The Team

Alex Brown – Psychologist and Behaviour Analyst

B Psych, M Science (ABA & Autism), MAPS, BCBA

Alex is a registered psychologist with over 14 years experience in the field of disability. She has worked with children and adults in a range of public and private organisations. Alex has worked with children with Autism for the majority of her career, and values the results she has seen in intensive early intervention.

In addition to the Autism Spectrum, Alex also has experience with individuals with a range of disabilities and enjoys working with children with Anxiety. Alex is trained and experienced in Autism diagnosis, and also provides a range of psychometric testing.

In 2013, Alex completed a Master of Science in ABA and Autism through Sage Colleges, New York, leading to certification as a behaviour analyst in 2014.

 

Alex Ferendinos – Program Supervisor and Psychologist

B Arts (Media and Communications) (Hons. Psychology)

Alex completed a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) with additional majors in Psychology and Sociology in 2009. During that year she also began working in Early Intervention, implementing programs based upon the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis with children across the Autism Spectrum and related disabilities.

In 2012, Alex completed her Honours degree in Psychology and went on to complete supervised practice working at Bright Eyes to gain her full registration as a psychologist.

Alex works to support children and their families across home, school and community settings. Her areas of special interest include anxiety management and social skills. Alex enjoys working with children of all abilities, but is particularly passionate about working with children with additional needs and providing them with the skills they need to succeed in their unique lives.

 

Miruna Thaventhiran – Program Supervisor and Psychologist

B Sc (Hons. Psychology), M Psych (Ed & Dev), MAPS

Miruna is a registered psychologist specialising in Educational and Developmental Psychology. She completed her Masters at Monash University, Melbourne, in 2013, and is a member of the Australian Psychological Society. Miruna began working in ABA in 2007 while completing her Bachelor of Science (Hons.) at the University of NSW.

Miruna has over five years experience working as a program supervisor, designing and implementing individualised learning programs for children with ASD and other developmental disabilities. In addition, she also has experience conducting psychological assessments and treatment programs with children and adolescents.

Miruna is passionate about assisting families in developing their child’s full potential and helping them overcome their developmental, psychological, behavioural, and academic challenges, using reliable and valid assessments, and evidence-based treatment and intervention.

 

Melissa Keir – Program Supervisor and Psychologist

B Psych (Hons.), M Psych (Ed & Dev), MAPS

Melissa is a registered psychologist and member of the Australian Psychological Society. Following completion of a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons.) in 2009, and working as a Research Assistant at the University of Western Sydney, Melissa completed her Master of Psychology at Monash University, Melbourne, in 2013.

Melissa began working as an educator with children with aptitudes ranging from special needs through to gifted and talented in 2004. She has worked exclusively within the field of ABA since 2010, during which time she has acquired skills in designing and implementing early intervention programs for children with a range of diagnoses, ages and abilities. Melissa also has experience in psychological assessment and diagnosis, and designing and implementing cognitive-behavioural interventions.

Melissa has a keen interest in working with families to foster their child’s social and emotional development, including the development of genuine and reciprocal relationships with adults and peers to promote social and emotional well-being.

 

Rachel Heidrich – Psychologist and Behaviour Analyst

B Sc (Psych), M Science (ABA), BCBA

Rachel is a registered psychologist and behaviour analyst. Rachel has worked with families in the United States and New Zealand before settling in Australia. She received her Bachelor degree from Western Michigan University followed by her Masters degree from the University of Auckland.

Rachel’s experience has ranged from early intensive behavioural intervention to adult behaviour management programs. She has worked in schools, homes and residential settings providing support for families and staff.

Rachel is enthusiastic about providing evidence-based interventions to assist individuals with skill acquisition and to overcome any barriers to their learning. She takes a family-centred approach in her work and enjoys working with a team to achieve individualised goals.

 

Liz Kirkman – Psychologist and Assistant Behaviour Analyst

B Sc (Hons. Psych), Dip. Counselling, Cert. ABA, BCaBA, AssocMAPS

Liz is a registered psychologist and assistant behaviour analyst and has been practicing for 9 years, working across the UK and Australia.

In 2012, she specialised in early intervention with younger and older children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has also gained extensive experience with children with mental health difficulties including anxiety, depression, family-related difficulties and behavioural issues.

Whilst holding a specialist qualification in Applied Behaviour Analysis, Liz also draws heavily on the princples of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in her practice.

She firmly believes in the capacity of every child to learn and develop the skills they need to be successful, including support making friendships, managing symptoms of early anxiety, and more extensive support to develop key tools in communicating wants and needs.

 

Aurora Alonzo – Program Supervisor and Assistant Behaviour Analyst

B Sc (ABA), BCaBA

Aurora completed her Bachelors degree in Applied Behaviour Analysis in 2007 from the University of North Texas. She practiced as a behavioral therapist in an early intervention clinic for four years in Dallas, Texas, where she completed the supervision hours necessary to obtain her certificate as an assistant behaviour analyst. 

In 2011, Aurora moved to Australia where she gained further experience as a supervisor while working in a specialised school for individuals diagnosed with Autism ranging from ages 4-16. Her specialised interested include naturalistic teaching techniques, function based behaviour intervention, antecedent interventions, social and group skills, mand training and functional communication. 
 
Aurora is passionate about coaching others to use ABA principles to create motivating and meaningful learning opportunities to teach skills that ensure the quality of life for all individuals. 
 
 
 

Niesha Illingworth – Program Supervisor and Provisional Psychologist

B Arts (Psych) (Hons.)

Niesha holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Sydney, with Honours in developmental psychology. Niesha began working in Applied Behaviour Analysis in 2010 and has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, families and schools.

Niesha is particularly passionate about behaviour management, and helping children develop appropriate alternatives to challenging behaviour. Niesha uses an individualised approach to best suit the needs of the child and their family; drawing on ABA, Verbal Behaviour, Functional Communication Training, and other evidence-based methods. Her practice is strongly influenced by current research findings in the treatment of Autism and related disorders.

Niesha is a professional member of the Australian Association of Applied Behaviour Analysis, and is currently undertaking supervised practice to gain full registration as a psychologist.

 

Kerri Willis – Program Supervisor

BSc (Hons. Applied Psych)

Kerri has been working in the field of Applied Behaviour Analysis for the last 12 years. She began her training in ABA in 2005 after receiving an Honours degree in Applied Psychology from the University of Ulster. She initially took up a position at The Red Door School in Dublin, which utilised the methodologies of Precision Teaching and Verbal Behaviour before emigrating to Australia in 2008.

In Australia, Kerri joined a large centre-based provider, where she worked her way up to program supervisor and senior centre clinician managing staff and family concerns. Kerri has been supervising ABA programs since 2011 and is passionate about working together with parents to achieve the best outcome for their children.

Kerri has a particular interest in seeing children through from early learning skills to school readiness and academics.

 

Paige Jordan – Program Supervisor and Provisional Psychologist

B Psych

Paige completed her Bachelor of Psychology degree in 2015 and during this time also gained experience in the disability sector. She has worked in Human Resources as a Social Educator and as a Disability Employment Consultant. Paige specialises in working with children and parents to provide behavioural intervention. Paige is also a provisionally registered psychologist and is due for full registration at the end of 2018.

Paige is dedicated to early intervention and passionate about children and their wellbeing. She hopes to enrich the lives of the children that she works with and help them grow to their full potential.

 

Peta Rostirola – NDIS Support Coordinator and Administration

Peta joined the Bright Eyes team in July 2014 looking after accounts and scheduling, and is an NDIS Support Coordinator. Peta is the mother of three young children and has worked closely with most of the staff at Bright Eyes since her son was diagnosed with Autism in 2010.

Peta has a good knowledge of Autism and the challenges families face when their child is diagnosed, and she offers ongoing support to parents. She is passionate about working for a family-focused Clinic that is involved in helping children reach their full potential.