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Associate Professor Deborah Hersh

Associate Professor

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 Degree and, in 2019, coordinates the Speech Pathology Bachelors Degree.

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


Deborah Hersh, PhD, is an Associate Professor in Speech Pathology and is a Fellow of Speech Pathology Australia. She has nearly 30 years of clinical and research experience in speech pathology in the UK and Australia. She has published and presented extensively in the areas of discharge from therapy, professional client relationships, clinical ethics, group work, rehabilitation goal setting and acquired communication disorder in Aboriginal Australians following stroke and brain injury. In 1995, Deborah started the Talkback Group Programme for Aphasia, established the Talkback Association for Aphasia in 1999, and was awarded life membership in 2009. Deborah was an affiliate of the NHMRC CCRE Aphasia Rehabilitation and was involved in the development of the Australian Aphasia Rehabilitation Pathway. She was also a member of the expert working party for the development of the Stroke Foundation 2010 Clinical Guidelines and more recently for their 2017 revision, and contributed to their Enable Me website. Deborah has served on the Editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, has been a guest editor for Aphasiology, and is an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. She served as Chair of the Scientific Planning Committee for the 2016 Speech Pathology Australia National Conference, and currently is Deputy Chair of the Australian Aphasia Association. Deborah supervises postgraduate research at Masters and PhD level and coordinates the Speech Pathology Honours program at ECU.She holds an Adjunct position in Public Health at Flinders University. Deborah has over 80 publications, and presents her work nationally and internationally. She was a CI on the NHMRC-funded Missing Voicesresearch exploring experiences of, and services for, Aboriginal Australians after stroke and brain injury, and is now CI with the NHMRC Partnership grant: Enhancing rehabilitation services for AboriginalAustralians after brain injury, and the Lowitja grant “Yarning Together”. She is also a CI with the LUNA research team based at City University, London.

Professional Associations

  • Fellow, Speech Pathology Association of Australia (FSPAA)
  • Deputy Chair, Australian Aphasia Association
  • Life Member, Talkback Association for Aphasia Inc.
  • Member, Communicate WA
  • 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


  • Graduate Certificate of Higher Education, Edith Cowan University, 2013.
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The Flinders University of South Australia, 2003.
  • Master of Science with Distinction in Human Communication, England, 1992.
  • Bachelor of Schience - Honours in Speech Pathology, England, 1989.


Recent Research Grants

  • Enhancing rehabilitation services for Aboriginal Australians after brain injury: Healing Right Way,  National Health and Medical Research Council,  Partnership Projects,  2016 - 2022,  $3,281,800.
  • Investigating a Communication Enhanced Environment to Increase Communication Activity Early After Stroke. ,  Hollywood Private Hospital Research Foundation,  Grant,  2016 - 2020,  $17,483.
  • Translation of a culturally responsive stroke rehabilitation service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples into a real-world setting in northern Australia: A Type 1 hybrid effectiveness implementation trial.,  National Health and Medical Research Council,  Northern Australia Tropical Disease Collaborative Research Program,  2018 - 2019,  $9,487.
  • Yarning together: Developing a culturally secure rehabilitation approach for Aboriginal Australians after brain injury,  Lowitja Institute Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health CRC,  2017 Research Funding,  2018 - 2019,  $197,622.
  • 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

  • Lanyon, L., Hersh, D., Bickford, J., Baker, J., Nang, C., Rose, M., Worrall, L., (2019), Using in-depth, semi-structured interviewing. Qualitative research in communication disorders - an introduction for students and clinicians, 285-312, Croydon, UK, J&R Press Ltd.
  • 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, CRC Press.

Journal Articles

  • Wallace, S., Worrall, L., Rose, T., Le Dorze, G., Breitenstein, C., Hilari, K., Babbitt, E., Bose, A., Brady, M., Cherney, L., Copland, D., Cruice, M., Enderby, P., Hersh, D., Howe, T., Kelly, H., Kiran, S., Laska, A., Marshall, J., Nicholas, M., Patterson, J., Pearl, G., Rochon, E., Rose, M., Sage, K., Small, S., Webster, J., (2019), A core outcome set for aphasia treatment research: The ROMA consensus statement. International Journal of Stroke, 14(2), 180-185, Sage Publications Ltd, DOI: 10.1177/1747493018806200.
  • Booth, S., Armstrong, B., Taylor, C., Hersh, D., (2019), Communication access: is there some common ground between the experiences of people with aphasia and speakers of English as an additional language?. Aphasiology, 33(8), 996-1018, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/02687038.2018.1512078.
  • Esgin, T., Hersh, D., Rowley, K., Gilroy, J., Newton, R., (2019), Indigenous research methodologies: decolonizing the Australian sports sciences. Health Promotion International, epub ahead of print(2018), 10p., United Kingdom, Oxford University Press, DOI: 10.1093/heapro/day076.
  • Bickford, J., Coveney, J., Baker, J., Hersh, D., (2019), Validating the Changes to Self-identity After Total Laryngectomy. Cancer Nursing, 42(4), 314-322, Wolters Kluwer Health, DOI: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000610.
  • Hersh, D., Armstrong, B., McAllister, M., Ciccone, N., Katzenellenbogen, J., Coffin, J., Thompson, S., Hayward, C., Flicker, L., Woods, D., (2019), General practitioners’ perceptions of their communication with Australian Aboriginal patients with acquired neurogenic communication disorders. Patient Education and Counseling, In Press(July 2019), 8p., Ireland, Elsevier Ireland Ltd, DOI: 10.1016/j.pec.2019.07.029.
  • Ciccone, N., Armstrong, B., Hersh, D., Adams, M., McAllister, M., (2019), The Wangi (talking) project: A feasibility study of a rehabilitation model for aboriginal people with acquired communication disorders after stroke. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 21(3), 305-316, DOI: 10.1080/17549507.2019.1595146.
  • Armstrong, B., Coffin, J., McAllister, M., Hersh, D., Katzenellenbogen, J., Thompson, S., Ciccone, N., Flicker, L., Cross, N., Arabi, L., Woods, D., Hayward, C., (2019), ‘I’ve got to row the boat on my own, more or less’: aboriginal australian experiences of traumatic brain injury. Brain Impairment, epub ahead of Print(July 2019), 17p., DOI: 10.1017/BrImp.2019.19.
  • Armstrong, B., McAllister, M., Hersh, D., Katzenellenbogen, J., Thompson, S., Coffin, J., Flicker, L., Woods, D., Hayward, C., Ciccone, N., (2019), A screening tool for acquired communication disorders in Aboriginal Australians after brain injury: lessons learned from the pilot phase. Aphasiology, epub ahead of Print(21 October), 26p., DOI: 10.1080/02687038.2019.1678107.
  • Bickford, J., Coveney, J., Baker, J., Hersh, D., (2018), Support following total laryngectomy: Exploring the concept from different perspectives. European Journal of Cancer Care, 27(3), article no.e12848, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/ecc.12848.
  • Katzenellenbogen, J., Atkins, E., Thompson, S., Hersh, D., Coffin, J., Flicker, L., Hayward, C., Ciccone, N., Woods, D., Greenland, M., McAllister, M., Armstrong, B., (2018), Missing Voices: Profile, Extent, and 12-Month Outcomes of Nonfatal Traumatic Brain Injury in Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Adults in Western Australia Using Linked Administrative Records. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 33(6), 412-423, United States, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, DOI: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000371.
  • Bickford, J., Coveney, J., Baker, J., Hersh, D., (2018), Self‐expression and identity after total laryngectomy: Implications for support. Psycho-Oncology: journal of the psychological, social and behavioral dimensions of cancer, 27(11), 2638-2644, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/pon.4818.
  • Hersh, D., Wood, P., Armstrong, B., (2018), Informal aphasia assessment, interaction and the development of the therapeutic relationship in the early period after stroke. Aphasiology, 32(8), 876-901, Oxon, United Kingdom, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/02687038.2017.1381878.
  • Nang, C., Hersh, D., Milton, K., Lau, SR., (2018), The Impact of Stuttering on Development of Self-Identity, Relationships, and Quality of Life in Women Who Stutter. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 27(3S), 1244-1258, United States, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, DOI: 10.1044/2018_AJSLP-ODC11-17-0201.
  • Armstrong, B., McKay, G., Hersh, D., (2017), Assessment and treatment of aphasia in Aboriginal Australians: Linguistic considerations and broader implications for cross-cultural practice. Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, 19(1), 27-34, Melbourne, Victoria, Speech Pathology Australia.
  • 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, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/17549507.2017.1290136.
  • Penn, C., Armstrong, B., Brewer, K., Purves, B., McAllister, M., Hersh, D., Godecke, E., Ciccone, N., Lewis, A., (2017), De-colonizing Speech-Language Pathology practice in acquired neurogenic disorders. Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, 2(3), 91-99, Rockville, USA, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, DOI: 10.1044/persp2.SIG2.91.
  • Hersh, D., Godecke, E., Armstrong, B., Ciccone, N., Bernhardt, J., (2016), “Ward Talk”: nurses' interaction with people with and without aphasia in the very early period poststroke. Aphasiology, 30(5), 609-628, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/02687038.2014.933520.
  • Hersh, D., (2016), Therapy in transit: managing aphasia in the early period post stroke. Aphasiology, 30(5), 509-516, Routledge, 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, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, DOI: 10.1177/1747493015607521.
  • 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.
  • Tsourtos, G., Ward, P., Lawn, S., Winefield, A., Hersh, D., Coveney, J., (2015), Is resilience relevant to smoking abstinence for Indigenous Australians?. Health Promotion International, 30(1), 64-76, United Kingdom, Oxford University Press, DOI: 10.1093/heapro/dau087.
  • Hersh, D., Armstrong, B., Panak, V., Coombes, J., (2015), Speech-language pathology practices with Indigenous Australians with acquired communication disorders. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 17(1), 74-85, Speech Pathology Australia, DOI: 10.3109/17549507.2014.923510.
  • Hersh, D., Armstrong, B., Bourke, N., (2015), 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, Informa Healthcare, DOI: 10.3109/09638288.2014.890675.
  • 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, BMJ Publishing Group, DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-007641.
  • Armstrong, B., Hersh, D., Hayward, C., Fraser, J., (2015), Communication disorders after stroke in Aboriginal Australians. Disability and Rehabilitation, 37(16), 1462-1469, Informa Healthcare, DOI: 10.3109/09638288.2014.972581.
  • 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, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 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, 16(2), 145-156, Cambridge, United Kingdom, Cambridge University Press, 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, Speech Pathology Australia.
  • Hersh, D., (2014), Participants, researchers and participatory research. Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, 16(3), 123-126, Melbourne, Speech Pathology Australia.

Research Student Supervision

Associate Supervisor

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