Dr Sarita K Hamall

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Dr Sarita K Hamall is the owner/Director of Little Star Speech Therapy and has over 18-years experience working as a speech pathologist. She is a highly experienced clinician in the treatment of stuttering disorders in clients preschool-age to adults. Sarita is knowledgeable in the Lidcombe Program and modified treatment approaches for severe stuttering. In 2012, Sarita completed a PhD at the University of Newcastle, where she contributed to the evidence-base of early stuttering treatment delivery. She has mentored speech pathologists and students for over 10-years and continues to share her expertise with those in the community. Sarita  has a true love of the profession and feels the happiest when she sees the achievements of each and every client.

General Manager

Chris Hamall is born in Newcastle, NSW and is the owner/General Manager of Little Star Speech Therapy. Since 2012, Chris has been instrumental in growing Little Star from a single clinician to multiple skilled professionals. He brings his 12 years knowledge and experience working with children with multiple needs, disability, and mental health issues under the "Community Services Sector" in the Hunter. This experience has helped him grow into a compassionate professional who truly understands and respects the needs of clients and families. His extensive knowledge in community outreach and business matters ensures that he maintains the very best standards for the clinic and the wellbeing of all staff and clients. He is happy to be part of a team of compassionate professionals and takes pride in maintaining quality services for all children.

Chris Hamall

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Reception / Admin

Lauren Deegenaars

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Lauren is one of our lovely reception/administration staff members at Little Star Speech Therapy. Lauren has a background in Allied Health and has worked in administration and customer service for the past 8 years. As the first point of contact, Lauren always greets clients with enthusiasm and a friendly smile. Her warm and caring demeanor helps clients to feel welcomed and at ease. Lauren is happy to answer any questions in person or over the phone, including NDIS related questions, and will always go above and beyond to deliver exceptional service and quality care. Lauren is passionate about health and wellness and enjoys interacting with children and their families. Seeing clients gain more self-confidence and achieve their goals makes her feel extremely proud.

Emma is a speech pathologist who was born and raised in Newcastle.  She completed a Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours) degree at the University of Newcastle. Emma is committed to helping children achieve their goals in all areas of communication. She has a special interest in stuttering, and is trained in both preschool (Lidcombe Program) and school-aged stuttering intervention. She also enjoys assisting children with their literacy skills. Emma is a 'Sounds-Write' certified practitioner, and is trained in delivering strategies to assist children of all ages with reading and spelling difficulties. Her warm personality and enthusiasm creates a positive environment in which children feel confident to achieve success.  She is committed to delivering a high standard of effective and enjoyable services to all clients.

Clinician / Clinical Educator

emma purdon

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isabelle reece

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Isabelle completed a Bachelor’s degree of Speech Pathology (Honours) at the University of Newcastle.  She has experience working with a range of paediatric clients in speech, language and disability. She is knowledgable in the assessment and treatment of stuttering disorders. Isabelle has completed training in PROMPT targeting children with severe speech sound disorders.  She is committed to helping all children reach their communication goals in a supportive and fun environment. She utilises evidence-based treatment approaches whilst individualising goals for the child.  Isabelle’s kind nature and enthusiasm is seen in her dedication to children.  She loves watching children’s confidence grow as a result of their improved communication. 


emily schimann

Emily completed a Bachelor’s degree of Speech Pathology (Honours) at the University of Newcastle. Emily has been a member of the Little Star team preceding the commencement of her employment. Now practicing as a Speech Pathologist, Emily enjoys working with children of all ages to help overcome their speech, language and literacy delays. She has experience working with children with various disabilities, including Autism and Cerebral Palsy. She has helped improve the lives of non-verbal children with her knowledge of Key Word Signing (KWS). Emily is trained in the assessment and treatment of preschool stuttering disorders with the Lidcombe Program. Emily’s warm, friendly and can-do attitude enables her to develop great rapport with clients. She strives to ensure that individual goals of the child are met and the best possible results are achieved.

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Sophie bailey


Sophie completed a Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours) degree at the University of Newcastle. She is trained in Australian Sign Language (AUSLAN) which supports her work in early language development and with children with hearing impairments. Sophie’s warm and genuine personality are welcoming to clients, and she easily builds rapport and positive relationships with everyone.  She is knowledgeable in the assessment and treatment in all modalities including speech, language, and stuttering disorders.  Sophie is successful delivering goal-directed treatment with children with ASD and other disabilities.  Her focus is to ensure that all clients achieve successful speech and language outcomes. Sophie creates sessions that are based on the current evidence, tailored to suit each individual child, and above all are fun. She believes that supporting a child from a young age helps to set them up for success for a positive future.

Alexandra completed a Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours) degree at the University of Newcastle. She is a certified therapist with Speech Pathology Australia (SPA). Alexandra has experience working in respite care with families and children with higher needs. Through this experience, she has gained a true understanding of the importance of communication in all areas of life and activities of daily living. Treating children with a range of difficulties is her passion as she believes that every child has the right to express their wants, needs and emotions. She is dedicated to helping children reach their full potential which is why she chose Speech Pathology as her profession. Alexandra is knowledgeable in the Lidcombe Program, an early intervention stuttering approach. She is passionate about teaching fun and effective communication skills to children and their families, and believes that practice makes progress.



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Rowan Holdaway


Rowan completed a Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours) degree at the University of
Newcastle. She is a certified therapist with Speech Pathology Australia (SPA). Rowan is
passionate about supporting families and clients with a diverse range of needs. She is focused on making their journey to communication goals both enjoyable and empowering. While completing her degree, Rowan undertook an Honours research project investigating early language patterns and the impacts on early expressive vocabulary. She has experience working with preschool-aged clients up to high school students, targeting speech, language, and literacy skills. She strives to deliver high quality evidence-based therapy tailored to each individual client. Rowan’s welcoming and joyful nature allows children to feel comfortable during sessions. She loves acknowledging and celebrating clients’ unique strengths and achievements, and values boosting their confidence alongside their communication skills.