Fiona Smith
Dominic Westbrook
Dr Helen van Vliet
Dr Cathie Harrison
Dr Natalie Rimlinger
Dr Anna Westbrook

Fiona Smith

"There is no use trying,” said Alice. “One can’t believe impossible things.” “I dare say you haven’t had much practise,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Lewis Carroll


Fiona Smith is the Director of the Gifted Minds practice.  She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honours in Psychology and a Masters Degree of Education, majoring in Gifted Education. She also has full registration with the Psychology Board of Australia and Full Membership of the Australian Psychological Society. Fiona's qualifications make her unique in the field, as she combines degrees in Psychology and Education, while specialising in gifted education.

Fiona has worked with gifted individuals for the last eighteen years beginning at GERRIC (Gifted Education Research, Resource and Information Centre), UNSW, in 1998 and commencing her private practise in 2004. She has had extensive experience using the Stanford Binet (Fifth Edition, Fourth Edition and SB-LM) and Wechsler tests (WISC-V, WISC-IV and WISC-III).  

Fiona is frequently invited around Australia to assess gifted children and adolescents, visiting Perth, Albany, the Gold Coast, Canberra, the Sunshine Coast, the Southern Highlands, Dubbo and other venues in rural NSW. Fiona was invited to assess in Beijing, in March, 2007 and travelled to Hong Kong with Minh in 2011 to assess over twenty children. Fiona often talks to parent groups and teachers.  She has also worked with the Sydney Catholic Education Office to help identify children for their SWAS (School Within A School) Program. 

Fiona has a special interest in working with gifted adolescent girls and women who are having difficulties with their intensities and sensitivities. Her other areas of interest include literature for gifted kids, using humour in counselling and parenting, and identifying creative-divergent (invisible) gifted children.

Fiona has spoken at various conferences since 1998. In 2008, she presented a paper at the AAEGT conference in Tasmania outlining the findings from the analysis of 800 SB5 tests. She has a paper on the Mensa website: An Australian Mensa Initiative: Celebrating your gifted child's sensitivity. Fiona has been published in the NAGC Parenting for High Potential Fall 2015 Issue: Patrilineal Ability: Nurturing Giftedness in Grandfathers, Fathers and Sons. She has a talk on the APS website from the Inaugral Australian Psychological Society Congress held in Melbourne in 2016: Psychologists and gifted clients: When unusual is typical and atypical is usual. Fiona has also been published in the Advanced Development Journal: Walking in another's shoes and getting blisters: A personal account of the blessing and curse of intense empathy.


Prior conference papers and school talks include:

  • Issues related to Self Esteem in Students with ability levels from High Average to Profoundly Gifted
  • How expectation impacts on achievement: Since when was genius respectable?  
  • Rights and Needs: Avoiding conflict, showing support and helping your child - it can be done!  
  • Ability & Intensity: Riding the rollercoaster of Overexcitability  
  • The 'S' word and the 'F' word': Success' and 'Failure' through the eyes of your gifted adolescent
  • Latest Insights on the Assessment of Gifted Kids: What does it all mean for my child?  
  • The Transition to School: Choices and Challenges  
  • Conference Presentation Tasmania 2008: Interpreting Intelligence: Preliminary Findings from the analysis of 800 Stanford Binet Five assessments with mildly to exceptionally gifted individuals
  • GATCA talk Perth May 2011 (with Dr Minh Nguyen-Hoan):  Like minds: Patterns of ability and achievement in siblings of identified gifted students 
  • Conference Presentation: Tasmania July 2011: Empowerment through appropriate identification and learning intervention
  • Conference Presentation (with Dr Helen Van Vliet): New Orleans November 2011 Sustaining gifted youth and their families in the new millenium: Case studies from Australia
  • Conference Presentation Oxford, UK June 30 2012: Mindful Measurement – Identification practices and their impact on the creative-divergent child




   Exciting news - Gifted Minds is collaborating with sculptor, Jane Cavanough to present art workshops using mixed media materials and processes aimed at exploring creativity and exciting the imagination. For your jaded gifties, at the end of the school year this could be just the thing to reignite the joy of play and exploration. please contact Fiona or Dominic for more information and a flier.

























































































































































































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