Challenging Behaviour is communication

We listen to you. We help you build more skills, more freedom and more social connections so you can live without restrictive practices.

Challenging Behaviour is communication

We listen to you. We help you build more skills, more freedom and more social connections so you can live without restrictive practices.

Our Why

Freedom and social connection for people with disability.

Our How

We provide easy access to life-changing Positive Behaviour Support.

We take the stress out of the NDIS. Great customer service and no long waiting lists.

We build powerful systems that free us to focus on people.

We invest heavily in training and clinical supervision.

We share our learning and support the growth of new behaviour support organisations.

Our What

We are a team of allied health professionals, psychologists, behaviour analysts who practice person-centred positive behaviour support.

We provide NDIS participants with functional behaviour assessments, behaviour support plans, training, coaching, and psychological services.

Key factors in our service include:

  • Person-Centred practice: we listen, and we build supports, based on your values, goals, strengths and needs
  • Function-based services: we use ABA to build services that are functional, and effective in meeting your goals
  • Challenging behaviour: we measurably reduce challenging behaviour by building new skills and supports that match your needs
  • Restrictive practices: we manage, reduce and eliminate restrictive practices and empower people to lead freer and more socially connected lives.

    Our values

    Respect, Excellence, Collaboration, Innovation

    Our Team

    Akanksha Chhettri

    Senior Behaviour Support Practitioner 

    Preferred pronouns: She/ Her

    Akanksha Nayar Chhettri is a Behaviour Analyst (BCBA/IBA). She has previously worked at a centre in India from 2014 until 2018 and moved to Ghana in May of 2018 where she served as the Senior Clinical Supervisor at Autism Compassion Africa until 2021. When she first moved to Ghana she was one of two BCBAs in all of West Africa (which is roughly the size of the United States). Her responsibilities included helping run the centre in Cape Coast and to also do consultation work for clients in Nigeria. She is now a board member of Autism Compassion Africa.

    Over her time in the field, she has developed a keen interest in international dissemination, staff training, autism advocacy, social justice and decolonization of systems. She believes that ABA as a discipline requires a multicultural ethos to help shape what is being built; the more perspectives that contribute to the growth, the more dynamic and multifaceted the field can be.

    Akanksha enjoys stimulating conversations and meeting people that help broaden her perspective of the world. She is also a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community.

    Akino Ogawa

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • Master of Creative Music Therapy (Western Sydney University, 2015)
    • Bachelor of Social Science and Policy, Major in International Development (University of New South Wales, 2010)
    • Australian Music Therapy Association
    • Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

    Akino has been working within the disability sector, originally as a Registered Music Therapist, since 2015 with a focus on social and cultural inclusion, which forms a strong backbone in her work. Akino is passionate about working collaboratively with clients, families and their support network to find strengths based solutions to enable individuals to live a fulfilling life.

    Alicja Nowak

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • Australian Torrens University: Masters Of Education (Special Needs Education, Advanced with Mental Health
    • Pedagogical University of cracow, Poland: Master and Bachelor of teaching
    • Member Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

    Alicja is passionate about supporting people with a disability, with a particular interest in the area of autism. In Poland she worked as a Special Needs Therapist and as an Occupational Therapy Instructor in the sensory classroom focusing on interoception, breathing techniques and mindfulness. For the past 4 years Alicja has worked as a Disability Support Worker. 

    Alicja is a strong believer in the benefits of sport, having completed a number of marathons and triathlons. 

    Alison Jacobs

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • Bachelor of Applied Social Science (Counselling) ACAP
    • Member Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

    Alison brings more than 15 years experience to Ability Consultants, specialising in mental health, complex trauma, AOD and disability. Commencing her career as a Psychotherapist, Alison worked in crisis and suicide prevention, supporting clients with anxiety, depression and mental health issues. Alison utilised her training in interpersonal therapy and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy to support her clients.

    Alison has spent the past 11 years with the Department of Communities and Justice working across all areas of child protection. Working in multidisciplinary teams, Alison has utilised her communication and relationship-building skills to roll out Intensive Therapeutic Care across NSW. This care system has ensured that young people with highly complex needs will have their needs met with the highest standards of care, and provide support into their adulthood.

    Alison is passionate about creating an environment of equality and fairness for clients with disability. By using Positive Behaviour Supports, Alison aims to increase the quality of life and reduce challenging behaviour, and to assist people with disabilities to reach their goals.

    Analise Bauchinger

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • AHPRA Registered Occupational Therapist

    As an Occupational Therapist, Analise has had experience working with neurodiverse individuals across the lifespan. She believes that all behaviour holds meaning and that relationships, connection, diverse life roles, and participation which matches the demands of a person’s environment are the primary forces for creating behavioural change. She draws from her clinical expertise, observation, and assessment skills to develop and test hypotheses to create shifts in behaviour. Analise tries to develop a deep understanding of the function of behaviours so that she can provide people with more resources and replacements. She is committed to her professional development and seeks regular opportunities to learn from leaders in the field, particularly in the areas of ABI and Autism. She has experience in the assessment and prescription of Assistive Technologies which can support function and participation, as well as knowledge of sensory processing challenges and interventions.

    Austin Ware

    Behaviour Support Practitioner
    Team Leader

    • Bachelor of Science, major in Psychology, University of Sydney – 2016-2018
    • Associate in Arts Degree in Psychology, Mira Costa Community College San Diego, California – 2001-2015
    • Professional Member, Australian Association for Behaviour Analysis
    • Facilitator, Waves of Wellness

    Austin has extensive experience in coaching and educating people of all ages to help reach their potential. Austin is especially interested in helping children and adults with autism and disability to achieve their goals.

    Bec Gordon

    Behaviour Support Practitioner
    Nowra, NSW

    • Graduate Diploma Psychology (Monash, 2018)
    • Certificate IV in Disability (Macquarie Community College, 2014)
    • Bachelor of Music Majoring in Performance/Voice (Australian Institute Of Music, 2008)

    Bec is a Psychology graduate with experience in residential support work. Bec is especially excited when she has the privilege of being a part of the change in people's lives. The creativity and empathy Bec brings to her Behaviour Support work is informed by her experience as a professional musician, implementing music therapy programs in various residential care settings,  and her work as a pet therapist.

    Becki Barnes

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy ACAP 2021
    • Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Psychotherapy ACAP 2017
    • Diploma of Counselling Children and Adolescents 2015
    • Cert IV Training and Assessment 2010
    • Member of Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation Australia
    • Member Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

    Becki is a registered Psychotherapist with a teaching and training background. She has worked across the lifespan from early childhood, Primary and High School and has also worked in Aged Care Services. Becki has extensive professional and volunteer experience working with individuals with complex needs and their families. Her lived experience as a practitioner from a multicultural background and experience from working in the Northern Territory with First Nation peoples and other diverse cultural backgrounds is invaluable.

    Bo Hodgson

    Behaviour Support Practitioner
    Team Leader

    • Bachelor of Psychology, Honours at Macquarie University (2021)
    • Member of Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA)
    • Member of Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia (ABAA)
    • Subscriber Australian Psychology Society (APS)

    Bo has extensive experience in supporting children and young adults with psychosocial, developmental and acquired disabilities. She is passionate about working with people to find their own groove, and champions their independence as a valued member of their community.

    Brea Roadley

    Behaviour Support Practitoner

    • Bachelor of Psychology Studies 2017
    • Bachelor of Exercise Science and Human Movement 2017

    Brea is a Psychology and Human Movement graduate who is passionate about assisting people to live their best most fulfilling life. Brea has extensive experience in coaching, career counselling and working in residential support. Brea enjoys helping people to achieve their goals using a person-centred approach.

    Brittany Smith

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • Master of Clinical Psychology (UTS,2021)
    • Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing)/Bachelor of Psychology – Honours (Macquarie University, 2019)
    • AHPRA Registered Provisional Psychologist
    • Member  Australian Association for Behaviour Analysis
    • Member Australian Psychology Society

    Brittany is experienced in a variety of roles supporting individuals with mental health concerns, intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder to reach their goals. Brittany has occupied roles as an Applied Behaviour Analysis Therapist, Learning Support Officer and is currently registered as a Provisional Psychologist. She is passionate about improving mental health, providing individuals with strategies to thrive in their daily activities and support engagement in their local community.

    Carly Arigho

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • Bachelor of Psychological Sciences
    • Graduate Diploma of Psychology Advanced (current)
    • Member of the Association of Behavioural Analysis Australia

    Carly is a Psychological Sciences Graduate currently undertaking further studies and her thesis in Advanced Psychology. After working for over five years within mental health, Carly has a passion for person-centred care with a primary goal of understanding the goals and needs of clients, their families and supports whilst also ensuring independence and fulfilment from life where possible. Carly is enthusiastic about obtaining the most appropriate outcomes for her clients and enjoys working collaboratively with her clients and their supports in order to increase community engagement, improve the mental health outcomes and achieve the goals of the clients promoting their autonomy and independence.

    Charlotte Henry

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • Member Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

    Charlotte joins Ability Consultants with over 15 year’s experience in the disability sector. Charlotte has occupied management roles with FACS and The Benevolent Society.
    She not only brings a wealth of knowledge but is hugely excited and committed to utilising her skills in Positive Behaviour Support. Charlotte has a passion to empower people to expand on their strengths and to live a life of meaning and purpose.

    Cristina Pons

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • Bachelor of Community and Human Services (Federation University, 2015 - 2017)
    • Diploma of Case Management (TAFE NSW, 2014)
    • Diploma of Leadership & Management (Wesley Vocational Institute, 2020 - 2021)
    • Professional member, Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

    Cristina has worked in the community services sector for over 15 years supporting children, young people and adults with complex needs. Cristina has worked in both frontline and management roles and has extensive experience in disability and mental health services, child protection, out-of-home care, and multicultural settlement services, provided by the Department of Communities and Justice and non-government organisations. 

    Cristina is passionate about increasing opportunities for people living with a disability to make decisions about their lives whilst ensuring safety and wellbeing.

    Danielle Oerlemans

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • Master of Arts (Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands, 2000 - 2005) 
    • Member Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

    Danielle has over 8 years of professional experience supporting people from diverse backgrounds, cultures and capabilities in the disability and mental health sector. She is a solution-driven person with strong communication and presentation skills, experienced in training and coaching. Danielle is a staunch believer in empowering people and investing in their support networks using Positive Behavioral Support to enhance quality of life.

    David Ackling-Jones

    CEO, Founder

    David has experience as a Residential Support Worker, Forensic Casework Specialist, Senior Clinical Consultant, and Behaviour Support Specialist while working for FACS (1999-2017). His passion is creating time and labour saving systems that make it possible to provide highly responsive person-centred services.

    David Horne

    Behaviour Support Practitioner
    Provisional Psychologist
    Team Leader

    • Bachelor of Psychological Science honours ACAP 2018
    • Diploma in Counselling

    David is a Registered Provisional Psychologist with 2 years of experience providing Applied Behaviour Analysis therapy with people with moderate to severe autism and ADHC. David has worked as a school psychologist helping young people with anxiety, emotional regulation, autism and ADHD.

    Dee Pal

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • Bachelor of Social Work ( University of New England) 2021
    • Diploma of Child Psychology (Centre of Excellence) 2020
    • Certificate - Child Protection Training ( NSW Government Education) 2017
    • Member Association for behaviour Analysis Australia

    Dee has multiple years experience working in the disability sector, mainly with children. She has worked as a medical aide in mainstream schools assisting with learning and comprehension focusing on children with learning difficulties.

    Currently completing her Bachelor of Social Work, Dee has a passion for helping people excel in their lives and empowering them to actively reach for their goals to enable them to live a happy and fulfilled life.

    Elly Choi

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • Master of Social Work (Qualifying) (2020, ACAP)
    • Bachelor of Art in Psychology and Human development (2007, Ehwa Woman’s University in South Korea)
    • Master of Counselling (2004) 
    • Bachelor of Art in Education (1999)

    Elly is an AASW social worker with an education/counselling and psychology background.

    Elly has extensive experience supporting individuals, family and carers with disabilities to improve their capacity to live independently by accessing appropriate support and services without any challenges and discrimination.

    Elly has been in various roles such as a school teacher/counsellor, a parenting educator/ facilitator, support worker/caseworker and an NDIS Local Area Coordinator in the Sydney district.

    Elly is passionate about supporting individuals with a disability to achieve their goals by empowering them to make their own decision so that they can have more choice and control in their life.

    Elly can speak English and Korean.

    Elysha Clark-Whitney

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology (Honours) - New York University, 2018

    Elysha has worked with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder across research and clinical settings, including the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain in New York, and the University of Sydney Child Behaviour Research Clinic. She is currently completing a Master of Clinical Psychology, as well as a PhD investigating parent mental health and adjustment in parents of young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Elysha is passionate about collaborating with individuals with disabilities, their families, and other supports, to maximise all aspects of their quality of life.

    Emily Canty

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • Bachelor of Inclusive Education and Disability Studies (Australian Catholic University, 2018)
    • Member Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

    Emily has worked, over the past five years,  in a variety of roles supporting people with intellectual disability to reach their potential. Emily has occupied roles with Catholic Care, Jobsupport, Studio Artes, and Achieve Australia. Emily has extensive experience supporting people with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities maintain their mental health and vocational participation, using her skill in Positive Behaviour Support. Emily believes that everyone should have equal rights and opportunities within their community.

    Faye Ashby

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • Graduate Diploma in Psychology (University of New England, 2020)
    • Post-Graduate Certificate of Education (Bath Spa University, UK; 2009)
    • BSc Sociology and Psychology (University of the West of England, UK; 2007)

    Faye has a background in Primary Education, gaining experience in both mainstream and special educational settings. She has always implemented Positive Behaviour in Learning (PBL) throughout her teacher career and enjoys watching children reach their full potential with the correct guidance. Having recently completed further study in Psychology, Faye is passionate about using her knowledge and experience to ensure all individuals, no matter of the challenges they face, gain a happy and fulfilled life.

    Gabrielle Bensley

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy (Australian College of Applied Psychology, 2019)
    • Member Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia (ABAA)

    Since completing her Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy, Gabrielle has worked in various roles supporting people to reach their full potential. Besides behavioural support, she has in-depth knowledge of Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT). DBT is an evidence-based psychotherapy that aims to enhance the client's capabilities by teaching behavioural skills in the domain of emotional regulation, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness and mindfulness.

    As a behaviour support practitioner, she is seen as an easy-going, calm natured, genuine individual, whose strength is building connections with the people she works with. She is bilingual in Dutch and English and enjoys working collaboratively in enabling clients to build the life they want to live.

    Gina Atallah

    Behaviour Support Practitioner
    Team Leader

    • Bachelor of Theology Majoring in Counselling (2008, Southern Cross)
    • Member Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

    Gina has over the past decade worked as a practice leader facilitating great outcomes for behaviour support clients. Gina has occupied management roles with Uniting Care, FACS, NSW Trustee and Guardian, NSW Civil and Adminisrative Tribunal, and NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. Gina has managed clinical teams, Restrictive Practices panels, developed policies, and trained organisations in Positive Behaviour Support. She is especially passionate about working to empower vulnerable individuals and build on their abilities.

    Hannah Woodbridge

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • Master/PhD of Clinical Psychology (University of Sydney, 2021)
    • Bachelor of Psychology - Honours (Macquarie University, 2019)
    • Member of the Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

    Hannah comes to Ability Consultants having worked as a behaviour therapist for young people with a range of neurodevelopmental disorders. Hannah is currently undertaking her masters and PhD in Clinical Psychology. She is passionate about empowering individuals to overcome challenges, reach their full potential, and fulfil their goals.

      Hazel Nelson

      Behaviour Support Practitioner

      • Advanced Diploma in Adult Nursing and Registered Nurse Programme (Northumbria University, 2012)

        Hazel has worked in the healthcare and community services sector for 12 years, 6 years in Australia, 2 in New Zealand and 4 in the United Kingdom. She has worked in a variety of roles including; Nurse, Case Manager, Mental Health worker, Disability Support Worker, Team Leader and Cluster Manager at residential accommodation services.

        Hazel has extensive experience in working with adults with complex health and behavioural needs, is a strong advocate for people living with disabilities and mental health issues and believes that clients should be at the centre of all that we do. She is passionate about working collaboratively and creatively to support clients to reach their goals and have the best quality of life possible.

        Hollie Moulton

        Behaviour Support Practitioner
        Newcastle, NSW

        • Member of Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia (ABAA)

        Hollie has been working in the disability sector for the last 14 years. Hollie has a broad range of skills from managing multiple services within a leading UK charity for people on the autism spectrum.

        Hollie is passionate about empowering individuals and believes every individual deserves the chance to fulfil their ambitions and dreams regardless of disability. Being formally recognised for her dedication and commitment ensuring the community services were compliant to the Care and Quality Commission in the UK, Hollie has specialised in supporting children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and secondary diagnoses.

        Ilenia Levorato

        Behaviour Support Practitioner
        Provisional Psychologist

        • Registered Psychologist with Provisional Registration (AHPRA)
        • Member of Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia (ABAA)
        • Master’s Degree in Neuroscience and Neuropsychological Rehabilitation (University of Padua, 2014)
        • Bachelor’s Degree in Psychological-Cognitive-Psychobiological Science (University of Padua, 2011)

        Ilenia is a registered Psychologist (Provisional Registration). She has over 4 years experience in the research field, with a specific focus on the use of augmented reality to treat and assess Traumatic Brain Injuries and Mild Cognitive Impairment. She also cooperated, with research and clinic purposes, with multidisciplinary teams to treat and assess Food Disorders and, to improve the accessibility of cultural resources throughout. Ilenia also matured with extensive knowledge of Psychometric testing during her employment as a University tutor in Italy.

        Ilenia is passionate about building human relationships and supporting people to give and be the best of themselves. She thinks that the greater satisfaction derived from being a psychologist is related to the human contact and the incredible possibility to learn and grow together getting to know everyday something more about human complexity.

        Isabella Mail

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Bachelor of Science (Honours in Psychology) The University of Melbourne, 2019.
        • Bachelor of Science (Major in Psychology) The University of Melbourne, 2016-2018.

        Isabella comes to Ability Consultants having worked as an early intervention behaviour therapist. Additionally Isabella has experience working in the child protection system. Currently completing her masters in Clinical Psychology, Isabella is passionate about mental wellbeing and working collaboratively to empower people to achieve their goals.

        Jazzy Rouse

        Behaviour Support Practitioner
        Team Leader

        • Member of Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia
        • Member of Australia and New Zealand Mental Health Association

        Jaslyn joins Ability Consultants with a passion for social inclusion and assisting individuals access opportunities to embrace every aspect of their life. With a love for learning, Jaslyn’s current goal is to continue her studies towards becoming a provisional psychologist.

        Jordon Clauson

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Member of Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia (ABAA)

        Jordon is passionate about helping people achieve their goals and improve their lives while ensuring they maintain their independence. He has extensive experience in supporting children, young adults and adults with developmental and acquired disabilities. He focuses on improving quality of life and supporting their family and support team throughout the process.

        Kathy Zaia

        Behaviour Support Practitioner
        Provisional Psychologist
        Team Leader

        • Bachelor Psychology Honours 
        • Diploma in Professional Counselling
        • Telephone Counselling Certificate 4

        Kathy has a background in professional counselling assisting families, children and adults, with relationships, grief and loss, suicide prevention and behaviour support. Kathy has a particular interest in child development. Kathy brings her extensive life experience and empathy to the support of people with disability and behaviour needs.

        Lana Lien

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
        • Member Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

        Lana brings over 20 years experience working one on one with people facing health challenges. She helps to develop support plans and programs for individualized care to help clients achieve their goals and improve their quality of life. She brings a person centered approach and has worked with clients of all ages facing many different physical and mental challenges.

        Laura Moloney

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Registered Social Worker with the Australian Association of Social Workers
        • Graduate Diploma in Systemic Family therapy (London Institute of Family Therapy)
        • Graduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Stonebridge College, London)

        Laura has been a social worker for sixteen years, primarily in the child protection and trauma fields. She brings extensive assessment experience from the UK and Sydney. Laura has held a range of roles in assessment teams; from social worker up to Area Manager and Practice Expert. Laura’s passion is in helping professionals and families to consider the function of behaviours through a trauma informed lens.

        Lidia Toledo

        Behaviour Support Practitioner
        Psychologist with General Registration

        • Bachelor of Psychology (2012)
        • Registration, College of Professional Psychologists (2017)

        Lidia has been providing Positive Behaviour Support with people with Challenging Behaviour and complex needs since 2013. 

        Lidia is especially committed to providing specialist assessment, training and support with people affected by complex and traumatic life challenges.

        Lidia is passionate about providing psychoeducation and advocacy for people whose voice and rights might be at risk.

        Liliana Smolinski

        Behaviour Support Practitioner
        Team Leader

        • Bachelor of Psychological Studies (2014)
        • Master of Forensic Mental Health (2019 - final semester)

        Lily has been providing function-based behaviour support with people with intellectual disability since 2013, with a specific focus on supporting mental health and behaviour challenges.

        Lisa Echevarria

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Bachelor of Arts, major in Communications
        • Certificate III in Children’s Services
        • Member Association for Behavioural Analysis Australia (ABAA)

        Lisa has been working with children and young people with special needs since 2013. She sees herself journeying alongside her clients, discovering with them how to participate in their different settings, and exploring various interests with them as they continuously search for what makes them happy.

        Luna Kleemann

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care (Sand Goanna Institute/Australia, 2017)
        • Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (Sand Goanna Institute/Australia, 2016)
        • Post Graduate Degree in Organisational Psychology (UFRGS/Brazil, 2015)
        • Bachelor Degree in Psychology (PUCRS /Brazil, 2013)

        Luna is always motivated to assist individuals with mental health concerns, empowering and supporting them to identify suitable strategies to thrive in their daily lives, improving the quality of life to meet their full potential. She believes in equal rights and opportunities, in the person-centred approach and in collaborative work with families and teams to achieve the best outcomes to her clients. Luna has experience working with people from different ages, clinical needs and backgrounds in diverse settings. She is passionate about studying new themes regarding human behaviour, and her current goal is to have her overseas Psychology qualification recognized by AHPRA.

        Marci Ordonez

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Diploma of Education: Secondary, Visual Arts (Australian Catholic University, 2012)
        • Bachelor of Visual Arts, Hons (Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney University, 2007)
        • Professional Member – Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia (ABAA)

        Marci has experience working alongside people with additional needs and challenging behaviour in both a professional and personal capacity spanning over 10 years. Her work within a primary/secondary school for students with disabilities has placed her in a unique situation where behaviour support is part of daily interactions with staff and students alike. Naturally, working within a Visual Arts context, she encourages creativity as a means to enrich experiences and communication. Marci believes that strong and supportive environments not only provide a better quality of life, but an equitable access to society and experiences that everyone has a right to be included in, regardless of ability.

        Maria Butel

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Certificate 1V in Training and Assessment (TAE40110)
        • Diploma in Applied Counselling (Institute of Applied Counselling, Sydney)
        • Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) (Macquarie University)
        • Member Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia (ABAA)

        Maria has worked in the disability sector for over 25 years, primarily specialising in Behaviour Support. She has also worked as a Residential Care Worker, Training Officer, Vocational Trainer, and Disability Advisor.

        Maria has extensive experience In providing behaviour support services to individuals with complex needs across all ages. She has also coordinated Restrictive Practice Panels, provided mentoring and support to clinicians, and designed and delivered staff training. Maria is committed to working collaboratively with clients and their support network to meet individual goals and to live a life that is meaningful and enjoyable.

        Maria Toskas

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Member Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia (ABAA)

        Maria has experience as a Mental Health Support Worker working with complex mental health in a residential setting, as well as using Applied Behavioural Analysis as a Behavioural Therapist. Maria has worked with children, adults and their families, and is passionate about mental health. Maria has completed her Bachelor of Arts - Psychology and is currently completing her Masters in Psychotherapy and Counselling.

        Maria practices a person-centred approach and looks forward to working collaboratively to support and empower individuals in achieving their goals and living a life that is meaningful to them.

        Marie Echevarria

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Member Australian Association for Behaviour Analysis

        Marie has worked with young people with special needs since 2017 and is passionate about providing these individuals with the support and tools they need to thrive in any and all environments. She is especially driven to help children and adolescents reach their full potential in their school and extra-curricular environments.Marie is currently completing her Bachelor of Psychology (honours) at Macquarie University.

        Marie-Morgane Hieulle

        Senior Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (USA 2016)
        • Masters of Clinical Psychology (Ecole de Psychologues Praticiens, Lyon France 2011)

        Pronouns: She/ They

        Marie holds a masters in clinical psychology and is a Behaviour Analyst (BCBA). She started working in psychiatry in 2011. She then moved to independent work with families in Belgium, France and the Netherlands in 2014, receiving online supervision to develop her practice and providing training to allied health therapists in various organisations. She joined an early intervention clinic in Australia in 2018, where she worked as a Program manager until December 2021.

        Marie developed a particular interest in understanding the interactions between environment, neurodiversity – including physical and perceptive differences – and behaviours. She has developed more specific knowledge about autism and genetic conditions in childhood. She believes in a participative and strengths based approach to behaviour support, and focuses on understanding and developing support networks. Autism advocacy and calls for ABA reform have been a significant turning point in her professional orientation. She has also been involved in various social justice initiatives over the past 10 years, focusing on migrants’ rights and access to education for marginalised families.

        She is a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community.

        Megan van Dalen

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Bachelor of Business HRM (2018 - present)
        • Advanced Diploma Management (2015)
        • Cert 4 in Disability (2014)
        • Member: Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

        Megan has 12 years of industry experience, in a variety of roles in Australia and in Europe, providing person-centred behaviour support services with people with challenging behaviour and intellectual disability. Megan has a track record of designing and implementing creative and innovative systems that help people experience a better life.

        Michael Kinch

        Behaviour Support Practitioner
        Brisbane, QLD

        • Post graduate Holistic Psychotherapy and Counselling (Metavision Institute Australia, 2020)
        • Certificate Addictions and process Oriented Psychology (Metavision Institute Australia, 2019)
        • Certificate Altered - Process Oriented Psychology (Metavision Institute Australia, 2019)
        • Advanced Certificate 1V (Diploma Level) in Life Coaching (The Life Coaching Academy Queensland, 2010)
        • Member of PACFA (Psychology and Counselling of Australia)

        Michael has over 13 years of experience and skill specialising in Mental Health, Trauma (PTSD), Anxiety, Depression, Mentoring and Life Coaching supporting people with disabilities, disadvantaged youth and marginalised individuals. He has worked with private clients and people living in residential care. Michael commenced his career as a Life Coach, then progressed into higher education as a Holistic Psychotherapist and Counsellor.

        Bringing compassion, empathy, deep connection and a person centred approach, to his working relationships with clients, allows Michael to establish a good rapport. He is passionate about supporting people through mentoring and counselling, seeking therapeutic interventions and person-centred solutions.

        Narelle Beattie

        Behaviour Support Practitioner
        Team Leader

        Bachelor Psychological Science (2018, University of New England)

        • Psychology Honours (currently completing)
        • Member Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia
        • Student Member Australian Psychological Society

        Narelle has a background in Applied Behaviour Analysis providing behaviour therapy for young people with autism. Narelle is motivated by the opportunity to help people learn how to be their optimal selves

        Natasha Phong

        Senior Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Bachelor of Psychology, University of Western Sydney (2013)
        • Professional member, Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

        Natasha is a registered Psychologist with experience providing clinical and behavioural support to individuals with challenging behaviours and complex needs. She has worked with adolescents and adults in the justice system and with children in the education system. She has a strong interest in forensics and behaviour analysis and a deep passion to empower others to live a quality life.

        Nathan Budd

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Member of the Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

        Nathan has been working in social support and crisis support work for the last 2 years. He is currently completing his degree in psychology with Western Sydney University. Nathan has experience working with clients of all ages and has a degree in musical theatre. Most recently he has been working with the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation, aiding people with immune deficient conditions to maintain social and mental health standards.

        Natalie Lofty

        Behaviour Support Practitioner
        Illawarra, South Coast, NSW

        • Bachelor of Community Services majoring in case management (UNE, 2018)
        • Diploma in Community Services (Wollongong TAFE 2017)
        • Certificate III and IV in Disability Work (2003, 2005)
        • Certificate IV in Frontline Management
        • Trained in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (renewed 2021)

        Natalie has been providing support to individuals, and their families, for the past 15 years. Starting as a disability support worker and moving into behaviour support has allowed her to gain a strong understanding of realistic and effective strategy implementation.

        Natalie has worked across a range of settings, including schools and aged care facilities with people across the age span, and with complex needs.

        Working with individuals and their support teams, Natalie is passionate about the rights of people with disability to enjoy a quality of life, ensuring opportunities for choice whilst maintaining carer capacity.

        Nathalie Neveu

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Post Graduate Diploma . Social Sciences. Community Services. UWS 2003
        • Master . Social Sciences. Community Services . UWS. 2004
        • Person Centred Champions Programs. Centre for Disability Studies . 2010
        • Member Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia (ABAA)

        Nathalie’s passion for person centred practices and Active Support is enriched by 25 years hands on and leadership experience in the field of disability. Nathalie enjoys co - creating person centred solutions for people to live their best lives. A well respected professional she readily shares her knowledge with early career professionals, support workers and families to enable the practice of positive behaviour support.

        Nikki Mahayni

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Member Association of Behaviour Analysis Australia (ABAA)
        • Certificate IV in Community Services

        Nikki brings more than 6 years of professional experience to Ability Consultants supporting clients in the disability and mental health sector. Nikki has helped develop and implement programs designed at social inclusion and achieving personalised goals, using motivational and person-centred approaches.Nikki believes in increasing a person’s quality of life through strengthening helpful behaviours, and that even a small change can make a huge difference. She is passionate about enabling an individual to live as independently as possible, and brings a fresh pair of eyes to every client.

        Paola de Azevedo Vieira

        Behaviour Support Practitioner
        Provisional Psychologist

        • Diploma of Community Services (Australian Learning Group, Sydney 2018 - 2020)
        • Certificate in Forensic Psychology (SBPJ - Sociedade Brasileria de Psicologia Juridica, 2015)
        • Postgraduate in Forensic Psychology (IMED - Complexo De Ensino Superior Meridonal SA, 2015 -2017)
        • Bachelor of Psychology (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio do Sul, 2008 - 2014)

        Paola specialised in forensic psychology, mental health and family court matters whilst practicing in Brazil. Since coming to Australia, she has worked as a disability support worker.  Paola is enthusiastic about learning and is currently working towards completing a 5+1 provisional psychology registration.

        Paola is passionate about helping people and supporting them to live their best lives.

        Pearl Cheung

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Bachelor of Science, major in Psychology, UNSW 2017
        • Graduate Diploma of Counselling, ACAP 2019
        • Member of Psychotherapy & Counselling Federation of Australia
        • Registered Yoga Teacher, Yoga Alliance

        Pearl is a registered counsellor and yoga teacher with extensive experience in the disability and clinical sector. She has worked across the lifespan from early childhood to teens and adults, supporting a diverse range of people with mental health concerns. She is passionate about helping people improve their mental health, helping them find strategies to enhance the quality of daily life.

        Peter King

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Bachelor of Social Work, Western Sydney University (2015)
        • Professional Member, Association for Behavioural Analysis Australia (ABAA)

        Peter has worked and volunteered in a range of social services over eighteen years, and works from a human rights, strengths based and person centred approach. Peter’s professional goal is to work with people to be empowered to take on life’s challenges, whilst feeling safe and respected. Peter believes in the power of laughter and connection of everyone to their community.

        Poli Gavria

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Master of Clinical Psychology (Australian College of Applied Psychology, current)
        • Bachelor of Psychology (Honours, Macquarie University, 2019)
        • Master of Fine Arts (Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney, 2007)
        • Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours, 2007)

        Poli commenced working as a behaviour therapist with people with Intellectual Disability and Challenging behaviour in 2013. Poli co-designed and delivered a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy program for people with various types of dementia and other disability (2014-19) and has worked as a residential support worker. Poli believes in the natural improvement of people's behaviour when their lives become more meaningful, creative and socially connected.

        Quennie Diesta

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Advanced Diploma Business (Marketing) 2008
        • Diploma in Business (Legal Studies) 2002
        • Member Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

        Quennie is passionate about helping NDIS Participants improve their independence. Quennie has extensive experience building support strategies, coordinating multi-disciplinary teams and making things work for clients, their families and other support networks.

        Quennie is currently working towards a Bachelor of Criminology & Criminal Justice and has experience working with incarcerated NDIS Participants who are transitioning back into the community. She believes every person has value, dignity, fundamental worth and a right to develop their potential. 

        Rachel Kim

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Bachelor of Art, Social work ( ACU)
        • Member Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

        Rachel has extensive experience in supporting families with complex issues including but not limited to; complex trauma, disability, mental health, substance use and relationship issues. Rachel has been with the Department of Communities and Justice for the last 12 years, supporting vulnerable families. Rachel also has extensive experience in supporting families from diverse backgrounds and cultural heritages.

        Rachel is passionate about supporting people who are affected by disabilities in making meaningful life-long changes.

        Rachel speaks English and Korean.

        Ramoh Kokalis

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, minor in Ethics (1999, Murdoch University)
        • Professional member, Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia
        • Professional member, Autism Behavioural Intervention Association

        Ramoh has 18 years experience in disability services and mental health. Ramoh enjoys empowering people to overcome challenges and live healthier and more fulfilling lives.

        Rosie Chapple

        Behaviour Support Practitioner
        Provisional Psychologist

        • Bachelor of Psychological Science, Honours (University of Queensland, 2020)
        • Member of the Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

        Rosie has recently completed her thesis project in cognitive development, specialising in the development of young children. 

        Rosie has had experience in Behaviour Support and Support Coordination. She is passionate about mental health and bettering the lives of those around her.

        Sam Callender

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Master of Clinical Psychology (UTS,2021)
        • Grad. Dip. Psychology Advanced (Monash, 2019)
        • Bachelor of Science (USyd, 2017)
        • AHPRA Registered Provisional Psychologist

        Sam is passionate about raising awareness of Mental Health in young people and also providing them access to education about Mental Health. Sam has been involved with Youth Mental Health Charity, One Eighty, since its inception in 2017, and is currently the Chairperson and COO. Over the past three years, Sam has led a team in implementing programs she has designed to assist peers to overcome their psychosocial challenges.

        Sam Livingston

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Bachelor of Social Science (Habilitation). Australian Catholic University, 1997
        • Member Association Behaviour Analysis Australia

        Samantha has over 28 years experience working in the disability field. She has worked as a behaviour support practitioner with FACS from 2010 -2014 and as a Senior Behaviour Support practitioner with Sunnyfield from 2014 - 2020. Samantha takes a person-centred, hands on approach to her work and regards rapport building with the individual and those that support them as an essential part of effective behaviour intervention. She has experience working with people with disabilities of all ages, profound and multiple disabilities and complex needs. Samantha has chaired Restrictive Practices panels and developed and provided training in Positive Behaviour Support to disability support staff.

        Shelley Wurth

        Behaviour Support Practitioner
        Blue Mountains, NSW 

        • Post Graduate Cert in Health Science (2007)
        • Post Graduate Diploma in Mental Health (2008
        • Member of Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency (AHPRA)
        • Member of Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia (ABAA)
        • Member of the Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association (ANZMH)

        Shelley began her career in New Zealand as a community crisis clinician. Moving to Australia in 2009, Shelley has worked in adolescent forensic mental health, community case management and consultation liaison in gazetted Emergency Departments. Most recently Shelley has been working with the Older Person, and their carers, who have a mental illness, experiencing cognitive decline and behavioural challenges.

        Shelley is an experienced clinician who remains calm and professional in complex and stressful environments. Shelley’s philosophy includes the protection of carer stress and advocating for the choice of all consumers. Shelley is also passionate about clinician health, wellbeing and development and the prevention of clinician burnout.

        Shelley values face to face assessment, collaborative input from all disciplines and supportive planning for all of those with a disability.

        Stacey Davidson

        Behaviour Support Practitioner
        Illawarra, South Coast, NSW

        • Bachelor of Social Work (UOW, 2018)
        • Grad Cert in Positive Behaviour Support (Flinders University, 2020, in progress)

        Stacey has over 20 years of experience supporting vulnerable people in the community in a variety of roles. For the past 7 years Stacey has been working in Behaviour Change, while completing her Social Work and PBS studies. Stacey is especially excited about helping people overcome the barriers associated with accessing the community.

        Vanessa Bell

        Behaviour Support Practitioner
        Brisbane, QLD

        • Bachelor of Communications (Bond University, 2011)
        • Certificate III in Children’s Services (My Other Mum, 2007)
        • Professional Member, Association for Applied Behaviour Analysis Australia

        Vanessa is very experienced in supporting people with disabilities to live quality lives, having worked across a range of positions for the past 12 years. She enjoys and values the implementation of positive behaviour support practices as a key to enhancing quality of life for others.

        A specialty area Vanessa has worked in is heavily restrictive living environments, with a goal of reducing restriction whilst maintaining the safety of clients and their community.

        Vanessa has a passion for human rights, supporting people to achieve their goals and to live free lives.

        Vanessa Maginnis

        Senior Behaviour Support Practitioner
        Mid North Coast, NSW

        • Master of Development Studies (Refugee and Forced Migration)/ Research (University of New South Wales - Deferred study)
        • Bachelor of Arts (Major: Early Childhood Education) with Diploma of Education (Primary) (Macquarie University Sydney: 2007)
        • Diploma of Community Services -Children’s Services (The Academy of Vocational Education: 2004)
        • Diploma of Counselling and Communication (Australian College of Applied Psychology: 2003)
        • Member, British Institute of Learning Disabilities

        Vanessa has been working with people with a variety of complex needs, backgrounds, culture and diagnosis in different settings since 2003; including counselling and education settings with children and youth, early childhood and primary education, specialist education settings, disability services, child protection, behaviour support and restrictive practices panels. Vanessa enjoys learning from people what is most important to them, and what will support their goals and quality of life as they move forward. Finding out a person’s viewpoint, aspirations, hopes, worries and motivations and building on that; whether they be customers, staff, or those in professional development/supervision.

        Virginia Birchall

        Behaviour Support Practitioner
        Team Leader
        Coffs Harbour, NSW

        • Bachelor of Education; Major study in Special Education (University of Canberra, 1995)
        • Diploma of Teaching (Charles Sturt University, 1993)
        • Member National Disability Practitioners
        • Member Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

        Virginia has over 14 years’ experience in disability and over 20 years in education including teaching students with disabilities.

        Virginia has a wealth of experience in working in multidisciplinary teams with a focus on person centred approaches utilising best practice positive behaviour support strategies. Her practice has involved supporting Children and adults with Autism and Trauma as well as mild to profound disabilities.

        Virginia’s passion is social justice and advocacy in supporting the rights of people with disabilities. She is innovative in her work and has a keen ability to think outside the square. Virginia’s quest is to improve the quality of life and the happiness of people with disabilities.

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        Working with us

        We are a growing team in every sense of the word.

        You will love working with us, if you are motivated to foster learning and growth, in yourself and in others.

        We practice Empowering Leadership. We don't micromanage or impose KPI's relating to your hours of work. We do collaborate with you to meet the highest clinical standards for the people we support. We provide a highly rewarding work environment, and partner with you to hit your goals.  

        We are an empowering workplace, driven to attract and develop brilliant clinicians, so NDIS Participants have easier access to life-changing behaviour support.


        Founder’s statement


        This is me abseiling off a perfectly good mountain. Starting Ability Consultants in 2016 was a similar leap into the unknown world of the NDIS. 

        David Ackling-Jones

        In 1999 I  began working with and caring for people with intellectual disability and challenging behaviours.  People who are ignored, over-medicated, restrained, secluded, cut off from their community or who are punished because they often do not have a high enough level of positive support.

        Our mission is to help NDIS participants lead a freer more socially connected life through easy access to excellent Positive Behaviour Support.

        We serve 6 customer groups:

        1. NDIS Participants. We work with you on delivering measurable goals that matter to you.
        2. Our referrers. We focus on making the referral and support coordination process a relief and a joy. Short wait time, detailed progress reports, responsive communication, evidence-based recommendations.
        3. Carers. We make the process of sharing ideas, and information simple and time-efficient. We work in partnership with carers and NDIS Participants to build an assessment and plan that fits.
        4. Our clinicians. We provide an empowering workplace. We fund clinical supervision, professional courses, and conference attendance for our brilliant team of independent consultants.
        5. National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). We present evidence to ensure Participants are funded for all of their reasonable and necessary supports, at the right level.
        6. NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. We ensure our team provides Participants with high-quality function-based Behaviour Support, to minimise Restrictive Practices, build liberating skills, and improve quality of life.

        We are an NDIS-registered Specialist Behaviour Support Provider and we are working to exceed the required standards.

        Person-Centred principles of empowerment and strengths-based practice underpin our approach. We apply these principles to everything we do.

        Finally, we are all about innovation. We use technology to be more human. We build and shape the powerful tools we need to serve our customers in new and unique ways.

        Thanks for joining us on the learning and growth journey.

        David Ackling-Jones

        CEO - Ability Consultants

        David is a Member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) and provides MI Training on request.

        MI Training

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        We serve Greater Sydney, Regional NSW, and beyond!

        Ability Consultants is a team of Behaviour Support Practitioners who work with clients on-site throughout Greater Sydney and in all regional areas of NSWWe are growing into new areas, including Queensland and Western Australia.

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