Staff Directory

Assoc. Prof. Loretta Sheppard Name: Assoc. Prof. Loretta Sheppard
Deputy Head, School of Allied Health VIC/ACT
+613 9953 3610
Organisational Area
Faculty of Health Sciences
National School of Allied Health
The Daniel Mannix Building(Bldg.403 - 8-14 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065)-Level 2-Room2.39
Biographical Information

Loretta Sheppard is Head of Discipline for Occupational Therapy and Deputy Head of School (VIC/ACT). Based in Melbourne, Loretta's research focuses on youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their preparation for participation in everyday adult life. Current research includes a four-year NDIA funded project with industry partner Onemda titled 'Breaking out of Silos: Collaborating for Employment Outcomes for Youth with Disabilities'. She has held roles as Occupational Therapy Course Coordinator and National Professional Practice Lead and was co-investigator on a large-scale national RCT investigating the effectiveness of early years simulated placement. Loretta works closely with First Nations colleagues and Cultural Mentors to increase the voice and presence of First Peoples in the occupational therapy curriculum. She was part of the occupational therapy leadership team who received the Vice Chancellor Spirit of Reconciliation Award in 2020, has led or co-led a series of teaching development grants related to First Nations curriculum, and was awarded a Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2021.  



Cowan, H. J. K., Sheppard, L., & Harrington, R. (2024). Young adults with intellectual disabilities participating in employment-related activities using the pathways and resources for engagement and participation intervention: A case study. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 1&ndash12.

Sammells, Logan, A., & Sheppard, L. (2023). Participant Outcomes and Facilitator Experiences Following a Community Living Skills Program for Adult Mental Health Consumers. Community Mental Health Journal, 59(3), 428&ndash438.

Goldingay, S., Stagnitti, K., Robertson, N., Pepin, G., Sheppard, L., & Dean, B. (2020). Implicit play or explicit cognitive behaviour therapy: The impact of intervention approaches to facilitate social skills development in adolescents. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 67(4), 360&ndash372.

Gospodarevskaya, E., Carter, R., Imms, C., Chu, EMY., Nicola-Richmond, K., Gribble, N., Froude, E., Guinea, S., Sheppard, L., Iezzi, A., & Chen G. (2019). Economic evaluation of simulated and traditional clinical placements in occupational therapy education. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal 66(3):369-379

Imms, C., Chu, EMY., Guinea, S., Sheppard, L., Froude, E., Carter, R., Darzins, S........................... (2018). Simulated versus traditional occupational therapy placements: A randomised controlled trial Australian Occupational Therapy Journal 65(6):556-564

Chu EMY, Sheppard L, Guinea S, Imms C. (2018). Placement replacement: A conceptual framework for designing simulated clinical placement in occupational therapy. Nurs Health Sci. 1&ndash10.

Wolfe, N, Sheppard, L, Le Rossignol, P, & Somerset, S. (2018): Uncomfortable curricula? A survey of academic practices and attitudes to delivering Indigenous content in health professional degrees, Higher Education Research & Development, 37(3), 649-662. DOI:10.1080/07294360.2017.1385595

Imms, C., Chu, E. M. Y., Guinea, S., Sheppard, L., Froude, E., Carter, R., &hellip Symmons, M. (2017). Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of embedded simulation in occupational therapy clinical practice education: Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 18(1), 345.

Goldingay, S., Stagnitti, K., Sheppard, L., McGillivray, J., Mclean, B., & Pepin, G. (2015). A social participation intervention for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Developmental Neurorehabilitation. 18(2):  122-130

Sheppard, L., Osmond, J. & Stagnitti, K. (2013). The effectiveness of a multidisciplinary intervention to improve school readiness in children with developmental concerns: Children's skill development and parent perspective. Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools & Early Intervention 6(2): 94-107

Stagnitti, K., O'Connor, C. & Sheppard, L. (2012). The impact of the 'Learn to Play' program on play, social competence and language for children aged 5-8 years who attend a specialist school. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal 59(4): 302-311

Sheppard, L. & Unsworth, C. (2011). Developing skills in everyday activities and self-determination in adolescents with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Remedial and Special Education. 32(5): 395-405



Loretta's research is primarlily with youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their participation in everyday adult life. Currently exploring barriers and facilitators to employment, and the role of environmental supports in the workplace using approaches such as Project TEAM and Pathways and Resources for Engagement and Participation. Research projects include a 4-year NDIA project with industry partner Onemda implementing a co-designed collaborative service model to support youth with disabilities into employment by identifying environmental, personnel, and practice factors impacting social and economic participation. It builds on previous research exploring goal setting, self-determination and school-based transition programs for youth with disabilities.



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