Our people are our biggest asset.
Peter Scott, Executive Director, Chairperson
BPsych, GradDipPsych, MRehabCouns, GAICD
Peter has been involved in rehabilitation in both Australia and the United States of America since 1982 and in employment services since 1975. Prior to taking over ORS Group in 1992 where he remained the CEO until early 2019, Peter was one of the founding managers of the Rehabilitation Division at the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Commission (WorkCover WA). Peter is passionate about making a positive difference in people’s lives. He recognises that helping people achieve their goals is one significant way to do that, and inspires this belief in all who work with ORS. Peter is an accomplished speaker, innovator and leader.
Jacqueline Lane, Executive Director
Jacqueline is passionate about helping businesses drive performance and innovation through clear strategy, leadership and stakeholder engagement. Jacqueline is an organised and proactive executive and HR professional with over 10 years of leadership and management in the allied health, workplace rehabilitation, disability, training and employment sectors. Proven expertise linking business strategy to operational management through her previous roles managing multiple corporate departments across the areas of property, safety, marketing, learning and development, human resources, quality, finance and accounts. Wanting to help businesses create solid foundations for performance, Jacqueline is a member of a number of community and commercial boards including Managing Director of her own co-working, networking and business support agency in Perth.
Dr Vanessa Parletta, Chief Executive Officer
BPsych(Hons), MSoSc(Crim), MBA(HRM), DBA
Dr Vanessa Parletta is the CEO of ORS and is a passionate advocate for providing clients with high quality evidence-based allied health services that work. Vanessa’s Doctorate thesis involved the implementation and evaluation of evidence-based supported employment (Individual Placement and Support) for adults with severe and persistent mental illness. Vanessa’s theses from her Masters and Bachelor degrees involved the implementation and evaluation of a coping skills program for at-risk prisoners and the implementation and evaluation of a stress management program for mainstream prisoners. Vanessa is a strong believer in the evaluation of services to ensure that they are achieving client and funder goals and helping people reach their potential. Currently ORS is assessing the impact of emotion regulation practices on the reduction of physical aggression in an NDIS client population receiving positive behaviour support services.
Vanessa has over 20 years’ management experience of large government/insurer funded programs for clients with injuries/disabilities requiring assistance to overcome barriers and achieve their goals. Vanessa was awarded the National Employment Services Association Discovery Grant Award in 2012/2013 for her leadership and innovation within the employment services industry. She was also the National Winner, Disability Employment Australia Bid Management Capability Award in 2011.
Vanessa has co-authored three journal articles published in peer reviewed journals and has presented at national and international conferences including the OECD Local Economic and Employment Development Forum in Dublin/Kilkenny. Vanessa’s main areas of interest include the assessment of dangerousness and how to reduce physical aggression towards others, including the prevention of critical incidents in workplace settings. She is also an expert in the area of restrictive practices and developing positive behaviour support plans involving these.
Lisa Baker, Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Cert IV Bus, Cert IV EmpServ, DipMgt, MBA (current)
Lisa has over 15 years’ experience in workers compensation and vocational rehabilitation, disability employment services and in helping people with injuries, disabilities and health conditions to achieve their vocational and personal goals. Lisa is currently completing her Masters of Business Administration.
Lisa is extremely passionate about continuous performance improvement through strategic process development and training excellence across both corporate and operational areas. Lisa has mentored hundreds of employees throughout her career and loves nothing more than seeing people progress and succeed as a result. Lisa thrives on implementing transformational change and has led major projects within ORS such as the implementation of the NDIS division, enhancement of the New Employer Workplace Rehabilitation area, and streamlining multiple corporate services areas to improve organisational efficiency, profitability and effectiveness. Lisa’s expertise lies in her ability to interpret and manage contracts, develop and manage systems, improve policies and processes and achieve strong performance across multiple contracts and service divisions. Lisa’s ability to comprehend complex data and information, and her attention to detail is exceptional.
With a strong focus on business health and significant growth, Lisa is continuing to coordinate projects and strategies that will increase ORS’ employee behavioural and competency development, improve corporate governance and contract management effectiveness, increase service quality and effectiveness and ensure strong accountability is maintained.
Alex Caterjian, Psychological Services Manager NSW/ACT
BSocSc(Sociol), BA(Psych), PGDPsych, MPsych(Clinical)
Alex has 12 years of experience providing psychological therapy in private practice and state and federal government agencies, including Centrelink and NSW Health. He is an AHPRA approved supervisor for provisional and intern Psychologists, as well as for Clinical Psychology Registrars, having helped numerous provisional and clinical psychologists achieve full registration and endorsement.
Alex’s areas of expertise include trauma, sexuality, and men’s health. He also specialises in depression, anxiety, and compulsive behaviours. His main areas of interest include psychological dysfunctions impacting on weight and the evidence-based interventions to treat these conditions, notably emotion regulation training and cognitive remediation.
Alex is highly skilled in the provision of a range of therapeutic approaches including Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, interpersonal psychotherapy, and brief solution-focused therapies. He has significant experiences and skills in the delivery of neurocognitive assessments for cognitive and intellectual functioning, personality disturbances, and forensic and medico-legal preparations and reports.
Anthea Smith, General Manager Psychological Services and Behaviour Support
BA(Psych) (Hons), MPsych(Couns)
Anthea has over 15 years’ experience as a registered counselling psychologist and is an AHPRA approved supervisor. Anthea has extensive experience managing psychological and behaviour support services within organisations and is passionate about helping to train and develop provisional and registered psychologists and behaviour support practitioners to become the best they can be in their preferred areas of interest. Anthea’s expertise includes positive behaviour support assessments and interventions, particularly involving clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Severe and Persistent Mental Illness, couple and family therapy, group therapy programs (children and adults), emotion regulation training, trauma counselling and pain management counselling.
Anthea believes strongly in the need to evaluate the effectiveness of services provided and is currently heading up research within ORS involving the impact of emotion regulation training on the reduction of physical aggression in clients receiving behaviour support funding under the NDIS.
Ashleigh Johnston, Strategy and Performance Coordinator
Cert IV ES, Cert IV FLM
Ashleigh has over 12 years’ experience working in Employment Services, Workplace Rehabilitation and Health and more recently within the employment area of the NDIS. Ashleigh has placed hundreds of clients into employment throughout her employment with ORS. She has also managed five star employment service sites and regions and helped to train others to replicate her results.
Ashleigh strongly believes in the benefits of employment in improving health outcomes and recovery. However, she understands the need for the vocational goal and company culture to match the needs, wants and career aspirations as well as the capacity of the client for any placement to be successful. Ashleigh’s expertise is in the area of motivational interviewing, vocational goal planning and in employer selection and marketing.
Dr Geoff Waghorn, Senior Innovation and Research
BSocSci, PGDipPsych, PhD
Dr Waghorn has 24 years’ experience as a Registered Psychologist and 23 years in research. He is one of the leading experts on vocational rehabilitation including Individual Placement and Support (evidence-based supported employment) within Australia and internationally. To date Dr Waghorn has contributed to over 120 peer reviewed research publications. Most of his research has focussed on improving the recovery and social inclusion of individuals living with disabilities and health conditions.
In 2014 Dr Waghorn entered into the Disability Employment Australia Hall of Fame for his significant contribution to improving the lives and experiences of people with mental illness seeking employment. Dr Waghorn’s expertise includes an ability to simplify complex information and research to ensure that it can be practically applied in the real world. Geoff is a passionate advocate of open employment for people living with disabilities and severe mental illnesses who want to work. He has challenged low expectations in society with questions such as “show me the evidence that this person cannot work given the right support and a suitable job match.”
Dr Waghorn is currently assisting ORS to improve our services through ongoing evaluation and documentation of best practices. He is also overseeing our research into the impact of emotion regulation on the reduction of aggression for NDIS clients receiving behaviour support services
Elizabeth Trickey, Strategy and Performance Manager
Elizabeth has worked within the employment services industry, workplace rehabilitation industry and NDIS for the past 13 years within many different roles including site, region, service area and national management roles. Elizabeth has a strong focus on contract/service area knowledge, performance, staff morale and team culture and is able to work within any team to identify and address process, performance and system issues and subsequently generate improved performance. Elizabeth’s areas of expertise and interest include customer service, complaints handling, performance improvement and staff management.
Emma Storey, Senior Behaviour Support Practitioner
Emma has 4 years’ experience working as a Behaviour Support Practitioner and 8 years disability industry experience in a variety of management and support worker roles
Emma has extensive experience working successfully in a person centred manner with complex cases with extremely challenging behaviours. Emma has an incredible ability to establish rapport with clients, families and support staff and makes everyone feel immediately comfortable in her presence. Emma enjoys working in multidisciplinary teams with a variety of stakeholders such as Department of Health, Department of Education, NDIA, NSW Justice etc. Emma’s expertise involves working with adolescents supporting change management, transitions, puberty and sexual development. Emma also has expertise working with difficult to engage clients, clients other providers will not accept, forensic populations and clients exhibiting extremely challenging behaviours. Emma’s strong positivity and willingness to see the potential in everyone is an asset and helps her to achieve the strong levels of success she does in reducing challenging behaviours in these populations. Emma is committed to person centred practice, and commits to always work from that lens, not only the framework. Emma understands diagnoses and medical models, but seeks to provide service for the individual; focusing on their strengths, their dreams, and their desires for their own best lives. Emma champions her clients and their support teams in the challenges, and celebrates with those in their success. Emma also has expertise in developing Interim and Comprehensive Behaviour Support Plans involving the use of restrictive practices.
Geoffery Henrisson, Reporting Manager
BBus (Acc and InfoTech)
Geoffery has over 30 years’ experience across various industries in the areas of accounting and business reporting and analysis. In his role, Geoffery is responsible for supporting individual business divisions, conferring with managers and executives to provide key performance metrics, designing interactive dashboards to track, review and analyse performance and revenue KPIs. Geoffery’s expertise is his ability to communicate with staff at all levels about data and trends as well as his skills in designing, analysing and reporting to increase profitability and efficiency.
Joseph Carrello, Psychological Services Manager – WA
BPsych, JI Accredited Trainer
Joseph has over 30 years’ experience as a Registered Psychologist across multiple government and private sector organisations and authorities. He is an AHRPA approved supervisor and has assisted many provisional psychologists achieve full registration. Joseph has extensive service delivery and management experience and currently oversees ORS’ Western Australia Primary Health Alliance contracts for short term brief intervention psychological counselling for adults and children with mild to moderate mental health presentations in WA as well as our Employee Assistance Program services contracts nationally.
Joseph’s expertise is in the areas of EAP service provision, evidence-based psychological counselling, couples counselling, mediation and conflict resolution, outplacement and career transition, Psychological Assessments and delivering training presentations on psychology-related topics. He also specialises in the critical incident and trauma debriefing areas and has assisted numerous companies, individuals and families recovering from significant workplace accidents. He is also the only accredited Judgment Index (value-based assessment) trainer accredited outside the USA to conduct training in the Judgment Index and has presented keynote addresses at international conferences.
Marko Bajic, Marketing, Quality and Systems Manager
Cert IV MentalHlth, DipEmpServ, DipMgt
Marko has 10 years of management experience and has predominantly worked within the Disability Employment Services and NDIS sectors. Within the sector, Marko has held many different positions including; General Manager, National Performance Manager, Mental Health and Disability Specialist and Regional Manager. Marko is passionate about helping people with a disability live their best lives, and he strives to achieve this through his commitment to exceptional customer service, training and development of staff, implementation of systems and efficiencies and his strong focus on quality and ensuring that the National Standards for Disability Services, NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework, NDIS Practice Standards and ISO 9001:2015 underpins all of ORS’ service delivery. Marko’s expertise lies in his ability to manage multiple contracts, develop and roll out policies, procedures and systems across multiple businesses division. His expertise are underpinned by his strong performance orientation, background in digital design, love of social media and technology, strong marketing knowledge, business improvement and development skills as well as his extensive experience in quality and compliance management across multiple industries.
Matthew Frearson, Customer Experience Manager
Matthew currently manages the customer experience within ORS. He oversees the organisation’s referral and booking process, administration, staff allocation, and customer feedback. Matthew has had extensive experience across multiple roles within ORS and has worked across employment services, NDIS including School Leaver Employment Supports, Finding and Keeping a Job and Behaviour Support in addition to holding a number of management roles. He is passionate about providing exceptional customer service and high-quality evidence-based services in a timely manner and ensures all feedback is actioned and addressed with solutions in place to reduce similar issues occurring in the future.
Petrina Scott, Strategy and Performance Coordinator
BArts, Cert IV TAE, Cert IV FLM, Cert IV ES
Petrina has over 15 years’ experience working with individuals with disabilities, injuries and health conditions as well as other forms of disadvantage and helping them to achieve their personal and employment goals. Petrina has personally assisted hundreds of clients to achieve employment through her marketing and support efforts.
Whilst working at ORS, Petrina has managed multiple programs, services and projects and enjoys developing and training staff to exceed program and client expectations. Petrina is currently managing the WA NDIS services along with the Psychosocial Support Program, previously known as PHaMs. Petrina’s expertise includes marketing, business development and assisting large employers to develop and sustain successful disability employment programs within their organisations.
Preethi Kannan, Behaviour Support Manager / Registered Psychologist – Central Coast / Newcastle
Preethi has worked in various Disability and Forensic roles since completing her Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology 10 years ago. She is a registered psychologist and has worked across case management, clinical and management roles. Her main interests within psychology are forensic disability, and how to accurately identify and manage behaviours of concern. She also enjoys working with clients diagnosed with an intellectual disability, and autism. Preethi enjoys analysing behaviour and supporting both clients, their families and stakeholders to achieve improved outcomes. She has undertaken significant training with forensic clients, with a focus on the Good Lives Model, Positive Behaviour Support, the Risk Needs Responsivity Model and Trauma Informed Care. Preethi enjoys writing various reports, and giving evidence at court. Her main modalities of therapy include Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.
Rebecca Ryan, Accountant
BCom, DipFinPlan, CPA, Xero Partner Accreditation
Rebecca is a CPA qualified Accountant who has worked in practice for over 20 years gaining a wide range of accounting, tax and audit experience, working for a variety of clients across numerous industries. Rebecca’s expertise involves her ability to quickly understand how different industries work and what strategies are required to maximise growth and financial performance.
Rob Savage, IT Manager
DipMgt, GradCertBus, GradDipBus, MBA, MCSE, Prince 2 Foundation Cert, ITIL Foundation Cert
Rob has a technical and managerial background with over 20 years’ experience, primarily in the Information Technology industry. Working within both the private and public sectors Rob has a proven ability to develop and strengthen management teams in order to maximise company profitability and efficiency. With a strong technical background Rob has spent time in both Canada and the United Kingdom offering consultation services to companies such as IBM and Hewlett Packard. Rob’s areas of interest include information systems and process management.
Sarah Williams, State Manager Workplace Rehabilitation and Health
BHSc(OT) MMgt(Personal Injury)
Sarah has 20 years’ experience as an Occupational Therapist working in personal injury insurance. Sarah has worked in a number of personal injury schemes including workers compensation (including Comare), DVA, life insurance and CTP nationally. Sarah has extensive experience in workplace rehabilitation including management of rehabilitation providers performance internally and externally.
Sarah’s strengths are in providing strategies on files to assist with progression of individuals back to work and also life. Sarah also has skills in workplace assessments, functional capacity evaluations, activities of daily living assessments and ergonomic assessments. Sarah has also provided training sessions on early intervention and health benefits of good work. Sarah is passionate about getting people back to work following injuries to improve independence and quality of life.
Sarah has a Masters in Management (Personal Injury) and a Bachelor of Health Science Occupational Therapy. Sarah is registered with AHPRA and Comcare.
Simon Gao, Behaviour Support/Physical Services Manager WA
Simon has over 6 years’ experience as an Occupational Therapist working with people of all ages, from children aged 3+ to teenagers, adults, and older adults with complex health needs in mental health, disability, paediatric, geriatric, and private sectors. He has had a strong focus on training and professional development whilst leading therapy teams in various clinical settings as well as teaching undergraduate students at a tertiary education level, assisting with multidisciplinary team members to deliver the best possible practices to their clients.
Simon is adept of supporting clients experiencing from a wide variety of health issues and subsequent behavioural concerns, including mental health issues, neurodevelopmental/neurodegenerative conditions, trauma, and chronic pain. Particularly, Simon utilises a unique clinical view from a conjunction of his OT and psychology backgrounds to best support clients with dual diagnosis of disability and mental health. Simon is a member of Occupational Therapy Australia and Australian Psychological Society respectively, and also speaks Mandarin.
Simon believes that people with disability can overcome their barriers, regain their functioning, achieve their individualised goals, and ultimately improve their quality of life and independence with the right supports. Simon is passionate to assist his team to walk alongside their clients during their recovery journeys. Simon also has a particular interest in the area of information processing and emotional vulnerability and resilience, and is hoping to develop an innovative intervention for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder to reduce their anxiety and improve their employability skills.
Simone Jones, Physical Services Manager
Simone has over 20 years of experience as an OT and has worked within paediatric mental health, workplace rehabilitation, disability and NDIS sectors. Simone’s expertise lies within the workplace and home modifications for people with disabilities, health conditions and injuries. Simone also specialises in assistive technology prescription; functional daily living skills and Supported Independent Living (SIL) assessments and ergonomics. Simone is a hands-on manager who enjoys training and developing staff and helping them to learn the skills needed to assist clients to overcome barriers and achieve their goals.
Simone Parke, Assistant State Manager Workplace Rehabilitation and Health
BExPhysiol, ESSAM AEP, ASCA Level 1 Coach
Simone has 4 years’ experience working within the workplace rehabilitation industry across multiple roles including Rehabilitation Consultant, RTW Coordinator and Team Leader. Prior to this Simone worked as an Exercise Physiologist assisting children and adults through exercise prescription and pre-employment health screening. Simone is a strong believer in the benefits of exercise to overall health and mental well-being. Her areas of interest include: chronic pain, exercise prescription for individuals with cancer, exercise prescription for paediatric populations and complex multi-factorial WorkCover claims. Simone also has expertise in working with employers to help them address unsafe work practices resulting in injuries and WorkCover claims. Simone has recently commenced conducting exercise programs for NDIS clients with complex behaviours also receiving concurrent positive behaviour support intervention.
Travis Williamson, Job Development and Marketing Manager
Travis has over 9 years’ experience working in the Employment Services sector. Travis has vast experience in relationship management and employment program development. Travis has worked with some of Australia’s largest brand name employers to design, create and rollout employment programs across the country, which have resulted in thousands of job placements. Travis has been invited to guest speak at national and international conferences, including the USA McDonald’s World Wide Convention, Australian Network on Disability Conference and the NZ Franchising Expo to showcase these programs and the positive impacts seen through employing people with a disability, injury or illness.
Travis has a passion for working with youth and helping them shape and design their futures starting with finding the perfect first job.
April Hiscott, Behaviour Support Team Leader – ACT
April is a Provisional Psychologist with over three years’ experience working with individuals with disabilities who present with challenging behaviours. April has expertise in the formulation of the reasons behind an individual’s challenging behaviour and in strategy development. April really enjoys working in partnership with her clients and their supports to help them learn to improve their skills and replace challenging behaviours with other behaviours that allow them to maintain better relationships with others and that are less dangerous to themselves. April receives outstanding feedback from everyone she works with and her skills and expertise in positive behaviour support are well known. April has extensive experience in the development of positive behaviour support plans including those involving restrictive practices. April also enjoys training and developing other staff to develop skills in this area. April’s areas of interest include the psychological development of children and young people, developmental disabilities, complex mental health concerns, ABIs and Intellectual Disabilities. In 2016, April also contributed to the research of individuals with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome and presented at the VCFS conference at Westmead Children’s Hospital.
Babar Khan, Senior Rehabilitation Consultant/Rehabilitation Counsellor
GradDipMgt, MRehabCouns, MBA
Babar has over 3 years’ experience in workplace rehabilitation working across multiple schemes including icare, CTP, Life Insurance, DVA, Comcare and TMF. Previous to this he worked within Disability Employment Services where he was responsible for the placement of numerous clients into employment. Babar has specific expertise in conducting vocational assessments as he understands the labour market and what is required in different positions and industries. Babar is also a skilled marketer and understands the need to ensure that all placements are positive experiences for both the injured worker and the employer. Babar is a strong believer that the human spirit is one of ability, perseverance and courage that no disability can steal away. Babar is multi-lingual and also speaks Urdu and Hindi.
Cainan Roncati, Provisional Psychologist/Senior Behaviour Support Practitioner – NSW
Cainan is a Provisional Psychologist and Senior Behaviour Support Practitioner with over 2 years’ experience supporting individuals with disabilities to reduce and eliminate behaviours of concern and improve quality of life. He also has previous experience supporting individuals concerned about family member’s substance use. Cainan uses a person-centred and trauma-informed approach in his work and ensures that he considers the needs of all parties when developing his interventions. Cainan has experience working with clients with all disability types and has developed Positive Behaviour Support Plans involving restrictive practices. Cainan is passionate about advocating on behalf of clients with disabilities to ensure that they are provided with the opportunities and supports they need to achieve their goals.
Claudia Dunn, Behaviour Support Team Leader – Wollongong
Claudia is a Provisional Psychologist with over 3 years’ experience in supporting people with disability of all ages including children. Claudia also has experience assisting individuals with the full range of disabilities and cognitive functioning levels including clients who are non-verbal. Claudia’s expertise is her ability to develop high quality positive behaviour support plans quickly and train staff in all of the strategies outlined. Claudia has written numerous Interim and Comprehensive Behaviour Support Plans involving restrictive practices and has a strong understanding of what is required in this area. Claudia has an interest in working with children and adolescents as well as individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
David Smout, Team Leader Workplace Rehabilitation and Health and NDIS – ACT
BSc(OccTherapy), PostGradCert. in Soft Tissue Injury
David is an AHPRA registered OT with extensive experience in the workplace rehabilitation industry across multiple schemes including the NSW and ACT WorkCover schemes, Comcare ACT Government, DVA, NDIS and Aged Care.
David specialises in workplace assessments to assess capacity and identify strategies that align with the capacity to facilitate an early return to work and swift recovery. David is a strong advocate of the health benefits of good work and has an excellent understanding of the latest evidence-based practices and literature so that he is able to promote this and educate treating practitioners, workplaces and employers, injured workers and doctors in order to facilitate early and durable return to work outcomes. David is also extremely knowledgeable about the impact of disability on mobility and function and uses his expertise in this area when conducting ADL and Supported Independent Living Assessments for NDIS customers
Donna Thomas, Senior Occupational Therapist – WA
Donna has 13 years of experience as an OT and has worked with people across all ages from early intervention through to adults with complex disabilities. Donna’s expertise lies within equipment prescriptions, home modifications, paediatrics, sensory processing, positive behaviour support as well as mental health. She is an accredited DIR®/Floortime® therapist and is passionate on promoting development by encouraging children to interact with parents and others through play. She is passionate about empowering all individuals to overcome barriers and improve quality of life.
Dr. Michelle Messenger, Senior Behaviour Support Practitioner
BA (Soc Sc) MA (Psych) PhD
Michelle has held numerous positions within disability services across the Government and private sector. Michelle has worked with people with mental health issues, acquired brain injury and those in aged care.
These roles have included direct client work and the supervision and management of others. Michelle has specialised in working with adults with an intellectual disability and those that have behaviour support needs. Michelle’s work included completing Behaviour support plans containing restrictive practices that met the requirements of the NDIS Quality and Safety Commission.
Michelle completed her PhD at the Australian Stuttering Research Centre (Sydney University). Her research topic was Anxiety in those who stutter. Michelle has written a journal article that was published in the Journal of Fluency Disorders, and she presented these findings at an international event, Oxford Dysfluency Conference. Michelle is passionate about providing a high-quality service for people using evidence-based practice and supporting others to do the same.
Garrett Ellwood, Senior Behaviour Support Practitioner – Sydney
Garrett has extensive experience in positive behaviour support and applied behaviour analysis and has worked within multiple behaviour support practitioner environments with a variety of different client populations including children, adults and the full spectrum of disabilities and health conditions. Garrett is very passionate about assisting vulnerable individuals to receive the care and support they need and previously worked in child protection, youth development and mental health. Garrett is currently in the process of becoming a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst. His main interest areas involve children, adolescents and neurodiversity.
Irina Risteska, Behaviour Support Manager
BSc (Psych), BSc (Psych Hons), MCurricInstr (ABA), BCBA
Irina is a Senior Behaviour Support Practitioner and Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) with over seven years’ experience helping children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder to reduce and eliminate challenging behaviour. Irina has conducted interventions across many environments including schools and day care centres and regularly provides consultations to Paediatricians and other medica and allied health professionals. Irina has extensive experience across all areas of applied behaviour analysis and behaviour support including discrete trail training, naturalistic environment teaching, antecedent interventions, consequence interventions, Picture Exchange Communication Systems, feeding programs, sleeping programs, social skills programs, self-stimulatory behaviours, self-injurious behaviours, data collection, graphing and analysis, behavioural skills training, and functional behaviour assessments and analysis. In addition to client interventions, Irina enjoys staff training and development and is a board-approved supervisor to other practitioners undergoing BCBA training.
Katie Scriven, Team Leader Workplace Rehabilitation and Health and NDIS Occupational Therapy – Newcastle/Central Coast
Katie is an AHPRA registered OT who is the Team Leader for Newcastle and Central Coast, overseeing Workplace Rehabilitation and NDIS Occupational Therapy services. Katie has extensive experience across multiple schemes including: NSW WorkCover, NDIS, DVA and Aged Care. Katie enjoys working as part of a multi-disciplinary team and likes to take a holistic view of clients and their needs. Katie’s expertise involves Supported Independent Living Assessments, Assistive Technology Applications and Home Modification Assessments. Katie has an interest in sensory intervention and the provision of positive behaviour support. She is particularly interested in how both areas interrelate and enjoys the holistic approach that needs to be taken when conducting these interventions. Katie’s role as team leader consists of supporting staff and ensuring high quality assessments, documentation and services are being providing throughout her team.
Katya Petrova, Senior Psychologist/Behaviour Support Practitioner – Sydney
Katya is a Registered Psychologist with over seven years’ experience in providing psychological interventions to clients experiencing the full range of psychological and psychiatric conditions. Katya has worked in a variety of different industries including employee assistance program (EAP), employment services and workplace rehabilitation, and more recently the NDIS. Katya’s expertise is in the areas of brief psychological interventions, program management and facilitation, and team leadership.
Katya’s main interests include vocational assessments, motivational counselling, cognitive therapy, disability management and support, and child development.
Kirsten Sacks, Registered Psychologist/Behaviour Support Practitioner NSW
BAPsych, BAPsych(Hons), BA(Hons)(Psychometric Assessments), MProfPsyc
Kirsten is a Registered Psychologist with experience working across different sectors and settings including NDIS, Mental Health Hospitals and Private Practice. Kirsten has extensive experience conducting assessments and therapeutic interventions with children and treating childhood disorders such as anxiety, anger management, social skills difficulties and emotion regulation concerns. Kirsten enjoys working collaboratively with parents, teachers and allied health and medical professionals and assisting individuals to achieve their goals. Kirsten has a comprehensive understanding of the NDIS Commission’s requirements regarding restrictive practices and has experience developing Interim and Comprehensive Behaviour Support Plans and providing staff training and education in this area. Kirsten has a passion in the area of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Lauren Denniss, Team Leader Workplace Rehabilitation and Health
Lauren has 3 years’ experience within workplace rehabilitation working across multiple schemes including icare, Comcare and DVA and 3 years’ experience in clinical physiotherapy, including within the NDIS and previously her own practice. Lauren enjoys taking a holistic approach when helping injured workers and people with disability and health conditions to fulfil their maximum health potential and improve their quality of life. Lauren has experience working with clients of all ages, abilities and functional capacities. Lauren is a high performer who achieves outstanding client outcomes and enjoys training and mentoring others using her clinical and rehabilitation skills to improve their results.
Megan Perry, Behaviour Support Team Leader – Newcastle
Megan is a Provisional Psychologist and Behaviour Support Practitioner and has over 10 years’ experience supporting people with disabilities and mental health conditions in the Newcastle area. Megan’s expertise lies in her ability to establish rapport and trust with all parties, understand the function of challenging behaviours and work with families and support workers to develop practical and easy to apply strategies that work. Megan is able to work with extremely complex clients including those with forensic backgrounds and individuals who have experienced trauma and abuse. She has an extensive knowledge of person-centred and trauma-informed care models and experience with developing Interim and Comprehensive Behaviour Support Plans involving restrictive practices. Megan’s interests include working with adolescents and young people with disabilities and helping them to reach their potential and training and developing other Behaviour Support Practitioners.
Meredith Vale, Senior Behaviour Support Practitioner
Meredith has over 10 years’ experience in positive behaviour support roles in the disability industry. She has particular expertise in working with teens and adults with significantly challenging behaviours. Meredith has completed a Bachelor of Psychological Science and will have completed her Master of Education in Applied Behaviour Analysis in 2020. She is a member of the Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia and has qualified as a Registered Behaviour Technician. Meredith presented her case study research on increasing independent activity in Autism at the 2019 Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia Conference in Melbourne. Meredith has many years’ experience and holds a particular interest in working with people with Acquired Brain Injury, mental illness, Autism and complex comorbidity. Meredith has been commended for her ability to work with clients, their families and support teams to provide cohesive behaviour support implementation over multiple environments.
Michelle Opacic, Registered Psychologist/Behaviour Support Practitioner – NSW
MPsych (Clin), MA Psych, BA Psych
Michelle is a registered psychologist with over 20 years’ experience working in the public and privet sectors. Michelle has experience in providing psychological assessments and treatments for children, adolescents and adults. Michelle has previously worked in community adult and adolescent mental health, early intervention for psychosis and private inpatient hospital settings. Throughout her career, Michelle has had the opportunity to provide effective services to schools by providing cognitive assessments for children with learning difficulties. For the past 15 years, Michelle has been working within the private practice sector, including operating her own private clinic for the past 10 years. Further to Michelle’s vast experience, she has also gained extensive understanding working with EAP providers. Michelle’s area of expertise includes depression, anxiety disorders across the lifespan, relationships, attachment disorders, and sexual issues and dysfunction. Michelle is experienced in cognitive behaviour therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy techniques, acceptance and mindfulness therapy and emotionally focussed therapy. She is also passionate about psychoeducation and presenting training programs to groups and organisations. Michelle is bi-lingual and also speaks Serbian.
Victoria Kennedy, Senior Speech Pathologist – WA
Victoria has over 10 years’ experience as a Speech Pathologist and two years’ experience as a Disability Support worker supporting children and adults with disabilities and learning needs. She has a strong focus on person centred practice; working with the individual and their support team to make meaningful goals and make a real difference to quality of life via the right assessment and in the type of interventions offered. Victoria is experienced in all areas of Speech Pathology, including speech sounds & clarity of speech, language development, aphasia, literacy, fluency, mealtimes and dysphagia, and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Victoria’s special interest in AAC has arisen from the positive outcomes she has seen as a result of helping individuals to find the best system of communication, particularly when it has improved relationships, participation and behaviour.
Victoria strongly believes in the value of education in her role as an Allied Health clinician. She is an experienced trainer in the area of dysphagia, having offered formal training modules to Support Workers and individualised coaching in community and home settings. Victoria also holds a Graduate Diploma in Sexology, and can offer Sexuality and Relationship education in one-one-one, family or group settings.
Vivianne Younis, Provisional Psychologist/Senior Behaviour Support Practitioner – Sydney
BArts (Hons), GradDipPsych, PostGradDipPsych, AdDipMgt, ABACert
Vivianne is a visionary leader with 20+ years of expertise managing the full spectrum of behaviours and complex needs across a range of disabilities, injuries and health conditions. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology, an Advanced Diploma of Management and is also an Applied Behaviour Analysis Therapist. Her passion is connecting with individuals with a disability and their carers/families/support workers to make a tangible difference by developing solutions that help them to overcome challenges and live the best life they can live. Vivianne works confidently with diverse cultures and in situations where cultural awareness and appreciation are integral. She is multi-lingual and is fluent in Arabic and English.
Vivianne has extensive management experience and has managed numerous high performing sites, regions, programs and service areas within ORS. She is well known as an outstanding leader dedicated to helping her team learn the skills needed to be successful in their roles. Vivianne cares about quality and customer service and ensures that clients receiving services from her team get the very best service possible. Her areas of expertise include her ability to establish immediate rapport with clients from all cultures and their families, her ability to understand the function of behaviour and her ability to quickly develop strategies and identify replacement behaviours that effectively reduce these behaviours. Vivianne has had some significant success stories which other service providers are in awe of!
Yael Abitbol, Senior Psychologist – WA
BA (PsychChildFamStud), BA (Hons Psych), MPsych (Clin)
Yael is a very experienced Registered Psychologist with extensive and wide-ranging counselling experience. She is a Clinical Psychology Registrar. Yael has experience counselling children, adolescents and adults and uses a range of evidence-based interventions including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Inter-Personal Therapy (IPT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Solution Focused Therapy (SFT) and Emotion Regulation and Mindfulness. Yael’s expertise is in her ability to help her clients achieve their goals at a pace that maintains their motivation and allows them to get ongoing positive feedback from their efforts. Yael provides her clients with a safe, supportive environment, focusing on their strengths and empowering them to initiate lasting changes in their lives. Yael’s main areas of interest include depression, anxiety, PTSD, trauma, post-natal depression, panic, adult survivors of abuse, grief and loss, workplace issues, adjustment/life change, interpersonal and relationship issues. Yael is multi-lingual and speaks Hebrew and French.