Kirrie Ballard

Camperdown, New South Wales

Speech pathologist, researcher

Despite 10% of four to five-year-olds experiencing problems with speech, the vast majority of these children do not receive speech therapy due to service shortages, cost and distance. Without help, making friends and effectively learning at school can be challenging. To address this, Kirrie has led a team of engineers and computer scientists to develop an engaging Mario-style online game called Say Bananas that enables parents to deliver therapy to their children at home, under remote supervision by speech therapists. The University of Sydney professor is now working to move the research version of this highly effective and empowering tool from the lab and into the hands of speech therapists, parents and children throughout rural Australia.