Penny Melsom, Occupational Therapist
A summary of Penny's qualifications and experience:
Penny completed her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy in 1988 at Curtin University, with a Post Grad Dip in Paediatric OT completed in 1995. She has many years of experience as an OT, with all but 2 years of that experience being in Paediatrics. Initially Penny worked at Albury Base Hospital Hospital, then Sir Charles Gardner Hospital before commencing her career in paediatric Occupational Therapy at Sir David Brand Centre (now the Ability Centre). She worked in early intervention and school-age services for 5 years and was one of the first OT's to provide school-based OT services in Perth. Following this Penny worked in a range of roles including Neurology and Developmental Paediatrics at Princess Margaret Hospital, Therapy Focus, and Curtin University as a student Fieldwork Coordinator. In 1995, Penny along with Caryn Mincherton, established Skillbuilders Therapy Services for Children in Leeming, WA. Skillbuilders was developed to provide a team based therapy service for children including Speech Therapy, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy. In 2001, Skillbuilders acquired ‘Hands On’ therapy products, to create a products and equipment side to their business. In 2012, a second clinic was established in Cockburn Central to enable Skillbuilders to provide services more comprehensively across the south metropolitan area.
Penny's special interests and passions:
In recent years Penny has developed a special interest in working with babies and children with eating difficulties. She also continues to enjoy working particularly with young babies and children, including those with Cerebral Palsy. Penny has worked with a number of organisations in a mentorship/management role, including the WA Occupational Therapy Association, Meerilinga Young Children's Organisation, and Noah's Ark Toy Library.
Reason for loving what you do:
When we asked Penny the reason she loves her job she said, "I have really enjoyed developing the therapy products aspect of our business in recent years. Providing this equipment to families enables them to carry on therapy goals on a daily basis and it provides children with tools for self-regulation that they can use all the time. This can really make a difference'.