The Abacus Team

 

SENIOR MANAGEMENT

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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.

 

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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 has had extensive management experience including her role as Discipline head, supervising the Orientation and Mobility team and working as Acting Regional Manager at Vision Australia Foundation.

Nina came to Abacus in 2011 starting 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 including her position as a ABIA conference committee member of ABA Today to ensure professional growth and opportunity.

 

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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.

 

 

PSYCHOLOGISTS

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Lynette Cataldo, Program Supervisor/Senior Psychologist

Lynette is one of our ABA Program Supervisors, having worked at Abacus since its inception. Lynette holds an endorsement in Counselling Psychology with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and has over 10 years’ experience working with children in both early intervention and counselling. Lynette’s years of experience has allowed her to provide effective strategies and practices to children, adolescents and families.

Lynette completed her Master of Psychology (Counselling) at Monash University and has been trained in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), Suicide Intervention, Cognitive behaviour Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). She has also been a member of the Australian Psychological Society since 2013.

 

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Amanda Daniel, Program Supervisor/Provisional Psychologist

Amanda has worked as an ABA therapist since 2014. Amanda progressed into Case Management in 2017 and onto Program Supervision in 2020. Amanda holds a Graduate Diploma in Psychology and a Masters of Education in Applied Behaviour Analysis. Amanda has experience working with children with a number of developmental disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorder. Amanda is passionate about using evidence-based strategies to help families to reach their goals. 

 

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Sallyanne Marlow, Registered Psychologist

Sallyanne has worked at Abacus as an ABA Therapist since 2017 and holds a Master’s in Educational and Developmental Psychology. She has experience working with children with complex social, emotional, and behavioural needs in both educational and clinical settings. Sallyanne believes in building a warm, empathic therapeutic relationship while working collaboratively with the child and their family to achieve goals. She is excited to continue to support and make positive change in the lives of Abacus families.

 

 

PROGRAM SUPERVISORS

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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 ensuring daily continuity of sessions for all students. 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 presented at ABA Today conference on a model for successful transition models for children with Autism starting school.

 

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Rachel McLeod, 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 has completed a Master of Education with a specialisation in Applied Behaviour Analysis at Monash University. After completing additional requirements, Rachel is now a Board-Certified Behaviour Analyst or BCBA.

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

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

 

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Kathryn Houben, 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 after completing a Bachelor of Psychological Science at Deakin University, Kathryn is now working on her 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 started working as 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.

 

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Tori Antoniou, 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.