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 analysts 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

    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 brings over 6 years of clinical experience across the disability sector as a Registered Music Therapist 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.

    Alessandra Baradel

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • 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.

    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. 

    Austin Ware

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • 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

    • 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.

    Belinda Thurlow

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • Master of Creative Music Therapy (Western Sydney University, 2011)
    • Bachelor of Music, Major in Composition (Western Sydney University)
    • Full Membership, Australian Music Therapy Association (AMTA) and
    • Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

    Belinda is an experienced clinician in the disability sector and is passionate about building capacity and supporting mental health in the service of greater personal growth and freedom.

    Belinda has additional training in Neurological Music Therapy, Complex Trauma and Sensory Processing Disorder and brings a strengths based, flexible and personable approach to her work with clients and families.

    Bo Hodgson

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • 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.

    Brianna Franke

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • 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.

    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.

    Carla Gaskin Charles

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • Bachelor of Psychology with Honours  (The University of Adelaide, 2014-19)
    • Master of Clinical Psychology (The University of Sydney, 2021-22)

    Carla comes to Ability Consultants having worked in community mental health, helping people living with chronic and serious mental ill-health to live more fulfilled and meaningful lives within the community. She is currently completing her masters in Clinical Psychology. Carla is passionate about making meaningful connections and collaborating with people to help them reach their full potential, and helping them to gain skills and confidence in overcoming life’s obstacles.

    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.

    Cat L'Ecuyer

     Specialist Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • Bachelor in Psychoeducation 2008
    • Master in Health Services Management 2018
    • Member of Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia (ABAA)
    • Member of Association of Positive Behaviour Support (APBS)
    • Associate Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Services Management (ACHSM)

    Cat has been supporting people with complex needs since 2006. She has been working in clinical and leadership positions in Australia and Canada.

    Cat values collaboration and creativity to identify the best strategies to overcome barriers and improve quality of life.

    Charity Makurumure

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    Illawarra, South Coast NSW

    • Credentialed Mental Health Nurse (Australian College of Mental Health Nurses)
    • Registered Nurse (AHPRA)
    • Master of Public Health (University of Newcastle, 2017)
    • Master of Mental Health Nursing (Central Queensland University, 2012)
    • Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing Science (Zimbabwe Open University, 2005)
    • Diploma General Nursing & Diploma Psychiatric Mental Health (Zimbabwe)
    • Diploma of Leadership & Management (TAFE NSW)
    • Diploma of Project Management (TAFE NSW)
    • Certificate IV in Work Health & Safety (Pinnacle Safety & Training)
    • Certificate IV in Training & Assessment (Inspire Education)

    Charity has been in the nursing field for 20 years, 10 in Zimbabwe and 10 years in Australia. Charity has extensive clinical experience caring and supporting people with complex health and behavioural needs, working across several settings, including disability and mental health.

    Charity is passionate about working collaboratively with a person centred approach to improve the lives of people with complex challenging behaviours.

    Charity has been in the nursing field for 20 years,10 in Zimbabwe and 10 in Australia. Charity has extensive clinical experience caring and supporting people with complex health and behavioural needs, working across several settings, including disability, aged care and mental health.

    Charity is passionate about working collaboratively with a person centred approach to improve the lives of people with complex challenging behaviours.

    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.

    Chris Wood

    Specialist Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • 2012 - Bachelor of Arts (Psychology)
    • 2014 - Masters in Disability Studies
    • 2017 - Certificate IV in Training & Assessment

    Chris has been working in the disability sector for the last 10 years and has an incredibly strong passion for improving service quality within the sector as a whole.

    Chris was the Director of a multidisciplinary service provider for young adults with autism in the Sydney area. Over the years, he has had experience in supporting individuals with autism, leading diverse teams, and leading large projects. Chris has been a behaviour support specialist since 2014 and specialises in supporting individuals with autism (including other comorbidities). In his spare time, he is a teacher at a local RTO specialising in community service qualifications.


    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.

    Dave Neal

    Behaviour Support Practitioner

    • Graduate Diploma in Criminology (The University of Sydney, Faculty of Law, 1996)
    • Certificate IV – Risk Management (SECTA Training Academy, 2012)

    Dave is a Criminology graduate with experience working within the criminal justice system. He also has considerable experience applying security risk management methodologies across a broad range of public and private sector organisations. Dave has been involved in the care of disabled youth at several disabled children’s holiday camps and has also been able to assess and effectively mitigate a range of identified hazards within those settings

    Dave is motivated to assist others reach their full potential and lead their best lives. He believes that this can be achieved through compassionate collaboration, mutual respect and an informed pragmatic approach towards finding solutions and achieving meaningful and enduring outcomes.

    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

    • 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)
    • 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.

    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.

    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.

        Helen Banos

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Bachelor of Counselling Australian College of Applied Psychology - 2016
        • Member Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

        Helen is an enthusiastic individual who loves helping people to reach their goals and overcome barriers to live a meaningful life.

        She utilises a Person Centred and Holistic Approach by showing people how to replace current behaviours that are not working with empowering and uplifting skills and actions. Helen assists all people to feel more confident to achieve their dreams no matter how big or small.

        Jazzy Rouse

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • 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.

        Jess Jones

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • BA majoring in Psychology at Massey University (2006)
        • Diploma in Business Management
        • Member of Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia (ABAA)

        Jess has worked in the Out of Home Care and Disability Services sector for over 19 years.

        She graduated from Massey University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology and has worked within the New Zealand Youth Justice system; the Queensland and New South Wales Out of Home Care sector supporting children, young people and their families.

        Jess is passionate about supporting people to overcome challenges and empower them to achieve their goals and live a life of purpose.

        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.

        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.

        Lidia Toledo

        Specialist 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

        Specialist Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • 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.

        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.

        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.

        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.

        Narelle Beattie

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        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

        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.

        Naydene Mostert

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • 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.

        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

        • 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.

        Poli Gavria

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • 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.

        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. 

        Rachael Mackay

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Master of Creative Music Therapy (Western Sydney University, 2016)
        • Member of the Australian Music Therapy Association

        Rachael has 4 years of clinical experience across the disability sector as a Registered Music Therapist as well as formal certifications in mental health, education, and disability support.

        Rachael is passionate about working collaboratively and innovatively to support and empower her clients to draw on their strengths and live the lives they want.

        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

        • 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.

        Saleha Abbasi

        Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • Graduate Diploma of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy-2020
        • Masters of Behavioural Sciences-2005
        • Bachelors with Psychology-2002

        Saleha has worked supporting and helping children with special needs and developmental delays, the mainstream childcare industry and disability sector (with adults). Saleha is also a volunteer Telephone Crisis Supporter at Lifeline. She is a strong believer of person-centred practice and focusses on an inclusive and empowering service that helps clients address the barriers and lean on the enabling factors in their life.

        Saleha has worked in very multicultural environments in Australia and overseas, therefore she has an in-depth understanding of the importance of acknowledging and respecting all types of cultural beliefs and practices. In addition to English, Saleha is fluent in Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi.


        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.

        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.

        Dr. Shivani Vij

        Behaviour Support Practitioner
        Psychologist with General Registration

        • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology (2016)
        • Master of Arts in Psychology (2009-2011)
        • Master of Education (2007-2008)
        • Bachelor of Elementary Education (2003-2007)
        • Registered Psychologist with General Registration (AHPRA)
        • Full Member of the Australian Psychological Society (MAPS)

        Shivani has led a rich career as a clinician, educator, and author of peer-reviewed journal articles and books. Shivani was Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Delhi for seven years. Shivani has extensive experience as a clinician assisting people of all ages to develop the skills, coping strategies, knowledge and positive behavioural strategies to meet their goals.


        Stephen Holmes

        Behaviour Support Practitioner
        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.

        Trini Macrae

        Manager Operations Team

        • 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 leadership to the Operations team. Trini has a keen interest in communication and conflict resolution. Her best holiday ever was in Iceland and she has a cute little Papillon puppy called Arya who sometimes visits the office.

        Vanessa Maginnis

        Specialist Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • 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

        Specialist Behaviour Support Practitioner

        • 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.

        View more practitioners

        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.

        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

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        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 Newcastle, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Illawarra regions.

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