Meet our staff
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.
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. 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.
Dr Erin Banales, Clinic Coordinator
Erin completed a Bachelor of Behavioural Science and a Postgraduate Diploma of Psychology at La Trobe University, Melbourne. Erin has been involved in research with children and teenagers for the past 9 years holding research roles at Melbourne University, Sydney University and Westmead Hospital. In 2014 she completed her PhD, in which she investigated the association between working memory and children’s reading development.
Anne’s research is in the cognitive science of reading and language, with a particular focus on reading development and developmental dyslexia. Anne did an Honours degree in Psychology at the Australian National University (1987) and a PhD at Macquarie University, supervised by Professor Max Coltheart (1993). After that, Anne moved to the University of Melbourne where she had a teaching and research position in the Department of Psychology. Anne returned to Macquarie University in 2007 to take up a CORE research appointment. In 2010, she became the Scientific Director of the Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science and subsequently Head of the Department of Cognitive Science. From 2011, Anne became Deputy Director and Reading Program Leader for the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders.
Thushara is a registered Psychologist, completing her Bachelor of Psychology (honours) 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 has over 10 years of experience working closely with children and adolescents including those with reading difficulties, autism, and acquired brain injuries.
In her role at the Clinic, Thushara is involved in both the assessment and treatment of children, teenagers and adults with reading and spelling difficulties. Thushara is passionate about working clinically and in finding ways to best support children in their everyday life.
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.
In her role at the Clinic, Elena is responsible for the assessment of children, teenagers and adults with reading and spelling 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.
Deanna Francis, Clinician - Treatment
Deanna holds a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) and Master of Research and is currently completing her PhD at Macquarie University. Her research investigates the relationship between children’s reading ability and their emotional health. Deanna has experience working with children who have reading and spelling difficulties and anxiety disorders.
In her role at the Clinic, Deanna is responsible for the treatment of children, teenagers, and adults with reading and spelling difficulties. She is particularly interested in working with children experiencing reading difficulties and emotional health problems such as anxiety. Deanna especially enjoys seeing children’s confidence grow as they work towards achieving their literacy goals.
Stuart Heath, Clinician - Treatment
Stuart is a Certified Practising Member of Speech Pathology Australia, having completed a Master of Speech and Language Pathology at the University of Sydney in 2017. He has previously worked as a writer and editor in print and digital publishing, and has taught English to speakers of other languages.
In his role at the Clinic, Stuart is responsible for the treatment of children, teenagers and adults with reading and spelling difficulties. He is particularly interested in how best to support literacy in the broader context of clients’ everyday communication.
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 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.
In her role at the Clinic, Leslie is responsible for the treatment of children, teenagers and adults with reading and spelling difficulties. She enjoys working with those who have special education needs, as well as with educators and families.
Maia Zucco, Clinician - Assessment and Treatment
Maia completed her Bachelor of Psychology at Macquarie University (Honours) in 2016 and is currently completing a Masters of Clinical Neuropsychology. Previously, Maia has been involved as a research assistant within the Department of Cognitive Science, looking at the effect of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on spelling training.
In her role at the Clinic, Maia is responsible for the treatment of children, teenagers and adults with reading and spelling difficulties. 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.