child using TalkiPlay

Designed by parents for parents.

Dr Annie McAuley created TalkiPlay to encourage her daughter Grace to speak, and that’s just what it did! Now, if you talk to Grace, she's the most talkative person in the room.

Grace has a voice and that's what Annie wants for every child – to have a voice.

Like 1 in 5 children under 5 years old in Australia, Annie's daughter was struggling with a delay in language development. A delay in early language impacts a child’s life literacy skills and confidence to engage in social connections. Annie applied her research background - along with her own experience of language loss following a traumatic brain injury aged 18 - to create TalkiPlay!

TalkiPlay makes learning language fun for kids and simple for parents, and can be used directly in the home or to support educators in Early Learning Centres with our Speech & Language Program.

Our Team

  • Dr Annie McAuley - Founder & CEO

    Annie has a background in research with a PhD in medical science, and was motivated to create TalkiPlay for her daughter. As the mother of two amazing kids, Annie has seen the benefits of early intervention in language development and can't wait to share her experience and results with you!

  • Rowan Holmes-Smith - Chief Product & Technology Officer

    Rowan oversees all our Hardware and Software development and our Media Production. He has over 20 years experience in technology & media production. He also creates all the audio that makes TalkiPlay such high quality. If he is not in the studio or the engineering room he can be found on the slopes skiing up a storm or traveling the world.

    He never stop tinkering with new ideas and technology and believes an expert knows more and more about less and less until he or she knows everything about nothing.

  • Kelly Mikunda - Chief Operating Officer

    Kelly completed a Bachelor in Marketing and IT and has over 20 years experience in administrative roles ranging from office management to executive support. She is consumer focused and has applied her extensive knowledge of kids apps and programs to ensure that TalkiPlay is user friendly and fun to use!

  • Kathryn Marrington- Head of Speech & Language

    She Advocates for inclusive education and care | Ensuring every child has a voice that is heard and valued

  • Victoria Pooley

    Combines her MBA + 15 years in communication and digital projects within social enterprise, corporate, and government sectors to support TalkiPlay. With experience in the health-tech startup world, Victoria has a real passion for the future of digital health and language tools to ensure families (no matter their location or circumstance) have access and support to thrive.

  • David Grieve - Backend Developer

    David is a Senior back-end developer with over 20 years experience in web application development for corporates and startups. He has been the lead developer for over 30 startups like and
    David is a father to three kids, and has just lost the height battle to his 12 year old son. The family enjoys skiing holidays, but are yet to declare enjoyment for run club.

  • Penelope Lewin- Chair of the Board

    Pen Lewin is a Senior Exec with Microsoft working in a global business leadership role. She is an Angel Investor with Scale Investors and has participated in many early stage startups to help lift the capability and capacity of the teams to succeed. Pen has led boards in charities and is currently on a school board, she is most interested in high growth ventures and in particular where technology and humans intersect to make profound differences in our communities.

  • Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin- Board Member

    Sebastien is an experienced startup leader and technologist addressing food security with Phyllome, a company he founded to create predictable and sustainable food systems using Robotics, Genetics and AI.

    He commenced his career as a weapons engineer with the Royal Australian Navy where he was deployed to Iraq in an operational role. He has lead a number of successful startup exits and as the founder and former CEO of Venture Technology firm BlueChilli, Eckersley-Maslin helped entrepreneurs launch over 150 new ventures around the world. Through BlueChilli Eckersley-Maslin co-founded SheStarts - an accelerator designed to empower women to launch startups.

    He has been recognised as Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year, is three-time “30-under-30” winner and was awarded top post-graduate researcher at UNSW for a patented technology that lands unmanned aircraft on warships.

  • Dr. Lauren Glina- Hardware Engineer

    Lauren is our hardware & software engineer wizard. She is an expert in embedded & real-time software, industrial control, and connecting real stuff to the cloud; full-stack software development, C, C++, Python, Ruby/Rails, AWS, electronics design and PCB layout, microcontrollers & 3D printing. Passionate believer in right to repair and companies and tech that respect customers/users.

  • Morgan Harris- Software Engineer

  • Usama Masood- Firmware Developer