About Us

Early Start Australia is a national organisation committed to delivering evidence-based early intervention and therapy services to children and families.

Our systems, processes and infrastructure support our therapists across Australia to deliver flexible services that meet the needs of our clients.

Headquartered in Perth, Western Australia, Early Start Australia currently has clinics in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia with expansion into all states expected in 2020.

Our Vision

A world where all children reach their potential and find their place in a community that values and respects diversity.

Our Mission

To deliver world class evidence-based early intervention and therapy services that support children and families to achieve their dreams and aspirations.

Our Values

Early Start Australia is dedicated to improving the lives of children and families around Australia, embracing the following values:


Valuing and respecting the relationships that are important to your child and family, and working together in a way that makes sense to you.

Best Practice

Striving to understand and deliver evidence-based best practice and promote new ways of doing things.


Working collaboratively and creatively to find the best solution.


Doing the right thing and ensuring we are true to the promises and commitments we make.


Recognising and appreciating diversity and uniqueness, and understanding the importance of culture, value and choice.


Sharing in the delight of each child and ensuring that our services are appropriate, playful and enjoyable.

Our Team

Chief Executive Officer

Sasha Pendal

Sasha is an experienced corporate executive and chief of staff. Her recent executive general manager positions were at HBF Health Fund, energy utility Synergy and Woodside Energy where she had operations, strategy, corporate development and stakeholder relationship management accountabilities.

Sasha graduated from the Australian Graduate School of Management with a Masters of Business Administration in 2010, having previously successfully completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course in 2004. Sasha also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from The University of Western Australia.

Sasha is involved with a number of not for profit organisations including being the Chair of LifelineWA, a member of the Curtin University School of Management Advisory Board, and has previously been a CEDA WA Trustee and served on the board of Netball WA’s Glass Jar Australia.

Chief Financial Officer

Steve Bodeker

Stephen is an accomplished senior finance executive with over 25 years’ experience in the corporate sector, working within several industries including professional services, logistics, manufacturing, health services and media. He has held senior finance roles in organisations including KPMG, Nestor Healthcare, Britvic PLC, Carbon Conscious Limited and Silver Chain.

Stephen’s experience spans external and internal audit, financial control, staff management, taxation, financial modelling, strategy, cost control, risk management, company secretarial and corporate governance.

Stephen is a practicing CPA, a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and a fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia.

National Operations Manager

Karen Brown

Karen has over 25 years’ experience in human and medical services. For the past 15 years she has held the position of National Operations Manager with key areas of responsibility including human resources, financial and performance management, quality and compliance, and customer management.

Karen holds a Bachelor and Post Grad Diploma in Psychology, a Masters of Human Resources and a Graduate Certificate of Applied Finance.

Head of Corporate Clinic Operations

Naomi Draeger

Naomi is an experienced business executive and clinical practitioner who has worked for 30 years in the health industry, across both public and private sectors. Most recently, she founded and has operated her own successful primary health care clinic in partnership with her husband. She continues to provide executive leadership coaching to health professionals taking on commercial and people management roles.

Naomi has held Director level roles with Fortune 500 company Johnson and Johnson Medical (JJM), where she was a member of the JJM Leadership Team and company representative on the JJM global ‘women in leadership group’. Prior to this, she worked with the Western Australian government on the export of health services in the Asia Pacific region, as the Director of a consortium of public and private hospitals.

Naomi holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Masters of Business Administration, a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Chiropractic Science.

Corporate Development Advisor

James Meldrum

James has almost 20 years’ experience in human services working in senior management roles across the disability, allied health and aged care sectors. His most recent role was managing the service delivery for a large national rehabilitation provider.

James is passionate about working with motivated people to enhance health, community and employment outcomes for consumers in need.

Corporate Development Advisor

Steve Lewis

Steve is an experienced commercial advisor across energy and infrastructure markets in Australia and the Asia-Pacific. He has previously worked in mining, oil and gas, manufacturing and services industries in commercial, operations and human resource roles.

Steve has graduate and post graduate qualifications in Applied Psychology and a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration.

Data Architect

Jason Belci

Jason is a systems architect who specialises in designing and implementing data integration systems, with over 20 years’ experience working across the mining, financial and allied health sectors.

Prior to commencing with Early Start Australia, Jason spent seven years as the product owner and chief designer of a multi-national health care provider’s case management system.

Integrations Manager

Brian Moes

Brian is a Systems Analyst with experience developing solutions for the Allied Health, State Government and Education and Training industries. His experience includes co-founding a successful allied health practice that is now part of Early Start Australia, leading the IT department at a large private school and project managing software development projects for the Queensland Government.

Brian Holds a Bachelor in Information Technology, a Bachelor in Education and a Graduate Diploma in Educational Technology.

Financial Controller

John Morrison

John has over eight years financial and commercial experience, largely in a listed environment. He is a Chartered Accountant, having worked in the emerging technology, digital marketing and professional services industries in various executive level roles, with particular emphasis on early growth stage companies.

During his career, he has worked in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia and has developed significant international business experience, particularly within Asia.

Manager Clinical Services

Catherine Greenway

Catherine has over two decades of clinical experience working as an Occupational Therapist, holding a number of leadership roles within the healthcare and disability services industries. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy, Graduate Diploma in Education, Graduate Certificate in Health Services Management and is a Fellow of Leadership WA.

Catherine is passionate about enhancing service provision through innovation and ensuring best practice so people with disability can achieve best outcomes in their daily lives.

Clinical Training Manager

Louise McCartney

Louise is an Occupational Therapist with over 15 years’ experience as a clinician and manager in the paediatric and disability sectors. She has experience in both government and non-government organisations and is responsible for clinical service development and quality maintenance.

Louise is passionate about supporting therapists to provide evidence based, quality services for children and families.

Quality and Compliance Coordinator

Kate Floyd

Kate has over 20 years’ experience in primary and tertiary health, disability and mental health, across both government and not-for-profit agencies. She has broad experience in health governance including policy, risk management, quality management and organisational compliance.

Kate holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management.


Sarah Gough

Previously part of a Special Educational Needs unit of a highschool in England, Sarah’s experience of supporting children with Autism and
disabilities has expanded and deepened her knowledge into other areas in the disability sector.

In addition to this, Sarah’s background of event and hospitality management, together with her engaging personality and attention to detail, has led her to be a valued and core member of the ESA team.

Senior Bookkeeper

Lisa Anderson

Lisa has over 15 years’ experience as a Bookkeeper. She has provided quality bookkeeping services to her clients and their accountants giving reliability and supporting business development. Lisa believes that through systems, processes and education, she can assist businesses and clients to better understand their financial position whilst allowing them time to work on their business rather than their accounts.

Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and is passionate about public policy and human services.

Accounts Officer

Deanne Nash

Deanne is an accounts officer with over 10 years experience in accounts and administration. Through her large skill base, she has been able to provide clients with the administrative support they require in order for their respective businesses to operate efficiently.

Deanne also has a passion for healthcare and worked as a carer in the industry, a position she found be truly rewarding.

Accounts Officer

Natalie Panaino

Natalie has over 25 years’ experience in diverse industries with skills in operations, office management, bookkeeping and customer relations. Her career to date includes being a forex dealer; an entrepreneur and owner-manager of a small business; and team manager including bookkeeping for various other trades.

Natalie has discovered a passion for customer relations and satisfaction. Her motto is striving to be better than yesterday and valuing that everyday offers something new to learn.

Marketing Coordinator

Rebecca Coakley

Rebecca’s diverse career brings a unique set of skills gained across the childcare sector, interior design, project management and the arts.

Over the past 15 years she has held marketing and communication roles in not for profit and Government organisations including Bell Shakespeare, the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and the Department of Culture and the Arts.