The staff and volunteers at Whizz Kidz comprise a dedicated team of people with a range of skills, expertise, qualifications and experience that provide a nurturing and fun environment for the children.

All of the staff receive in-service training and IEP and AAC methodologies continue to evolve with each new discovery of latent ability and talent.

Meet the Staff:


Physiotherapist Michelle Lipke

I graduated my Bachelor of Physiotherapy Degree at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2008 with Cum Laude. I’ve worked at various hospitals including, Entabeni Rehabilitation, Siza Rehab at Hillcrest Hospital and Headway Natal. I have a passion for Paediatrics, Pain Management as well as Aquatic Physiotherapy and Pilates. I have my own private practice in Westville where I treat a diversity of conditions and treat at local home visits. I attend regular courses to keep up to date with the latest knowledge and skills in my discipline to give my clients my best. My position at the school is an absolute privilege and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of these children’s lives and help them reach their full potential.

Physiotherapy services at the school include:

  • Individual and group care giver training that covers stretching programs, strengthening through functional movement, and postural management for each child’s daily routine
  • Training for education and self- care for back protection
  • Weekly swimming performed by an outsourced swim school and routines will be overseen by the therapist
  • Continual equipment checks, recommendations, alterations and referrals as needed
  • Individual therapy session with the physio to monitor and adapt programs for each child
  • Regular physiotherapy progress reports and re-assessments
  • Develop cardiovascular and endurance- focused exercise classes and gross motor function groups that are run bythe physiotherapy assistants.

Jordan de Villiers - Therapy assistant

Jordan qualified with a BSc Sports Science from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in 2016. In 2018 she started working as special needs teacher in a local school engaging mostly with children on the Autism Spectrum. She has completed additional training in physical support and exercise for the elderly, sports strapping as well as autism support and communication. Jordan joined the Whizz Kidz team in 2019 as a therapy assistant and is now employed on a full time basis at the centre. In her free time she provides additional reading therapy for children in mainstream schools and teaches horse riding to people of all ages and children with disabilities.

As a therapy assistant and is currently responsible for the following activities:

  • Running groups developed by the Occupational Therapist
  • Running groups developed by the Speech and Language Therapist
  • Running groups developed by the Physiotherapist
  • Working with therapists to ensure effective staff training and classroom support
  • Assisting with monitoring and adapting Independent Educational Programs (IEP)
Jo Ravell

Joanne Ravell - Speech and Language Therapist

Joanne Ravell qualified with Bachelor of Communication Pathology in Speech Language Pathology in 2005 at University of Kwa- Zulu Natal. She has completed post graduate educational courses on pediatric feeding and Dysphagia in physically disabled children. Joanne has gained valuable experience over her 15 years in practice, working with non – verbal and communicatively delayed children on the Autism Spectrum. Joanne is the author of a series of children’s books created to develop language, speech and listening skills in hearing impaired, cochlear implanted, communicatively delayed and typical children. As well as running the communication and feeding program at Whizz Kidz, Joanne currently runs her private practice from Harmony Child Assessment and Therapy Centre in Kloof, along with a transdisciplinary team of 7 other therapists.

Speech Language and Feeding Services at Whizz Kidz includes:

  • Oral motor and articulation groups
  • Auditory Processing and phonological awareness groups
  • Pre-feeding stimulation programs.
  • Feeding monitoring
  • Assessing for and issuing of adapted and assistive feeding, oral sensory and communication equipment to be used daily by the career.
  • Language Stimulation Therapy
  • Compulsory all- day Alternative and Augmentative Communication Therapy program
  • Individualized and one- on - one career education and training.
  • Individual therapy session and reviews
  • Twice annual reports.

Nokuthula Khuzwayo - Therapy Assistant

Nokuthula first got introduced to working with children with special needs when she became a private facilitator for a child with Autism in 1999. She became a full time teaching assistant at Whizz kidz in 2006 and progressed to being a Teacher at the centre in 2013. She has attended courses in First Aid, Autism support, basic care giver training for significantly physically disabled children and worked one-on-one as a caregiver for a with a child with Cerebral Palsy.

In 2020 Nokuthula joined the Whizz Kidz Therapy team as a therapy assistant and is currently responsible for the following activities:

  • Running gross motor groups
  • Overseeing the daily physical stretching programs
  • Overseeing daily feeding programs.
  • Monitoring and reporting equipment and assistive devices to therapist
  • Working with therapists to ensure effective staff training and classroom support.

Cathy Phillips - Principal

Cathy has been working in the field of Child Care & Disabilities since 2002.

With a back ground in Psychology obtained from the University of Natal Pietermaritzburg, and a specialisation in Ecosystemic Psychology, Cathy values working with children and their families in a holistic manner and believes everyone is capable of actualising a potential. Cathy holds post graduate qualifications in Social Work & Inclusive Education obtained at the University of Wolverhampton & undertook training as a Play Therapy Practitioner at the University of Coventry. Her career has seen her working in a variety of settings both locally and internationally : government, private, NPO & Medico Legal. Cathy is passionate about educating & training those involved in the lives of children with multiple disabilities & runs a private training consultancy -Kaleidoscope Kids. Cathy is a registered member of various professional bodies within this field & has a loving lighthearted approach to all she works with.


Elsje Stuiver - Paediatric Occupational Therapist & Therapy Coordinator

Elsje completed her Occupational Therapy degree at the University of Pretoria during 2008. She has since worked in paediatric private practice in South Africa and the United Kingdom, delivering services to schools, nurseries, special education centres and orphanages. She has obtained post graduate qualifications in Sensory Integration and DIR floortime. Through her work in transdisciplinary settings, Elsje has gained knowledge, experience and skills in aspects relating to communication, relationship building, behavioural modification, play and environmental adaptation. All these skills assist her in helping children with multiple disabilities to reach their full potential. During weekday afternoons Elsje runs her own private practice, Kidzcan Durban, where she provides individual occupational therapy to families and children outside of the centre.

At Whizz Kidz OT services include:

  • Attending parent and therapy team meetings
  • Implementing sensory stimulation programs
  • Developing and implementing sensory diets for children who need it
  • Visual stimulation and visual perceptual groups.
  • Fine and gross motor groups.
  • Assessing for and issuing assistive devices for writing, self-care and eating completed by the Occupational Therapist.
  • Teacher and staff therapeutic skill development related to handwriting, posture, behavioural management, sensory regulation, pencil grip, toileting, dressing and worksheet adaptations.
  • Individualized carer education and training.
  • Individual therapy session and reviews.
  • Twice annual reports.