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.

    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

    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

    Senior 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.

    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.

    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).

    Leeat Edinburg

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • BPSYCH Psychology (UNISA, Pretoria, 2005 - 2011)
    • Registered Counsellor (HPCSA, 2011-Current)
    • Registered Provisional Psychologist (AHPRA, 2019-Current)

    Leeat has over 13 years experience, providing debriefing, therapy and training with children, families and teams, affected by trauma, abuse, neglect, grief and loss. Leeat brings a deep set of skills and a grounded personal presence to her work as a Behaviour Support Specialist.


    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.

    Marcia Wood

    Behaviour Support Specialist

    • Master of Education in Applied Behaviour Analysis (Graduation Jul 2021, Monash University)
    • Graduate Certificate in Human Services, Disability Studies (Feb 2019, Griffith University)
    • Certificate IV in Disability (Sep 2018)
    • Diploma in Business  (Dec 2007)

    Member Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

    Marcia has worked in a variety of roles as a disability support professional since 2016, including Behaviour Support Practitioner, Support Coordinator and Community Support Worker. Marcia is driven to build plans and strategies that actually work for the people she supports.


      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.

      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.

      Nicole Jackson

      Senior Behaviour Support Specialist

      • 2018 Diploma of Counselling (Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors, Sydney, NSW)
      • 2012 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment 
      • 2008 Master of Health Science, Developmental Disability (University of Sydney)
      • 2004 Graduate Certificate in Community Management (University of Technology)
      • 2000 Certificate IV in Community Studies – Welfare (Sydney Institute of Technology)
      • 1996 Certificate in Welfare Studies (North Trafford College, Manchester, United Kingdom)
      • Member Australian Counselling Association
      • Member Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia

      Nicole has been employed in a variety of community and disability settings for over 25 years in both Australia and the United Kingdom. She has worked in shared and supported living, community access and recreational services, home care, emergency relief agencies, case management support services and in project management. Her roles have ranged from hands-on support to managerial positions.

      Nicole has a passion for supporting people to reach their full potential.  

      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.

      Ross Leighner

      Behaviour Support Specialist

      • 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 Arts, Special Education (Moderate-Intensive), 2011 with Disability Studies Minor. (Cum Laude)

      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.

      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 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

      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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