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.

Contact Us Refer your Child


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 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.

Daniel Baldacchino



Daniel is an experienced psychologist, having completed Masters in Educational and Developmental Psychology in 2002 at La Trobe University. Having worked in a variety of roles over the course of his career, Daniel has had extensive experience working in complex forensic disability settings as well as in supporting the mental health of athletes through the AFL. Daniel also works closely with schools to support student wellbeing. More recently, Daniel has applied his educational and developmental knowledge and skills in the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents at NCCD. With extensive experience and a real passion for it, Daniel loves supporting parents to equip them with the understanding and skills required to confidently parent their children.

Judy McKay



Judy is a registered psychologist with a Master’s degree in Educational and Developmental Psychology. Judy has experience working with young people, their families and extended support networks across educational, clinical and community-based settings. Judy enjoys working creatively and flexibly with children and adolescents to explore their difficult emotions and experiences. In the past, Judy has supported young people experiencing a range of neuro-developmental disorders, anxiety, trauma, social skill and emotional regulation difficulties. Judy values the individual needs of each client and attempts to incorporate their personal interests, strengths and goals throughout therapy. Judy utilises a client-centred approach to her therapy which is grounded in cognitive-behaviour therapy and other evidenced-based techniques.

Judy has a background in providing pastoral care to children and adolescents within educational settings. These experiences have enabled Judy to connect and build relationships with students of all ages, in addition to understanding the challenges typically faced by school-aged children. Judy encourages her clients to take a holistic approach to therapy and values communication with a client’s wider support network. This helps to promote positive client outcomes across all aspects of day to day life. Outside of work, Judy loves spending time at the beach or in the countryside. She further enjoys playing social sports and prioritises spending time with friends and family.

Alex Almendingen



Alex is a registered psychologist with a Master’s degree in Educational and Developmental Psychology. Within school-based and public mental health settings, Alex has experience in conducting comprehensive mental health assessments and delivering evidence-based psychological therapy for young people and adolescents with a range of behavioural, emotional, psychosocial, and neurodevelopmental challenges. Alex is also committed to strengthening the confidence and capacity of caregivers to support their children’s development and overall wellbeing. Through his person-centred, empathic, and collaborative approach, Alex is dedicated to building and maintaining a trusting, safe, and supportive therapeutic environment for all his clients and their families to create lasting positive changes.

Emily Coen



Emily is a registered psychologist with a Master of Professional Psychology. Emily has experience working with children, adolescents and their families across home, clinic, and educational settings. Emily has a special interest in working with autism spectrum disorder, developmental disorders, anxiety, behaviour management, and emotion regulation difficulties. Emily is passionate about working with children and their families in a flexible and creative manner, to best support their goals. Previously, Emily has worked as an ABA therapist and supervisor, allowing her to develop strong relationships with children and their support networks.

Emily works predominantly within the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy frameworks. Emily is an accredited Tuning into Kids facilitator and Cool Kids Anxiety Program facilitaton.

Outside of work, Emily enjoys spending time with her family, reading a good book, playing netball, and cheering on the Geelong Cats.

Madeline Sibbing

Limited availability / waitlist only



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 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.

Sandie Aylett-Sloan




Anthony Gambrell







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

We will respond more quickly to enquiries regarding our services for your child if you use the refer your child form.

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