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Associate Professor Deborah Hersh

Associate Professor Deborah Hersh

Associate Professor

Contact Information Telephone: +61 8 6304 2563, Email:, Campus: Joondalup, Room: JO4.234C
Staff Member Details
Telephone: +61 8 6304 2563
Campus: Joondalup  
Room: JO4.234C  


Deborah is an Associate Professor in Speech Pathology in the School of Medical and Health Sciences.

Current Teaching

  • SPE2105 - Clinical Decision Support Systems: Activity, Participation and Contextual Factors
  • SPE2106 - Treatment Principles
  • SPE4106 - Honours Research Project
  • SPE4107 - Preparation of Honours Thesis Proposal
  • SPE4108 - Topics in Focus in Speech Pathology


Deborah qualified as a speech pathologist in 1989 and then worked in London for three years with adult and paediatric caseloads across a range of clinical settings. In 1993, after completing her MSc in Human Communication at UCL, she moved to Adelaide and continued her clinical work in adult acute, outpatients, rehabilitation and community settings. This included work at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, St Margaret’s Hospital Rehabilitation Service, Southern Domiciliary Care and Flinders Medical Centre (1993-1998). In 1995, Deborah started the Talkback Group Program for Aphasia and established the Talkback Association for Aphasia in 1999. Between 1999 and 2002, Deborah studied at Flinders University for her PhD research exploring experiences of treatment termination in chronic aphasia. Around this time, she also worked as a lecturer A/Clinical Tutor at the Speech Pathology Department at Flinders University and as a Tutor in Clinical Ethics for medical students in the Department of Public Health at Adelaide University. Between 2003 and 2006, Deborah worked as a locum speech and language therapist in London and on senior part-time and locum positions at the Julia Farr Centre, Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre and Metropolitan Domiciliary Care in Adelaide. Between 2006 and 2008, she 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, and in 2009, 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. Deborah has been actively involved in Speech Pathology Australia at national levels, serving on their Ethics Board, Fellowship Committee, ACQ Editorial Board and two national conference organising committees. She has also served on the committee of the Australian Aphasia Association and acted as their representative on the Australia and New Zealand Expert Working Group for the revision of the National Stroke Foundation Stroke Management Guidelines. Deborah was awarded Fellowship of Speech Pathology Australia in 2003, life membership of the Talkback Association for Aphasia in 2009, and holds a position as Adjunct Senior Lecturer in Public Health at Flinders University.

Professional Associations

  • Speech Pathology Australia
  • Australian Aphasia Association
  • Talkback Association for Aphasia, Inc.
  • Affiliate of Centre for Clinical Research Excellence (CCRE – Aphasia Rehabilitation)
  • Member of the Australia & New Zealand Expert Working Group on the National Stroke Foundation Stroke Management Guidelines Development 2009-2010

Awards and Recognition

University and National Teaching Awards

  • 2015: Vice-Chancellor's Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning


  • Fellowship, Speech Pathology Australia
  • Life Membership, Talkback Association for Aphasia, Inc.

Research Areas and Interests

  • Experiences of ending aphasia therapy for clients, families and clinicians
  • Person-centred goal setting in aphasia rehabilitation
  • 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
  • Resilience and smoking cessation in high risk groups
  • Aphasia experiences in Indigenous Australians
  • Group approaches for people with aphasia and families
  • Experiences of rehabilitation and intervention


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


Recent Research Grants

  • Investigating a Communication Enhanced Environment to Increase Communication Activity Early After Stroke. ,  Hollywood Private Hospital Research Foundation,  Grant,  2016 - 2017,  $18,983.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, Early online(Early online), 1-12, Cambridge, United Kingdom, DOI: 10.1017/BrImp.2015.15.
  • 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., 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, article in press(article in press), article in press, United Kingdom, DOI: 10.1080/02687038.2014.933520.
  • 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, Early Online(Early Online), 1 - 8, DOI: DOI: 10.3109/09638288.2014.972581.
  • 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, online(online), 1 - 13, United Kingdom, DOI: doi:10.1093/heapro/dau087.
  • 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, early online(early online), 1-12, DOI: 10.3109/17549507.2014.923510.
  • 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 post stroke. Aphasiology, n/a(n/a), n/a, DOI:
  • Hersh, D., (2014), Participants, researchers and participatory research. Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, 16(3), 123-126, Melbourne.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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., 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.
  • 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., 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.
  • 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.
  • Ward, PR., Muller, R., Tsourtos, G., Hersh, D., Lawn, S., Winefield, AH., Coveney, J., (2011), Additive and subtractive resilience strategies as enablers of biographical reinvention: A qualitative study of ex-smokers and never-smokers. Social Science and Medicine, 72(7), 1140-1148, DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.01.023.
  • Tsourtos, G., Ward, PR., Muller, R., Lawn, S., Winefield, AH., Hersh, D., Coveney, J., (2011), The importance of resilience and stress to maintaining smoking abstinence and cessation: A qualitative study in Australia with people diagnosed with depression. Health and Social Care in the Community, 19(3), 299-306, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2524.2010.00973.x.
  • Worrall, L., Sherratt, S., Rogers, P., Howe, T., Hersh, D., Ferguson, A., Davidson, B., (2011), What people with aphasia want: Their goals according to the ICF. Aphasiology, 25(3), 309-322, DOI: 10.1080/02687038.2010.508530.
  • Sherratt, S., Worrall, L., Pearson, C., Howe, T., Hersh, D., Davidson, B., (2011), "Well it has to be language-related": Speech-language pathologists' goals for people with aphasia and their families. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 13(4), 317-328, DOI: 10.3109/17549507.2011.584632.
  • Lawn, S., Hersh, D., Ward, PR., Tsourtos, G., Muller, R., Winefield, A., Coveney, J., (2011), 'I just saw it as something that would pull you down, rather than lift you up': Resilience in never-smokers with mental illness. Health Education Research, 26(1), 26-38, DOI: 10.1093/her/cyq065.

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
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