Dr Nisha Brown PhD is a paediatric occupational therapist (OT) whose particular area of interest is supporting newborn development, from birth, for both high risk and well babies.

Nisha is passionate about bridging the gap between research findings in the field of infant neurobehaviour (babies’ behavioural, physical and neurological development) and the information relayed on an everyday basis to parents and carers.

Nisha’s background

Nisha has had a life-long interest and love of babies, with a desire to understand their unique behavioural language and to support their physical and cognitive development.

BOccTher: Nisha graduated with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (BOT) in 1997 and worked in a variety of adult and paediatric health care settings in Australia and overseas, before specialising in the field of neonatal neurobehaviour from 2001.

PhD & Post Doctoral Studies: Her longstanding passion for babies and their development led Nisha to complete a PhD in the area of neonatal (baby) neurobehaviour. Nisha’s research involved a detailed examination of how infant behaviours (for both high risk and well babies) related to concurrent brain development (using magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] techniques) and later global development (cognitive, behavioural and physical). Nisha’s PhD and post-doctoral studies were based at the Royal Children’s and Royal Woman’s Hospitals with the Victorian Infant Brain Studies (VIBeS) team from the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI). Nisha has presented her research findings nationally and internationally and published in the top international paediatric medical journals.

Clinically: Following several years of paediatric work across a number of community settings, Nisha worked in the NISC (neonatal intensive and special care) nurseries at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne for many years, and was instrumental in setting up the multidisciplinary Neonatal Neurodevelopmental Therapy Team.

Now: Nisha remains an Honorary Research Fellow with the Victorian Infant Brain Studies Team and The University of Melbourne Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Royal Women’s Hospital/Mercy Hospital. Nisha is mother to 3 young children. It was with the experience of becoming a mother herself that Nisha gained a new appreciation of just how valuable information about baby behaviour was – for parents, carers and health professionals alike. Nisha is striving to make research findings from the field of infant neurobehavioural development, available, and relevant, in a practical way, to everyday parents and families, through both her clinical practice at Offspring Child Health Specialists in Hawthorn (Melbourne), and her series of workshops for parents on understanding and supporting infant behaviour and early development.


Professional Membership and Registration

  • Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) registered Occupational Therapist, registration number: OCC0001982622.
  • Registered Medicare provider
  • Membership with Occupational Therapy Australia Ltd VIC
  • Approved Early Intervention 'Better Start' service provider for NDIS transition programme (for eligible children)