Special Interest Groups

Important Notice: The Speech Pathology Association of Australia Limited ("the Association") makes no warranty or representation in relation to the content or accuracy of the material on this website or material contained in external websites linked to this website or material related to the ‘groups’ listed below. The Association expressly disclaims any and all liability (including liability for negligence) in respect of use of the information provided. The Association recommends you seek independent professional advice prior to making any decision involving matters relating to these groups and their activities These groups are not run or support by the Association.

Special Interest Groups may be listed on this website by completing the Special Interest Group Form This graphic is associated with the hyperlink that precedes it and indicates the document is in Microsoft Word Format. and returning it to the Communications Officer.

The following Special Interest Groups are listed below in alphabetical order.

Australian IDDSI Reference Group (AUIRG)

Australia IDDSI Reference Group (AUIRG) is a group of volunteers who have committed to help guide, foster, advocate, facilitate and support the implementation of IDDSI in Australia. We are conducting an environmental scan to determine current IDDSI implementation status, barriers, benefits across hospitals, aged care facilities, disability group homes, clinics, and the community. We will also have other projects coming up in 2022 to support the implementation of IDDSI across Australia.

Join us as a volunteer if you are a speech pathologist who is interested in Dysphagia and the implementation of IDDSI across Australia!

Please email [email protected] to express your interest.

Meetings:
Date/s: 3rd Friday of the month, subject to change
Time: 10 am AEDT, subject to change
Venue: Meetings are held online

Any cost or fee (if applicable):
Free

Contact name/s:
Vanessa Chan or Susie van Leeuwen

Telephone:
0416 693 994 or 0431 480 164

Communication Special Interest Group (CommSIG) – WA

The founders and members of this group passionately believe that promoting communication is one of the pillars of our profession. We also recognise that attending relevant professional development in this field is often influenced by time, cost and accessibility constraints. We therefore invite professionals across Australia to join CommSIG as an efficient way to maintain their confidence and clinical skills in a range of adult communication fields. This group meets quarterly to learn and receive practical advice from a scheduled speaker on a selected topic around acquired adult communication (members can attend video teleconference). Discussion and collaboration are encouraged. CommSIG is based in Western Australia but welcomes interstate members to participate.

Meetings:
22 June 2022, 1300 (WST): Rebekah Smith and Georgia Campbell from MSWA will present on the variations in the service and presentation within the multiple sclerosis community.

19 October 2022, 1300 (WST): Professor Anne Whitworth, Academic Lead in Speech Pathology for the University of Tasmania, to present on discourse therapies and NARNIA update.

November/December 2022 (date TBC): Yvette Yee, Senior Speech Pathologist at the Rehabilitative Technology Unit at Fiona Stanley Hospital, will present on what’s new in AAC technology.

Any cost or fee (if applicable):
Free

Contact name/s:
Kathryn Ramsay

Telephone:
N/A

If you wish to join the CommSIG mailing list or have any questions email Kathryn Ramsay.

ComTEC (AAC) Special Interest Group
Speech Pathologists from the ComTEC team welcome all practicing and student Speech Pathologists interested in working with people with complex communication needs (CCN), their families and others in the community using Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) principles, strategies and tools.
Participants will be able to ask questions on topics related to AAC systems, increase their knowledge of Speech Generating Devices (SGDs) and communication systems through professional discussions, some hands on equipment learning and presented case studies

Meetings:

Date/s: First Thursday of each month from 9 January, 2020
Time: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Venue: 49 Sun crescent, Sunshine 3020

Any cost or fee (if applicable):
Any cost or fee (if applicable) $10 per session (for use of room, tea/coffee, etc.)

Contact name/s:
Beth Twentyman

Telephone:
96336940

Cross-Cultural Practice and Acquired Communication Disorders Special Interest Group

This is an online forum for qualified speech pathologists who work with adults with acquired communication disorders, who are from diverse cultural and language backgrounds - including First Peoples, migrants and refugees - in any clinical setting. The aim of the SIG is to provide a collegial, collaborative, safe environment for case presentations and discussion. There is a focus on sharing of clinical experiences, problem-solving processes, resources and the evidence related to cross-cultural practice with adults with ACD. This SIG is hosted by Sympatico Research Group.

Meetings:
Meetings occur quarterly. Further meetings dates for 2022 TBC. 
Venue: Via Zoom or Teams

Any cost or fee (if applicable):
N/A

Contact name/s:
Dr Samantha Siyambalapitiya

Telephone:
+61 (0)7 5678 0160 

DARIG – Dysphagia and Rehabilitation Interest Group
DARIG is a clinician run interest group which provides relevant presentations to clinicians in the areas of dysphagia and rehabilitation. The group meets four times a year and subjects can range from new emerging evidence and techniques, to updates on available services and, general recaps on current practice.

Meetings:
Date/s: TBC
Time: TBC
Venue: TBC

Any cost or fee (if applicable):
Free

Contact name/s:
Melinda Gentle
, Ellisa Ong, Sophie Vitale

Telephone: Ellisa (SALHN): 8404 2642 Melinda (NALHN): 8161 2000 Sophie (CALHN): 8222 1656


Early Onset Dementias

The EOD SIG is focussed on discussing the latest evidence and innovations on identification, assessment, prognosis, management and advocacy of individuals with dementia related communication and mealtime impairment. We welcome all researchers, clinicians and industry partners to the group.

Meetings:
Date/s: Occasional throughout the year
Time:
Venue: Coordinated via slack

Any cost or fee (if applicable):
None

Contact name/s:
Professor Adam Vogel

Telephone:
(03) 9035 5334

Developmental Language Disorder Special Interest Group

We are a group of keen Speech Pathologists, new graduates through to experienced clinicians, working with students whose language difficulties impact on their learning in academic settings. While this means that most of us work in primary and secondary education, there are many members who work in preschool settings as well. We are interested in interacting with and encouraging each other, sharing ideas and resources, discussing research and participating in PDs together. Topics cover any area related to education as requested by the membership, including (but not limited to) phonology, phonological processing, language, literacy, assessment and intervention, particular programmes, administrative and practical issues facing Speech Pathologists. Speakers drawn from ‘within’ or ‘beyond’ our membership regularly present or lead the discussions. Membership includes online access to the journal, Child Language Teaching and Therapy

Meetings;
Date/s: Tuesday evenings, 6 times per year. Dates set at meetings.

Venue:
Rossbourne School, 131 Power Street, Hawthorn

Any cost or fee (if applicable):
$40 per year membership

Kids Chat

Kids Chat is a free Scope program that exists to strengthen the abilities of children with complex communication needs. Delivered by experienced Speech Pathologists, Kids Chat aims to build the capacity of families, Speech Pathologists and other support workers to engage with Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) principles and tools through peer-to-peer knowledge sharing, workshops and individual consultations. Participants will increase their knowledge of non-electronic communication aids as an integral part of the AAC approach, learn how AAC can enhance existing therapy frameworks, and access support around developing non-electronic communication aids and prescribing them to children under the NDIS scheme.

Meetings:
Date/s: view the full calendar of upcoming workshops
Time: Various, refer to the calendar to find a workshop nearby

Venue:
Various, refer to the calendar to find a workshop nearby

Any cost or fee (if applicable):
N/A - this is a free service

Contact name/s:
Marion Van Nierop or Julie Kenny

Telephone:
(03) 9843 2000

Language and Literacy Community of Practice (Perth)

The Language and Literacy Community of Practice (Perth) has been created by clinicians for clinicians, aiming to to support speech pathologists working with school-aged children (5 years +) in the areas of language and literacy. The focus of the CoP is to create a community of speech pathologists who would like to discuss, share and learn about best practice intervention and assessment in the domains of literacy, expressive language, receptive language and social skills/pragmatics.  This CoP is not for phonology, motor speech or fluency related management. 

Meetings:
12 October 2017 & 13 December 2017 - more dates TBA 
6pm-9pm

Venue:
Dyslexia SPELD Foundation, 10 Broome St, South Perth WA 6151

Any cost or fee (if applicable):
n/a

Contact name/s:
Laura GlissonTina Kilpatrick Alison Perry , Jenny Baker 

Neurodiversity Affirming Practice SIG

Neurodiversity Affirming Practice is a group of speech pathologists who are interested in changing the status quo. We are passionate about listening to and learning from neurodivergent people in order to ensure we are providing therapies that are empowering to all our clients. We invite guest speakers who have lived experience with autism, ADHD (or who are otherwise neurodivergent) to help us reflect on, and improve, different aspects of our practice. All presenters are paid for sharing their knowledge with us, so there is a small membership fee to cover these costs.

The next presentation in May 2022, will be from the amazing (Autistic and ADHDer) Developmental Psych, Sandhya Menon. Sandhya will be presenting an 'Introduction to Neuro-Affirming Therapy' (Date TBC).

Meetings:
Date/s: Quarterly – May, August, November, February (Dates TBC)
Time: 7 pm

Venue:
Online (Zoom)

Any cost or fee (if applicable):
$44 (Annual)

Contact name/s:
Rebecca Kidd

Telephone:
(03) 7012 5038

NSW Adult Neurogenic Communication Interest Group (ANCIG)

ANCIG is a professional development forum for speech pathologists with an interest in adult neurogenic communication. We run 4-5 presentations per year comprising guest speakers and case studies. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic our 2020 schedule was shifted to zoom, and we will continue this in 2021. We welcome attendance from other states while the forum runs online. Please join by emailing our coordinators.

Meetings:
Date/s: 2021 dates:

  • 11 February
  • 15 April
  • 24 June
  • 19 August
Time:
3 pm-4.30 pm

Venue:
Historically Concord Hospital Medical Education Centre, (2020-2021 via zoom)

Any cost or fee (if applicable):
Historically cold coin donation, (2020-2021 free via Zoom)

Contact name/s:
Chelsea Larkman and Rachel McKenzie

Telephone:
((02) 9767 5133

NSW Dysphagia Interest Group

The NSW Dysphagia Interest Group is a professional development forum for Speech Pathologists with an interest and/or working in the field of adult dysphagia. It is run quarterly with a schedule of presentations designed to meet the educational needs of speech pathologists who want to gain further skills in assessment and management of dysphagia across a variety of caseloads.

Meetings:
Date/s: 9 February, 11 May, 10 August, 9 November 2021

Venue:
Via Zoom link (provided prior to each presentation) or in person at the Medical Education Centre, Concord Repatriation General Hospital

Contact name/s:
Nicola Clayton

Telephone:
(02) 9767 7449

NSW Evidence Based Practice Network Augmentative Alternative Communication Group

The NSW AAC EBP Group is back up and running for 2022. The format we’re running this year is a modified journal club with a focus on translating research into our practice. Members will participate by leading discussions around journal articles, completing CAPs followed by discussions on how we can translate findings into practice. Topics of interest will be generated during the first meeting. You can email me for the Terms of reference and survey to figure out our meeting schedules for the year. We will aim to meet bimonthly (6 times a year and the end of year showcase for all of the EBP groups in NSW).

Meetings:
Date/s: 16 February
Time: 12 pm

Venue:
Zoom

Any cost or fee (if applicable):
Free

Contact name/s:
Kay Bui

Telephone:
0478 028 738

NSW Stuttering Interest Group (SIG)

The Stuttering Interest Group group is open to all practising speech pathologist in NSW. The group discusses clinical practice and the latest research in stuttering. The target audience includes clinicians who treat, or plan to treat people who stutter, and researchers of stuttering. During meetings attendees are encouraged to participate in discussions about case studies and clinically relevant research to facilitate evidence based practice in stuttering. The NSW SIG is also a clinical group within the NSW Speech Pathology EBP (Evidence Based Practice) Network.

Meetings:
Date/s: The third Monday of March, July and November (3 meetings/year). Subject to change.

Time:
12.30 – 1.30 pm (lunch time)

Venue:
Via Zoom (Hosts: Australian Catholic University, North Sydney; Bankstown Stuttering Unit and the Australian Stuttering Research Centre, University of Technology Sydney

Any cost or fee (if applicable):
Free

Contact name/s:
Michelle Donaghy, Stacey Sheedy, Caitlin Richards

Telephone:
Michelle (02) 9739 2622, Stacey (02) 97802763, Caitlin (02) 9514 5314

Private Speech Pathologists Association of WA

Meetings:
Date/s: Meetings usually held once a month
Time:

Venue:
The University Club, University of WA

Any cost or fee (if applicable):

Contact name/s:
Lynne Middleton

Telephone:
View online

Queensland Stuttering Interest Group (QSIG)

Discussing the latest research and clinical practice in the field of stuttering. Our target audience includes clinicians who work with stuttering, researchers, and students completing course work in stuttering. Attendees are encouraged to participate in meetings through discussion of the latest national and international research in the field, through discussion of clinical considerations, and community support and engagement opportunities to promote awareness and education on stuttering. Join to build our community of SLPs in Queensland working with stuttering.

Meetings:
Date/s: First Wednesday of March, June, September, and December
Time: 12-1 pm AEST

Venue:
Teams/Zoom session online

Any cost or fee (if applicable):
Free

Contact name/s:
Patrick Hollamby

Telephone:
0436 924 396

Speech-Language Pathology and Palliative Care Special Interest Group (SLP-PalCare-SIG)

The SLP-PalCare-SIG has a focus, not limited to, but covering ten main areas to assist SLPs practicing in Palliative Care, namely:

  1. Encouraging, developing and/or conducting ongoing research and creating resources for SLPs working in Palliative Care.
  2. Educating SLPs and other health professions about the role of SLPs in PalCare.
  3. Establishing referral procedures for SLP assessment and intervention within PalCare.
  4. Integrating PalCare within SLP tertiary education.
  5. Promoting the education, consultation, supervision and mentoring of SLPs new to PalCare.
  6. Incorporating SLP interprofessional learning (IPL) goals into disciplinary/palliative care team goals.
  7. Focussing PalCare assessment and therapy to include both cognitive-communication and swallowing interventions.
  8. Integration of SLPs as a part of a practical, consultative and holistic PalCare approach.
  9. Encouraging and supporting self-care for SLPs working in PalCare.
  10. The development of uniform SLP-PalCare Clinical Practice Guidelines.

Meetings:
Annual Meeting – Speech Pathology Australia National Conference; Adhoc meetings as requested by members. Venue and times to be advised by email to SIG members.

Any cost or fee (if applicable):
None

Contact name/s:
Chairperson: Professor Bernice Mathisen (University of Southern Queensland AU), Secretary: Associate Professor Lindsay Carey (Adjunct: La Trobe University and The University of Notre Dame, AU), Dr Laura Chahda (University of Melbourne, AU), Professor Travis Threats (St. Louis University, USA).

Speech Pathology Brain Injury Interest Group (SPBIIG)

The aim of the group is to provide professional support to speech pathologists working with or researching brain injury caseloads. The group will provide opportunities for discussing clinical problems, sharing of information and resources, and learning from the expertise of others.

Meetings:
The meetings dates/times for 2022 are as follows and these typically run between 2.30-4.00 pm with videoconferencing available:
Wednesday, 23 February (Host: Westmead Hospital, Sydney)
Wednesday, 18 May (Host: Royal Rehabilitation Centre, Sydney)
Wednesday, 24 August (Host: Liverpool Hospital, Sydney)
Monday, 21 November (Host: University of Sydney)

Any cost or fee (if applicable):
None

Contact name/s:
Dr Melissa Brunner

Telephone:

Speech Pathology Email Chats (SPECS)

An international online forum for Speech Pathologists working with adults in acute, rehabilitation, palliative care, community and/or academic settings to develop a collective body of knowledge and assist with the establishment of best practice and management.

Contact name/s:
Kate Baumwol (moderator)

Other
An invitation to join can be requested via the SPECS website.

Speech Pathology Head and Neck Cancer Google Group

Speech Pathologists interested in the treatment and management of clients with head and neck cancer. Members can post questions and contribute to discussions via their email address on topics related to head and neck cancer such as surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, voice prosthesis management and palliative care.

Meetings:
Date/s: Online – national and international
Time:
Venue:

Any cost or fee (if applicable): Nil fee – email contact with brief description of where you work and your specific interest in Head and Neck Cancer.

Contact name/s:
Penny Stabler or Bernadette Dutton

Telephone:
(07) 5687 3151 Penny Stabler

Speech Pathologists in Adult Disability

Speech Pathologists who have an interest in adult disability. This community of practice discusses topics that range from communication, behaviour as communication, dysphagia and any other topics for adults with physical and/or intellectual disability. 

Meetings:
Date/s: Meetings will be advertised through the Facebook site during the year.
Time:
Venue:

Any cost or fee (if applicable):
None

Contact name/s:
Brooke Workman and Harmony Turnbull

Telephone:
(02) 9407 7753

Speech Pathologists in Adult Rehabilitation (SPAR)

SPAR is a large and active SIG consisting of members who work in adult rehabilitation across the continuum of care. We meet approximately 3-4 times per year. Meetings consist of clinical and research presentations and skills-based workshops from both Speech Pathologists and other relevant professionals. 

In addition to meetings and other professional development opportunities, we also offer a range of resources members can purchase to assist with the management of communication and swallowing disorders. 

Membership gives free admission to most events and discounted access to any fee-paying events.

Meetings:
Date/s: 4-5 events per year
Time: Dependent on event
Most events 60-120 minutes during work hours plus annual full-day professional development opportunity.
Venue: Most events offered online, face to face events in metro Melbourne

Any cost or fee (if applicable):
$20 per year for an individual membership

Contact name/s:
Emma White

Telephone:
0421053153

Speech Pathologists in Vision Impairment Network

We are a National Network of Speech Pathologists, from early career speech pathologists through to experienced clinicians, working with children and adults who have vision impairments that impact on their learning and communication. We meet quarterly to share ideas and resources, discuss research and PD attended including National and International conferences. Topics cover any area related to vision impairment as requested by the membership, including (but not limited to) cortical vision impairment, use of visual communication aids, orientation and mobility, tactile communication options, and assessment and intervention. Speakers drawn from ‘within’ or ‘beyond’ our membership present or lead the discussions. We rotate responsibility for preparing the agenda, chairing the meeting and taking minutes.

Meetings:
Date/s: Every 3 months, Wednesdays
Time: 2 pm AEST
Venue: Virtual meeting room hosted by Vision Australia

Any cost or fee (if applicable): None

Contact name/s:
Meredith Prain

Telephone:
0416 753 433

Victoria Dysphagia Interest Group (DIG)

DIG is a fantastic way of keeping up to date with current issues and developments in dysphagia, as well as giving you and/or your health network the opportunity to network and share information with others. DIG holds regular events which include presentations and forums of current areas of interest in dysphagia management. Communication of events and presentations are distributed via email to members. DIG welcomes individuals, health networks and students to become members of DIG to further enhance the community of Speech Pathologists working in dysphagia management across the continuum of care. We also welcome members from interstate and always aim to distribute presentation slides post an event for those who cannot attend in person.

Meetings:
Date/s: Varies – usually about 6 events per year (and via Zoom)
Time: Varies – usually held in the afternoon

Venue:
Various sites across metropolitan Melbourne

Any cost or fee (if applicable):
Joining fee per year ($15 student, $25 individual, $50 single site facility or $150 health network)

Contact name/s:
Co-Convenors: Meg Keage (University of Melbourne), Kate McCullough (Western Health), Danielle Czapnik (Royal Melbourne Hospital), Treasurer: Audrey Price (Monash Health), Secretary: Julia Gorton (Royal Melbourne Hospital), Regional Representative: Maddy Dean (Barwon Health).

Email group

Victorian Independent Speech Pathologists Network (VISPNet)

This group is for independent (private) practitioners and meetings focus on issues relating to running a business.

Meetings:
Date/s: Four dinner meetings per year
Time:
Venue: The Manningham Hotel, Bulleen

Any cost or fee (if applicable):
$48 (includes dinner)

Contact name/s:
Betty Mihelakos

Telephone:
(03) 9383 7733

Victorian Stuttering Interest Group (STIG)

Each meeting focusses on a topic related to current issues in stuttering and is led by a guest speaker who is experienced in the field of stuttering. Meetings are open to all speech pathologists. Students are invited to attend the meeting in September.

Meetings:
Date/s: Five meetings per year on a Monday evening (28 February, 9 May, 4 July, 5 September (Students invited, no charge), 7 November).
Time: 7.30-9.30 pm
Venue: Via Zoom OR at Box Hill Speech Pathology Clinic, 662 Elgar Road, Box Hill North. Notification provided to attenders prior to each meeting.

Any cost or fee (if applicable):
The fee for membership for the year is $40 per person. This fee covers attendance for up to 5 meetings and is due at the first meeting attended. No receipt is issued; the fee is a donation to cover STIG guest speakers’ gifts, meeting expenses and STIG events.

Contact name/s:
Brenda Carey 

Telephone:
0402 002 195

Victorian Voice Interest Group (VVIG)

Open to speech pathologists around Australia (including final year speech pathology students), we are a network of clinicians interested in assessment and management of voice clients. We offer presentations from expert speech pathologists and other health professionals (e.g. ENT), review and discuss journal articles, share feedback from professional development events, problem-solve challenging client cases as a group and discuss resources and voice therapy techniques. We also alert members to voice PD opportunities via email.

Looking for new leadership - please contact Nicola if interested
Open to speech pathologists around Australia (including final year speech pathology students), we are a network of clinicians interested in assessment and management of voice clients. We alert members to voice PD opportunities via email.

Meetings:
Not currently offered.

Time:
Varies

Venue:
Varies (we always aim to offer attendance via videoconference).

Cost or fee if applicable:
Nil.

Contact name/s:
Nicola Anglin

WA Dysphagia Interest Group (DIG)

DIG welcomes all practicing and student Speech Pathologists interested in the area of dysphagia across acute, rehabilitation and disability settings.

Meetings:
Date/s: Meetings held monthly – contact DIG coordinator for further details
Time: 4:00 – 5:00 pm AWST

Venue:
Online presentation via MS teams

Any cost or fee (if applicable):
Nil

Contact name/s:
Stacey Mann

Telephone:
(08) 6457 2044

Working with Adolescents - South Australia

A forum for those working with adolescents to increase their knowledge of services; connect across services and practitioners; share and discuss resources, research and professional education attended. The particular focus of the meetings will be determined by the group.

Meetings:
Date/s: Inaugural meeting: Wednesday 13 October (i.e. the first Wednesday of the school term in SA)
Time: 11:45 am to 1pm

Venue:
Online

Any cost or fee (if applicable):
N/A

Contact name/s:
Berni Dahlenburg

Telephone:
(08) 7117 3800