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Rachael McKinstry

Senior Speech Pathologist and Speech Pathology Team Manager / Positive Behavioural Support Practitioner / Communication and Swallowing All Ages
Rachael McKinstry Educational Case Management Newcastle Health Services

Rachael grew up in the Western Suburbs of Sydney and completed her Master’s degree in Speech Pathology at Macquarie University. She then lived in Melbourne before settling in Newcastle with her husband, Luke.

Growing up, Rachael always had two passions: a love of words, and a love of helping others. Her initial goal was to become the world’s best spelling teacher, but after learning that this was not a real career, she found Speech Pathology to be a much better alternative.

In a previous job, Rachael worked as a Speech Pathologist across approximately 30 aged care centres, assisting people to be able to safely swallow the foods and drinks they love. After working in this field for a while, Rachael felt she wanted a Speech Pathology position with a bigger focus on therapy for communication goals. However, Rachael retains a knowledge and love of helping people to enjoy their mealtimes safely.

Within Educational Case Management, Rachael now enjoys working with adults and children, helping them to swallow and communicate.

Rachael’s particular areas of interest include early language development, literacy, and articulation. 

Rachael loves walking her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Keep your eyes peeled and you may see her walking with a very happy dog!

Qualifications

Rachael has pursued further professional development since graduation and has been trained in:

  • Hanen (More than Words): a program for helping children with social communication and language delays to increase their abilities.
  • Key Word Sign: a form of sign language which uses key words only, alongside verbal speech.
  • LAMP Words for Life: a nonverbal communication system allowing people to press buttons in various patterns to communicate.
  • WIAT administration: using this assessment to accurately assess people’s abilities across academic areas.
  • Mental Health First Aid: training regarding how to respond when someone is experiencing a mental health crises.
  • Trauma Informed Care: training regarding how to make practices more friendly to people who have experienced trauma.

 

Rachael will soon be completing training in:

  • DIR floor time therapy: an approach using structured floor time play to develop social and language skills in young children.
  • Childhood Apraxia of Speech (presented by Bjorem): learning more about a rare condition impacting on articulation and best therapy approaches for this.

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