with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy. Currently, Olivia is working in private practice as a paediatric occupational therapist in the northern suburbs of Adelaide. Olivia has previously been involved with the Occupational Therapy Association in late 2016 on a student committee that developed a networking event for new graduates. As a member of council for 2017-19, Olivia is hoping to continue to help the association provide better support for students and new graduates in preparation for entering the workforce, as well as finding new ways to promote association membership to all occupational therapists. She is excited to bring enthusiasm, creativity and fresh ideas to the council.

Student Representative UniSA

Alice O’Connell-Debais |

My name is Alice and I am a third year OT student at UniSA. I chose to study occupational therapy as I wanted to work in the allied health sector and was passionate about OT's focus on social justice and holistic health for individuals and communities. In my role on the divisional council, I hope to work towards greater student engagement with OT Australia and the profession, to aid in the transition from study to practice. I hope to be a voice for students and in the future, new grads, and will bring any issues pertinent to this area to the council."

Student Representative UniSA

Chloe Stephenson |

Chloe is a fourth year Occupational Therapy student at the University of South Australia. Chloe’s experience with practice revolves around placements at university and a number of volunteer positions. Through volunteering with several organisations both in Australia and overseas, she has worked with children of different ages who have a range of disabilities. Chloe is passionate about this work, and hopes to raise awareness of Occupational Therapy in the wider community through her role as student representative from the University of South Australia in the SA Divisional Council of Occupational Therapy Australia. When not studying, Chloe has a keen interest in hiking outdoors, painting watercolour landscapes, "upcycling" objects, and baking delicious food.

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