Happy Oak is 11 years old, 30 friendly faces, 1 resident dog plus a bunch of incredible kids who inspire us endlessly.

Tineke Sibbel
Co-Owner/Clinical Director BCBA CBA

I did a degree in Music (Classical Voice)/Performing Arts and was pursuing a career in journalism. I kind of fell into ABA through working with a little boy who had recently been diagnosed with Autism. That little boy turned out to be Sarah’s son. I joined his team as a therapist with a different ‘ABA’ service, then Sarah learned she needed a BCBA and found the only one in Victoria.

Once I started working on this team I was so amazed at the difference that ABA could make to his and his family’s life. Pretty much immediately I was hooked and made a massive career change. I did a Master of Early Childhood education through Monash and then did my BCBA coursework through Florida Institute of Technology as at this stage there was nowhere to study this specialised coursework in Australia.

I love seeing kids learn to communicate. When a child doesn’t have an effective way of communicating with their family we often see high levels of behaviours of concern and general ‘unhappiness’ from the learner themselves and those around them. Seeing that first functional use of communication is amazing, there is nothing quite like it.

I love inspiring the next generation of behaviour analysts through my teaching at Monash University in the Master of Applied Behaviour Analysis. This helps me stay across the most recent developments in our field so I can share them with the Happy Oak staff.

Sarah Scambler

I developed a passionate and personal interest in autism and ABA when a family member was diagnosed on the spectrum. Autism has always fascinated me. I gravitate to creative and quirky people, I love these attributes and what they bring! I have an Arts Degree (Honours) from Melbourne University. I majored in Art History and Literature. I had a career in advertising and the not-for-profit arts sectors prior to Happy Oak. I left my job to focus on building an effective ABA program for my child. Intentionally seeking out the only BCBA working in Victoria to be their first Australian client. I recruited therapists and did sessions under BCBA supervision. All those years ago, Tineke was instrumental in helping us. Our values and mission are shared.

I saw how it is possible for a child’s life trajectory to shift significantly when they receive intensive ABA supervised and delivered by BCBAs and well-trained therapists. My mission is to provide young Australian children with world class, evidence-based ABA in their formative years. We see best outcomes as children who are effective communicators who are happy, resilient, proud of their neurodiversity and feel a sense of belonging. I love working with our team and encourage them to have an open, flexible and creative mindset and be highly empathetic and collaborative with our families.

I enjoy being with my loved ones, meditation, jogging, visual arts and nature. I also really love dogs.

Laura Buontempo
Program supervisor BCBA CBA

I have completed a Bachelor of Business (Psychology) and earned a Master of Education in Applied Behaviour Analysis at Monash University.

I have a personal interest in Verbal Behaviour and am passionate about nurturing children to help them build skills through play that will assist in leading them to more enriched and independent lives.

Natural Environment Teaching, teaching through play, is the part of the job I find most interesting. But seeing our learners’ growths and successes, hearing first words or seeing them develop a form of functional communication that works for them is what I find the most rewarding.

I love travel, pottery and spending time with friends and family.

Nisha Rajbhandari
Program supervisor BCBA CBA

I have a Master of Applied Behaviour Analysis from Monash University and am a self professed ‘ABA nerd’ and I love finding ways to translate my knowledge into practical everyday strategies which can be used by carers and educators. The most rewarding part of the job is seeing kids develop skills that help them communicate and get their needs met.

In my spare time I love crocheting and gaming, my skills here come in handy when working with some older learners!

Program Supervisor CBA

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Behavioural Sciences and Postgraduate Certificate in Education. After graduating, I became a teacher where I discovered that working with children was my true calling. In 2022 I completed my Master of Applied Behaviour Analysis at Monash University.

I became interested in ABA after working with a family whose daughter was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder which prompted my passion to pursue my career path in ABA. Once I started working in the field of ABA I was so amazed at the difference it could make to her and her family’s life.

I find the world of ABA incredibly rewarding and have a deep passion to be part of those inspiring moments of growth and nurturing children to build their skills that will assist in leading them to enriched and independent lives.

I like travel and spending time with my two beloved schnauzers Lilly and Luna!

Rachel Alwyn
Program Supervisor CBA

I have a Master of Applied Behaviour Analysis from Monash University. I finished my bachelor’s in Psychology and I started working at Happy Oak. I had heard of ABA therapy and from other people who had worked in the field, but didn’t know the amazing difference it could make to the lives of children and their families. I love working with kids, helping them develop skills and seeing the progress they make. The kids and their amazing achievements are what have driven me to pursue a career in ABA.

It is amazing having the opportunity to watch learners develop their interests as individuals and build their language skills at home and in the community. I love seeing kids become independent and attend activities like kinder by themselves!

In my spare time, I enjoy reading and dancing.

Emily Lethbridge
Senior Behaviour Therapist RBT

I have always loved working with children, this passion grew as I became a part-time nanny whilst studying Psychology at Deakin University. Through these studies, I found myself drawn to different aspects of the field, these being diagnoses and behaviour, particularly in children. From here, I quickly changed my major to childhood development and began searching careers in this area.

I then found Happy Oak and dove straight into ABA; I couldn’t believe the difference this therapy could make to a family and knew I wanted to be a part of it! I  absolutely love seeing these kids grow and acquire skills to help them communicate, it’s an amazing feeling watching first-hand the happiness ABA can bring to a family. I look forward to each session and aim to make this time as fun as possible whilst encouraging their development and independence.

Phebe Tan
Scheduling administrator

I am organised, empathetic and caring. Prior to Happy Oak, I worked for many years in the IT industry, in various countries across different platforms. These roles had a focus on client support and project management. I have experienced first-hand the great benefits of ABA therapy and early support, hence my passion and interest in ABA. I have also completed the ABIA therapist course. I love working in a team and seeing these beautiful children have access to their early intervention!

In my spare time I like crafting and spending time with family and my dog Casper.

Office Cavoodle

I have been at Happy Oak since I was six weeks old. I was selected for my happy easy going nature and confidence with kids. I also have a hypoallergenic coat. I consider myself relaxed and love seeing all the kids who visit me. Sometimes they pull my fur. That is ok I just chill. The biggest challenge in my role is not eating everyone’s lunches.

Keen on working with us? Check out the roles we are currently looking to fill.
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