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 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.

    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.

    Belinda Thurlow

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • 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 Specialist

    • 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 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.

    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.

    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.

    Charlotte Henry

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • 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.

    Daniel Salvatorie

    Senior Behaviour Support Specialist
    Manager Clinical Operations

    • 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.

    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

    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.

    David Manchester

    Clinical Psychologist
    Principal Project Officer

    • Masters in Clinical Psychology, University of Sydney, Australia
    • Doctorate in Psychology, University of Surrey, United Kingdom
    • Practitioner Full Member Division of Neuropsychology, The British Psychological Society
    • Member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT)
    • AHPRA Psychology Board Approved Supervisor

    David helps practitioners and organisations to provide positive behaviour support using behaviour analysis, neuropsychology and motivational interviewing. He has over 10 years experience as a multidisciplinary team leader and director of psychology services in the private and public sector in Australia and the United Kingdom. From 2009 - 2013 David was disability psychology practice leader with ADHC/FACS.

    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.

    Emily Canty

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • 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.

    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.

    Jazzy Rouse

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • 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.

    Karen Lim

    Behaviour Support Specialist
    Newcastle

    • Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours) - First Class Honours (Universtiy of Newcastle)
    • Speech Pathology Australia Membership - Certified Practising Member

    Karen has experience working with people of all ages, and diverse clinical needs and backgrounds, to improve their quality of life through Positive Behaviour Support. Karen's passion is assisting people to improve their functional communication so they can live a more empowered life.

    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.

    Kimberley Laing

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Bachelor of Speech Hearing and Language Sciences (Macquarie, 2018)
    • Masters of Speech and Language Pathology (Macquarie, 2020)
    • Member Association Applied Behaviour Analysis Australia

    Kimberley has worked as a Behaviour Therapist in multidisciplinary teams, since August 2018. Kimberley brings her Speech Pathology background to assist people with Communication, and provide deeper insight into functional behaviour support. Kimberley has a strong sense of social justice and sees Behaviour and Speech Pathology as a way to support disadvantaged people and improve participation in the community.


    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

    • International Behaviour Analyst (International Behaviour Analysis Organisation, Credential ID 18584350, 2020).
    • 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).

    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.

    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.

    Madonna Jackson

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Bachelor of Nursing - Australian Catholic University 1995
    • Post Graduate Certificate Emergency Nursing 2001
    • Professional Member, Australian Association for Behaviour Analysis

    Maddie has worked in Aged and Dementia care in various leadership roles over the last 12 years. She has been particularly passionate about encouraging and supporting clients to live life beyond a diagnosis. Maddie values working teams, clients and the families to embrace and enjoy life in the community. Maddie is excited to be a part of the Ability Consultants team and is looking forward to working with them to have a positive impact in our community.

    Marci Ordonez

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • 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 Specialist

    • 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 Specialist

    • 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 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.

    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.

    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.

    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 Specialist

    • 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.

    Ross Leighner

    Specialist Behaviour Support Practitioner
    Clinical Lead, ABA and Induction

    • International Behaviour Analyst (International Behaviour Analysis Organisation, Credential ID 15095505, 2020)
    • Master of Arts, Applied Behaviour Analysis (The Ohio State University, Columbus, 2015)
    • Bachelor of Science, Special Education (Moderate-Intensive), 2011 with Disability Studies Minor. Cum Laude (The Ohio State University, Columbus, 2011)

    Ross began his professional journey in 2007 and comes with many years of teaching, supervision and training, and behaviour analytic experiences across all age ranges and ability levels. Ross has research and presentation experience, is published in a number of refereed journal articles, and is actively affiliated with many professional, international committees and boards.

    Ross has a broad range of experience working in clinical, home, and community/recreational settings in various realms including ABA for children and individuals with low incidence disabilities and multiple diagnoses including autism.

    Dr. Roshini Chandroo

    Specialist Behaviour Support Pratitioner
    Illawarra, South Coast NSW

    Clinical Lead: Student Placements

    • 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."

    Sam Callender

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • 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 Specialist

    • 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 Specialist

    • 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)
    • AHPRA Registered Provisional Psychologist

    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

    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
    Clinical Practice Lead

    • 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 underpinned 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

    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 Hunt

    Senior Behaviour Support Specialist
    Clinical Learning and Assessment Lead

    • Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Charles Sturt University, current)
    • Bachelor of Arts (University of New South Wales, 1998)
    • Marte Meo Colleague Trainer - Specialist in the application of Marte Meo
    • Member, National Disability Practitioners

    Vanessa has been working for over 30 years, helping improve the lives of people with disability, initially as a Residential Care Assistant and House Manager. Vanessa commenced as a Positive Behaviour Support consultant in 1999 in the role of Behaviour Programmer. Since 2006 Vanessa has also been in a clinical leadership role, helping other clinicians, and working with people affected by complex issues. Vanessa is committed to building and maintaining person-centred services standards in the NDIS.

    Vanessa Maginnis

    Senior Behaviour Support Specialist
    Clinical Mentoring Lead

    • 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.

    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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