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Nicola trained as a Speech Pathologist in Adelaide, and has worked with people with disabilities in this role in South Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania. She has a strong interest in serving people with severe communication impairments and in particular those who communicate with challenging behaviour.
Since she was introduced to the work of IABA 15 years ago her work in this area has been founded on the model of comprehensive functional assessment. Working within a non-aversive framework she has seen life changing outcomes achieved for people with the most severe problem behaviours.
She has worked as manager for Disability Services in the North West; this was an opportunity for developing skills in lateral thinking, creative problem solving and collaboration. The knowledge and skills developed through her experiences with IABA has continued to inform her practice in her current position as Specialised Support Services Manager with Optia Inc. Nicola has presented papers at the 2007 International IABA Conference, 2007 International Association of Applied Behaviour Analysts Conference 2009 International IABA Conference and co-facilitated longitudinal training in Queensland with Dr. Gary LaVigna. This has further reinforced for her the strength of the multi element model and the world class level of practice that is occurring in Tasmania.
Recent conferences presentations include ASID Conference 2015 “ The Uncounted Costs” which explores funding of supports under the National Disability Insurance Scheme for people with complex needs resulting from behaviours of concern, International IABA Conference 2015 a conceptual model for training and supporting effective changes to staff practices, ASID Conference 2014 “Trauma Informed Support for People with Disability”.
Matthew is a registered psychologist who has worked across the disability, education and community service sectors supporting people with challenging behaviours and complex needs. His insights into how human needs are communicated through behaviour and his commitment to non-aversive behaviour management have had dramatic results and enhanced the quality of life of people of all ages. Matthew's values of compassion and social justice are evident through his work. He is committed to the use of positive support practices and their application within a framework of trauma informed care.
Matthew has worked as a leader implementing a sector wide training initiative and in leading change management processes for services implementing Trauma Informed Practice. He has recently presented at national and international conferences regarding the efficacy of positive crisis management techniques within a non-linear multi-element model for supporting best practice in trauma informed care; including its application for people with an intellectual disability.
Matthew is also a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) and regularly provides training and coaching in motivational interviewing (MI). He is active in supporting the use of MI to assist people and organisations in the area of health behaviour change; assisting individuals and staff members to develop and use skills to live healthier lives.