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 psychologists, behaviour analysists and allied health professionals who practice person-centred positive behaviour support.

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

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

    Alessandra Baradel

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Bachelor of Arts Majoring in Psychology and Italian (USyd, 2014-18)
    • Gradute Diploma Psychology (UWS, 2019-20)
    • Member Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia (ABAA)

    Alle is passionate about helping people with their mental health, and providing psychoeducation and therapy to improve people's quality of life, and enabling people with disability, and families who are struggling, to meet their potential.

    Amy Steven

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Diploma in Counselling (AIPC, 2016)
    • Postgraduate Diploma in Community Education (University of Dundee, 2006)
    • Bachelor of Arts, Human and Professional Communication, Media and Cultural Studies (Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh, 1998)
    • Member Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia, and Australian Counselling Association

    Amy has over the past two decades provided Positive Behaviour Support and therapeutic interventions, specialising with children, adolescents and families. Amy has also provided therapeutic support to people of all ages with complex mental health and disability issues. Amy believes in an approach that is big on listening, understanding and going at the pace of her clients, to meet their goals.

    Andrea Kuepper

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Masters in Health Psychology (City University, London, 2012)
    • Bachelor in Psychology (City University, London, 2011)

    Andrea has 4 years of experience providing Applied Behaviour Analysis therapy with people with moderate to severe autism. Andrea believes in a person-centred approach and is driven to find innovative ways to help her clients.

    Austin Ware

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • 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 Specialist
    Nowra

    • 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.

    Brianna Franke

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Bachelor Arts, Majoring in Psychology (Macquarie, 2018)
    • Registered Behaviour Technician (BACB, 2019)
    • Crisis Support Workplace Training (Lifeline, 2017)
    • Member of Behaviour Analyst Certification Board,
    • Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia, and
    • Australia and New Zealand Mental Health Association.

    Brianna comes to Ability Consultants having worked as a Senior Behaviour Therapist and Crisis-Support Counsellor. Brianna is commencing her Masters in Counselling in 2020. Brianna believes that effective behaviour support is based on collaboration with family members and the entire support network around a person.

    Daniel Salvatorie

    Senior Behaviour Support Specialist
    Manager Clinical Operations

    • Bachelor of Psychological Sciences, Swinbourne University of Technology (2019)
    • Member: Association of Positive Behaviour Support;  Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

    Daniel has extensive experience providing specialist behaviour support with people experiencing a variety of complex needs, including intellectual disability, offending history, AOD and mental health. During Daniel's employment with FACS (2007-2017) he managed clinical teams, Restrictive Practices panels, developed policies, and trained organisations in Positive Behaviour Support.

    David Ackling-Jones

    Behaviour Support Specialist, CEO

    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 Specialist

    • 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.

    Dior de Souza

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Bachelor Science, Majoring in Psychology (Macquarie,2019)
    • Registered Behaviour Technician (BACB, 2019)
    • Member of Behaviour Analyst Certification Board, and
    • Australia and New Zealand Mental Health Association

    Dior has been providing positive behaviour support with people with intellectual disability and autism since January 2018. Dior has worked as a Senior Behaviour Therapist, mentoring a team, and supporting best practice. Dior is focussed on allowing clients to have input and control on their decision-making and progress. Dior is completing her honours in Psychology in 2020.

    Dr Roshini Chandroo

    Behaviour Support Specialist
    Batemans Bay

    • Doctor of Philosophy, majoring in Special Education - Post-school Transitions for Students with Autism (UNSW, 2018)
    • Masters of Education, majoring in Special Education (USYD, 2012)
    • Bachelor of Science, majoring in Psychology (UNSW, 2011)
    • Member of Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

    Roshini comes to Ability Consultants having worked as a Special Education Consultant, training teachers, parents, and other disability professionals in how to implement behaviour strategies and practice inclusion effectively. Since 2013, Roshini has worked in the field of intellectual disability and challenging behaviour. Roshini's Doctoral Thesis was entitled, "Student-Focused Planning and Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Knowledge, Perspectives and Experiences."

    Elizabeth Stringer

    Senior Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Registered Psychologist with General Registration (AHPRA)
    • Graduate Diploma  of Psychology, 2011
    • Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology Hons), 2015
    • Bachelor of Education (Primary) 1994 
    • Associate Member Australian Psychological Society (APS)

    Elizabeth is experienced in school-based psychology and disability service provision.

    Elizabeth is committed to providing specialist assessment, intervention and behaviour support services with people of all ages, with a range of needs.

    Elizabeth is passionate about helping people achieve their goals and flourish in their lives.

    Gina Atallah

    Senior Behaviour Support Specialist

    • 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.

    Jane Pfaff

    Senior Project Officer

    • Behaviour Support Programmer (Health/DOCS, 1987-2002)
    • Senior Behaviour Support Practitioner (DADHC, 2002-2006)
    • Manager Access (DADHC/FACS, 2006-2017)

    Jane leads high peforming teams. She provides supervision and support to team members, helping them achieve their potential, and deliver excellent client outcomes.

    Jane is passionate about building healthy human connections and a strong social fabric--this is where real positive changes start to happen.

    Lidia Toledo

    Senior Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Registered 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

    Senior Behaviour Support Specialist

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

    Lily has six years of experience providing function-based behaviour support with people with intellectual disability, mental health and behaviour challenges.

    Kathy Zaia

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Bachelor Psychology Honours (currently completing)
    • 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.

    Katy Tyler

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Western Sydney University — Master of Professional Psychology (2018)
    • Monash University — Graduate Diploma of Psychology (Advanced, 2017)
    • Swinburne University of Technology — Bachelor of Behavioural Studies (Psychology, 2014)

    Katy is a Provisional Psychologist and commenced working with people with intellectual disability and challenging behaviours in 2018. Katy is driven to empower the people she supports. In her work as a Behaviour Specialist, Katy is especially interested in working with vulnerable people and supporting the rights of people from underserved groups.

    Kire Gulevski

    Senior Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Bachelor of Social Sciences (Psychology and Sociology)
    • Professional Member, Australian Association for Behaviour Analysis

    Kire comes to Ability Consultants with 17 years of experience improving the lives of people with intellectual disability and challenging behaviour. Kire has extensive experience in psychotherapy, forensic casework, and child protection. He is passionate about working with families and teams to provide empowering, person-centered supports.

    Kirsty Passmore

    Senior Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Bachelor of Health Science (2006)
    • Master of Education in Applied Behavioural Analysis (2018)
    • Member: Australian Association for Behaviour Analysis; Association for Positive Behaviour Support.

    Kirsty started with Ability Consultants in January 2019. Kirsty has worked as a Senior ABA Therapist in Perth and Singapore, gaining extensive knowledge, experience and tools to support people of all ages with diverse needs to achieve their goals through the science of applied behaviour analysis. Kirsty is in the process of qualifying as a Board Certified Behavioural Analyst (BCBA).

    Mark Maiuolo

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Bachelor of Speech Hearing and Language Sciences (Macquarie, 2017)
    • Masters of Speech and Language Pathology (Macquarie, expected to finish 2020)
    • Member Association Applied Behaviour Analysis Australia

    Mark comes to Ability Consultants having worked as a Behaviour Therapist in multidisciplinary teams, since July 2018, providing direct practical strategies with families, and individuals with behaviour support needs. In addition to his behaviour credentials, Mark brings his Speech Pathology background to assist people with Communication, and provide deeper insight into functional behaviour support. Mark is driven to enable and include significant others in the process and decision making relating to behaviour support.

    Narelle Beattie

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    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

    Naydene Mostert

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Honours degree in Psychology (University of Pretoria, 2016)
    • Master Behavioural Sciences (Florida Institute of Technology, 2019-present)

    As a trained PROMPT practitioner, Naydene helps people with speech and behavioural challenges develop functional communication.

    Naydene's passion is training staff and family members, enabling them to build skills and provide positive behaviour support in a broad variety of contexts.

    Poli Gavria

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Bachelor of Psychology (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. Poly 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, also. Poli believes in the natural improvement of people's behaviour when their lives become more meaningful, creative and socially connected.

    Ramoh Kokalis

    Behaviour Support Specialist

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

    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.

    Sharna Chidiac

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Bachelor of Arts, Pathway to Teaching Primary (Western Sydney University, current)
    • Registered Behavior Technician Training (Florida Institute of Technology, 2019)
    • Member of Behaviour Analyst Certification Board, and
    • Australia and New Zealand Mental Health Association

    Sharna has been providing positive behaviour support with people with intellectual disability and autism since Febuary 2019. Sharna excels in building strong rapport with families and clients and has worked as a Senior Behaviour Therapist, mentoring a behaviour support team.

    Sharna is driven by the belief that everybody can learn new skills and behaviours to build a better life.

    Stephen Holmes

    Senior Behaviour Support Specialist
    Illawarra, South Coast NSW.

    • Masters of Criminology (Sydney Law School, 2013)
    • Member: Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

    Stephen has a vast experience providing positive behaviour support. He has supported people with disabilities for 25 years, in a variety of roles. Stephen is driven to bring creative and life expanding opportunities into the lives of the people he supports.

    Steve Davies

    Senior Behaviour Support Specialist and Speech Pathologist

    • Master of Speech Language Pathology (Macquarie University, 2005)
    • Certified Practicing Member, Speech Pathology Australia
    • Professional Member, Association of Positive Behaviour Support
    • Member, Australian Group on Severe Language Impairment

    Steve is an experienced and highly respected practice leader in Positive Behaviour Support. Steve's career is underpinined by his passion to assist people with disabilities to overcome barriers to their best quality of life. Steve is driven to make PBS accessible to everyone, and build collaborative teams around each individual.

    Trini Macrae

    Team Leader Administration

    • BA (Anthropology), University of Sydney (1995)
    • Grad Dip (Rehabilitation Counselling), University of Sydney (2016)

    Trini has a background in disability support, aged care, website management and rehab counselling.

    She is passionate about the quality of life for people with disabilities and brings her varied skills to provide administrative support to the team.

    Tuba Fahad

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Registered Behaviour Technician (Behaviour Analyst Certification Board, Florida Institute of Technology, March 2019)
    • Bachelors of Psychological Sciences (Swinburne University of Technology, 2020)
    • Member Association Applied Behaviour Analysis Australia

    Tuba comes to Ability Consultants having worked as a Behaviour Therapist in multidisciplinary teams, since 2015, providing direct practical strategies with families, and individuals with behaviour support needs.

    Tuba is excited by the opportunity to be on a learning journey with her clients, and to see people realise their potential. Tuba's current goal is to continue her studies and research to become a clinical neuropsychologist.

    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 Hands-Off 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.

    Careers

    Founder’s statement

    Hello, 

    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

    Have an enquiry?

    Want to learn more about our services or how we can help you?
    We’d love to hear from you.

    We serve Greater Sydney & beyond

    Ability Consultants is a team of Behaviour Support Specialists who work with clients on site throughout Greater Sydney all the way through to the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Illawarra regions.

    Contact us

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