Top of page
Global Site Navigation

School of Medical and Health Sciences

Local Section Navigation

Help us improve our content by rating this page.

Page rating system

Please leave a comment about your rating so we can better understand how we might improve the page.

You are here: Main Content

Associate Professor Deborah Hersh

Research Assistant

Contact Information Telephone: +61 8 6304 2563, Email:, Campus: Joondalup, Room: JO21.537
Staff Member Details
Telephone: +61 8 6304 2563
Campus: Joondalup  
Room: JO21.537  


Associate Professor and Honours Coordinator: Deborah is Associate Professor in Speech Pathology in the School of Medical and Health Sciences. She coordinates the Speech Pathology Honours Program.

Current Teaching

  • SPE2105 Clinical Decision Support Systems: Activity, Participation and Contextual Factors
  • SPE2106 Treatment Principles
  • SPE4108 Topics in Focus in Speech Pathology
  • SPE5102 Preparation of Honours Thesis Proposal
  • SPE5104 Honours Research Project


Associate Professor Hersh worked as a speech pathologist in London for three years, with both adult and paediatric caseloads, before moving to Adelaide in 1993. She worked for another 13 years in adult neurological acute, outpatients, rehabilitation, and community settings. In 1995, Deborah started the Talkback Group Program for Aphasia, established the Talkback Association for Aphasia in 1999 and was awarded life membership in 2009. In 2003, Deborah gained her PhD from Flinders University on the experiences of treatment termination in chronic aphasia. In 2002, she tutored in Clinical Ethics for medical students in the Department of Public Health at Adelaide University, and was employed as a postdoctoral research fellow for the University of Queensland on an NHMRC-funded project grant looking at person-centred goal setting in aphasia rehabilitation (2006-8). In 2009, she worked as a senior research fellow for the Discipline of Public Health, Flinders University, on the Smoking and Resilience study. In 2010, Deborah moved to Perth and took up a senior lectureship at Edith Cowan University. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012. Deborah has been actively involved in Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) at national levels, serving on their Ethics Board, Fellowship Committee, ACQ/JCPSLP Editorial Board and three national conference organising committees, including taking the role of SPC Chair for the 2016 Perth SPA conference. She was awarded Fellowship of SPA in 2003. She has served on the committee of the Australian Aphasia Association and represented them on the Australia & NZ Expert Working Group of the National Stroke Foundation Stroke Management Guidelines: 2009-2010. She led the drafting and writing of the Aphasia section of the NSF Guidelines in 2010 and again in 2016 for their five year revision. Deborah was an affiliate of the NHMRC CCRE Aphasia Rehabilitation and contributed to the development of the Australian Aphasia Rehabilitation Pathway (AARP). She holds an Adjunct position Public Health at Flinders University. Deborah has over 60 publications, presents her work nationally and internationally, and has recently been part of the NHMRC-funded Missing Voices research exploring experiences of, and services for, Aboriginal Australians after stroke and brain injury.

Professional Associations

  • Fellow, Speech Pathology Association of Australia (FSPAA)
  • Member, Australian Aphasia Association
  • Life Member, Talkback Association for Aphasia Inc.
  • Associate Member: Indigenous Allied Health Association
  • Certified Practising Speech Pathologist (CPSP)

Awards and Recognition

  • 2015: ECU Vice Chancellor’s Staff Award: Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.
  • 2009: Life membership of Talkback Association for Aphasia, Inc. “for exceptional services to the Talkback Association for Aphasia, Inc”
  • 2003: Fellowship, Speech Pathology Association of Australia,
  • 1999: Australian Postgraduate Award

Research Areas and Interests

  • Experiences of aphasia treatment termination for clients, families and clinicians
  • Assessment and goal setting in aphasia rehabilitation
  • Experiences for people with aphasia in acute care
  • Group approaches for people with aphasia and families
  • Social approaches and empowerment in aphasia
  • Gaining informed consent from people with aphasia/ethical issues
  • The therapeutic relationship and professional boundaries
  • Qualitative research methodologies in speech pathology
  • Experiences of acquired communication disorders for Aboriginal Australians after stroke and traumatic brain injury


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The Flinders University of South Australia, 2003.
  • Master of Science, England, 1992.
  • Bachelor of Science, England, 1989.


Recent Research Grants

  • Enhancing rehabilitation services for Aboriginal Australians after brain injury.,  National Health and Medical Research Council,  Partnership Projects,  2016 - 2022,  $3,281,800.
  • The Wangi (talking) project: a feasibility study of a culturally sensitive rehabilitation model for Aboriginal people post stroke.,  National Stroke Foundation,  Seed Grants,  2016 - 2017,  $49,779.
  • Investigating a Communication Enhanced Environment to Increase Communication Activity Early After Stroke. ,  Hollywood Private Hospital Research Foundation,  Grant,  2016 - 2017,  $18,983.
  • Missing voices: Communication difficulties after stroke and traumatic brain injury in Indigenous Australians,  National Health and Medical Research Council,  Project Grants,  2013 - 2016,  $634,088.
  • Learning not to talk: Is communication "learned non-use" following stroke a reality?,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Early Career Researcher - Grant,  2011 - 2012,  $23,622.
  • Communication difficulties after stroke in Indigenous Australians: Issues and attitudes,  Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies,  AIATSIS - Grant,  2010 - 2011,  $35,541.

Recent Publications (within the last five years)

Book Chapters

  • Sherratt , S., Worrall, L., Hersh, D., Howe, T., Davidson, B., (2014), Goals and goal setting for people with aphasia, their family members and clinicians. Rehabilitation Goal Setting: Theory, Practice and Evidence, 325-343, Florida USA.
  • Hersh, D., Worrall, L., O'Halloran, R., Brown, K., Grohn, B., Rodriguez, A., (2013), Assess for Success: Evidence for Therapeutic Assessment. Supporting Communication for Adults with Acute and Chronic Aphasia, 145-164, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Journal Articles

  • Armstrong, B., McKay, G., Hersh, D., (2017), Assessment and treatment of aphasia in Aboriginal Australians: Linguistic and cultural issues. Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech Language Pathology, 19(1), 27-34, Melbourne.
  • Armstrong, B., Ciccone, N., Hersh, D., Katzenellenbogen, J., Coffin, J., Thompson, S., Flicker, L., Hayward, C., Woods, D., McAllister, M., (2017), Development of the Aboriginal Communication Assessment after Brain Injury (ACAABI) - a screening tool for identifying acquired communication disorders in Aboriginal Australians. International Journal of Speech Language Pathology, 19(3),  297-308, London.
  • Hersh, D., Ciccone, N., (2016), Predicting potential for aphasia rehabilitation: The role of judgments of motivation. Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, 18(1), 3-7.
  • Hersh, D., (2016), Therapy in transit: managing aphasia in the early period post stroke. Aphasiology, 30(5), 509-516, DOI: 10.1080/02687038.2015.1137555.
  • Katzenellenbogen, J., Atkins, E., Thompson, S., Hersh, D., Coffin, J., Flicker, L., Hayward, C., Ciccone, N., Woods, D., McAllister, M., Armstrong, B., (2016), Missing Voices: Profile and extent of acquired communication disorders in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal adult stroke survivors in Western Australia using linked administrative records. International Journal of Stroke, 11(1), 103-116, DOI: 10.1177/1747493015607521.
  • Armstrong, B., Hersh, D., Katzenellenbogen, J., Coffin, J., Thompson, S., Ciccone, N., Hayward, C., Flicker, L., Woods, D., McAllister, M., (2015), Study Protocol: Missing Voices - Communication difficulties after stroke and traumatic brain injury in Aboriginal Australians. Brain Impairment, 16(2), 145-156, Cambridge, United Kingdom, DOI: 10.1017/BrImp.2015.15.
  • Ilich, K., Hersh, D., (2015), Babies with feeding difficulties: Mothers? perceptions of hospital discharge, transition home, and the role of speech-language pathology. Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, 17(3), 114-119, Melbourne, VIC.
  • Power, E., Thomas, E., Worrall, L., Rose, M., Togher, L., Nickels, L., Hersh, D., Godecke, E., O'Halloran, R., Lamont, S., O'Connor, C., Clarke, K., (2015), Development and validation of Australian aphasia rehabilitation best practice statements using the RAND/UCLA appropriateness method. BMJ Open, 5(7), Article no. e007641, London, UK, DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-007641.
  • Hersh, D., (2015), Hopeless, sorry, hopeless: Co-constructing narratives of care with people who have aphasia post-stroke. Topics in Language Disorders, 35(3), 219-236, Philadelphia, USA, DOI: 10.1097/TLD.0000000000000060.
  • Tsourtos, G., Ward, P., Lawn, S., Winefield, A., Hersh, D., Coveney, J., (2014), Is resilience relevant to smoking abstinence for Indigenous Australians?. Health Promotion International, 30(1), 64-76, United Kingdom, DOI: 10.1093/heapro/dau087.
  • Hersh, D., (2014), Participants, researchers and participatory research. Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, 16(3), 123-126, Melbourne.
  • Hersh, D., Godecke, E., Armstrong, B., Ciccone, N., Bernhardt, J., (2014), ?Ward Talk?: nurses' interaction with people with and without aphasia in the very early period poststroke. Aphasiology, 30(5), 609-628, DOI: 10.1080/02687038.2014.933520.
  • Hersh, D., Armstrong, B., Panak, V., Coombes, J., (2014), Speech-language pathology practices with Indigenous Australians with acquired communication disorders. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 17(1), 74-85, DOI: 10.3109/17549507.2014.923510.
  • Hersh, D., Armstrong, B., Bourke, N., (2014), A narrative analysis of a speech pathologist?s work with Indigenous Australians with acquired communication disorders. Disability and Rehabilitation, 37(1), 33-40, London, United Kingdom, DOI: 10.3109/09638288.2014.890675.
  • Armstrong, B., Hersh, D., Hayward, C., Fraser, J., (2014), Communication disorders after stroke in Aboriginal Australians. Disability and Rehabilitation, 37(16), 1462-1469, DOI: 10.3109/09638288.2014.972581.
  • Ciccone, N., Hersh, D., Priddis, L., Peterson, A., (2013), The role-emerging, interprofessional clinical placement: Exploring its value for students in speech pathology and counselling psychology. Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, 15(3), 110-114, Australia.
  • Hersh, D., O'Rourke, J., Lewis, A., (2013), Collaboration Towards Inclusion: An interprofessional learning opportunity for education and speech pathology students. Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, 15(3), 115-119, Australia.
  • Bickford, J., Coveney, J., Baker, J., Hersh, D., (2013), Living with the Altered Self: a qualitative study of life after total laryngectomy. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 15(3), 324-333, United Kingdom, DOI: 10.3109/17549507.2013.785591.
  • Hersh, D., (2013), Pushing the boundaries: reflections on speech-language therapists' relationships with clients in a changing therapy context. New Zealand Journal of Speech-Language Therapy, 67(1), 5-14, New Zealand.
  • Wright, L., Hill, K., Bernhardt, J., Lindley, R., Ada, L., Bajorek, B., Barber, A., Beer, C., Golledge, J., Gustafsson, L., Hersh, D., Kenardy, J., Perry, L., Middleton, S., Brauer , S., Nelson, M., (2012), Stroke management: updated recommendations for treatment along the care continuum. Internal Medicine Journal, 42(5), 562-569, Australia, DOI: 10.1111/j.1445-5994.2012.02774.x.
  • Ciccone, N., Priddis, L., Lloyd, A., Hersh, D., Taylor, A., Standish, G., (2012), Interprofessional clinical placement involving speech pathology and counselling psychology: Two students? experiences. Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, 14(1), 7-11, Australia.
  • Howe, T., Davidson, B., Worrall, L., Hersh, D., Ferguson, A., Sherratt, S., Gilbert, J., (2012), ?You needed to rehab? families as well?: Family members? own goals for aphasia rehabilitation. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 47(5), 511-521, DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-6984.2012.00159.x.
  • Armstrong, B., Hersh, D., Hayward, C., Fraser, J., Brown, M., (2012), Living with aphasia: Three Indigenous Australian stories. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 14(3), 271-280, DOI: 10.3109/17549507.2011.663790.
  • Hersh, D., Worrall, L., Howe, T., Sherratt, S., Davidson, B., (2012), SMARTER goal setting in aphasia rehabilitation. Aphasiology, 26(2), 220-233, Abingdon, Oxon, DOI: 10.1080/02687038.2011.640392.
  • Hersh, D., Sherratt, S., Howe, T., Worrall, L., Davidson, B., Ferguson, A., (2012), An analysis of the ?goal? in aphasia rehabilitation. Aphasiology, 26(8), 971-984, Abingdon, Oxon, DOI: 10.1080/02687038.2012.684339.

Conference Publications

  • Armstrong, B., Hersh, D., Hayward, C., Fraser, J., Brown, M., (2012), Living with aphasia: Three Indigenous Australian stories. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 14(Sunday 26 ? Wednesday 29 June, 2011), 271-280, United Kingdom, DOI: 10.3109/17549507.2011.663790.

Research Student Supervision

Associate Supervisor

  • Master of Social Science,  Face-to-face: An Exploratory Study Of How People With Aphasia And Speakers Of English As A Second Language Perceive Their Interactions With Government Agencies
Skip to top of page