Our team

Our team

Meet our staff


Genevieve McArthurProfessor Genevieve McArthur, Director

Genevieve is the Director of the Macquarie University Reading Clinic and Head of the Department of Cognitive Science at Macquarie University. Over the last 20 years, she has held research positions at the University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Oxford University, and Macquarie University. The goal of her research program is to determine what causes reading and language impairments in children, and how these impairments should be treated. She is an active advocate for the rapid translation of scientific evidence into practice.


Dr Saskia KohnenDr Saskia Kohnen, Clinical Director

In her role as Clinical Director of the Macquarie University Reading Clinic, Saskia is responsible for ensuring that the quality of the assessment and treatment services provided in the clinic is of the highest standards. Saskia holds a degree in Linguistics and Speech-Language Pathology and completed a PhD in 2008 at Macquarie University. Her current research interests include the assessment of the underlying causes of reading and spelling difficulties in children; conducting intervention trials for children and adults with developmental and acquired reading and spelling difficulties; and the investigation of reading acquisition in typically developing children. 


Mrs Erin BanalesDr Erin Banales, Clinic Coordinator

Erin completed her Bachelor of Behavioural Science degree in 2006 and Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology in 2007 at La Trobe University, Melbourne. Erin has been involved in research with children and teenagers for the past 7 years, including through her PhD thesis in which she investigated the association between working memory and children's reading development. Her favourite aspect is literacy treatment, and in particular seeing the benefits of working closely with children and their families.


Thushara AnandakumarThushara Anandakumar, Clinician - Assessment & Treatment

Thushara is a registered Psychologist who completed her Bachelor of Psychology (honours) degree in 2008 and a Master of Clinical Neuropsychology in 2014, both at Macquarie University. Since 2009, Thushara has been involved in reading research and remediation through the Department of Cognitive Science. She also has over 10 years of experience working closely with children and adolescents including those with reading difficulties, autism, and acquired brain injuries. Thushara is passionate about working clinically and in finding ways to best support children in their everyday life. 


Kristina BarisicKristina Barisic, Clinician - Assessment & Treatment 

Kristina completed her Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) degree in 2011 and is currently undertaking Master of Clinical Neuropsychology at Macquarie University. Kristina has worked with children with reading and spelling difficulties as principal research assistant on Spelling Treatment Study at the Department of Cognitive Science since early 2012 and is currently investigating a case study of a child with developmental spelling difficulty that has only been reported in the acquired literature. She has a passion for working with families, teachers and researchers to learn more about how to support children and teenagers develop their literacy skills.


Kristy JonesKristy Jones, Clinician - Assessment & Treatment

Kristy completed her Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Psychology at Leeds University in 2008 and following a move back to Sydney, became a Principal Research Assistant at Macquarie University.  The research explored phonics versus sight word treatment in children with reading difficulties over a 5 year period, the results of which contributed to the development of the Macquarie University Reading Clinic. Kristy is currently completing her Masters in Clinical Neuropsychology at Macquarie University. For her Master's thesis she is investigating targeted versus general reading remediation in children with combined phonics & sight word reading difficulties. Kristy has enjoyed observing and contributing to positive outcomes from treatment with clients, from a clinical and research setting, based around improved reading skills and using alternate techniques in order to acquire better reading skills. 


Elena Badcock, Clinician - Assessment

Elena completed her Masters in Psychology (Applied Developmental & Educational) at the University of Western Australia in 2006. Since graduating she has worked as a Psychologist (Disability Services Commission, Western Australia) and in research roles (Oxford University, University College London, La Trobe University, and Macquarie University). She has experience working with very young children and adolescents including those with autism, hearing and language impairments, as well as children with reading difficulties. Elena is interested in the many facets of child development, and working to support children and their families through the challenges that affect everyday life.


Erika ContiniErika Contini, Clinician - Assessment

Erika completed a Bachelor of Liberal Studies (Psychology Honours) at the University of Sydney in 2009, and is currently in the final stages of a combined PhD / Master of Clinical Neuropsychology at Macquarie University. Erika has experience working as an assessor for multiple literacy programs and has a keen interest in identifying specific literacy difficulties to best inform treatment tailored to each individual's specific needs. 


Leslie Hurd, Clinician - Treatment

Leslie completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at Marist College (New York) in 2011. She then undertook a graduate program in School Psychology at Southern Connecticut State University, receiving her Master's degree in 2013 and her Sixth Year Professional Diploma in 2015.  In January of 2016 Leslie became a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) in the USA. She has recently relocated to Sydney to continue her work in education and research. Leslie enjoys working with children and adults with special education needs as well as with educators and families.

Maia ZuccoMaia Zucco, Clinician - Treatment

Maia completed her Bachelor of Psychology at Macquarie University in 2015 and is currently completing her Honours project. Her research is focusing on the validity of a new electroencephalography (EEG) system for investigation into auditory discrimination. Maia has also been involved as a research assistant within the Department of Cognitive Science for a study looking at the effect of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on spelling training. She is passionate about working clinically with children and the effects this has on their literacy, confidence and everyday life.     

Our clinic management, staff and sessional staff have all been certified by the Advanced skills in assessing reading and spelling in children program, and hold current NSW Working With Children Checks (WWCC) and have clearance to work with children.

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