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New speech pathologists settling into Central West

Wednesday 18 November 2020

CWHHS new speech pathologists

Central West Hospital and Health Service’s two new speech pathologists are finding the region a pleasant change from the larger cities in which they previously worked.

Speech pathologists Kane Casson and Cara Probert both recently joined the health service.

Mr Casson previously was working at Caboolture Hospital and with the Metro North Hospital and Health Service Community-Based Rehabilitation Team.

Ms Probert worked with Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service at Toowoomba Hospital.

Both Mr Casson and Ms Probert have a master’s in speech pathology; Mr Casson from University of Queensland and Ms Probert from Griffith University.

Both say they were attracted to the Central West because of the opportunity to work with remote communities.

“I am passionate about remote health and enjoy working with people from across the lifespan to help them achieve their communication or swallowing goals,’’ Ms Probert said.

“I enjoy working with children to use words to communicate and I love to help clients express their messages to loved ones post-stroke or to safely enjoy their favourite cup of tea again.’’

Mr Casson said he was finding the lack of traffic and teeming local wildlife a nice change from working in the greater Brisbane metropolis.’’

Ms Probert and Mr Casson will be providing services to both Central West Health and Education Queensland adult and child clients throughout the region under a memorandum of understanding agreed with Education Queensland.

“While based in Longreach, Cara and I are sharing the speech pathology caseload right across the Central West and the work is very stimulating,’’ Mr Casson said.

“We are here to help all adults and children with any swallowing and communication problems.’’

Ms Probert said more than 1.2 million Australians had a communication or swallowing disorder that impacted on their daily life.

“That’s what speech pathologists – or ‘speechies’ – like Kane and I are trained to help people with,’’ Ms Probert said.

“Our speech services begin with initial screening for communication and swallowing disorders.

“We then continue with assessment and diagnosis and then consultation for the provision of advice regarding management, intervention, and treatment.

“We also provide counselling and follow-up services for whatever related problems clients are experiencing.’’

Mr Casson said technology also was playing a growing and vital role in keeping Australians with communication difficulties engaged with their family, friends.

“Assistive technology, such as electronic communication and speech generating devices, voice amplification and computer access aids, including eye-gaze mouse control and head-tracking devices, allow people with communication difficulties to communicate with those around them,’’ he said.

Mr Casson said speech pathologists could help people who had a communication disability that might:

  • emerge during early childhood, e.g. speech and language disorders, stuttering, difficulties learning to read and write;
  • arise from premature birth, or may be present from birth, e.g. cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, hearing impairments and cleft palate;
  • occur because of physical, intellectual or sensory disability or a mental illness;
  • occur during adult years, e.g. traumatic brain injury, stroke, head/neck cancers, neurodegenerative disorders such as motor neurone disease;
  • develop in the elderly, e.g. dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease.

Ms Probert said Central West residents could ask her or Mr Casson for ideas to help with any of those issues.

“As you can see, we do a lot more than just help people get their words out and we are always happy to chat about any concerns you may have,’’ she said.

  • To access the Central West Health speech pathology service, you can be referred by your GP or you can contact the service through Allied Health Administration on 4652 7960.


Helping Central West residents with communication and swallowing issues: New speech pathologists Kane Casson and Cara Probert.


For further information contact:

James Guthrie
Principal Media Officer, Rural and Remote Qld
Media and Communication
Department of Health
(07) 3708 5379

Last updated: 19 November 2020