Cairns Occupational Therapy Staff

We are founding members of the FNQ Allied Health Association Inc, with Kerry being the inaugural President. This has developed out of the Cairns Allied Health Private Practitioner’s Network which we developed and convened for the last 8 years and our more recent involvement with the Allied Health Reference Group to the FNQRDGP. All allied health professionals are being invited to join the association which aims to give us “a voice” in the changing health environment.

Our Therapists

Cairns Occupational Therapy therapists are committed to ensuring their knowledge and skills are as up-to-date as possible and based on scientific research. The therapists are all members of OT Australia, the peak body representing Occupational Therapists. We constantly seek opportunities to participate in continuing professional education and maintain our Accredited Occupational Therapist status.

Kerry Stingel

Kerry Stingel Kerry graduated with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy from The University of Queensland in July 1989. She worked for three years in general adult rehabilitation in Geelong prior to returning to her hometown, Cairns. After working for four years in adult rehabilitation and aged care at Cairns Base Hospital Kerry had the opportunity to work full time in Hand Therapy. For nearly three years she worked at the private practice of two Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. Kerry became a full member of the Australian Hand Therapy Association (AHTA) in August 1998.

She started her own private practice, Cairns Occupational Therapy, in November 1999. Kerry's work encompasses hand therapy, lymphoedema management, medicolegal assessments, worksite evaluation for injured workers, rehabilitation of private hospital inpatients, supervising Occupational Therapy students in clinical placement and increasing opportunities for Occupational Therapists.

Kerry and her husband have three children. She has a longstanding connection with the Girl Guide Association. Kerry is a volunteer Breastfeeding Counsellor with the Australian Breastfeeding Association. In her spare time she enjoys craft, playing board games, reading and walking.

Kerry is acknowledged on the National Lymphoedema Practitioner's Register (NLPR). She is a member of the JCU OT consultative Committee and the JCU Practice Scholars Network helping to support the development of the next generations of Occupational Therapists. Kerry is the current president of the FNQ Allied Health Association, representing allied health and the multi-disciplinary team as health reform occurs.

Nicola Phibbs

Nicola Phibbs

In 1986 Nicola Phibbs graduated with a Diploma of Occupational Therapy from the Central Institute of Technology, New Zealand. She worked for 2 years as a psychosocial Occupational Therapist in NZ before pursuing her interest in occupational rehabilitation in Australia in 1989.

In Sydney Nicola developed skills working in a multi-disciplinary occupational rehabilitation team both in the private and public sector. She gained extensive clinical experience in Functional Capacity Evaluations, injury management education, work site/station assessments and return to work programs.

With this experience behind her Nicola moved to Cairns in 1992 and setup both the Occupational Therapy Assessment Clinic for the QLD Workers' Compensation Board and a private clinic for a Brisbane rehabilitation service. For 18 months Nicola further consolidated her occupational rehabilitation skills within local and regional industries.

After raising her two sons through their primary school years Nicola returned to Occupational Therapy to consolidate and further expand her knowledge of occupational rehabilitation, hand therapy and soft tissue injury management.

Nicola's creative interests away from work include the piano and the arts. She also enjoys keeping fit, bush walking, fishing and anything that involves the whole family!

Nicola attended an Oedema management workshop and has been helping to manage the swollen legs of our DVA clients within the community.

Rebecca Morrison (nee Sperring)

Rebecca Sperring

Rebecca Morrison graduated with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy from James Cook University, Townsville in 2008. During her final years of study Rebecca had the opportunity to complete an honours project on the lived experience of Lymphoedema in women post breast cancer treatment. Rebecca was able to present her preliminary findings of her study at an International Cancer Conference, held in Townsville 2007.

Rebecca has since worked in western Queensland as a community and aged care therapist and then spent a year in Tasmania in a regional hospital focusing on orthopaedics.

Rebecca is now focusing on workplace rehabilitation and Lymphoedema management whilst increasing her clinical skills in soft tissue injury management and upper limb therapy.

A true Cairns local, Rebecca is glad to be back in her home town after years of being away. In her spare time Rebecca enjoys reading, creative writing, spending time with family and friends, as well as walking her very enthusiastic Border Collie.

Thomas Orr

Thomas Orr

Thomas Orr has been working as an Occupational Therapist at Cairns OT since May 2013, after completing his studies at James Cook University in Townsville in 2012. He is developing expertise in Workplace Rehabilitation, Hand and Upper Limb therapy and Soft Tissue Injury Management. He is currently completing post graduate training in the areas of Soft Tissue Injury Management and Work Rehabilitation.

Thomas is a North Queensland local and is keen to work in the tropics. He enjoys socialising with friends and family and participating in sporting events such as soccer, futsal and sailing.

Deirdre Hill

Deirdre

Deirdre graduated with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy from Cumberland College of Health Sciences (Sydney) in 1987. She worked for several years in orthopaedics, adult rehabilitation and community health in Sydney before moving to the Hunter Valley to work as a school based Occupational Therapist.

Deirdre spent 2 years working in rural Zimbabwe as part of the Australian Volunteers Abroad program, working mainly with children in the hospital and remote villages. On returning to Australia she moved to Broken Hill where she spent 15 years working in Occupational Rehabilitation, gaining experience in managing return to work programs, Functional Capacity Evaluations, pre-employment assessments and injury management.

Deirdre moved to Cairns at the beginning of 2015. She has been working in community Occupational Therapy positions, organising home modifications and equipment prescription prior to joining Cairns Occupational Therapy. Deirdre is focusing on workplace rehabilitation and home assessment while increasing her clinical skills in upper limb therapy and soft tissue injury management.

When she’s not busy being an OT, she sings in a choir, enjoys kayaking, walking, travel and photography.

Administration Staff

Practice Manager: Andrew Stingel

Administration Staff: Delphine Bryant and Nicole Watson

For general information, please email mail@cairnsot.com.

Occupational Therapy Students

As part of our commitment to the Occupational Therapy profession we voluntarily supervise Occupational Therapy students in their 10-week undergraduate clinical placements. Students appreciate being able to observe and assist with treatment of clients. At the client's discretion, the student may attend and participate in consultations, but will at all times be accompanied by a supervising qualified and experienced therapist.

Find out more about an Occupational Therapy degree at James Cook University.