Staff Directory

Dr Wendy Pearce Name: Dr Wendy Pearce
Associate Professor
+612 9739 2597
Organisational Area
Faculty of Health Sciences
School of Allied Health (NSW)
North Sydney
Building 532 - Tenison Woods House (8-20 Napier Street, North Sydney NSW 2060)-Level 3-Room 532.3.23
Biographical Information

Wendy Pearce is an Associate Professor in Speech Pathology in the School of Allied Health and Speech Pathology Course Coordinator for the North Sydney campus. Her teaching, research and clinical experience has primarily focussed on assessment and intervention for children with speech and language disorders. Wendy’s recent research interests have focused on expanding knowledge of the language skills of Indigenous Australian children, with a view to improving identification of language delay/impairment in this population. She is also interested in service delivery approaches for children with speech and language disorders, particularly in schools and early childhood settings. As a university educator, Wendy is interested in how students develop the academic and clinical competencies that are required for entry into the speech pathology profession.

Previously, Wendy was a senior lecturer at James Cook University in Townsville (Queensland) from 2005 to 2014, where she was instrumental in implementing a new speech pathology program as the inaugural Head of Speech Pathology from 2005-2009.  Wendy also has over 20 years experience working as a speech pathologist with children in early childhood settings and schools in South Australia. Wendy served as a member of the Speech Pathologists Board of Queensland (registration) from 2008 to 2013, and maintains membership of Speech Pathology Australia as a certified practising speech pathologist (CPSP).


Grad. Cert. Ed. (2015) - James Cook University, Queensland

PhD (2007) - Flinders University, South Australia

Dip. Ch. Stud. (1982) - Tabor Bible College, South Australia

B. App. Sc. (Speech Pathology), (1979) - Sturt College of Advanced Education, South Australia


Pearce, W. M. & Flanagan, K. (2020). Story-telling abilities of young Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian children across three protocols. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Early Online. doi: 10.1080/17549507.2019.1648550

Norman, T., Pearce, W. M., & Eastley, F. (2020). Perceptions of a culturally responsive school-based oral language and early literacy program. Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, First View. doi: 10.1017/jie.2019.25

Gray, M., Gordon, S., O'Neill, M., & Pearce, W. M. (2019). First year allied health student transition to a regional university. Australian Journal of Rural Health. DOI:10.1111/ajr.12581

Pearce, W. M. & Flanagan, K. (2019). Language abilities of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian children from low socio-economic backgrounds in their first year of school. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 21(2), 212-223. doi: 10.1080/17549507.2018.1444091  Free access at

Wilkes-Gillan, S., Cordier, R., Munro, N., Cantril, A. T. & Pearce, W. (2017). The pragmatic language outcomes of children with ADHD after therapist-and parent-delivered play-based interventions: Two one-group pretest-posttest studies with a longitudinal component. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71(4), p7104220030p1-10. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2017.019364

Denman, D., Speyer, R., Munro, N., Pearce, W. M., Chen, Y., & Cordier, R. (2017). Psychometric properties of language assessments for children aged 4-12 years: A systematic review. Frontiers in Psychology, 8:1515. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01515

Cordier, R., Munro, N., Wilkes-Gillan, S., Ling, L., Docking, K. & Pearce, W. (2017). Evaluating the pragmatic language skills of children with ADHD and typically developing playmates following a pilot parent-delivered play-based intervention. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 64, 11-23. doi: 10.1111/1440-1630.12299

Pearce, W. M., Williams, C., & Steed, W. (2015). Dialectal differences in oral narratives of school aged Indigenous Australian children. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 17(4), 335-345. doi: 10.3109/17549507.2014.979878.

Laffey, K., Pearce, W. M., & Steed, W. (2014). Effect of dialect on the identification of speech impairment in Indigenous children. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 37(2). Retrieved from

Cordier, R., Munro, N., Wilkes-Gillan, S. Speyer, R., & Pearce, W. M. (2014). Reliability and validity of the Pragmatics Observational Measure (POM): A new observational measure of pragmatic language for children. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 35(7), 1588-1598. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2014.03.050

Williams, V., Pearce, W. M., & Devine, S. (2014). First time mother's knowledge and beliefs regarding early communication development. Early Child Development and Care, 185(1), 15-31. doi: 10.1080/03004430.2013.769213

Pearce, W. M., & Williams, C. (2013). The cultural appropriateness and diagnostic usefulness of standardized language assessments for Indigenous Australian children. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 15(4), 429-440. doi: 10.3109/17549507.2012.762043

Pearce, W., & Stockings, E. (2011). Oral narratives produced by Aboriginal Australian children: Dilemmas with normative comparisons. ACQuiring Knowledge in Speech, Language and Hearing, 13(3), 126-131.

Pearce, W. M., James, D. G. H. and McCormack, P. F. (2010). A comparison of oral narratives in children with specific and non-specific language impairment. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 24(8), 622-645.

Pearce, W. M., McCormack, P. F and James, D. G. H. (2007). Prioritising intervention for children with developmental language impairments: Does cognition matter? ACQuiring Knowledge in Speech, Language and Hearing, 9(1), 5-8.

Pearce, W. M. (2003). Does the choice of stimulus affect the complexity of children's oral narratives? Advances in Speech Language Pathology, 5(2), 95-103.

Pearce, W. M., McCormack, P. F. and James, D. G. H. (2003). Exploring the boundaries of SLI: findings from morphosyntactic and story grammar analyses. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 17(4-5), 325-334.

Pearce, W. (2000). Challenges to specific language impairment as a valid diagnostic category. In C. Lind (Ed.), Research, Reflect, Renew: Proceedings of the 2000 Speech Pathology Australia National Conference (pp. 149-156). Melbourne: Speech Pathology Australia.


Wendy’s areas of research interest include

  1. Child language impairment diagnostics.
  2. Differentiation of speech and language difference from impairment in Indigenous Australian children.
  3. Academic learning of speech pathology students.

Service provision preschools and schools in South Australia (25 years)

Clinical teaching and professional practice education (~15 years)

University education (> 15 years)


Professional Memberships

Speech Pathology Australia (Certified Practising Speech Pathologist)

Indigenous Allied Health Australia (Associate Member)


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