Staff profile

Dr Bernice Ann Mathisen

Associate Professor

Faculty of Health Sciences
La Trobe Rural Health School
Department of Human Communication Sciences



PhD, MSc (Human Communication), B Sp Thy

Membership of professional associations

Speech Pathology Association of Australia (SPAA) International Affiliate of the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists (RCSLT), Invited memb

Area of study

Speech Pathology

Brief profile

Bernice is Head of Speech Pathology at the newly-formed La Trobe Rural Health School (LRHS). Based in Bendigo, LRHS has other campuses in Albury-Wodonga, Shepparton and Mildura. Bernice is responsible for leading the growth of the discipline of speech pathology across the regional campuses which will address the chronic shortage of speech pathologists working in regional, rural and remote areas of Australia and in developing communities world-wide. Bernice is also leading the  development of an innovative clinical education program as part of the speech pathology program at Bendigo in partnership with local speech pathologists and in particular, Bendigo Health. As part of this collaboration, research opportunities with local clinicians will also be targetted, in addition to the fostering of research higher degree students amongst the first graduates of the B Health Sciences/M Sp Path program at Bendigo.  

Research interests

Rural and Regional Health

- e-health

Speech Pathology

- Adult and paediatric swallowing disorders

Teaching units

HLTIPB Interprofessional Practice B

HLT2IEP Integrating Evidence into Practice

HCS2NCP Normal Communication & Swallowing

HCS2ACW Analysing and Combining Words

HCS3AOC Analysis of Communication


Dysphagia (swallowing disorders)

Recent publications

Chapters in books Mathisen, B. A. (2008). Working with families of children with dysphagia: An interdisciplinary approach. (pp.245-278). In N. Watts Pappas & S. McLeod (Eds.) Working with Families in Speech-Language Pathology. San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing. Papers in refereed journals Adams, V., Mathisen, B., Callister, R., Baines, S., & Lazarus, C. (2011, January). Evaluation of the effects of tongue-strengthening exercises in people with swallowing     difficulties. Poster presented at the Asia-Pacific Society for the Study of Speech,     Language and Hearing, Christchurch, New Zealand. De Bortoli, T., Arthur-Kelly, M., Mathisen, B., Foreman, P. & Balandin, S. (in press). Complex contextual influences on the communicative interactions of students with multiple and severe disabilities. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Mathisen, B., Yates, P & Crofts, P. (Early Online August 16, 2010). A Palliative Care Curriculum for Speech-Language Pathology Students. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders. De Bortoli, T., Arthur-Kelly, M., Mathisen, B., Foreman, P. & Balandin, S. (2010). Where are teachers’ voices? A research agenda to enhance the communicative interactions of students with multiple and severe disabilities at school. Disability & Rehabilitation, 32(13), 1059-1072. Grace, E., Mathisen, B., Stuart, G. & Hawes, H. (2010). Students' experiences of family-centred, strength-based practice in a non-traditional clinical setting. Acquiring Knowledge in Speech, Language and Hearing, 12(2), 78-81. Stevens, E., Peisker, M., Mathisen, B. & Woodward, S. (2010). Challenges and benefits for students participating in the Working With Developing Communities (WWDC) (Vietnam) Program. Acquiring Knowledge in Speech, Language and Hearing, 12(2), 90-92. McAllister, L., Dung, Nguyen Thi Ngoc, Christie, J., Woodward, S., Ha Thi Kim Yen, Duyen, Bui Thi, Loan, Dinh Thi Bich, Winkworth, A., Mathisen, B.,. Atherton, M., Frowen, J., Megee, F., & Trinh Thi Kim Ngoc (2010). Speech therapy services in Viet Nam: Past, Present and Future. Acquiring Knowledge in Speech, Language and Hearing, 12, 1, 47-51. Mathisen, B., Arthur-Kelly, M., Kidd, J., & Nissen, C. (2009). Using MINSPEAK: A case study of a preschool child with complex communication needs.Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 1-8. Arthur-Kelly, M., Sigafoos, J., Green, V., Mathisen, B., Arthur-Kelly, R. (2008). Issues in the use of visual supports  to promote communication in individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Disability & Rehabilitation, 1-13. Warren-Forward, H., Mathisen, B., Best, S, Boxsell, P., Finlay, J., Heasman, A., Hodis, D., Morgan, C. & Nixon, J. (2008). Australian speech-language pathologists' knowledge and practice of radiation protection while performing videofluoroscopic swallowing studies. Dysphagia, 23 371-377.  

Research projects

Tongue strengthening exercise in people with stroke and head and neck cancer

Doseage and frequency of rehabilitative dysphagia therapy in stroke

Communicating with students with multiple and severe disabilities

Evaluation and feasibility of SNUG Victoria

Outcomes of the Working With Developing Communities (Vietnam) Program

Teaachers knowledge of speech pathology and child language impairment

Outcomes of early cochlear implantation for speech and language development

The effects of early trauma on infant feeding development