The Northern and Hawthorn Centre for Child Development is a multidisciplinary paediatric practice in Melbourne and North Eastern Victoria.
We work with families, children and schools.

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Services


Paediatric psychology & parenting support

Our team of experienced and enthusiastic psychologists provide a range of services tailored to suit your family’s needs. From early intervention for children with autism, to counselling for children and adolescents—we provide evidence-based and solution-focussed interventions. For parents who are struggling to understand their child’s behaviour, we offer supportive sessions to increase your parenting confidence and improve your connection with your child.

Autism diagnosis

We understand that the process of determining whether your child presents with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is often stressful, drawn-out and time-consuming. To make this easier, we offer a streamlined ASD assessment service—we provide all the necessary assessments and services required for a ‘gold standard’ ASD assessment. From your initial consultations with experienced paediatricians, to the psychology assessments (ADOS-2, ADI-R and WPPSI-IV/WISC-5) and speech pathology assessments, you can complete the entire process under the one roof—and quickly! You can also come to us with a paediatrician’s referral for specific assessments if you’ve already started the process.

About us


Laura Moresi

LAURA MORESI

PSYCHOLOGIST

Laura Moresi is a registered psychologist with a Master of Educational and Developmental Psychology. Laura has undertaken roles working with children, adolescents, parents and families across a range of community and clinical settings. Laura has experience working with a variety of developmental and mental health issues, most commonly anxiety, challenging behaviours, eating disorders and neurodevelopmental disorders. In addition to her clinical experience, Laura has spent several years working as an applied behavioural therapist and a sporting coach, allowing her to develop strong relationships with young people, families and the communities they live in. The combination of Laura's experiences has enabled her to empathise, support and communicate effectively with families while working to support a young person experiencing difficulties.

Laura strives to maintain a client-centered approach in her practice that is suited to individual client’s strengths and preferences. Laura’s approach to therapy is grounded in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, however, she believes that flexibly applying a range of evidence-based strategies is essential to ensuring highly individualised and effective care. Laura has a comprehensive understanding of psychological assessment and believes that conducting a thorough assessment to build a shared understanding of experienced difficulties is essential to developing a personalised treatment plan. Laura recognises the importance of strengthening the support systems in a young person’s life and is passionate about working collaboratively with families, schools and other professionals to better understand and support a young person throughout the therapeutic process.

Outside of the clinic, Laura is a sport enthusiast who competes in several different sporting teams. When she is not training or competing, she loves trying out new recipes, finding a sunny spot to read a new book or spending time with family and friends.

Yvette Zevon

YVETTE ZEVON

PSYCHOLOGIST

Yvette is a psychologist with a Master of Educational Psychology from the University of Melbourne. She has experience working with children, adolescents and families in private practice, mental health and early intervention settings. Yvette also works as a school psychologist, supporting staff to foster wellbeing and implement inclusive practices within schools.

Yvette joined the clinic with a desire to work more closely with clients and their families. She is passionate about supporting people of all backgrounds to live meaningful lives. Yvette collaborates with parents, teachers and other professionals to gain a holistic view of her clients. She uses evidence-based approaches and has experience working various presentations including developmental delays, learning difficulties, anxiety, depression, anger management and emotion regulation difficulties.

Yvette draws on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approaches and has a keen interest in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Her therapeutic style is warm and genuine, with a focus on connecting with clients through play, activities and their experiences.

Yvette also enjoys providing parenting support to promote positive-parent child relationships. She is a licensed facilitator of 123 Magic and Emotion Coaching program. Currently, Yvette is completing further training as a registrar in educational and developmental psychology.

Outside of work, Yvette practices yoga and feels rejuvenated after time spent in nature. As a novice sewer she finds the creative process both challenging and rewarding.

Rebecca Loizou

REBECCA LOIZOU

PSYCHOLOGIST

Rebecca is a psychologist with a Master of Educational and Developmental Psychology. Her experience working with children, adolescents and their families is across various clinical and educational settings. During her time working as a psychologist, Rebecca has been lucky enough to work with a variety of clients presenting with developmental and mental health challenges. She is particularly interested in working with children with anxiety, learning difficulties and Autism Spectrum Disorder. With a background in ABA therapy and as a music teacher, Rebecca’s clinical skills are enhanced and she’s able to take a holistic approach to support the children she works with.

Working predominantly from a cognitive behavioural therapy framework, Rebecca also uses a variety of evidence-based modalities in her sessions to keep children engaged while learning valuable skills – she includes play, games and activities to keep sessions fun! She loves teaching children mindfulness and using strength-based strategies to build their self esteem. Rebecca’s person-centred approach means that the client’s needs and strengths guide her therapeutic approach.

Rebecca encourages support systems around the young people she works with and is passionate about working collaboratively with their families, schools and other professionals. This is reflected in both her counselling and assessment work.

When she’s not working, Rebecca socialises with friends and family, plays piano and explores Melbourne’s best coffee shops!

Olivia Smith

OLIVIA SMITH

PSYCHOLOGIST

Olivia is an endorsed Educational and Developmental Psychologist who is experienced in working with children and families. She is also a certified SOS Feeding Therapist. Olivia has worked in a variety of settings, including mainstream and specialist schools, the not-for-profit sector, universities and private practice. Olivia has extensive experience conducting diagnostic assessments for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and in providing therapy support for this population. Other interests for Olivia include feeding, learning difficulties, giftedness, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), anxiety and assisting families in navigating major life transitions, such as commencing secondary school or parental separation.

Olivia believes that building a warm, empathic therapeutic relationship is vital to helping children fulfil their potential. Equally, she greatly values parents as experts on their children and sees her role as empowering parents with the skills and confidence to become an effective co-therapist.

Olivia utilises a variety of therapeutic techniques including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and tailors her approach to what is developmentally appropriate for that individual child. Overall, she seeks to normalise different experiences for children and to work with them in a fun, engaging and collaborative way.

Madeline Sibbing

Limited availability / waitlist only

MADELINE SIBBING

PRINCIPAL PSYCHOLOGIST

Madeline is a Paediatric Psychologist with a Master of Educational and Developmental Psychology from Monash University. Her fifteen years of professional experience has been attained within government and independent schools in assessment, therapeutic interventions and consultation with children, adolescents, parents and teachers. She also developed primary prevention programs, mental health awareness activities and teacher training in a secondary college. Madeline spent several years working as an Educational Psychologist in London, UK, as a Chartered member of the British Psychological Society. She is a registered supervisor with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, supervising Masters of Psychology candidates and newly-registered Psychologists.

Madeline joined the Northern Centre for Child Development in 2017 due to her desire to work more closely with families as well as the young people in her care. As a parent herself, she values the importance of involving families whilst balancing the needs of the client, as she believes consistency and support from home is key to making positive changes for young people.

Madeline thrives on the intrinsic reward gained from helping young people to overcoming their personal challenges in order to meet their individual potential. She consistently receives positive feedback from her clients and many an office wall has been decorated with drawings from her grateful young clients.

Madeline works with all ages, from young children through to adolescents and parents. She is able to adapt her therapy accordingly, using playful, creative therapy and parenting strategies for younger children and for older children and adolescents she employs Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Solution-focussed Therapy and mindfulness techniques.

Consistently described as an engaging, down-to-earth and knowledgeable therapist, Madeline obtains enormous joy from working with children and young people... as often evidenced by the sounds of laughter and silliness emanating from her therapy room.

Amanda Abel Member (MAPS)

Limited availability in Melbourne, new paitents welcome in Beechworth

AMANDA ABEL

PAEDIATRIC PSYCHOLOGIST, CLINICAL ASSOCIATE OF SWINBURNE UNIVERSITY, FOUNDER

Amanda Abel is a paediatric psychologist, mum, and founder of Northern Centre for Child Development (NCCD) and Hawthorn Centre for Child Development (HCCD). She consults monthly in Beechworth in North-East Victoria.

Working directly and indirectly with hundreds of clients each year, Amanda’s mission is for every child to achieve their best outcomes by equipping families and educators with the tools they need to help kids thrive.

Amanda draws on her own experiences of being a parent along with her extensive training and well-honed skill set to get families thriving. She is Circle of Security Parenting® trained and is a registered SOS Feeding Therapist for children who are problem feeders.

Having worked with families for two decades, as a psychologist for the past 12 years in a variety of settings, and a valued board member of the Autism Behavioural Intervention Association, Amanda loves building the confidence of the adults in the lives of children so that they can connect meaningfully, help them reach their full potential, and live a life that reflects their values.

Amanda has a special interest in paediatrics, autism spectrum disorders, developmental delays, learning difficulties, disabilities and behaviour management. She has worked in a variety of settings in both the public and private sectors prior to founding Centre for Child Development, which has allowed her to gain extensive experience helping a wide range of clients. Amanda’s honours thesis investigated the social skills, friendship expectations and attention of high functioning children with autism, and this was presented in 2004 at the 3rd Autism Spectrum Disorder Research Forum, Melbourne.

Amanda frequently presents at both academic and parenting events, most recently at the 7th Learning Differences Convention in Melbourne and Sydney in 2019 as well as many other events hosted by PR companies in Melbourne. Amanda is media trained, appearing on Channel 7 and 9 News and regularly features in print media. As a contributor to Finch Publishing’s “Working Mums” book, Amanda shared her insights about juggling a business and parenting.

Michelle Kingsley

Limited availability / waitlist only

MICHELLE KINGSLEY

SPEECH PATHOLOGIST

Michelle is a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist with over 18 years experience working with young children. She is a member of Speech Pathology Australia, certified Hanen practitioner, Tuning Into Kids facilitator, SOS trained feeding therapist, and PECS trained therapist. Michelle has worked in both public health and private settings, with children with a broad range of communication and developmental challenges. Speech therapy supports much more than just speech and language disorders – it also develops skills for eating, playing, and socialising with peers.

Michelle works in close collaboration with families, coaching them to stimulate their child's development in everyday routines and environments so that therapy is both effective and good fun. Families don't need fancy equipment, they need proven techniques that are enjoyable to use in daily life. Children learn best in their everyday routines wherever they are – at home, childcare or school, the park or even the supermarket – so therapy strategies are tailor made for each child for wherever they play all day. Michelle also loves to teach and mentor early childhood educators to promote the best possible outcomes for her clients (as well as their peers at childcare and kinder!) throughout their whole week.

Michelle is passionate about supporting children who are late to talk, through all phases of assessment and therapy, whether there is a known or unknown reason for the child's delays. For example 'late talking', autism, or other developmental conditions.

As a certified Hanen Learning Language and Loving It trainer, Michelle is excited to build on the strengths and experiences of early childhood educators with research-backed strategies that have real impact for kids. Many children spend a significant portion of their week at childcare and kinder, so this is where a huge amount of their language learning opportunities occur. A time and place for exciting developments!

Michelle provides a multidisciplinary feeding clinic that supports children with feeding difficulties in their own homes, helping them learn to experience new foods through play - whether that's learning the skills to chew, or learning to tolerate touching sticky textures. Feeding clinic sessions are lots of messy fun and laughter with real results.

Michelle is a mum of two young kids, and has personal experience of supporting a family member with disabilities. For her, this has included navigating funding sources for therapies, learning Auslan, and trying to balance an already busy family-work life with additional challenges that are not 'mainstream'!

Michelle’s work with families is based on a foundation of working in partnership with the important people in each child's life - including, parents, siblings, grandparents, maternal and child health nurses, teachers, other therapists, family doctors and paediatricians, just to name a few. Working collaboratively towards joint goals brings better changes faster for kids!

Annabel Showers

ANNABEL SHOWERS

ADMIN MANAGER

 

Sandie Aylett-Sloan

SANDIE AYLETTE-SLOAN

ADMIN

 

Anthony Gambrell

ANTHONY GAMBRELL

ADMIN

 

Fees & funding


Our fees are significantly less than the rate recommended by the Australian Psychological Society to ensure our services are accessible. Most services are charged at $220 per hour and Medicare or health fund rebates may apply for services provided by fully registered psychologists.

Better Access to Mental Health Care Initiative

Medicare rebates are available to people living with mental health difficulties including (but not limited to) anxiety, depression, ADHD, conduct disorder, bereavement disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or sleep problems. You must be referred by a GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician. You’ll need to book a long appointment with your GP who will determine your eligibility and prepare a Mental Health Care Plan if you are eligible.

Helping Children with Autism Initiative

We are a registered provider with FaHCSIA under the Helping Children with Autism initiative. This entitles families of a child with an ASD up to seven years old to receive up to $12,000 for Early Intervention over a period of two years. On top of the funding, children are eligible for Medicare rebates for up to 20 sessions with a psychologist. More information about FaHCSIA can be found here.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

We work with families who self-mange their NDIS funding as well as supporting those who are just starting out with the application process. For families who don't self manage, we can help link you in with an agency to ensure you're still able to receive our services.

Assessment & Autism Diagnosis


We offer a range of developmental assessments for children. Contact us to determine whether an assessment is appropriate for your child and to discuss fees.

Autism diagnostic assessment

For a comprehensive assessment your child will need to meet separately with a paediatrician, speech pathologist and a psychologist who will liaise to determine whether or not your child meets the criteria for a diagnosis.

Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development - Third Edition

By administering the Bayley Scales we are able to identify your child’s areas of strength and weakness in the five key developmental domains of cognition, language, social-emotional, motor and adaptive behaviour.

The Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales - Second Edition

The Vineland is used to assess individuals aged up to 90 years. It assesses the individual’s skills in specific areas and can help with treatment planning as well as helping to identify developmental delays, cognitive disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and other impairments.

Wechsler Primary and Preschool Scales of Intelligence - Fourth Edition (WPPSI-IV Australian)

The WPPSI-IV is an assessment of your child’s cognitive functioning – what some people might refer to as an IQ test. The WPPSI-IV provides us with very valuable information about how your child thinks and can be essential in helping us plan the best ways to teach in order to maximise their potential.

Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule - Second Edition (ADOS-2)

The ADOS-2 is a semi-structured, standardised assessment of communication, social interaction, play/imaginative use of materials, and restricted and repetitive behaviours. It is used for individuals who have been referred because they are showing signs of possible Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Psycho-Educational Profile - Third Edition (PEP-3)

Administering the PEP-3 allows us to assess the skills and behaviors of children with autism and communicative disabilities with a developmental age between 6 months and 7 years. The profile resulting from the PEP-3 graphically charts uneven and idiosyncratic development, emerging skills, and autistic behavioral characteristics.

Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Fourth Edition Australian Standardised Edition (WISC-IV Australian)

The WISC-IV is used to assess the general thinking and reasoning skills of children aged 6 years to 16 years. Test results include a full-scale IQ score as well as age-equivalent rankings and scores for verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory and processing speed.

New Reynell Developmental Language Scales (NRDLS)

The Reynell is a widely-used assessment for identifying speech and language delays and impairments in very young children.

Get in touch


Northern Centre for Child Development Logo

155 Plenty Road,
Preston, Victoria, 3072.
Northern Centre for Child Development Marker Get directions.

P: 03 9079 8043


Hawthorn Centre for Child Development Logo

233 Riversdale Road,
Hawthorn East, Victoria, 3123.
Hawthorn Centre for Child Development Marker Get directions.

P: 03 8539 4422

Beechworth Surgery

39 Camp Steet,
Beechworth, Victoria, 3747.
Northern Centre for Child Development Marker Get directions.

P: 03 9079 8043