In this section
Rod Lawlor is the manager of The Royal Children's Hospital Orthotic and Prosthetic department. He has worked in the orthotic and prosthetic profession for over 20 years.
Rod has taught and presented at National and International conferences in both Prosthetics and Orthotics. He was a member of the team awarded the Premier's Excellence Award for Improving Cancer Care in Victoria.
Rod developed the Plagiocephaly Helmet Treatment Protocols at RCH and was an integral member in creating the Van Nes Rotationplasty Prosthetic programme at RCH, and has lectured on this in North America.
Simon Lalor is an experienced and adept Orthotist and Prosthetist who has worked in both the public and private sector in Australia, Ireland and the UK. He completed a Master's of Science degree through Strathclyde University Glasgow in 2013 where he reinforced his interests in the biomechanics of orthoses and
produced a thesis titled 'Care pathways in the lower limb orthotic
management of children with Cerebral Palsy'.
Simon has specialised in the lower limb orthotic management of neuromuscular diseases and his research interests have covered the use of outcome measures in prosthetics and orthotics, orthotic management of cerebral palsy, the use of Knee Ankle Foot Orthoses in neuromuscular diseases and the orthotic management
With his skill and expertise in this field Simon has been consulted as an expert on the fine-tuning and analysis of orthotic interventions to produce recommendations for future patient treatment pathways. He maintains a varied case load of orthopaedic, rehabilitation and neurological patients.
Nicole Galea is a Senior Orthotist at RCH and has been working in the profession since 1994. Nicole has worked in both the private and public sector, internationally and throughout Australia. Her employment at the RCH Orthotic and Prosthetic Department
has spanned over 15 years.
Nicole has been involved in the delivery of Instructional Courses Internationally, lectured undergraduates at La Trobe University, and presented at conferences nationally with regards to paraplegic ambulation and orthotic management of children with Spina
As a senior clinician her clinical expertise lies in the management of children with cerebral palsy, and also complex lower limb pathologies requiring Knee Ankle Foot Orthoses. She also has a focus on Continuing Quality Improvement within the Orthotic and Prosthetic Department.
Leah has been working in prosthetics and orthotics since 2002 and in this time has worked in both public and private practice. Leah worked in public health in the north of Tasmania prior to her employment at RCH and also had a brief break of her employment here working in both Prosthetics and Orthotics in the Middle East prior to returning as a senior orthotist at RCH in 2012.
Leah is our lead clinician in Spinal care management for scoliosis and complex spinal anomalies and fractures.
Meleita is an experienced Prosthetist and Orthotist who thrives on the relationships she builds with her patients and their families. She initially studied a Bachelor of Biomedical Science (honours) at the University of Melbourne before completing her Master of Clinical Prosthetics
and Orthotics at La Trobe University in 2012. Upon graduating she worked at Ballarat Health Services gaining experience regionally in both prosthetics and orthotics in a wide variety of pathologies and population groups before joining the team at RCH at the start of 2017.
Meleita predominantly works in prosthetics however has been involved in a wide variety of specialised teams within the department in both Prosthetics and Orthotics. She prioritises continuing professional development to stay abreast of developments and bets practice to continue to deliver the
best service to her patients. She is also working with Melbourne University on a number of research projects.
Meleita has held various volunteer roles in the profession including secretary for the board of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) Australian Society and has been a member of the Australian Orthotic & Prosthetic Association Congress Committee for the past 5 years.
Meleita is currently undertaking a Master of Health Administration part time while working and works casually for La Trobe university within the P&O course.
Meleita is currently on maternity leave and we look forward welcoming in her back in 2023.
Phoebe Thomson is a Senior Prosthetist and Orthotist, following her graduation in 2007 was employed here at RCH and then furthered her skill set working in a private company in Melbourne as well as overseas.
From 2011 - 2013 Phoebe volunteered for Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) in the Phillipines based in Legaspi. During this assignment she developed prosthetic and orthotic clinics, worked in post emergency refugee camps as well as implementing and managing several healthcare rehabilitation projects.
In 2010 Phoebe convened the Advanced Instructional Course on Children and Young Adults with Cerebral Palsy. She is currently the chairperson of the ISPO Outreach Committee as well as being involved in Limb's for Life's "National Health and Wellbeing Advisory Committee".
Phoebe is currently on maternity leave and we look forward to welcoming her back in 2023.
Matt Carlile graduated from La Trobe University in 2014 and immediately began working in paediatrics at the Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick. Joining the team at RCH in 2016, Matt has a particular interest in different patient groups including children with Cerebral Palsy, Scoliosis,
CTEV and Plagiocephaly.
Matt has worked closely on the department’s Plagiocephaly research project “To helmet or not to helmet” which was presented at both the World ISPO and National Australian Orthotic professional congresses in 2019. Matt is currently developing a research study comparing different types of
orthoses used in the management of scoliosis.
Previously a Podiatrist, Asumi went on to complete her Master of Clinical Prosthetics and Orthotics at La Trobe University in 2014, to specialise as a Prosthetist/Orthotist. After graduating, she worked in remote South Australia before moving back to Melbourne to work at the Royal Children’s
Asumi is currently completing her Masters by Research degree, where she is exploring orthotic prescription practices amongst Australian paediatric orthotists in relation to children with cerebral palsy. In addition to cerebral palsy, she also has a special interest in paediatric
An active member of the Australian Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA), Asumi currently writes the research column for their bi-annual publication, The Review. Previously she was a member of the Editorial and the National Education Delivery Committees. Asumi is also a member of the
International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO).
Claire Gibbs graduated from La Trobe University in 2014 with a Master’s Degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics. She has worked at The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne since starting as a new graduate.
Claire is part of the core team for scoliosis management and developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH). Her current interests include advancing 3D software processes/design of orthoses, which are currently used within the orthotics department.
Ellen Neville graduated from La Trobe University with a Master’s degree in clinical Prosthetics and Orthotics in 2016. Since graduating she has worked in both the public and private sectors across Australia and New Zealand prior to returning back to Melbourne to work at RCH.
Ellen is a part of a wide range of specialised teams within the P&O department but takes particular interest in patients with CTEV, pectus carinatum and conditions of the spine. Ellen is always looking forward to learning about advancements in technology and hearing new jokes from
patients or colleagues!
Ellen was awarded best free paper at the 2022 AOPA congress for her presentation "Bracing complications in Congenital Talipes Equinovarus".
Before beginning his career in prosthetics and
orthotics, Jack completed a Bachelor of Exercise Science in 2017 from La Trobe
University. It was here where he first gained experience working in paediatrics
and developed a keen interest in prosthetics and orthotics. Jack then went on
to complete his Masters in Prosthetics and Orthotics at La Trobe University
graduating in 2020 and immediately joined the Orthotic and Prosthetic team at
The Royal Children's Hospital.
Passionate about all things orthotics, Jack is
particularly interested in Plagiocephaly, Pectus Carinatum and Cerebral Palsy
populations. He can't wait to see how technological advancements can help to
further enhance the impact of orthotic management in the lives of patients.
Nessen started his career is Prosthetics and Orthotics in
Sydney as a clinical and technical Prosthetist following his graduation with a
Master’s in Clinical Prosthetics and Orthotics in 2017. He has been working
with upper limb and lower limb amputees to allow them to achieve their goals
including functional and cosmetic (silicone prostheses). His speciality and
interest lie with high end prosthetics and new advancement in prosthetics.
Later on, Nessen moved back to Melbourne into a dual role
covering both Prosthetics and Orthotics in regional Victoria. In 2022, Nessen
joined the Orthotics and Prosthetics team at The Royal Children’s Hospital to
provide the best possible patient care while furthering his professional
Cert IV in Allied Health, Qualified Joiner
Mark qualified as a Joiner when first leaving school before venturing into allied health manufacture. He has been working as an orthotic technician at RCH since 1997, and prior to this he also worked for five years in a podiatry foot orthotic manufacturing laboratory. With his varied work experience and qualifications he has excellent skills in complex custom made orthoses requiring metal work, and enjoys the technical challenges of creating orthoses for rare and specific instances.
Mark has Level 2 First Aid Qualifications and is the department fire warden in our technical workshop.
Footwear Making and Finishing Surgical, Cert IV in Allied Health
Sally is our resident qualified custom made shoe designer and fabricator. She completed her training in 1984 and has been continuing advancing her skills and education in this field since then.
As well as providing an excellent in-house service of all things relating to footwear, Sally also deals with the Prosthetic Orthotic department's ordering, despatch of goods and stock levels to enable us to provide timely provision of any 'off-the-shelf' clinically required items and materials used to create
custom made prosthetics and orthotics.
Sally has also taken on the role of a trained First Aid Officer for our department.
Justine has been a full time employee of our department since 2008 leaving behind an employment history in business management of food preparation and customer service. She has been integral in developing systems to improve workflow in the new hospital where we are based across two different wings of the hospital.
As well as being a qualified First Aid Officer, Justine is the Occupational Health and Safety Representative for the technical section of Orthotics and Prosthetics ensuring our staff are working safely and in a safe workshop.
Qualified Panel Beater
Dangerous when bored, a tie-loathing adventurer, part-time
Carlton supporter, full time wearer of all things black, Leo has a proud Greek
heritage and a hatred of eggplant, making him an enigma in the Orthotic and
Prosthetic department. Firmly believing that he doesn’t go with the flow as
that is for fish, as our Senior Prosthetic Technician, Leo uses his extensive
talents when designing and making every prosthesis. With an eye for detail, Leo
loves a challenge and seeing the RCH patients realise their potential.
Fun Fact: Even as one of our older team members, Leo can
still bench press 145 Kg and is a big exponent of a cable pull throughs in his
daily gym routine
Bill is our newest technician who joined the Orthotic Prosthetic department in early 2022. He is a qualified carpenter experienced in building new homes and domestic renovations around Melbourne.
Building on his established skills, Bill enjoys being able to continue working with his hands creating orthoses to specification, and is an integral member of the team at RCH.
Outside of work hours Bill still enjoys working with wood building furniture, going camping and enjoying the great outdoors. Unfortunately he is not keen to be involved in any of our home modifications on the weekends.