NDIS provider in Yamba, NSW: Behind the scenes with Brooke Wheeler

Brooke Wheeler with Melody Dexter

04 December 2023

NDIS provider in Yamba, NSW: Behind the scenes with Brooke Wheeler

NDIS Provider in Yamba, NSW

Ability Consultants is an NDIS Provider in Yamba, NSW. Yamba is located about eight hours north of Sydney, and is about halfway between Coffs Harbour and Byron Bay. It’s a beautiful coastal town of about 6400 people in the Clarence Valley area.

Which NDIS services do we provide in Yamba, NSW?

We support communities in Yamba and throughout the Clarence Valley through easy access to Positive Behaviour Support. Positive Behaviour Support improves quality of life by building new support strategies, skills and behaviours to meet their needs and goals.

Here’s a great video where Belinda explains Positive Behaviour Support:

Meet Brooke Wheeler, Positive Behaviour Support Practitioner in Yamba, NSW

Hi Brooke! It’s great to have you on our team in the Clarence Valley! Tell us about you!

It’s great to be a part of the Ability Consultants team! I'm a mother of three who recently relocated to the stunning haven of Yamba, all in pursuit of a richer, more fulfilling life for my family.

The beach is my sanctuary, where I spend much of my time by the water. I enjoy taking care of my health and wellness. It's a big part of my life, from what I eat to how I stay active. Whether it's engaging in invigorating workouts, cooking up nourishing meals, or exploring activities that nurture my mind and spirit, I'm devoted to elevating my well-being.

I thrive on continuously expanding my horizons through learning. Kindness and compassion are values I hold close; I believe in treating everyone with warmth and empathy.

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You completed a Bachelor of Psychological Science, a Graduate Diploma of Counselling and a Master in Social Work. Why did you choose to study these fields?

My curiosity about human behaviour has been a lifelong fascination, a constant quest to understand the reasons behind our actions—always seeking the "why." This curiosity led me to study psychology, which offered valuable theoretical knowledge. However, I yearned for more tangible skills, prompting me to pursue counselling studies. But it wasn’t until my experience studying Social Work that I discovered my true calling.

The foundational values of social work—rooted in principles of social justice, respect for individuals, and upholding integrity—resonated deeply with me. It was here that everything fell into place. Advocating for human rights and striving to enhance both individual and collective well-being became my driving force. I'm passionate about standing up for what's right and contributing to enhancing people's lives, both on an individual level and within our communities.

How has your experience in the mental health and disability sectors influenced your approach to supporting individuals?

Since 2015, I've dedicated myself to the mental health and disability sector and I started my journey as a support worker. This role gave me a profound opportunity to build meaningful connections with individuals, offering me invaluable insight into the unique challenges they navigate daily. My path has taken me through both the non-profit and government sectors, illuminating the systemic barriers present and equipping me with the skills to manoeuvre through these barriers, ensuring optimal outcomes for those I work with.

Through my experiences, I've gained a wealth of knowledge concerning the prevalent challenges individuals face when coping with mental health diagnoses or permanent disabilities. However, more significantly, it highlighted the pivotal importance of tailoring support to suit each person's distinctive needs. I've come to recognize the absolute truth that no two individuals are alike. Thus, I've honed my ability to be adaptable and innovative, crafting approaches that cater specifically to the individual I'm supporting. This creative adaptability has become a cornerstone of my approach, ensuring that the support provided is as unique as the individuals I work with.

Can you tell us about the other fields you’ve worked in and how this enhances your work in Positive Behaviour Support?

My journey also extended into the realm of suicide prevention, crisis support and dual diagnosis, where I've aided individuals and their families impacted by their loved ones' struggles with substance use. I've worked in the field of domestic and family violence, offering support to victims of violence and sexual assault.

Across various counselling and crisis support roles, I've stood by individuals in their darkest moments, providing a steady hand during times of crisis. These experiences have granted me profound insight into the impact of such challenges on a person's life. They've become the compass guiding my approach—tailoring support to address their unique histories and current struggles.

I endeavour to employ a trauma-informed perspective, recognising and respecting the impact of past experiences on an individual's present. This approach remains at the heart of my work, ensuring sensitivity and empathy in every interaction.

My past experiences have significantly enriched my role in Positive Behaviour Support by fostering a deep sense of empathy and understanding towards the myriad challenges individuals encounter. Through these encounters, I've developed a substantial toolkit with various skills and resources tailored to provide effective and comprehensive support to those I engage with.

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Positive Behaviour Support in Yamba

As an NDIS Provider, Ability Consultants provides Positive Behaviour Support in Yamba. Which other towns or areas do we provide support in the region?

While I'm based in Yamba, I'm more than willing to travel within the Clarence Valley to extend my services to individuals in need. Surrounding suburbs include Iluka, Evans head, Maclean, Woodburn, Ulmarra and Grafton. Additionally, I have colleagues nearby in areas like Coffs Harbour and Grafton, ensuring comprehensive coverage and support across the region.

Can you tell us about a time that you’ve seen Positive Behaviour Support in action and the effect it had on a person and/or their family?

I witnessed the power of Positive Behaviour Support while working with a young man who had a passion for vehicles, especially trucks. Despite living in supported accommodation situated by a bustling main road, he often absconded in his eagerness to be around cars and trucks, posing a significant safety risk due to his lack of road awareness. To prevent his wandering, the provider resorted to locking doors, causing distress to both the young man and his family, who frequently received concerned calls from community members reporting sightings of him.

Through a Positive Behaviour Support approach, we devised a plan to grant him weekly opportunities to engage with trucks at a nearby depot, allowing him to explore these vehicles in a safe environment. Additionally, we scheduled daily outings tailored to his interests, whether it was catching a bus or attending car shows. By integrating his passion into his daily routine, we not only improved his quality of life but also focused on building his road awareness skills to ensure his safety.

This approach yielded remarkable results—his absconding behaviour significantly decreased, providing much-needed reassurance to his family. By honouring his interests and incorporating them into his daily activities, we not only mitigated the safety concerns but also fostered a sense of fulfilment and joy in his life.

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What would you say is the greatest outcome of Positive Behaviour Support?

Positive Behaviour Support is not solely about addressing challenging behaviours; its ultimate goal is to enrich a person's life on a profound level. It's about fostering a sense of fulfilment and building greater self-esteem into every facet of their life. By tailoring strategies that align with an individual's needs and aspirations, we strive to elevate their overall quality of life.

Central to this approach is advocating for freedom and self-determination. It's about empowering individuals to make choices and take charge of their lives in ways that resonate with their desires and values.

The true success of positive behaviour support lies in witnessing someone flourish—finding contentment, pursuing interests, and experiencing a life that's not confined by limitations or societal norms. It's about enabling individuals to shape their own narrative, allowing them to navigate the world with a sense of purpose and genuine happiness.

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What are some of the challenges a person might experience as they engage in Positive Behaviour Support and how do you overcome these?

One of the notable hurdles in Positive Behaviour Support arises when there are constraints in funding or time, hindering the provision of comprehensive assistance that individuals truly require. Through providing thorough assessments and recommendation reports, hopefully the person is able to gain the funding they require.

Another challenge emerges when family members or other supports are unable or unwilling to engage fully in the intervention strategies. When essential components of support are overlooked or disregarded, it detrimentally affects the person dependent on that support. This lack of collaboration or acknowledgment of the importance of behaviour support undermines the holistic progress and well-being of the individual, stunting their potential growth and development. I make an effort to engage everyone within the team, emphasising the significance of their involvement. I offer education and support, elucidating the vital importance of intervention strategies and the profound impact they have on the individual we're assisting. It's crucial to showcase how these strategies directly benefit the person we're supporting, aligning everyone with a shared goal: enhancing the well-being and progress of the client.

What can a person and their support team expect from you as their behaviour support practitioner?

Clients can anticipate a friendly and warm approach from me. I enter every interaction with an open and non-judgmental perspective, aiming not to change or pass judgement on anyone but rather to collaboratively explore ways to enhance their quality of life and reduce behaviours that may be challenging. It's about working together towards a better and more fulfilling life for the person, free from any preconceived notions or biases.

I strive to establish a personal connection as soon as I receive a referral. My aim is to gather insights from all involved parties, valuing each person's perspective. Through comprehensive assessments, I delve deeply into the individual's situation, seeking to gain a thorough understanding of their unique circumstances. This approach allows me to grasp the full picture and tailor support that addresses their specific needs and challenges.

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Life in Yamba and the Clarence Valley

What do you love most about living in Yamba?

Yamba's stunning beaches, laid-back atmosphere, and welcoming community resonate deeply with me. I've curated a fulfilling and serene life for my family in this wonderful place, surrounded by like-minded individuals who share in the beauty and tranquillity this town offers. It's a place where we've not only found solace but also formed meaningful connections with kindred spirits.

What challenges do local communities face when it comes to accessing NDIS providers in the Clarence Valley?

In the Clarence Valley, the regional nature brings forth common challenges such as constrained resources, especially in allied health services. A significant issue arises due to the prevalence of individuals grappling with debilitating challenges yet facing barriers to accessing suitable support. The limited services on offer often have lengthy wait times, creating a significant gap between the need for assistance and the availability of resources, leaving many individuals unable to access timely support.

The Clarence Valley is a beautiful part of Australia. Can you tell us your favourite tourist attraction for people who visit Yamba or the Clarence Valley?

Definitely the Angourie Rock Pool — it’s a rock quarry that filled with fresh water, a great place for a swim!

How to get started with Positive Behaviour Support in Yamba

To get started with Positive Behaviour Support in Yamba or in the Clarence Valley, you make a referral on our website anytime. You are also welcome to get in touch online or by calling our team on 1300 694 625.

If you’re not ready to get started with an NDIS Provider in Yamba and you’re just getting started with the NDIS, please visit the NDIS website for more information. 

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About Ability Consultants

Ability Consultants is a Registered NDIS Provider in Yamba and throughout the Clarence Valley region of NSW. We support NDIS participants and private clients throughout NSW, QLD, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia.

We primarily provide Positive Behaviour Support however we also deliver psychology support in parts of Australia, including psychology assessments and therapy.

Here’s more information to help you understand Positive Behaviour Support:

NDIS provider in Yamba, NSW: Behind the scenes with Brooke Wheeler

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Australia wide service

Ability Consultants is a team of Behaviour Support Practitioners who work with clients all across Australia through virtual and in-person means.

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