Spotlight Panel Speakers

Voices of South-East Asian Music Therapy

Throughout history, Southeast Asia has been a melting pot of cultures, religions, food heritages, along with spiritual, healing, and music traditions. The few qualified SEA music therapists face unique opportunities and challenges as they juggle numerous professional plates. This special platform will bring together unique perspectives of how music therapists are bridging larger intersectional themes of healing, amplifying indigenous music roots, and advocating for the profession within their own east-west situatedness in clinical practice, across the intersections of Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore.

Melanie Kwan – Singapore

MMT, MT-BC, a board-certified music therapist and K-12 certified music educator is currently working on her doctoral studies at Temple University. She has a broad range of clinical experience with a wide variety of client populations, from special education, home-based and community, to hospital and mental health. She has served as an educator, medical music therapist, and other leadership roles in the USA, Canada, and different parts of Asia, such as Regional Liaison (Western Pacific) for the World Federation of Music Therapy and co-editor of the MARAMTA(USA) newsletter, Tuning into Rx Music.

Gurpreet Kaur Kalsi - Malaysia

FAMI, MA(MT), PGDip(MT) began practising music therapy in London, England upon qualifying in 1999. She has now been practising in her home town Kota Kinabalu, in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo since 2002, as a mental health practitioner in clinical and community settings, with people of all ages, backgrounds, mental health conditions and needs. Her work in Kota Kinabalu has been diverse and enriching, innovative and creative and she integrates music therapy practice with respect for and reflexivity to cultural and indigenous thoughts and frameworks.

Jessica Hariwijaya – Indonesia

Neurologic Music Therapist, is a Medical Music Therapist who works at Siloam Hospital in Indonesia, where she provides Music Therapy service to a diverse range of client population from children, adolescents, adults to elderlies. She is also an educator at Pelita Harapan University for Music Therapy specialization program, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree. She is currently the only Music Therapist in Indonesia providing Music Therapy service specifically at a hospital setting. Her areas of interest include neurologic disorders, palliative care, neurodegenerative disorders, cardiac and post-op rehabilitation.

Napak Pakdeesatitwara – Thailand

RMT, Neurologic Music Therapist, is a PhD student at the University of Melbourne and currently working as a lecturer in music therapy at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. He has experience working in developmental health, aged care, neurorehabilitation, and health tech.


The Evolving Symphonies of Life: Conducting Music Therapy in Cancer and Palliative Care across the Lifespan

Being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness is life-changing for the individual and their family. Music therapy can do much in this space, integrating moments of peace and comfort into treatment and care, amplifying voices of stability and familiarity, strengthening bonds and connection, and transforming experiences of fear and sadness into moments of joy and fun. The Panel will explore how music therapy can amplify and evolve the resilience and strengths of the patient and family, support wellbeing and living fully, facilitate moments of sharing and support, and provide enduring legacies. 

Brian Schreck

Brian Schreck, MA, MT-BC is a board-certified music therapist who has been serving the chronically ill since 2004. Brian has a bachelor’s of arts in music therapy from Berklee College of Music and a master’s of arts in music therapy from New York University. Palliative care, end-of-life care, and bereavement are areas of passion for Mr. Schreck. Brian has presented locally, nationally, and internationally on his innovative work in medical music therapy. Schreck pioneered the use of heartbeat recordings as a way to rhythmically connect with patients and their families through ongoing recording projects. This rhythmic stem cell is something that can be worked on, changed, and transformed into music forever. Visit www.amplifiedcpr.org for more information. Brian Schreck’s main aim as a medical music therapist is to be as creative as possible to serve the needs of the patients he serves as well as their families. Brian Schreck facilitates ongoing in and outpatient music therapy with people with a diagnosis of cancer through the Norton Cancer Institute.

Roxanne McLeod

Roxanne is a Registered Music Therapist in Sydney Australia who specialises in working with children and families in a range of settings, including paediatric oncology and palliative care at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. She has a passion for family-centred care, facilitating experiences that help children and families reach their fullest potential, and create meaningful moments of connection through music.

Maggie James (nee Leung)

Maggie is a music therapist with 18 years’ experience in paediatric healthcare and has worked extensively in intensive care and palliative care.  She is the former Team Leader of Allied Health Oncology Services and the Music Therapy Department at the Queensland Children’s Hospital (QCH). Maggie was an invited speaker at this year’s TEDx Talk UQ Brisbane, and shared her professional and personal journey in paediatric palliative care.  She volunteers in the area of music therapy and palliative care internationally, and is a board member of the Butterfly Children’s Hospice in China and a professional consultant for the International Music Therapy Centre in Hong Kong.  In 2014, Maggie was recognised for her community contribution and awarded The University of Queensland MBA Service to the Community Award.  Maggie is passionate about using music to support children and family in palliation and believes that like birth, the death of a child should be with dignity and love.  


Amplifying the Voices of Older Adults and their Carers in Music Therapy

Globally, the number of older persons is growing faster than the number of people in any other age group. Older adults face changing healthcare needs, as well as changing social roles, responsibilities and relationships. The carers of older adults also represent a diverse and growing group, with their own unique needs and roles. The Panel will explore how music therapy can give voice to and support the evolving needs of older adults and their carers, helping them to live and age well; enhancing quality of life; and enabling them to create, connect, learn and grow through ageing.

Fiona Sham

Fiona Sham is a Registered Music Therapist in Melbourne Australia, working in a sub-acute in-patient adult rehabilitation centre at Monash Health, and with people living with Parkinson’s disease and their carers through Parkinson’s Victoria. She has 10 years of experience working with adults with acquired brain injury, neurological conditions and older adults in the hospital setting and community. Fiona is a neurologic music therapist fellow and is passionate about using music to support her clients to achieve their goals to improve their functioning and well-being.

Angela Delaney

Angela Delaney is a Registered Music Therapist working in public health and private practice; and is currently a National Allied Health Educator in the paediatric palliative care sector and Lead Music Therapist for the WEAVE project, facilitating music therapy for veterans with dementia. Angela has been a long-term advocate for music therapy in clinical and community settings and was the proud recipient of the Richard Thompson Award for Excellence & Outstanding Professional Achievement in Music Therapy in 2017. Angela is passionate about deepening awareness and understanding of the role of music, music-making and community for health and wellbeing. Angela values a balanced life, living near the ocean, and loves immersing herself in water and nature with her family.

Claire Molyneux

Claire Molyneux, MA (Music Therapy), BA (Hons), PGCertHealSc (Clinical Supervision), NZ RMTh, HCPC (UK), FHEA has worked as a music therapist and supervisor in the UK and New Zealand for over 20 years with people across the lifespan. She is currently Course Leader for the MA Music Therapy at Anglia Ruskin University, UK and is undertaking PhD research exploring the impact of group music therapy for people living with dementia and their companions.

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters throughout Australia, and pay respect to the Elders past, present and emerging. We recognise the importance of connection to culture, land, kinship and community to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander families. We acknowledge the cultural practices and traditions still carried out today and being passed down to future generations.