Speech Pathology Team

Sam Calder, Rebecca Balchin, Dayna O’Meara, Candice Balletta and Robert Wells

Rebecca Balchin

I became a member of the speech pathology team at the NEMLDC in 2019 having worked briefly in private practice. I have a particular interest in early literacy development, as it’s an exciting and critical time of learning! I currently support the Pre-primary staff and students at our West Morley and North Balga campuses and love to see the students’ skills and confidence grow during their time here. I am passionate about supporting children with Developmental Language Disorder to realise their potential and preparing families to support their children beyond the LDC.

Samuel Calder

I joined the Speech Pathology Team at NEMLDC in 2015 after having my final year clinical placement as a university student at the school. I am passionate about working with children, teachers and their families to make the most of their time at the LDC, and improve communication to develop happy and successful learners. I currently work with all Year 2 teachers and students where I get the privilege of seeing our children flourish with their speaking, reading and writing skills before re-entering mainstream. Since 2021, I have overseen the final year clinical placement of Curtin University student speech pathologists. I have a special interest in understanding and improving speech sound difficulties and grammar difficulties in children with Developmental Language Disorder, and I have completed a PhD in the area of grammar therapy.

Robert Wells

I have worked at the NEMLDC since 2014. I am passionate about supporting student who have Developmental Language Disorder, and have a special interest in service equity and access. I am also completing my PhD in speech pathology service access. Across my career at the NEMLDC I have worked with students, families, and educators in each year group. I see student wellbeing as a key component of supporting learning at the NEMLDC and beyond into mainstream schooling. I aim to work with students, and their families along with my NEMLDC colleagues to improve students’ functional communication skills.

Dayna O’Meara

I have been working as a speech pathologist at the NEMLDC for almost 3 years with both pre-primary and year 1 cohorts. My passion is supporting students with Developmental Language Disorder to develop their oral language and empower families to build strong foundations for their child’s future achievements. I particularly enjoy working alongside key people in our students’ lives, such as their teachers and external therapists, to enable their language and literacy goals to develop both inside the classroom and beyond. This year I am fortunate enough to be working with our year 1 students across all 3 campuses, to support our students to reach their language and literacy potential.

Candice Balletta

I joined the Speech Pathology team in Term 1 of this year, following the completion of my final year speech pathology placement at NEMLDC in 2021. I am currently working with the Kindergarten classes across our 3 campuses as well as the two Pre-primary classes at our new site, Beechboro. I have a keen interest in the area of language and literacy, especially in how these essential skills are supported and developed for children with Developmental Language Disorder. I find it a privilege that I get to work collaboratively with teachers and parents, at this foundational stage of learning, to ensure the best possible outcome for each child in our care.