Who we are
We have over 150 years of combined experience in the specialist area of hand therapy in Western Australia.
Started in 2004 by internationally renowned surgeon Mr Jeff Ecker, the Hand & Upper Limb Centre provides best practice therapy, research, support and training for all things hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder.
Our highly qualified and experienced therapists practice in the non-surgical assessment and management of hand, wrist and elbow injuries and disorders.
Treatment methods include splinting, also known as orthoses, exercise, wound care and other non-invasive techniques, as well as joint mobilisations, stretching, and active and resisted exercises to assist in the recovery from injury, surgical operations and hand disorders.
We work closely with a variety of health professionals, including general practitioners, surgeons, physiotherapists and other allied health professionals, to develop the most suitable program for your injury or condition.
All therapists participate in regular education and professional development to ensure you receive the most up-to-date and evidence based treatment techniques and care.
Common treatments we specialise in:
- Fabrication of custom thermoplastic orthoses, commonly known as same day splints
- Prescription of exercise and strengthening programs for both surgical and non-surgical conditions
- Soft tissue treatment
- Desensitisation for sensitive scars and nerve conditions
- Wound and scar management
- Return to work advice
- Management of oedema (swelling)
- Pain management
Our mission is to provide the best hand, wrist, and upper limb occupational therapy service in Australia. We work collaboratively with all parties to ensure optimal outcomes for each patient.
Vicky graduated from Curtin University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy. Vicky spent the next three years working in hand and upper limb rehabilitation in the south-west of Western Australia and Perth, before moving to the United Kingdom in 2008.
Vicky worked in the National Health Service (NHS), in orthopaedics and hand therapy for various hospitals in London and Brighton before being appointed Senior Hand Therapist at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, part of Imperial College NHS Trust. Here she worked as part of the plastic and orthopaedic teams, as well as in the major trauma unit for North West London.
Vicky returned to Perth at the end of 2012 to work with HULC. In 2014 she was promoted to Clinic Coordinator and more recently she was promoted to Manager alongside Anita Bourton and Tina O’Toole.
Vicky is actively involved in the hand therapy community, regularly attending and presenting at state and national Australian Hand Therapy Association (AHTA) meetings and conferences. In 2013 Vicky presented a paper at the national AHTA Conference on ‘The Management of Proximal Interphalangeal Dislocation with the Figure of Eight Splint’. Vicky was part of the 2015 AHTA Perth Conference Committee, organising the very successful national conference on ‘New trends in Hand Therapy’. Vicky also presented a workshop at this conference on ‘The Fabrication of the Capener Splint’.
Vicky recently co-wrote a comprehensive Hand Safety, Prevention and Awareness workshop with Anita Bourton. Both therapists presented the workshops to all staff at BHP's Nickel West Leinster site.
In 2017, Vicky presented a talk on "Hand Therapy for Boutonnière and Swan Neck deformities" at the 11th Congress of the Asian Pacific Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand in Cebu, Philippines.
Accredited Hand Therapist (as awarded by the Australian Hand Therapy Association)
Ben graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Bsc) in Occupational therapy from Curtin University in 2018. Throughout his study, Ben became passionate about hand and upper limb rehabilitation and solidified his interest during his student placement at HULC in 2017.
Upon graduation, Ben spent a brief period working in a private soft tissue clinic before transitioning to the Hand and Upper Limb Centre in early 2018.
Ben is active within the hand therapy community, regularly attending Hand interest groups run by the Western Australian Occupational Therapy Association and Australian Hand Therapy Association (AHTA). Ben is an associate member of the Australian Hand Therapy Association.
Cassandra Di Carlo
Cassandra graduated from Curtin University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Occupational Therapy.
Cassandra became inspired to pursue a career in hand and upper limb rehabilitation early in her studies. Her keen interest in anatomy, continuous learning and evidence-based practice led her to joining the Hand and Upper Limb Centre (HULC) team in mid-2021.
Cassandra has been an active member of the hand therapy community and regularly attends Hand Interest Group meetings, run through Orfit Industries, HandSpark and the WA Occupational Therapy Association. Cassandra is an Associate Member of the Australian Hand Therapy Association (AHTA) and is working towards full membership.
Claire graduated from Curtin University in 2020 with First Class Honours in Occupational Therapy.
Claire’s interest in hand therapy began in university and solidified during her student placement which took place at the Hand and Upper Limb Centre (HULC). Following graduation, Claire worked with individuals with disability before joining the HULC team in mid-2021.
Claire is an active member within the hand therapy community, attending hand interest groups run by the Occupational Therapy Association of WA and Australian Hand Therapy Association (AHTA). Claire is an Associate Member of the AHTA and is working towards full membership.
Dana graduated with Honours from Curtin University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy.
Dana became passionate about hand therapy during her practical placement at the Hand and Upper Limb Centre (HULC) in 2016. After graduation, Dana retuned to HULC as a volunteer to assist with research. Dana made a big impression and subsequently joined the HULC therapy team as a full time Therapist in mid-2017. After completing her training in Perth, Dana moved to the beautiful Southwest to work in the Bunbury and Busselton Clinics. Dana has now returned to work in HULC’s Perth clinics full time.
Dana is an active member of the Hand Interest Group, run by the Occupational Therapy Association of WA. Dana is an Associate Member of AHTA and is working towards her full membership.
Emily graduated from Edith Cowan University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy. Emily became passionate about hand therapy during her two practical placements as a student in private practice hand therapy and at Fremantle Hospital. After finishing her degree, Emily continued to study and volunteer at Brightwater Care Group in neurology and hand therapy, before joining HULC in 2015.
Emily works at HULC’s Subiaco and Claremont clinics, runs Final Assessment clinics with our principle surgeon and is a part of the Dupuytrens clinic at HULC. Emily is an active member of the hand therapy community and regularly attends state and national Australian Hand Therapy Association (AHTA) meetings and conferences, as well as Hand Interest Group Meetings (run through the WA Occupational Therapy Association). Emily is an Associate Member of the Australian Hand Therapy Association (AHTA) and is currently working towards her full membership.
Heather graduated from Curtin University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy, and joined HULC’s South West team in mid-2018.
Heather has been interested in hand therapy throughout university, becoming particularly passionate about the area following a student placement in the plastics and hand therapy unit at Fiona Stanley Hospital in 2017.
Heather is an active member of the hand therapy community, attending hand interest group meetings run by both the WA Occupational Therapy Association and the Australian Hand Therapy Association (AHTA). Heather is an Associate Member of the AHTA, working towards full membership.
Jasmyn graduated from The University of Notre Dame Australia with a Bachelor of Nursing in 2011. While gaining experience in the health care setting Jasmyn developed an interest in occupational therapy and returned to study at Curtin University, graduating with a Master of Occupational Therapy mid 2016.
Jasmyn’s interest in hand therapy evolved from her student placements which took place in the hand therapy unit at Fremantle Hospital and the Hand and Upper Limb Centre (HULC). Following her graduation Jasmyn joined the HULC team as a fulltime hand therapist. In mid 2017 Jasmyn relocated to Darwin where she continued working in hand therapy and gained invaluable experience in a semi-rural setting. Jasmyn returned to Perth in 2018 and was welcomed back by the HULC team.
Jasmyn is an active member of the hand therapy community, regularly attending the Australian Hand Therapy Association (AHTA) state meetings. Jasmyn is an Associate Member of the AHTA and is working towards her full membership.
Jennie joined the HULC team in 2016. With a Bachelor of Arts in Education, and extensive administration experience, Jennie’s friendly face and nurturing disposition makes her the perfect person to greet you when you arrive at HULC.
Having spent over 10 years in a variety of primary carer roles, Jennie recently re-entered the workplace, finding HULC to be the perfect workplace to showcase her organisational skills within a busy team environment.
Jess De Jong
Jess graduated in 2014 from Curtin University with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Occupational Therapy, and joined the HULC team in 2015.
Jess’s interest in hand and upper limb rehabilitation followed a student placement in the state trauma unit of Royal Perth Hospital.
Jess is currently part of HULC’s Dupuytren’s Contracture team and is involved in clinical based research.
Jess is an active member of the hand therapy community and is currently a subcommittee member of the state branch of the Australian Hand Therapy Association (AHTA). She helps to coordinate AHTA meetings, along with regularly attending various AHTA meetings and courses. Jess is an Associate Member of the AHTA and is working towards her full membership.
Josh graduated with Honours in his Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from Curtin University in 2019. Josh’s interest initially sparked with a chronic injury to his hand when he was completing his year 12 studies and went to see an Occupational Therapist as he opted for conservative management, due to upcoming WACE exams. This interest became a passion as it was solidified in his final student placement at HULC in 2019.
After an initial period with HULC in 2020, he worked with Kalgoorlie Health Campus and worked across hand therapy, medical and surgical wards, day therapy unit, home visiting, community and paediatrics. Josh came back to HULC in late 2020, and has been with us since, working mainly in our Bethesda clinic.
Josh is active within the Hand therapy community, attending Hand interest Group meetings run by WAOTA, and is an associate member of the Australian Hand Therapy Association.
Kristine originally studied at Curtin University of Technology and gained a Bachelor of Primary Education, before teaching in the United Kingdom.Kristine then decided to pursue a career change and commenced her Masters in Occupational Therapy at New York University, USA, before returning home to Perth and completing her studies at Curtin University of Technology in 2007.
Kristine began working at HULC in 2008 and has been actively involved in research during this time. Kristine was involved in a wrist fusion study and presented the findings at the National Australian Hand Therapy Association (AHTA) Conference in 2008. Kristine also contributed to the research on trapeziometacarpal surgeries, the findings of which were presented at the 2015 Western Australian Society of Hand Surgeon’s annual scientific meeting.
Kirstine is also the HULC Student Coordinator and works closely with both Curtin and Edith Cowan Universities to provide the next generation of hand therapists with strong foundations to excel in the profession.
Kristine is an active member of the hand therapy community, regularly attending and presenting at state AHTA meetings. Kristine is an Accredited Hand Therapist (as Awarded by the Australian Hand Therapy Association).
Accredited Hand Therapist (as awarded by the Australian Hand Therapy Association)
Le graduated from Curtin University of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy in 2007. She began her career in the public sector outpatients before migrating to private practice where she actively managed a variety of musculoskeletal conditions in the heart of the CBD.
Over the years of her practise, she has developed a strong base for acute and chronic sports injures, postural/ergonomic strains, post op rehabilitation, exercise prescription and pilates rehabilitation.
Le has a wealth of experience in managing neck and upper limb injuries. Her passion for hand therapy stemmed from her University years after a hands placement at Royal Perth Hospital. She has since furthered her studies over the years in post graduate Certificate of Orthopaedic Manual Therapy, Mulligans Mobilisation techniques, dry needling, Cervicogenic headache management through Watsons Headache Institute, Kinetic Link Training with Wayne Rogers, Polestar Pilates for exercise rehabilitation and various seminars with the Australian Physiotherapy Association.
Le’s extensive knowledge in managing complex upper limb and neck injuries will complement the wonderful team of specialist hand therapist in HULC to provide and achieve optimal client outcomes.
Natasha has been with HULC for over three years. She has 7 years reception experience in various health clinics. Natasha previously worked as a qualified veterinary nurse before switching to human health. Natasha enjoys the front desk atmosphere, getting to know the patients and being the friendly face of the business.
In 2021, Rosanne joined the HULC team as an Allied Health assistant. She is currently a fourth year student completing a Bachelor of Science (Occupational Therapy) at Edith Cowan University and is keen to continue her career in the dynamic hand and upper limb field at the completion of her studies.
Rosanne became interested in hand therapy throughout her university studies, with her passion for the field increasing during her practicum placement with HULC. She is an active member within the hand therapy community, having attended hand interest sessions run by the WA Occupational Therapy Association.
Following the completion of her degree in late 2021, Rosanne is looking forward to continuing her development in the hand therapy field. She plans to become an Associate Member of the AHTA and will work towards her full membership.
Sarah graduated from Curtin University with a Masters in Occupational Therapy in 2008. Sarah spent the next two years working in upper limb rehabilitation in private practice in Perth before moving to Melbourne, where she worked for the public health sector in the hand therapy/plastics department of the Alfred Hospital, and in private practice at Melbourne Hand Rehabilitation. Sarah returned to Perth in 2012 to join the HULC team as a Senior Occupational Therapist.
In 2014 Sarah travelled to the United Kingdom to work for the National Health Service (NHS) at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington – part of the Imperial College Trust. Here she worked as a Senior Hand Occupational Therapist for the plastic and orthopaedic teams, as well as in the major trauma unit for North West London. Sarah returned to Perth in 2015 to re-join the HULC team. She currently manages the day-to-day running of our Bethesda clinic and was also recently promoted to Assistant Manager.
Sarah has a special interest in the impact of hand injuries in the work place and has presented to major companies such as Chevron, Rio Tinto and SGIO on this topic. She was also invited to present at the 2012 Australasian Rheumatology Conference on ‘Hand Therapy Interventions for Arthritis’.
Sarah is an active member of the hand therapy community and regularly attends local and national meetings. Sarah is a representative on the Australian Hand Therapy Association (AHTA) subcommittee and is working towards her full membership.
Tim graduated from Edith Cowan University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational therapy. In 2021, Tim joined HULC as an Occupational Therapist.
Tim attended HULC with a friend following a complex multi-trauma hand injury and discovered their passion for hand therapy. They studied occupational therapy with the intent of becoming a hand therapist following the completion of their studies. They have completed a hand therapy placement at Fremantle Hospital, and worked in the public sector for neurological rehabilitation within the home.
Tim has previously completed a Bachelor of Creative Industries, which they find invaluable in fabricating splints for the variety of conditions seen in clinic. Tim works across our Subiaco and Joondalup sites.
Tina joined HULC in 2013 as Administration Team Leader and works across both office/business administration. Tina has specialised in the field of health administration since moving to Australia from Ireland in 2008. Her calm yet efficient personality ensure the HULC systems are as well-organised as her team!
Victoria graduated from Curtin University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy. Following graduation, Victoria moved to Melbourne, where she worked in the field of vocational rehabilitation. Victoria specialised in workplace assessments, functional capacity evaluations and focusing on achieving positive return-to-work outcomes for patients with a range of physical and psychological injuries.
In 2014 Victoria completed a post-graduate unit through Monash University in Advanced Hand Therapy Theory, Principles and Practice. In January 2015 Victoria joined HULC after relocating to Perth, where she is part of our medico-legal assessment team and runs final assessment clinics with our principle surgeon.
Victoria is an active member of the hand therapy community and regularly attends state and national Australian Hand Therapy Association (AHTA) meetings and conferences, as well as Hand Interest Group Meetings (run through the WA Occupational Therapy Association).
Victoria is currently on Maternity leave.
Accredited Hand Therapist (as awarded by the Australian Hand Therapy Association)