Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Dr Suzanne Hopf

Dr Suzanne Hopf

BAppSc (Speech Pathology)Hons, Cert TESOL, AdCert TEYL, PhD

In 1998 Suzanne C. Hopf graduated with an honours degree in Speech Pathology from The University of Sydney. In 2012 Suzanne completed a Certificate of Teaching English as a Second or Other Language (TESOL) and an Advanced Certificate of Teaching English as a Second or Other Language to Young Learners (TEYL). Suzanne's PhD, awarded in September 2017 and titled 'Supporting Fijian children's communication", provided recommendations for the holistic management of communication disability in Fiji. Suzanne's doctoral research also detailed an innovative four-stage Communication Capacity Research program for supporting the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse people with communication and swallowing disabilities in underserved regions of the world. Suzanne's doctoral research was awarded  prestigious Australian Linguistic Society Gerhardt Laves Scholarship in July, 2015, an Australian government Endeavour Awards Postgraduate Scholarship in December 2014, and a Charles Sturt University Post-graduate Research Scholarship in November 2013. Suzanne volunteered as a speech pathologist in South Africa before taking up a paediatric school-based clinical position with Education Queensland in early 1999. In 2001 Suzanne returned to The University of Sydney as a clinical educator before specialising in acquired communication and swallowing disorders of neurological origin at Sutherland Hospital in South-East Sydney. Suzanne held the position of Director of Speech Pathology at St George Hospital and Community Health Centre before starting her family in late 2005, and moving to Fiji in early 2009.

Top of page


Suzanne commenced as a part-time lecturer in Speech Pathology with Charles Sturt University in June 2017. Suzanne lectures at both Bachelor level (SPH308: Communication, disability & neurological impairment) and Masters level (SPH523: Intervention for language and cognitive impairments in speech pathology). Prior to her permanent appointment, Suzanne worked as a casual marker from 2015-2016 for Bachelor level (SPH211: Language impairments in Children/Adolescents) and Masters level subjects (SPH511: Models of communication and swallowing practice; SPH513: Assessment and analysis of language and cognition in speech pathology; SPH522: Intervention for sensory-motor impairments in speech pathology).

Suzanne worked in both full- and part-time capacity as a clinical educator at The University of Sydney from 2001-2003 and as a casual marker from 2015-2017 (CSCD2066: Introductory Clinic II; CSCD4052: Professional issues). Suzanne has also provided guest lectures in Fiji for the Australia Pacific Technical College Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Certificate in Disability Studies programs.

Top of page


Suzanne C. Hopf is passionate about achieving equity in service provision for people with disability internationally. Suzanne's research seeks to apply the World Health Organization International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (WHO, 2001) to better understand how barriers and facilitators for supporting people with communication disability are created and reinforced by individual, community, and societal factors.

Suzanne's past research projects and interests are eclectic and reveal a desire to break down traditional silos of academic knowledge management. Suzanne's honours research evaluated the speech outcomes of two surgical repair techniques for bilateral cleft lip and palate. Research assistant positions held over the years have included evaluating children's typical literacy development and how people with Parkinson's Disease access services and cope in the community. More recently, Suzanne's PhD showed a commitment to enhance knowledge of the experience of communication disability in South Pacific Island communities. Successful experiences as an online distant education student have ignited Suzanne's interest in developing future research projects that evaluate how pre- and in-service practitioners using distance education can be trained in effective delivery of services via technology to address issues of health service accessibility and availability internationally. Suzanne is committed to being a part of an international network of research practitioners who celebrate diversity and believe in sharing knowledge and resources for the greater benefit of all mankind where ever they may live.

Top of page


JOURNAL ARTICLES (in press) 

Hopf, S.C. (in press). Communication Capacity Research in the Majority World: Supporting the human right to communication specialist services. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. doi:10.1080/17549507.2018.1400101

JOURNAL ARTICLES (published peer review)

Hopf, S.C., McLeod, S., McDonagh, S.H., Wang, C., & Rakanace, E.N. (2017). Communication disability in Fiji: Community self-help and help-seeking support. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/17549507.2017.1337226

Hopf, S C., McLeod, S., & McDonagh, S. H. (2017). Validation of the Intelligibility in Context Scale with school students in Fiji. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02699206.2016.1268208

Hopf, S. C., McLeod, S., & McDonagh, S. H. (2017). Linguistic multi-competence of Fiji school students and their conversational partners. International Journal of Multilingualism. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/14790718.2016.1241256

Hopf, S. C., McLeod, S., McDonagh, S., & Rakanace, E. (2017). Communication disability in Fiji: Community cultural beliefs and attitudes. Disability, CBR and Inclusive Development, 28(1), 114-143. doi:10.5463/DCID.v28i1.600

McLeod, S., Verdon, S., & International Expert Panel on Multilingual
Children's Speech
(2017). Tutorial: Speech assessment for
multilingual children who do not speak the same language(s) as the speech-language pathologist. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-15-0161

Hopf, S. C., McLeod, S., & Geraghty, P. (2016). A contrastive analysis of the phonologies of two Fiji English dialects: A diagnostic guide for speech-language pathologists. Speech, Language, Hearing, 19(2), 96-104, doi: 10.1080/2050571X.2015.1133037

Hopf, S. C. & McLeod, S. (2015). Services for people with communication disability in Fiji: Barriers and drivers of change. Rural and Remote Health, 15, 2863.

Hopf, S. C. (2014). Services for people with communication disability in Fiji: Clinical Insights. Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, 16(2), 81-86.

JOURNAL ARTICLES (published non-peer review)

Staley, B. & Hopf, S.C. (2016). Special issue: A diverse global network of speech-language pathologists. Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, 18(3), 106-107.

Verdon, S., Blake, H. L., Hopf, S. C., Pham, B., & McLeod, S. (2016). Cultural and linguistic diversity in speech-language pathology. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 18(2), 109-110.

INVITED LECTURES / PRESENTATIONS 

Hopf, S.C. (2016, March). Practical strategies to support people with communication and/or swallowing disability. Invited lecture to Certificate in Disability Studies and Certificate in Early Childhood Education students at Australia Pacific Technical College, Suva, Fiji.

McLeod, S. & Hopf, S.C. (2015, June). Maximising your student's potential. Paper presented at Charles Sturt University Faculty of Education Supervisor Seminar Series, Bathurst, Australia.

Hopf, S.C. (2014, October). Practical strategies to support people with communication and/or swallowing disability. Invited lecture to Certificate in Early Childhood Education students at Australia Pacific Technical College, Nadi, Fiji.

Hopf, S.C. (2014, March). Practical strategies to support people with communication and/or swallowing disability. Invited lecture to Certificate in Early Childhood Education students at Australia Pacific Technical College, Nadi, Fiji.

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS (Invited) 

Hopf, S. C. & Park, S. (2016, August). Fiji Islands. Paper presentation within International Communication Project panel. World Congress of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (IALP), Dublin, Ireland.

Park, S., Joseph, L., Sullivan, M., Hopf, S.C., Florisson, S., Tooke, T. (2015, May). Volunteering in the Fiji Islands. Paper presentation within Working within developing communities panel. Speech Pathology Australia national conference (SPAA), Canberra, Australia.

Hopf, S. C. & McLeod, S. (2014, November). Beyond Spanish II: Competencies for SLPs working with children from diverse cultures. Cross-cultural competencies for working with children with speech and language disorders who speak Fijian languages. Paper presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention, Orlando, Florida, USA.

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS (Published peer-review abstracts)

Hopf, S.C., McLeod, S, McDonagh, & Wang, C. (2017, Nov). Culturally-sensitive practices supporting children's communication in Majority World countries: A Fijian perspective. Poster session presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Hopf, S.C., McLeod, S, McDonagh, & Wang, C. (2017, Nov). Validation of the Intelligibility in Context Scale for Multilingual Fijian School Children. Poster session presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Hopf, S.C., McLeod, S, McDonagh, & Rakanace, E.N. (2017, May). Fijian community members' beliefs and help-seeking behaviours regarding communication disability. Paper presented at the Speech Pathology Australia National Conference 2017, Sydney, Australia.

Walters, J., Webb, G., Hopf, S.C., Hewat, S., Byrne, N., & O'Toole, G. (2017, May). Speech pathology clinical placements in Fiji. Paper presented at the Speech Pathology Australia National Conference 2017, Sydney, Australia.

Verdon, S., Armstrong, H., Basso, R., Blake, H., Crowe, K., Heine, C., Hopf, S., Huang, A., McLeod, S., Phạm, B., Walker-Smith, K., and Webster, K. (2017, May). Innovations and evidence-based practice for working in a culturally and linguistically diverse society. Paper presented at the Speech Pathology Australia Conference. Sydney, Australia.

Hopf, S.C., McLeod, S., & McDonagh, S. H. (2016, October). Individual and societal linguistic multi-competence in Fiji. Paper presented at the Multilingual Repertoires and Multilingual Discourse. Western Sydney University, Parramatta, Australia.

Wylie , K., Hopf, S. C., McAllister, L., Marshall, J., Davidson, B., McLeod, S., McDonagh, S., Amponsah, C., & Ohenewa Bampoe, J. (2016, August). An exploration of the diversity of self-help and help-seeking practices for communication disability in Ghana and Fiji. Paper presented at the World Congress of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics, Dublin, Ireland.

McLeod, S., Verdon, S., International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children's Speech (2016, August). Recommendations for the assessment of multilingual children's speech. Paper presented within the Child Speech Committee Panel: International Assessment and Intervention Practices to Support Children's Speech at the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics, Dublin, Ireland.

Hopf, S. C., McLeod, S., & McDonagh, S. H. (2016, June). Application of the Intelligibility in Context Scale to multilingual children in Fiji. Paper presented within the Intelligibility in Context Scale Panel at the 16th International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association Conference, Halifax, Canada.

McLeod, S., Verdon, S., International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children's Speech (2016, June). Assessing the speech of children who do not speak the same language(s) as their SLP: A tutorial. Paper presented at the International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association Conference. Halifax, Canada.

Hopf, S. C., McLeod, S., & McDonagh, S. H. (2016, May). The multilingual profile of children, caregivers, and teachers in an urban Fijian school. Poster session presented at the Speech Pathology Australia National Conference, Perth, Australia.

McLeod, S., Verdon, S., International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children's Speech (2016, May). Experts' recommendations for assessing multilingual children's speech in language(s) that their speech-language pathologist does not speak. Paper presented at the Speech Pathology Australia National Conference, Perth, Australia.

Hopf, S. C., McLeod, S., & McDonagh, S. H. (2015, August). Fijian children's multilingualism at school. Paper presented at the Charles Sturt University ArtsEd DocFest 15, Albury, Australia.

Hopf, S. C. & McLeod, S. (2015, May). Agents of intervention for people with communication disability (PWCD) in Fiji. Poster presented at the Speech Pathology Australia National Conference (SPAA), Canberra, Australia.

Hopf, S. C. & McLeod, S. (2014, June). Cross-cultural considerations when assessing the speech of young children from Fiji. Paper presented at the International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association (ICPLA) Convention, Stockholm, Sweden.

Hopf, S. C. & McLeod, S. (2014, May). Multilingual Fiji: A comparison of Bauan Fijian, Fiji Hindi, and Fiji English. Paper presented at the Speech Pathology Australia National Conference, Melbourne, Australia.

Hopf, S. C. & McLeod, S. (2013, November). Advocating for Fiji islanders with communication disability. Paper presented at the 9th Asia Pacific Conference on Speech, Language, and Hearing (APCSLH), Taichung City, Taiwan.

GOVERNMENT SUBMISSIONS

Hopf, S.C., Carkeet, D., & Walker, T. (2016, Nov). Discussion of developing sustainable culturally and linguistically appropriate services for people with communication and swallowing disabilities in the South Pacific: Concept note for the Fijian Ministry of Education, Heritage, and Arts and the Fiji Higher Education Commission (Working Document). Suva, Fiji: Author.

POSITION PAPERS

Speech Pathology Australia [Working party member Hopf, S.C.] (2016). Working in a culturally and linguistically diverse society: Position paper. Melbourne, Australia: Author. Speech Pathology Australia [Working party member  Hopf, S.C.] (2016).  Working in a culturally and linguistically diverse society: Clinical guidelines. Melbourne, Australia: Author

Top of page