MEET THE TEAM
We provide a quality and professional service in an enthusiastic and compassionate manner in the aid of voice, communication, literacy and swallowing difficulties across all ages
We are registered with Private Health Funds, Medicare (Enhanced Primary Care plans and HCWA plans), DVA and are a Helping Children with Autism Funding provider
My name is Jane McFadden, I’m a psychologist and owner of Breakaway Retreats. I have one child on the NDIS and I’ve worked in mental health within the disability space for the past 15 years.
Over and over again I’ve seen the same thing – burnt out parents.
Speaking of, I’m also a burnt out parent. When I first started this business I had 3 children under 3 years old and I felt like I couldn’t leave the house without it being an absolute mission, or have a shower without someone screaming or yelling at me. I’ve been stuck in zoo’s, aquariums with multiple kids melting down and had strangers help me to the car. I’ve even left a pram on the side of the road once. I’ve multi-tasked the last 6 years to a point where I would be midway typing an email, be interrupted to go wipe a bottom, clean up a spill of milk on the ground, find someone’s favourite toy, change a nappy then pick up writing the email again.
I truly get busy, stress and feeling like no one truly gets it. The feeling of all the shit just flowing in from one day to the next. The constant nightly wake ups and every single morning being woken to screaming through the baby monitor. I fantasise about one day waking up by myself just because I feel rested.
I’m really passionate about parents, parents with children with special needs and parents needing a break. Which is why I created Breakaway Retreats to cater specifically for those families.
I believe there are two types of breaks.
- Mini- Breaks – where you can give your child something to amuse themselves or ‘keep them happy’ for 30 minutes whilst you cook dinner or call a friend etc.
- Actual Breaks – which are respite where we send the whole family on respite and provide a support worker to give the parents that valued time to connect or reconnect and time away to relax.
We provide both and a level of customer service that I stand by is the best in the business. We are here to alleviate your stress – not add to it.
Emily Hooper is a mum to two little people and a teacher to big people.
She was a teacher first so she assumed that being a mum would be easy. She now admits freely she was very, very wrong.
Emily has been a teacher at a public high school on the Sunshine Coast for 11 years; teaching English, Humanities and Indonesian. She found the time to study the Indonesian language in her early years of teaching, before she had children. Obviously. Before teaching she completed a Bachelor of Journalism.
She adores her job and has had the opportunity to work with many students who fall outside the category of ‘neurotypical’ which has only strengthened her ability to engage with, empathise with, and learn with a range of students, their families and the incredible staff who make up the Diverse Learning Hub at the school.
Emily and her husband welcomed their son in 2016, and then a daughter a very short 15 months later in 2017. They blame a holiday Bali with their relatively cruisy first-born for the alarmingly small age gap (and yes, the first-born didn’t stay so cruisy, in case you were wondering).
Emily returned to teaching four days a week, and is currently trying to balance the emotional and mental load of raising a young family, supporting her students, fitting in some freelance writing and of course finding time for that all-important self-care.
Customer Service Manager
Olivia Rougier- Lagane is an Occupational therapist who has experience working in the mental health and paediatric field. For the past 6 years, Olivia has been developing interventions and supporting children, teenagers and adults with varying disabilities including: Autism (ASD), Asperges, Attention Deficit Disorder(ADD) and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Intellectual Disability (ID), Substance abuse as well as Anxiety and Depression. Olivia is an experienced group facilitator and passionate about supporting her clients to gain more independence and create meaningful relationships in their lives.
Jessica Burgess is a Psychologist who has experience working across the lifespan with a range of presentations including Autism (ASD), Asperges, Attention Deficit Disorder(ADD) and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Intellectual Disability (ID), Substance abuse, and offending behaviours. She has a history of facilitating group interventions to all ages, including Mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. She is a PEERs certified and trained facilitator.