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Charmaine Bernie

Senior Research Fellow, Early Years Research Lab, Southern Cross University

Charmaine is a senior paediatric occupational therapist, lecturer and researcher with over two decades of early years’ experience across community, tertiary hospital and university settings. She completed her PhD on supporting pathways to autism diagnosis with the University of Melbourne in 2022, adopting an occupation-focused coaching approach with families waiting for services, Occupational Performance Coaching, which Charmaine now trains others to incorporate into clinical practice. Undergraduate and post-graduate training is a passionate area for Charmaine, who also delivers courses in autism pathways and Cognitive Orientation to daily Occupational Performance (CO-OP). Her special interests include identifying strengths and barriers to supporting function and participation for children with Developmental Coordination Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and other developmental disabilities, while ensuring families are accessing the right support at the right time. Charmaine has undertaken specialist training in conducting clinical trials, managing research data and biostatistics programmes. She is a mixed-methods researcher with expertise in survey development and analysis, as well as clinical trial methodologies including feasibility studies.


  • –present
    Senior research fellow, Southern Cross University