Alex Brown – Psychologist and Behaviour Analyst
B Psych, M Science (ABA & Autism), BCBA, MAPS
Alex is a registered psychologist with 20 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 autistic children and adolescents 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. Alex also works with children with anxiety, oppositional behaviour and ADHD. 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.
Miruna Thaventhiran – Psychologist and Behaviour Analyst
B Sc (Hons. Psychology), M Psych (Ed & Dev), MAPS, BCBA
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 – Psychologist and Program Supervisor
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.
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 over 10 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
B Sc (ABA)
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 in behaviour analysis.
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, whilst teaching skills that ensure the quality of life for all individuals.
Kerri Willis – Program Supervisor
BSc (Hons. Applied Psych)
Kerri has been working in the field of Applied Behaviour Analysis since 2005. She began her training in ABA after receiving an Honours degree in Applied Psychology from the University of Ulster. Kerri 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.
Peter Liu – Psychologist and Program Supervisor
B Psych (Spec.), Dip. Psychological Practice, MAPS
Peter is a registered psychologist and member of the Australian Psychological Society. Peter completed his Bachelor of Psychology (Spec.) in 2013. He has 8 years of experience working with children with additional needs, support both children and families with behaviour strategies. Peter is currently studying the Masters of Education in Applied Behaviour Analysis at Monash University and is in the process of obtaining the BCBA qualifications.
Vidhu Sudhindran – Behaviour Analyst
M Science (Counselling), M Arts (Special Education), BCBA
Vidhu is a Behavior Analyst and has been working with children with Special needs from the past 9 years. She worked with families in United Arab Emirates and India before moving to Australia in 2016. Here, Vidhu attained further supervision while completing a Masters in Special Education (ABA emphasis) from the University of Northern Colorado in 2018 leading to a certification as a behavior analyst in 2019.
Vidhu is passionate about using evidence-based practices to maximize her clients’ potential. She works with families to help promote positive learning environments for skill acquisition and improving quality of life for her clients.
Caitlin Paterson – Program Supervisor
B Education (Inclusive and Disability Studies), MEd (ABA)
Caitlin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Inclusive Education and Disability Studies from Australian Catholic University and a Masters Degree in Education specialising in Applied Behaviour Analysis. Caitlin has worked in various settings within the disability sector where she gained valuable experience.
Caitlin has also completed extensive training in the field of Sexuality and Sex Education for individuals with developmental disabilities. Caitlin is extremely passionate about working within this area and supporting individuals and their families as they navigate this part of life.
Paige Taylor – Psychologist and Program Supervisor
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 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.
Stephanie Lade – Psychologist
B Com/B Arts (Psych), Grad Dip. Psychological Science
Stephanie completed a combined Bachelor of Commerce with a Bachelor of Arts – Psychology degree in 2016 during which time she gained experience in early intervention and ABA. In 2017, Stephanie completed her Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science at Bond University and is currently undertaking supervised practice to obtain her full registration.
Stephanie currently works in clinic, home, and school environments providing behaviour management and psychological support. Stephanie is passionate about working in mental health and early intervention to promote the wellbeing of children, families and school staff. Stephanie has a keen interest in providing psychological assessments as well as utilising evidence-based interventions, including Applied Behaviour Analysis, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy in her practice.
Amy Radford– Psychologist
B Psych (Hons), M Professional Psychology, Assoc MAPS
Amy is a psychologist and an Associate Member of the Australian Psychological Society. She has completed a Masters of Professional Psychology at the University of New England having achieved First Class Honours in Psychology. Amy is committed to evidence based interventions, utilising Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Applied Behaviour Analysis, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy within her practice. She also offers a range of psychometric testing.
Amy is passionate about early intervention and assisting children with additional needs, and their families; especially with social and learning skills, emotion regulation, and behaviour and anxiety management.
Queenie Chan– Provisional Psychologist
B PsychSc (Hons. Psych), M Couns&PsychTh
Queenie is a Provisional Psychologist with experience working with disability and trauma, as well as providing support to parents of young clients. Following completion of a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Hons. Psych) at the University of New South Wales, Queenie followed her passion of working with young people and began ABA.
Queenie gained registration as a Provisional Psychologist in 2018 after completion of her Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy at the Australian College of Applied Psychology. With over four years of ABA experience, Queenie aims to integrate her learning into her counselling while also adapting a person-centred, mindfulness-based approach when working with people.
Avni Pawar – Provisional Psychologist
B PsychSc (Hons. Psych), M ProfPsych
Avni is a Provisional Psychologist with over 4 years’ experience working with children, young adolescents and their families to overcome a variety of emotional, behavioural and psychological challenges.
She has a passion for creating a safe, warm positive environment that helps her young clients thrive to their full potential. Avni completed a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Hons.) degree in 2019 during which time she gained experience in early intervention and ABA.
In 2020, Avni completed her Masters in Professional Psychology and is currently undertaking supervised practice to obtain her full registration. Avni adopts and integrated approach, drawing from Applied Behaviour Analysis, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, along with a range of psychometric tests and assessments to provide tailored support to each client and their family.
Elysia Sproule– Provisional Psychologist
B Psych (Hons.)
Elysia is a Provisional Psychologist with experience working with children with autism and their families. She is currently completing her Master of Professional Psychology at the University of Newcastle.
Elysia has been working with children for the past two years and is passionate about developing children’s independence skills and fostering their emotional and mental health.
Amy Jansen- Sturgeon– Provisional Psychologist
B Psych (Hons.)
Amy is a Provisional Psychologist with experience working with children with autism and their families. Amy also has over 4 years’ experience working within the NDIS space, working previously as a Local Area Coordinator and Team Leader and has a good understanding of how the NDIS operates.
Amy is enthusiastic about encompassing all a child’s supports to improve their independence, behaviour and overall mental health including emotional identification and regulation, impulse control and anxiety reduction strategies.
Joanna Bartkowiak – Senior Therapist and Registered Behaviour Technician
Joanna has been working as a behaviour therapist for over 6 years. She is incredibly dedicated and hardworking and loves seeing her little clients learning. Jo is passionate about therapist training – running our practical junior therapist training sessions.
Meghan Sproule – Senior Therapist
Meghan has worked as a Behavioural Therapist since 2017. Meghan has experience working with children with ASD in areas of assessment, individualised program design, and implementation. She has worked with children and young people aged 2 years to 19 years, and is passionate about facilitating empowering and culturally relevant programs for children and their families.
In 2020, Meghan completed a Bachelor of Social Work at the University of NSW and is currently completing the Social Work Honours course. Her thesis is an exploration of education for young people with ASD that is founded in the principles of human rights. She hopes to begin her Master of Applied Behaviour Analysis in the near future.
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.
Heila Najib – Behaviour Therapist
B SocSc (Psy)
Heila is a Behaviour Therapist who is currently completing her postgraduate studies to become a psychologist. She has experience working with children with autism between 2-13 years old and their families.
Heila is very passionate about developing independent skills in every aspect of a clients life. She is very motivated and dedicated to helping young clients and their families to thrive and reach their full potential.
Jess Riley – Behaviour Therapist
Niesha Illingworth – Psychologist and Program Supervisor
BA Psych (Hons)
Niesha is a registered psychologist, who completed her degree in developmental psychology at the University of Sydney. Niesha has been working in the disability and child development sector for over 10 years, and has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, families and schools. She is the lead psychologist at our Blue Mountains clinic.
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 various evidence-based modalities. Her practice is strongly influenced by current research findings in the treatment of autism and related disorders. Niesha is trained and experienced in diagnostic assessments, and also provides a range of psychometric testing.
Niesha is a professional member of the Australian Association of Applied Behaviour Analysis and is registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. Niesha is also completing her Masters in Education (Applied Behaviour Analysis) to work towards additional certification as a BCBA.
Layna Cox – Program Supervisor
Layna holds a Bachelor of Psychological Science from the University of NSW. Layna started out working for the Department of Education with primary school aged children with barriers to learning. She then went on to work with children and adolescence in out-of-home care in complex situations who had developed challenging behaviour through trauma.
Layna has been in the world of ABA since 2017. She has worked with all ages from children through to adults with ASD and intellectual disability. She has worked applying ABA in schools, preschools, home and various other settings. Layna believes in fostering a fun and caring learning environment for her clients to help them reach their goals.
Tina Cass – Program Supervisor/Senior Therapist
Tina is a Program Supervisor and Senior Therapist at the Bright Eyes Blue Mountains clinic. She is incredibly motivated to see every child reach their full potential.
Tina has over five years experience in the disability sector, teaching skills and assisting individuals with disabilities. Originally working as a junior ABA therapist, she has built a great reputation in the community for being a hard worker, committed to helping every child succeed. She finds the position very rewarding and feels honoured to be working with Blue Mountains families.
Bronte Cattell – Senior Therapist
Bronte is currently completing her final year of a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) whilst working in the ABA field. She has been working with families since 2018 and has found great joy in supporting her young clients to develop the skills needed for life-long learning. Bronte is passionate about early intervention and helping children reach their full potential. She enjoys creating a fun environment where children are able to grow in their confidence.
Bronte is thrilled to be on the Bright Eyes Blue Mountains team.
Jarrod McNicoll – Provisional Psychologist
B Psych (Hons), M Prof Psych
Jarrod is a provisional psychologist currently finishing off his Masters of Professional Psychology at Western Sydney University. Jarrod is grounded in evidence based practices including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. He also has skill with general counselling and administering a variety of psychometric assessments. Jarrod thrives working with a variety of client types and presentations and enjoys working with people of all ages.
Jarrod is passionate and excited about working with the team at Bright Eyes Early Intervention and hopes he can make a difference working within the Blue Mountains community.
Marie McDonald – Senior Therapist
RN, BA (Psych)
Marie is a Senior Therapist at Bright Eyes. She completed her Diploma of Applied Science (Nursing) at the University of South Australia in 1991. She completed her Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) at Macquarie University in 1997. Marie is currently studying a Masters of Counselling at the Edith Cowan University.
Marie has over ten years experience working with adults and children who have a disability. She has worked previously in early intervention where she supported vulnerable families with small children. Marie is passionate about early intervention and helping to nurture children to meet their true potential.
Jessica Anderson – Provisional Psychologist
Jess is a Provisional Psychologist at Bright Eyes. She completed her Bachelor of Psychology at Charles Sturt University in 2016. Jess has over 3 years experience working with young people. This has primarily been in the out-of-home care sector, working with young people with complex histories and challenging behaviours as a result of trauma.