The Institute of Driver Health Pty Ltd was established by Joan O’Donnell and Beth Cheal to:
Assist clients, family and carers to provide safe and comfortable transport for passengers with high needs
Provide driver assessment and rehabilitation for drivers of all classes of vehicle
Provide training for health professionals and driving instructors in driver health
Contribute to evidence based practice for drivers with health conditions
Meet our team
Dr. Beth Cheal
Beth Cheal graduated with a BAppSc(OT) and MAppSc(OT) at the University of Sydney. Beth has completed a PhD (USyd) converting DriveSafe DriveAware, a cognitive fitness to drive screen, into a touchscreen test for GPs and occupational therapist to use when screening drivers to identify those that may be at-risk due to a medical condition or age-related changes.
Beth is a driver-trained occupational therapist and licensed driving instructor who has worked in driver assessment and rehabilitation at the University of Sydney and in private practice since 2000 and is currently employed as a lecturer in occupational therapy, in the School of Health Sciences at Western Sydney University. Beth has coordinated training for occupational therapists, other health professionals and driving instructors in driver assessment and rehabilitation since 2006.
Dr Joan O’Donnell
Joan O’Donnell graduated with a BAppSc(OT) and MSc(Med) at the University of Sydney and completed her PhD examining the functional outcomes of cerebrovascular neurosurgery at Macquarie University, Australia. The research investigated the quality of life and ability to drive after surgical and conservative management of unruptured intracranial aneurysms and brain arteriovenous malformations.
Joan has worked in public and private institutions in neurosurgery, neurology, oncology, orthopaedics, aged care and occupational rehabilitation. She has also worked in various management positions in quality improvement and review. Joan is a lecturer at the University of Sydney and currently teaches in the undergraduate and Masters occupational therapy courses. Joan is a driver-trained occupational therapist.
Laura graduated with a BAppSc(OT)Hons at University of Sydney in 2007 and is a driver-trained Occupational Therapist. Laura has worked as an Occupational Therapist in various clinical settings including acute and community aged care, acute stroke rehabilitation, respiratory, orthopaedics and community palliative care. Laura is passionate about improving quality of life through evidence-based practice and is committed to enabling her clients to achieve their potential.
Lyndell graduated with a BAppSc (OT) in 1992 and completed a Post Graduate Certificate (Neurology) in 1999 at University of Sydney. Lyndell is a driver trained occupational therapist who has worked in the field of driver assessments and rehabilitation since 1996. Lyndell’s clinical experience working as an occupational therapist includes neurological and medical rehabilitation, acute and community aged care, brain injury, orthopaedics, amputees and palliative care. Lyndell has participated in training occupational therapists in driver assessment and rehabilitation since 2011.
Hayley graduated with a bachelor of Occupational Therapy (honours) from the University of Newcastle in 2018 and is a driver trained occupational therapist. She has experience working in residential and community aged care, with a special interest in dementia. Hayley grew up on the Mid-North Coast of NSW and is passionate about providing occupational therapy services to people in this community.
Linda has been working in medical and health administration for the past 7 years, and has come to the Institute of Driver Health with a wealth of experience in health administration, patient care, as well as medical and performing arts education and administration. She previously worked for Macquarie Neurosurgery, and before this, as the Higher Degree Research administrator for the Macquarie University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Prior to health admin, Linda had a lengthy career in the performing arts, in areas such as tertiary education lecturer, course development, journalism, performance and creative development. She is currently completing her Bachelor of Nutrition.
Research and Development
Determining the impact of medical conditions, medical procedures and functional changes on the capacity to drive safely and investigating interventions to support driver health.