null Academics within the speech pathology and audiology group are actively engaged in research on a variety of topics.

Our research aims to create knowledge that will improve hearing, communication and swallowing outcomes for people, their families and communities.

Find out more about our research by contacting the Research Coordinator, Dr Sebastian Doeltgen at

View Audiology research





Acquired Language Disorders

Elderly individuals may have an aphasia (a language disorder) after a brain injury, which is referred to as "acquired". The language disorder usually affects both languages in bilingual individuals, a condition that is called bilingual aphasia. The research is focussed on studying the (residual) language abilities in bilingual individuals with aphasia or dementia.

Dr Willem van Steenbrugge View Willem's profile


Reliable and valid assessment is a key part of quality higher education pratices but also high quality speech pathology practice. Our research focuses on the development of valid assessment of students as well as our client's communication or swallowing skills.

Dr Chris Brebner View Chris's profile


Many people speak more than two languages. Our research investigates the development of bilingualism in children, the way in which the brains of bilingual people process language and the impact of brain injury.

Dr. Chris Brebner (children): View Chris's profile

Dr Willem van Steenbrugge (adults): View Willem's profile.

Communication impairment after head and neck cancer

Our research investigates the impact of cancer of the head and neck on communication and strategies to support people's recovery.

Dr Jane Bickford: View Jane's profile


Being able to eat and participate in mealtimes is important for people's health, well-being and enjoyment of life.  Our dysphagia research investigates the development of feeding skills in children, the neuroscience and rehabilitation of swallowing and effective intervention strategies.

Dr Sebastian Doeltgen (adult): View Sebastian's profile

Dr Jane Bickford (child): View Jane's profile

Early Communication development

Understanding the early stages of children's communication development is important for supporting their development, attachment to their primary caregivers, communication abilities and later school achievements and literacy.

Dr Chris Brebner:  View Chris's profile


Stuttering can cause significant communication disability. Dr Michelle Swift investigates effective treatments for children and adults who stutter.

Dr Michelle Swift: View Michelle's profile

Professional education, professional skills and practice

Our research is focussed on the professional development of speech pathologists and other health disciplines, both prior to entering the profession and their ongoing development of their practice.

Dr Chris Brebner:  View Chris's profile

Dr Stacie Attrill: View Stacie's profile


People can 'lose their voice' or have the quality of the voice affected through the way in which they use their voice in every day life e.g. singing and teaching. Our research investigates the assessment and intervention for voice disorders

Dr Jane Bickford: View Jane's profile