Meet the Ignite Healthcare Team

Ignite Healthcare provides aged care and disability allied health services to Victorians

Founded in 2018 by Australian-qualified and trained aged care physiotherapists, David Dinca and David Robin, Ignite Healthcare, is a physiotherapy and occupational therapy provider of aged care and disability services to metropolitan Melbourne and surrounding districts.

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David Dinca

Co-Founder & Managing Director

Physiotherapist

After graduating from the University of South Australia with a Bachelor of Human Movement degree, David Dinca’s interest in health care led him to complete a Master of Physiotherapy degree at the University of Sydney. David then gained valuable experience working as a physiotherapist for leading Victorian physio companies for several years before founding Ignite Healthcare with his business partner, David Robin.

With a keen interest in providing quality physiotherapy services to seniors and the disabled in residential and community care, David’s specialties include geriatric physiotherapy, pain management, orthopaedic rehabilitation and neurological rehabilitation.

David is a professional member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association, registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, and a registered Parkinson’s Disease Warrior.

Being from a big family with eleven siblings, visiting and caring for family is important to David together with church activities and commitments. A competitive sportsman, David plays soccer for the Rowville Eagles Football Club in Victoria.

David Robin

Co-Founder & Managing Director

Physiotherapist

David Robin holds a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science degree from Deakin University, and a Master of Physiotherapy degree from the University of Sydney.

Like his business partner, David has several years of aged care physiotherapy experience and shared expertise in caring for senior Australians, as well as training and educating aged care staff and supporting physiotherapy graduates. With common interests in geriatric physiotherapy and improving the health and quality of life of older Australians, founding Ignite Healthcare with David Dinca was a logical progression.

In addition, David led one-on-one training and group fitness at a Melbourne personal training studio, including his own fitness training with strength and conditioning coaches.

David enjoys travelling, exploring and spending quality time with his family, he loves keeping active, playing sports and socialising at the gym, plus is quite happy watching sports, especially the AFL, from the sidelines. A drummer for 15+ years, David has a passion for music and has performed in several bands.

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Dolores Robin

General Manager

Occupational Therapist

Dolores studied Science at Monash University from 2006 to 2010 and has a double major in Pharmacology and Physiology. She went on to complete her Honours degree in Physiology in 2011 and conducted research in the field of diabetes and obesity related illnesses. Dolores then went on to complete her post-graduate master’s degree in Occupational Therapy Practice at Latrobe University in 2012.

 

Dolores has an extensive background in mental health, occupational rehabilitation, and chronic disease management in the adolescent and adult population. Dolores has worked closely with a broad range of organisations in Australia and New Zealand to implement early intervention programs to support employees with their recovery from physical and psychological injury.

 

With eight years in a corporate healthcare setting, Dolores brings expert knowledge to the team when it comes to chronic disease management and how a broad range of disabilities may impact on an individuals ability to engage in meaningful employment, and other daily activities.

Natalie Robin

Business Support Manager

Natalie graduated from William Angliss Institute with a Diploma of Events Management and Tourism in 2015, then later completed a Certificate in Digital Marketing before joining Ignite Healthcare in 2020. Natalie has over 5 years’ experience in Marketing, Operations and Customer Management.

 

Natalie has volunteered at countless Events and programs within Australia and overseas. With nearly 10 years’ experience working and volunteering with clients and within school environments, she prides herself on her interpersonal skills and willingness to problem solve.

 

Natalie was very eager to broaden her knowledge in the Allied Health environment and learn about therapeutic supports through Ignite Healthcare from a business management perspective.

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Kara Bernau

Social Media Coordinator

Kara graduated from Deakin University with a Bachelor of Psychology with a double major in Criminology. She then went on to complete a Graduate Diploma of Digital Media at Deakin in 2018.

 

Kara is a versatile individual with multiple interests and a passion for the digital media industry. Since graduating, Kara has traveled the world and has worked in a variety of jobs. She has worked with an international team on turtle conservation, cared for disadvantaged and under-privileged children and has been responsible for children whose parents were overseas or at work.

 

As Social Media Coordinator of Ignite Healthcare, Kara exhibits creativity, teamwork and motivation. She continues to strive to broaden community awareness of the comprehensive spectrum of services that Ignite Healthcare offers in order to ensure those who need assistance can access the support they require and deserve.

Sonia Borg

Behavioural Support Services Manager

Sonia studied a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) at Deakin University from 2005 to 2008. During her studies, she developed a passion for working with children and their families. In 2011, Sonia completed further study in this field, a Post-Graduate Certificate in Occupational Therapy (Paediatrics) at La Trobe University. After graduating, Sonia worked within a specialist autistic school for six and a half years. Here she developed her knowledge working within this population and specific interventions to achieve the student’s goals across many areas of their daily school life. Additionally, Sonia worked in private organisations for collectively 8 years across different funding bodies.

 

In 2018, Sonia branched into Positive Behaviour Support, supporting people and their families across the lifespan to improve their quality of life. She has experience completing functional behaviour assessments and behaviour support plans that are tailored to the needs of the individual, as well as supporting colleagues to complete the same. Sonia is currently studying a Master of Child Play Therapy through Deakin University and is excited to see where this journey takes her in the future.

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Brian Pham

Physiotherapy Team Leader

Brian graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) in 2018 and has extensive knowledge in assessing and treating musculoskeletal conditions after working in private practice for two years.

 

In 2020, Brian joined the team at Ignite Healthcare as a senior physiotherapist, bringing a wealth of experience having dealt with participants on the NDIS, Home Care Package, DVA, WorkCover, TAC and chronic disease management plan. Brian has consulted in various settings and is a strong believer that each individual is their own athlete, regardless of age or condition!

 

Through Brian’s journey as a rehabilitation physiotherapist, he has attended various PD courses and symposiums to further his knowledge and to continue mentoring new-graduate physios, allowing a streamlined transition from university to a flourishing clinician in the community setting.

 

Outside of work, Brian enjoys watching and playing soccer and AFL (unfortunately barracking for Essendon), but most of all enjoys spending time with friends and family.

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Business Support Coordinator

Tha Yu grew up in refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border before migrating to Australia in 2007. It was here where she completed her schooling years and her undergraduate degree in Business at RMIT.

 

While studying full time at RMIT and majoring in International Business, Tha Yu spent three years as an administrator at Victorian School of Languages, where the institution provides languages that are not offered in mainstream education.

 

Tha Yu enjoys photography and spending time with her family; and is passionate about caring for her home community back in Thailand. Her and her family are regular donators to those back home who are disadvantaged and afflicted by civil war.

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Ashling Barry

Speech Pathology Manager

Ash completed her Bachelor of Speech Pathology at James Cook University in 2013. Following this she undertook a community-based role in rural Queensland where she provided services to children in their homes, day cares, and schools. In 2016, Ash relocated to Townsville where she continued to develop her clinical skills in paediatrics, and supported families during the initial roll out of the NDIS.  

Her role based in Townsville brought with it the opportunity to provide an outreach service to Palm Island, where she worked alongside families, the Palm Island Community Company, schools, the day-care, the NDIS and other key health services. In 2018, Ash was awarded "NQPHN Allied Health Professional of the Year" for her contribution to the Speech Pathology service on Palm Island. 

Jo Kanard

Senior Physiotherapist

Jo attended La Trobe University and gained a double degree with a Bachelor of Health Sciences and Masters in Physiotherapy in 2013. Since then she has worked extensively in private practice, domiciliary care and aged care, as well as providing physiotherapy services for local football teams on the weekends in both Sydney and Melbourne. She also has experience with Clinical Pilates, Therapeutic Yoga and dry needling.

 

Jo is passionate about providing care for the elderly and optimising their quality of life, but also enjoys the more fast-paced environment and quick thinking that is required when providing acute physio services in a sporting setting.

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Owen Smith

Talent Acquisition Business Partner

Owen studied a Bachelor of Arts at Simon Fraser University from 2009 to 2014 and has a major in Political Science.

 

Upon graduating, Owen worked in internal and agency Recruitment and Human Resources for over 4 years where he developed knowledge in healthcare, retail and cleaning industries. He enjoyed working in different industries and recruiting for a range of different roles, particularly medical roles.

 

Outside of work, he like to go to the gym, cook healthy meals, and has a passion for all things health and wellness related.

Michelle Graham

Occupational Therapist

Michelle studied at Deakin University in Geelong where she completed her Bachelor of Occupational Therapy in 2013. It was there she discovered her passion for working with families of children with additional needs. She volunteered at her local adult services and day programs while completing her degree.

 

Michelle also worked as a Learn to Swim instructor; marrying her love for sports, water safety and wellness with her knowledge of functional needs, leisure and fitness. She taught adolescents and young adults necessary skills to enjoy and be safe around water.

 

Michelle has an extensive background in working with children with Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention and Hyperactivity disorders and Intellectual Disabilities and other functional needs. She is passionate about providing her clients and their families with high quality of individualised interventions and resources to empower them and to build their daily independence.

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Pav Rajasekaram

Operations Manager

Pav is an experienced leader, with a demonstrated history of over 9 years working in the Australian healthcare industry.  Pav completed her Bachelor of Physiotherapy at Monash University and more recently completed an MBA at Melbourne Business School, to acquire the knowledge and skills to successfully navigate and lead a business to meet the growing demand for sustainable, quality care.
 

Pav speaks fluent Tamil and outside of work, enjoys being a freelance hair and makeup artist, dancing and spending quality time with family and friends.

Driven by solution-focussed approach and data analytics, Pav has a strong interest in building organisational strategies and teams. Pav is passionate in customer service delivery, client liaison and people management. In particular, Pav thrives in creating a strong team of individuals to lead and deliver services that have a positive impact in the community.

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Sophie O'Shea

Occupational Therapy Team Leader

Sophie studied her Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at Monash University, graduating in 2012.  Sophie was initially drawn to occupational therapy for the variety of settings in which she could work and she was fortunate to experience placements across adolescent mental health, early childhood intervention, palliative care and within a specialist school.  Sophie commenced working as a new graduate in public health, rotating through acute aged care, neuro rehab, dementia care and aged psychiatry;  and it was here she realised her interest in mental health.

 

Not one for doing anything by halves, Sophie transitioned into forensic mental health in 2016 where she worked on an acute inpatient mental health unit in a women’s prison. Sophie comes to us with five years of experience working in the Victorian prison system, having provided mental health treatment for some of the most vulnerable individuals in the state.  Sophie really values providing consumers with a positive experience of mental health intervention and the ability that occupational therapy has, to engage the most complex and challenging of individuals in treatment.

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Vivian Krstevski

Occupational Therapy Manager

Vivian graduated from Deakin University with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy in 2013. She has since gained experience in occupational and community-based rehabilitation. 

 

She has over 8 years of experience working with clients with physical, multi-sensory, psychological, and intellectual disabilities through various funding bodies.

 

Vivian has extensive knowledge in occupational rehabilitation and paediatrics. She is also well-versed in the prescription of Assistive Technology and Home Modifications and enjoys working with people across the life span.

Archana Sharan

Physiotherapy Team Leader

Archana graduated in India with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy. She then went on to complete a Post Graduate degree in Adult Neurology and Psychosomatic Disorder from RGUHS, India. 

Archana has multiple interests but specifically has a passion for neurological conditions. After completing her post graduate degree, Archana started working in a hospital as a Clinical Physiotherapist for a year where she worked with highly experienced physiotherapists and in acute and outpatient departments.

 

She then moved to Melbourne and worked in aged care where her primarily role was manual handling, pain management, rehabilitation (strengthening, balance, coordination and muscle tone management) and to perform mobility assessments.

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Freya Crocker

Physiotherapist

Since graduating with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at Monash University in 2018, Freya has worked with older adults in the community and aged care settings to create healthier lives. Freya has taken a keen interest to building strength with clients of all ages and motivating people to exercise.

 

Freya has learned how to use exercise and other strategies to help people manage pain, improve balance, rehabilitate from injuries or deconditioning and improve in day to day function.

Freya is a workout warrior on a mission to demonstrate the countless rewards of strength training to people of all ages and function. Freya makes sure to practice what she preaches and spends time away from work at the gym or playing soccer as a goalkeeper.

Emely Pascale

Allied Health Assistant

Emely completed her Certificate III in Health Services Assistance at Chisholm Tafe in 2017 and Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance with RMIT in 2018. During her Cert IV, she completed a two-week placement where she worked alongside a multidisciplinary team of allied health professionals.

 

She gained experience working predominantly with Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists. However, time was also spent working with Speech Therapists, dieticians and Podiatrists. She enjoyed working with both acute and rehabilitation patients, working with them through circuit groups, walking, groups, hydrotherapy, and individual sessions.

 

Upon completing her certificate, Emely then went on to study a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences in 2019 and is to be completed by 2021. Her majors are physical activity and health & exercise science. After graduating, she hopes to complete her post-graduate degree in Physiotherapy.

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Ash Goundan

Customer Experience Executive

Physiotherapist

Ash graduated with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy degree with Honours at Monash University in 2016.  Through several placements and part time work, she developed a great interest to work within the geriatric sector of health.

 

Upon graduating, Ash delved into the aged care field working in both the residential and community space.  She obtained in-depth knowledge of how to maximise clients’ quality of life through assisting them to be as independent as they can. Within a few years, Ash stepped into a leadership role.

 

Ash is fluent in Tamil and has completed just over a decade of Indian classical dancing which helps her keep in touch with her cultural origin.

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Matthew Oswald

Physiotherapist

Matthew graduated in 2020 with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) from Monash University.

 

Throughout his university placements and professional career, Matthew has gained extensive experience and a passion for neurological rehabilitation, orthopaedic rehabilitation, heart & lung rehabilitation and acute injury assessment and treatment.

 

Matthew provides high quality care to all of his patients, implementing the most recent and up to date research to formulate individualised treatment plans which cater to his diverse range of patients.

Maggie Scott

Speech Pathologist

Maggie completed her Bachelor of Speech Pathology in 2020 at the Australian Catholic University. She gained a variety of experience throughout her clinical placements, working with different populations across the lifespan such as, school-aged children with developmental disorders and adults with acquired communication disorders due to stroke or dementia. Maggie furthered her knowledge through volunteer work facilitating narrative writing groups with school aged children as well as being a support worker for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

 

Maggie is passionate about developing trusting therapeutic relationships with all her clients to help them achieve their functional communication goals and make a positive impact in their everyday lives.

 

Outside of work, Maggie enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching movies, travelling and cooking meals for her loved ones.

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Nikita Nazareth

Talent Acquisition and Marketing Coordinator

Nikita graduated with a master’s degree from Melbourne university in July 2020 where she specialised in Marketing. After graduating she completed an internship with Sisir devkota strategic services as an Investigative affiliate. The role required her to conduct market research for existing clients and determine how to effectively target the respective client base and increase revenue. In addition, she managed the sales task force and supervised the team.

 

While completing her master’s degree she worked in the retail industry where her role was client facing that helped her hone her customer service skills.

 

In her free time, she loves to volunteer as a teacher for non-for-profit organisations. Other than that, she loves to read a good thriller novel, catch up with friends and is passionate about dancing.

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Sharon Huynh

Speech Pathologist

Sharon first studied a year of Bachelor of Arts (Languages) at Monash University in 2014. During this time, she gained an interest in linguistics and helping others. Sharon went on to study a year of Bachelor of Health Sciences at La Trobe University, before transferring to Australian Catholic University in 2016, where she graduated with a Bachelor in Speech Pathology in 2021.

 

Throughout her clinical placements, Sharon developed her skills in administering assessment and intervention for adults with acquired speech disorders and neurological conditions, as well as school-aged children with developmental disorders. In her vocational roles, Sharon furthered her knowledge by volunteering at a Kids Camp with children from disadvantaged backgrounds, working as a school-aged tutor and as a Support Worker/Speech Therapy Assistant for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

 

Sharon can speak basic Mandarin, Japanese and Indonesian but is most fluent in Cantonese.

Paige Hinrichs

Occupational Therapist

Paige graduated from Monash University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) and a passion for working with older people through placements in stroke rehab, dementia care, hand therapy and community rehabilitation.

 

Paige began her career working within residential aged care in both metro and regional areas across Australia, building up expertise in assessment of the older person, equipment prescription, pressure care, pain management and falls prevention education.

 

She is passionate about helping her clients to maintain their independence and participation in valued occupations, and promoting wellness in all aspects of their physical, mental, social and emotional health. Outside of work, Paige is an avid sports person - playing cricket and football for local clubs, and is also a keen yogi.

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Anna Dowling

Physiotherapist

Anna graduated in 2020 from Monash University with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy with Honours. Through her placements, she was lucky enough to gain experience in a variety of different specialities, including neurological and orthopaedic rehabilitation, community health and paediatrics. Through her experience in these areas, she developed a passion for working with people with chronic pain, to help them understand their condition and improve their quality of life through education and rehabilitation.

 

Anna has experience in disability support as well as paediatric physiotherapy from her casual work throughout her studies. She has a strong foundation in working with people with disabilities in the community and is passionate about providing personalised care in clients’ homes.   

Anna loves working with people and is passionate about creating meaningful connections with her clients. Anna treats her clients like family and believes building a relationship based on trust is the best way to achieve results. 

Jess Kaplonyi

Speech Pathology Team Leader

Jess graduated from Flinders University with a Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours) in Adelaide in 2014. Since then, she’s has had a range of experience across the adult continuum of care from acute hospital and rehab to disability services, all the way to aged and palliative care. Jess has a keen interest in research, and her Honours project was presented at several national and international conferences. She was even accepted to a conference in Nagoya, Japan in 2020 but, for obvious reasons, was not able to attend.

 

Jess’ area of speciality is in swallowing difficulties (dysphagia) and complex communication needs. She has recently been looking into the fascinating world of high-tech communication aids (AAC) and hopes she can continue exploring this amazing area of practice. A sub-speciality of Jess’ is in progressive neurological conditions. She works closely with the Huntington’s disease community, and volunteers on the Huntington’s Victoria Events Committee.

 

In 2022, Jess will be commencing her part time PhD at Melbourne University looking at palliative care service provision in Huntington’s disease.

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Liana Collins

Lead Educator and Speech Pathologist

Liana graduated with a Bachelor of Psychological Science from Deakin University in 2017. During her studies, Liana worked as a swim instructor and integration aide, where she discovered her passion working with children with additional needs. It was here she decided to pursue a career as a Speech Pathologist and in 2019, Liana graduated with a Master of Speech Pathology from the University of Melbourne.

 

Since graduating, Liana has been working with individuals across the lifespan in a community setting. She enjoys working under the NDIS, as it supports individuals to achieve their goals and reach their full potential.

 

Liana has a specific clinical interest in working with adolescents and young adults to improve their self-awareness and self-advocacy so that they can set themselves up for success. Liana also likes to work with individuals and families exploring Augmentative and Alternative Communication options.

Iva Molina

Physiotherapy Manager

Iva completed her Degree in Physiotherapy in her home country, Venezuela. During her studies, Iva developed an interest in Neurology and Cardiopulmonary Rehab in both adults and children, which were later explored further. After, Iva decided to travel the world to seek opportunities as well as learn different cultures and in 2008, arrived in Australia, where she completed her Master’s Degree.

 

Working in many different Australian organisations and settings, Iva gained a strong variety of skills and knowledge in her field. But to Iva, skills aren’t everything. She believes that the best quality care includes love and respect. Her motto in life and the workplace is, ‘love one another.’ One of her biggest goals in her career is to learn about her client’s cultures and traditions, and this element has contributed to her success.

Iva is fluent in Spanish, English and Italian, and is a member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association and is registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

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Luke Oldmeadow

Speech Pathologist

Luke graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Creative Arts from La Trobe University, majoring in theatre/drama and creative writing. He went on to use his theatrical skills in a variety of comedic musicals and plays around Melbourne and hopes to return to this hobby at some stage in the post-pandemic world. In 2010, Luke completed a Certificate of Education Support through Monash University and worked for the Victorian Education Department over 8 years, assisting children with a wide variety of additional needs in both special developmental and mainstream schools. It was over this time that his passion for helping people grew and prompted him to follow his heart and return to La Trobe in 2019 to embark upon a Master of Speech Pathology degree, where so many of his interests and skills could be maximised and utilised.

 

Since becoming a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist, Luke has worked in both private practice and the not-for-profit sector with paediatric populations. In joining Ignite, Luke is thrilled to be transferring and broadening his skills to work across the lifespan. Luke loves the broad fields (and meadows!) of Speech Pathology as it encompasses so many of his interests, including voice, speech, literacy, augmentative and alternative communication, language, and social communication.

Lois Brain

Occupational Therapist

During her studies she worked in both acute and community settings across the UK in neurological rehabilitation and mental health. In 2016, she worked for the charity ‘MIND’ which works closely with children and adolescents to support and educate them on managing their anger, self-esteem and anxiety. This was a custom placement which required create her own OT pathway, including identifying all tools and resources to support this. 

 

Lois began her career at a busy London NHS hospital where she completed a junior rotation in the areas of medicine, neurology, trauma, surgery and respiratory. This role provided clinical experience with diagnosing and delivering treatment plans for patients with diverse presentations. This required engaging with complex discharge planning and safeguarding of vulnerable adults, falls risk management, prescription of AT and home modifications. In 2019, Lois to Australia, where she spent a few months traveling before settling in Wollongong, NSW. Lois later worked for a private company as an OT & Rehabilitation consultant across the NDIS, workers comp and aged care sector. During this time Lois realised her passion for seating & AT and utilised her skills accordingly to support clients across the life span with psycho-social and physical diagnoses.   

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Leah Torrens-Witherow

Speech Pathology Team Leader

Leah attended Griffith University on the Gold Coast. She completed Undergraduate studies in Psychological Science and Criminology and Criminal Justice, before completing her Masters of Speech Pathology in 2018.

 

After studying, Leah worked as a Speech Pathologist in a range of settings, including with the NDIS Early Childhood Intervention community partner in Brisbane, and in private practices across regional Queensland and on the Gold Coast. She also has experience in supporting clients across the lifespan and enjoys supporting those within her specialist interest areas of adolescent and adult relationships and pragmatic communication.