Meet Our Team

 

Samantha Elbers - Director and Founder

Sam has an extensive background in retail management working for over 15 years with some of Australia’s leading fashion companies like Witchery and Country Road. In 2006 Sam married Brian Elbers and the following year they had their son, where Sam became a stay at home parent. While transitioning her son into kinder and school, a love for children began to grow. Sam became a qualified Swimming Instructor in 2013 and also did an extension course in Aquatics for Infancy and Preschool teaching. For the last 3 years Sam has been working in the Aquatics Industry with children and helping children overcome their fear and anxiety in the water and has been nominated in Victoria Australia for two State awards for Austswim Infancy and Preschool Teacher of the Year in 2015 and 2016 and was also nominated in 2015 with Aquatics and Recreation Victoria (ARV) Infancy and Preschool Teacher of the year. At the end of 2014 Brian and Sam had a vision for starting a support organisation for families with children diagnosed with Dyspraxia and over last 18 months has been developing Dyspraxia Kids Australia Inc. with her husband to become the only organisation in Australia to support children living with Dyspraxia to create awareness, understanding and support.

 

Brian Elbers - Secretary and Founder

Brian currently works as a Senior Customer Service Engineer in the Information Technology Industry and has extensive customer relations experience with over 15 year of project experience, public speaking, product training including colleagues and a large network of agencies within the Information Technology Industry and has been awarded by several major clients over the years. Brian married Samantha in 2006 and had their son the following year, after their son was diagnosed with Dyspraxia (DCD) and finding out that there was a major lack of support and awareness Brian and Samantha founded Dyspraxia Kids Australia Inc. they are both very passionate to help raise awareness and make a change.

 

Kirsten Coulter - Vice President

My passion for teaching has led to a career in Special Education where I have spent the past 19 years teaching students with a variety of learning disabilities and challenging behaviours. With a focus on improving educational outcomes for all students, I have presented at conferences nationally and internationally and have been involved in a number of research projects including an international study on Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (CLDD). This research was used by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (UK) to develop a framework for teaching and learning practice to support educators of children and young people with CLDD to improve student achievement. I am excited to be a part of the team at Dyspraxia Kids Australia by raising awareness, supporting students, their schools and families to enhance learning opportunities and outcom es for students with Dyspraxia.
Bachelor of Teaching (Primary)
Graduate Diploma Special Education (Intellectual Disability)

 

Jacqueline Williams

I am a Senior Lecturer in Motor Control at Victoria University in Melbourne. I also hold Honorary positions with both the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne and the Institute for Performance Research at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK. I have an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science from Australian Catholic University and a PhD in Psychology from RMIT University. I have been researching the brain-behaviour relationship in children and adults with Developmental Coordination Disorder / Dyspraxia for more than a decade. My work aims to understand some of the underlying motor control deficits that are often present in DCD / Dyspraxia and their origins. I am excited to be a part of Dyspraxia Kids Australia as my research has brought me in touch with many children and families struggling for support and recognition, something I hope we at DKA can help with.
Dr Jacqueline Williams, PhD

 

Lize Roos

Lize Roos graduated from La Trobe University and started working as a Paediatric occupational therapist in 2009. She knew exactly what she wanted to do from age & when she was helped by an OT to overcome some challenges she faced as a result of being born prematurely. Lize started her studies in South Africa and finished her bachelors of Occupational Therapy and Psychology in Melbourne after immigrating with her family in 2004. Building Blocks Therapy was established in 2012 by Lize. As director, her current goal is to build a friendly business, which reflects her passion and values, whilst supporting a team of therapist to work collaboratively with families and other health care professionals to provide the best outcomes possible for each individual family. She believes every child should have the opportunity to achieve their dreams despite the challenges they face. They should be given every opportunity to learn and develop their skills in a fun and safe environment. Lize is a wife and mum of two beautiful growing little boys, Kayleb and Malachi, so she understands how important family involvement in therapy is, and works towards empowering parents or carers to better support their children.

 

Gail Dimitriadis

I have worked in Aquatic education for over 30 years, starting as a teacher of swimming and water safety with the YMCA in Northcote. I am also qualified to teacher infants and pre-schoolers and Access and Inclusion. I am also an AUSTWIM presenter in Teacher or swimming and Water Safety, Aquatic Service Officer, Infants and Preschool children and Access and Inclusion. I am currently employed at WaterMarc, Belgravia Leisure and I am the Aquatic Manager. We have over 2000 children and adults in the program plus we have 25 children with special needs attending one on one classes we also provide services for all of the community in an effort to introduce swimming and water safety

 

Jessica Weir

Jessica is currently studying music and teaches singing at a local music school. It was her passion for music and teaching that brought her to Dyspraxia Kids Australia Inc. She hopes to help DKA flourish in the future through assisting with developing programs to offer the DKA community.

 

Emma Green

I am a student Occupational Therapist, on track to graduate in 2017. I work as an integration aide within primary schools and as an access and inclusion swimming teacher. I hope to create awareness of dyspraxia within the broader community and be able to carry it across into my future practices.

 

Katie Fennell

I am 20 years old, currently working as a swimming instructor and on deck supervisor at Watermarc Banyule. This is now my second year out of study but loving every moment of it. Time away from study has allowed me the freedom to explore all my options, opening so many different gateways to my future. Joining Dyspraxia Kids Australia Inc. has allowed me to bring my passion for teaching so much more soul and purpose. I aim to use my skills to help the growth of DKA programs on a wider scale. As well as, spread awareness amongst the community.