Meet our passionate and experienced team of Scoliosis practitioners
Rebecca has 24 years experience as a physiotherapist, graduating in 1996. In 2010, Rebecca’s interest turned purely to Scoliosis management and she travelled internationally to gain her initial Schroth-based scoliosis specific exercise qualification with the Barcelona Scoliosis Physiotherapy School (BSPTS) and returned in 2012 to complete her Advanced qualification with Dr Rigo, founder of the BSPTS. Between 2010 and 2018, Rebecca travelled internationally multiple times for scoliosis specific training, including attaining qualification in the Italian method of scoliosis exercises known as SEAS (Scientific Exercise Approach to Scoliosis) and attending The International Society on Scoliosis Orthopaedic Rehabilitation and Treatment (SOSORT) conferences and participating in their special interest research components. Rebecca was accepted as a member of SOSORT in 2013, moderated a conference session in 2018 and in 2020 was accepted for podium presentation for her research on adolescent scoliosis bracing. In 2016, Rebecca presented at the Spine Society of Australia’s (SSA) national conference on idiopathic scoliosis. In 2016 and 2019, she presented on the same topic for the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA). Rebecca became a Teacher for the International ‘BSPTS-Concept by Rigo’ Scoliosis Educational Program in 2019 and is on it’s board, being manager of the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to her scoliosis world, Rebecca was heavily involved in Dance physiotherapy and the Pilates Industry for 14 years becoming a registered Pilates Instructor course provider and examiner for the Australian Pilates Method Association. She is Polestar (rehab) and DMA qualified. Between 2000-2004 she was a consultant physiotherapist for the Australian Ballet Company and School. Personal interests include camping with her husband and two adolescent children and restoring an old ’65 Peugeot 404.
Shanta is a very experienced physiotherapist graduating in Physiotherapy in 1989 and completing her Post-Graduate Diploma in Sports Physiotherapy in 1997. In her youth, she was a junior National level tennis competitor and this early interest in athletic performance lead her initial physiotherapy work to the management of other high performing population groups including dancers at the Victorian College of the Arts and the Australian Ballet School.
The use of exercise for treatment has always been of great interest to Shanta. For more than 10 years she has been utilizing the Pilates method of rehabilitation in the management of spinal and postural conditions. In 2012 Shanta traveled to Spain to gain her initial Schroth certification with Dr Rigo and the Barcelona Scoliosis Physical Therapy School. In 2015, Shanta gained her Advanced level Schroth qualification and continues to enjoy using this very specific exercise method in the management of significant Scoliosis.
Shanta especially enjoys the challenges of working with the more mature population group where there is frequently the combination of idiopathic scoliosis together with adult degenerative scoliosis or other spine conditions.
Personal interests include time in the great outdoors with her husband and 3 daughters.
Victoria’s interest in exercise science began in 2002 with the completion of 1st year Bachelor of Science (Sports and Exercise Science) NZ. In 2005 she gained certification in Comprehensive Pathology Collection and in 2007 graduated in Physiotherapy at LaTrobe University, Melbourne.
In 2009, Victoria successfully accomplished a Pilates Rehabilitation qualification with the Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute (APPI) and began regularly using this specific form of exercise prescription in the management of a variety of spinal and postural conditions including scoliosis. Between 2009 and 2012, Victoria attended many scoliosis related Pilates workshops, and in her quest for further knowledge in this field, she traveled to America to gain her initial Schroth certification in 2013 and joined the team at Scoliosis Physiotherapy, immersing herself 100% in the management of scoliosis. Early 2016 had her travel internationally again to satisfy all requirements for Advanced level Schroth qualification with the Barcelona Scoliosis Physical Therapy School.
Victoria thoroughly enjoys working with teenagers, as well as the more mature clientele. With lives so busy, Victoria loves working out with clients how to achieve postural conditioning needs and still live a balanced life. Scoliosis is a condition particularly dear to Victoria as her sister has it.
Personal interests include traveling to visit family and friends abroad and getting out of town to visit her parents’ Alpacas (and her parents of course!)
Ashleigh developed an interest in scoliosis and spinal deformity since travelling to Scandinavia for her medical internship as part of her Doctor of Physiotherapy degree. From this time she began working in the conservative management of scoliosis which then led her on to gaining qualification in the Schroth method of Physiotherapeutic Scoliosis Specific Exercises with Dr Rigo of the Barcelona Scoliosis Physiotherapy School.
Ashleigh has research published in the European Spine Journal and World Journal of Orthopaedics on the assessment and conservative assessment of scoliosis. Research is ongoing with the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders.
Prior to her scoliosis specific interests, Ashleigh focused on the strength and conditioning elements of rehabilitation. She undertook Pilates training with APPI (The Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute) and later completed an additional course specific to scoliosis.
Ashleigh is passionate about creating long-term outcomes for patients to improve their quality of life and assist people in achieving their goals.
Jude is an experienced Orthotist and Prosthetist whose career started at The Sydney Children’s Hospital 10 years ago. It was here that she first began bracing children with scoliosis. She also managed a range of paediatric conditions such as Plagiocephaly, Cerebral palsy, Hip Dysplasia and Talipes Equinoverus. Jude’s work in the adult sector focused on management of trauma patients with acquired brain injury and spinal cord injury. Jude moved to a more senior role at Royal North Shore Hospital where she focussed on improving service delivery methods, setting up multidisciplinary clinics to improve patient outcomes.
In 2013, Jude worked in Afghanistan with the International Committee of the Red Cross, training local staff in all areas of Prosthetic and Orthotics, ensuring service delivery followed global guidelines of treatment outlined by the Physical Rehabilitation Program, based in Geneva. During her time in Afghanistan, Jude conducted a national survey, looking at factors affecting how services may be delivered in such a challenging environment. Jude took this experience to Darwin, working in remote communities, with particular interest on how access to services can impact the individual.
Returning to Orthotic Management after the birth of her daughter, Jude is enjoying being immersed in the world of Scoliosis again, and utilizing the new technologies available such as 3D body scanning and CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and manufacturing) to custom make 3D scoliosis braces for children and adults, instilling the 3D Rigo-Cheneau principles of design.
Outside of work, Jude has a strong interest in water sports, being a keen kayaker, rower and sailor.
When changes in body shape occur such as with scoliosis, this can present with challenges mentally and emotionally.
Increasingly around the world, the important role that psychology plays in caring for the whole person with scoliosis, is finally being realized. We have both local and international psychologists considered part of our team, providing consultations to clients and whom have experience working specifically with scoliosis.
For our younger clients whom are requiring a brace, we insist upon (well not really… we strongly encourage!) a ‘casual meeting’ session with our local psychologist (at a 50% initial rate when referred by us) just to meet and know that there is someone trained in strategies regarding stresses or worries of any kind. It is good to have using this resource normalized for the adolescent. Just like how a Podiatrist helps people with issues of the feet, a psychologist helps with issues of the mind/mental stress.
In Australia, we are fortunate to have some excellent (non-surgery hungry) surgeons that have scoliosis as their primary interest area and show the same care for the individual that we do. The surgeons we associate with are supportive of the client exploring non-operative options (when appropriate) and provide recommendations in line with the guidelines provided for by the SRS (Scoliosis Research Society) and the SOSORT (International Society on Scoliosis Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Treatment).
These surgeons have experience in a variety of operative techniques such as VBT (Vertebral Body Tethering), Posterior fusions, Anterior fusions and growing rods, just to name a few. Some surgeon work solely with adults, others solely with children and some see both. We will guide you into the right hands if/when this is required. It is important your surgeon is not just any spinal surgeon but a surgeon with scoliosis specialty and a surgeon with the right care for the individual.
Donna and Eva will usually be the first voices you hear when you phone us and the first friendly faces to greet you upon your arrival at our East Kew practice. With over 40 years of medical reception experience between them, they together manage our Reception, provide support to clients and staff alike and do all those million things that keep things running smoothly.