The Abacus Team

Lauren Wicks, Executive Director - Finance and Development

Lauren and a small group of supporters and parents of children with Autism, opened Abacus Learning Centre, the first centre-based not for profit ABA provider in Australia, in 2008. Lauren has an adult son with ASD and after experiencing the difficulties of running a home-based ABA program herself, Lauren is passionate about removing many of those stresses for others.

With a compelling belief in the benefits of ABA, Lauren is dedicated to collaborating with government, educators and community members to provide opportunities for as many families as possible by offering family focussed, best practice, ABA programs.

Nina Sutton, Executive Director - Operations

After her studies, first at Flinders University finishing her Bachelor of Education, then at La Trobe to undertake a Graduate Diploma in Orientation and Mobility, Nina spent ten years working with blind and vision impaired clients at RVIB and Vision Australia Foundation.

Nina came to Abacus in 2011 and as with all Abacus staff, started as an ABA therapist before moving into management then becoming a Director. Nina supervises the overall management of the therapy team and provides information and support to clients around service delivery and NDIS funding opportunities and requirements.

As a member of ABIA and ABAA, Nina works closely with other ABA service providers to ensure professional growth and opportunity.

Emma Miller, Clinical Director

Emma has worked in the ABA field since it first came to Australia around 1996. While completing a Psychology Degree at the University of Melbourne, she started work as an ABA therapist, and has since worked in schools, kindergartens and early intervention centres, as well as in home-based programs. Emma has conducted training and information sessions on ABA on many occasions throughout Melbourne, country Victoria and interstate.

Emma is also the Clinical Director of the Learning for Life Autism Centre and worked for many years with Victorian ABA Providers. In these roles she has provided ABA program supervision to families throughout Victoria, and in Tasmania and South Australia. She has supervised school-based programs, run a school behavioural consultancy program, and provided training to schools across these states.

Emma continues to provide training and supervision to the senior clinical team at Abacus Learning Centre to continue to provide best practice ABA therapy to all our students.

Jack Massey, Program Supervisor / Centre Manager

Jack became a part of the Abacus Team in 2013 during his undergraduate studies at the University of Melbourne, working as an ABA Therapist while completing a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology, and then completing his Honours. Jack was promoted to Program Case Manager and then in 2019, moved into Program Supervision. In this role, Jack oversees centre-based ABA therapy, and assists families and educators to apply best practice strategies to support learning and inclusion. He continues to provide one to one therapy, provides training to staff and works closely with the Clinical Director as well as other professionals around the delivery of ABA.

As Centre Manager, Jack is responsible for co-ordinating and scheduling all therapy sessions including training and clinical meetings. He is involved in the interviewing and hiring of new staff, liaises and provides information to potential and new clients around service provision and supports the Executive Directors in the effective operations of the centre.

Jack has worked in various schools on the Peninsula around the provision of practical strategies to aid inclusion of children with additional support requirements. He has experience working in a developmental Psychology laboratory and has presented at international conferences on child development. In 2019 he will be presenting at ABA Today conference on a model for successful transition models for children with Autism starting school.

Lynette Cataldo, Psychologist / Program Supervisor

Lynette is an experienced Psychologist and ABA Program Supervisor having worked at Abacus since it’s inception. She is skilled in delivering Behaviour Support Services and therapeutic strategies for individuals with autism and developmental disorders. Lynette completed her Master of Counselling Psychology at Monash University. Lynette is a trained provider of the Secret Agent Society social skill program.

Lynette has worked in community, university, school and early intervention settings providing support for school teachers, children, parents, and adults. She is a registered psychologist, and a member of the Australian Psychological Society.

Rachel McLeod, Program Case Manager / Program Supervisor

Rachel has been a member of the Abacus team since 2008. She completed a Bachelor of Primary Education at Monash University in 2011 and left briefly to teach before returning to Abacus Learning Centre. She is currently completing a Master of Education with a specialisation in Applied Behaviour Analysis at Monash University.

Rachel works with centre-based and school-based students as a Program Case Manager and Program Supervisor. As part of this role Rachel oversees centre-based and school-based ABA programs, conducts one to one ABA therapy sessions with students, provides training to new therapists, information to parents and liaises with other professionals on behalf of our clients.

Rachel has recently taken on the position of NDIS report writer. In this role she works closely Program Supervisors, Program Case Managers, families and NDIS planners to identify goals and write reports using criteria-based assessments to enable students maximised funding opportunities.

Kathryn Houben, Program Case Manager / Program Supervisor

Kathryn began working as an ABA Therapist at Abacus in early 2011 while studying for a degree in Nursing. Her passion for working with Autistic children and their families motivated her to change her study goals and she is now in her final year of study to complete a Bachelor of Psychological Science at Deakin University. Kathryn’s goal is to go on to complete the Master’s in education in Applied Behaviour Analysis.

After working at Abacus for a few years Kathryn’s clinical skills and knowledge were evident and she was made a Program Case Manager and now a Program Supervisor. Kathryn is a valuable member of the Abacus team and works closely with students, families, therapists and the senior clinical team in the design and implementation of the individual ABA programs.

Tori Antoniou, Program Case Manager / Program Supervisor

Tori completed a Bachelor of Applied Science, specialising in disability at RMIT in 2012. This involved a range of placements including the Department of Human Service where Tori was involved in developing Positive Behaviour Support Plans. During her time with the Behaviour Support Service, Tori recognised the overwhelming importance of early intervention, particularly for individuals with Autism and their families.

Tori joined the Abacus team in 2014 and has quickly become a valuable clinical team member, working with both centre-based and school-based students. Tori’s background as a disability professional and excellent interpersonal and communication skills has seen her move into Program Case Management and Program Supervision at Abacus. As part of these roles, Tori conducts one to one ABA therapy sessions with students, is involved in the ongoing training of staff, and liaises with the Clinical Director on program progression between Clinical Meetings.

As a Program Supervisor at Abacus, Tori oversees centre-based ABA programs and supports both families and educators to implement best practice ABA strategies to support learning and inclusion. Tori also has experience in her role as Positive Solutions Consultant, where she delivers workshops and in-school guidance to educators working with children with additional support requirements.

Amanda Daniel, Program Case Manager

Amanda started as an ABA Therapist at Abacus in 2014 while completing a Bachelor of Psychological Science at Deakin University. Amanda has since gone on to complete a Graduate Diploma of Psychology at Deakin University. During this time Amanda assisted with research involving children with Autism, and other developmental or physical disabilities, taking part in an AusKick program and the co-occurring benefits. In 2017 Amanda moved into Program Case Management at Abacus. As part of this role Amanda conducts individual ABA therapy sessions with students, is involved in the ongoing training of staff and liaises with the Clinical Director and Programs Supervisors between Clinical Meetings to ensure students continue to progress towards the goals identified by their families.   

Amanda has been accepted in to the Masters of Education course at La Trobe University specialising in Applied Behaviour Analysis to gain a qualification as a Board-Certified Behaviour Analysist (BCBA).

Jody Grigglestone, Program Case Manager

Jody started working as a therapist at Abacus Learning Centre in 2011 after completing a Bachelor of Social Science (Youth Work) in 2010 at RMIT University. As a therapist Jody developed her skills across all areas of ABA therapy and became a Program Case Manager in 2015. As a Program Case Manager Jody has worked with clients with Autism and other developmental or physical disabilities.  Jody works with educators to aid successful transition for Abacus students into kinder and school and in 2017 Jody was the “teacher” for Abacus School helping students practice the skills they would need for school. As Program Case Manager Jody conducts one to one ABA therapy sessions, ongoing training of therapists, liaises with the Clinical Director and is available to parents to provide information and support around the therapy being provided to their children.    

Jade O’Donahoo, Program Case Manager

Jade is a Program Case Manager with three years of experience in ABA therapy at Abacus Learning Centre. While studying for her Bachelor of Education, Jade found she had a special interest in Education Psychology and Inclusive Education. She decided to put her degree on hold to pursue a career at Abacus.

As a Program Case Manager Jade provides one to one therapy sessions for both centre-based and school-based students.  Jade confers with program supervisors, families, and other professionals to ensure individual student’s programs are understood and supported by  the student’s team. When clinically recommended, Jade attends schools and kindergartens for observation of students and provides practical strategies to aid the student’s success in these settings. She provides initial ABA training to new staff, ongoing skill development to therapists and support and feedback around all therapy needs.