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Physiotherapy for Children

About

Our Paediatric Physiotherapists

Francyne Finlayson
Director
Physiotherapist (Paediatrics)

Francyne is an experienced, holistic paediatric-trained physiotherapist with extensive experience in infant development and neurological and orthopaedic conditions affecting children. She started Physiotherapy for Children in 2017 with the vision to bring high-quality evidence-based paediatric physiotherapy services into the community to help improve the health and wellbeing of children and their families in Melbourne.

 

She completed a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at the University of Melbourne in 2008, and has subsequently worked and trained across many paediatric hospitals in Melbourne, including The Royal Children's Hospital and Monash Children's Hospital. She has worked in a variety of areas of paediatric physiotherapy, and has expertise in neurological and orthopaedic conditions affecting infant and child development, including preterm birth and brain injuries. In particular, Francyne has specialised in early detection of movement difficulties, such as cerebral palsy and complex movement disorders, and early intervention for complex neurological conditions. She has worked in many neonatal units across Melbourne, and currently works as a senior physiotherapist in the neonatal unit and high-risk infant follow-up service at Monash Children's Hospital.

 

She is currently completing her PhD in the area of early intervention in children born preterm through the Murdoch Children's Research Institute and the Royal Women's Hospital, and is actively involved in research through the Victorian Infant Brain Studies Group and Monash Children's Hospital. She has completed postgraduate studies in Paediatric Orthopaedic Physiotherapy at the University of Melbourne and a paediatric physiotherapy training program at The Royal Children's Hospital. 

 

Francyne is passionate about improving the health and well-being of children and helping children and families reach their full potential.

 

Outside of work, Francyne enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, Aurora, at the beach and exploring nature.

Sarah is an energetic and passionate physiotherapist who loves working closely with children and their families to develop engaging and fun treatment plans and sessions within the home and school environment.

 

Sarah completed her Bachelor of Physiotherapy at Latrobe University in 2010 and has worked and trained within a variety of physiotherapy roles across both adult and paediatric health care settings including Alfred Health, The Royal Children’s hospital and Monash Children’s Hospital.

 

She has worked within a variety of areas of paediatric physiotherapy and has extensive experience and training in the management of chronic cardio-respiratory conditions including long term home ventilation, tracheostomy and cough assist therapy, complex medical conditions and care needs and neurological conditions.

Sarah currently works at Monash Children’s Hospital as a senior physiotherapist managing the ‘Hospital in the Home’ physiotherapy program. She additionally works academically at Monash University as a core member of the Cardiorespiratory physiotherapy teaching program to all undergraduate physiotherapy students.

 

Sarah is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of children within the community and has a particular interest in the management of complex medical conditions, chronic cardio-respiratory conditions and neurological conditions.

 

Sarah has two young children with whom she loves to spend all her spare time with enjoying the beach, adventures in the bush and lots of arts and craft.

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Sarah Rawlings

Physiotherapist (Paediatrics)

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Alex is an enthusiastic paediatric physiotherapist who works hard to establish positive relationships and treatment outcomes for the families she works with.

 

Alex completed her Bachelor of Physiotherapy at the University of Otago, New Zealand in 2014. She has had experience working in hospitals in New Zealand and the United Kingdom working across adult acute and rehabilitation settings.

 

More recently, Alex has worked with children in a paediatric physiotherapist role in the community setting in New Zealand. She has experience working in early intervention with babies and toddlers with movement and developmental difficulties, through to adolescents with coordination disorders and orthopaedic conditions.

 

Outside of work Alex likes to spend time cooking and keeping active outdoors at the beach or mountain biking with her partner. 

Alex Butler
Physiotherapist (Paediatrics)

Kirsty Buhlert-Smith
Physiotherapist (Paediatrics)

Kirsty is enthusiastic about helping children to live healthy, happy lives and to participate in their lives to the fullest! She is a gentle, kind and fun physiotherapist.

Kirsty completed a Bachelor of Physiotherapy in 2003 from La Trobe University, Melbourne. On graduating, she first worked with adults for 5 years and then with children for 12 years. She has worked in major hospitals, rehab centres and disability organisations in Melbourne and the UK. She has worked in a range of areas of paediatric physiotherapy including leadership roles in children’s disability services. She recently worked at La Trobe University where she coordinated a program which engaged physiotherapy students with youth with disability and she researched the outcomes of this program. She has published her research in physiotherapy journals.

Kirsty has also volunteered with the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) for 14 years. As part of this she served 6 years as Chair of the APA Victorian paediatric group and is now serving her 5th year as Deputy Chair of the APA national paediatric group.

Kirsty is interested in many areas of paediatric physiotherapy. She particularly enjoys supporting children with Cerebral Palsy and other neurodevelopmental conditions and equally enjoys supporting children’s families and caregivers. She has completed specialised intensive training in these areas.

Outside of work, Kirsty loves spending time with her husband and their fur baby. Kirsty is a keen dancer and her love for movement goes hand-in-hand with physiotherapy!

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Helen Hall
Physiotherapist (Paediatrics)

Helen is a mature and committed physiotherapist who commenced in general practice after completing her Bachelor of Physiotherapy at La Trobe university in 1989 but soon realised her deep passion for promoting the health and development of babies and children, which led to her completing her Post Graduate Certificate – Paediatrics, in 2000 with the University of Melbourne.

 

This, combined with an interest in the challenges of indigenous health, saw Helen work for several years in community child health in Central Australia. She then enjoyed some time working in Early Childhood intervention back in Melbourne before tackling her next challenge, that of ‘growing up’ her three spirited children, now all energetic teenagers!

 

More recently, Helen has worked for over five years as an Early childhood practice advisor in the NDIS space where she had the opportunity to promote a ‘best practice’ approach to supporting children with disability and developmental delay and their families and carers, to work towards their NDIS goals.

 

Helen enjoys working in the many and varied places where children thrive and learn, and values collaboration and teamwork. She aspires to contribute meaningfully to the development of an inclusive world for children who are supported to participate fully and equitably in their community.

Referrals

A referral to see our paediatric physiotherapist is not required, however information from your medical or health professional is very helpful.

Funding

Private Health Insurance

Services are eligible for private health insurance rebate based on individual cover. See your private health insurance provider for details.

 

Medicare

Medicare rebates are also available using the Chronic Disease Management care plan. This is available from your General Practitioner. See the Department of Human Services website below for more details. 

National Disability Insurance Scheme

Children funded under the National Disability Insurance Scheme can chose to have their physiotherapy services through Physiotherapy for Children. Please contact us for more information.

Info

In accordance with Australian requirements, our physiotherapists are registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and have current Police and Working with Children’s checks.

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