Shanker Pragnaratne, MAPS
M Crim (Forensic Psych), Grad Dip Appld Psych, B.A (Psych), Cert IV (TAE)
Shanker Pragnaratne is the principal psychologist of Prag Consulting. His career spans over twenty-five years, from public mental health and government and non-government disability services to organisational consulting and teaching. His qualifications include a Master’s in Criminology (Forensic Psychology), Graduate Diploma in Applied Psychology, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Social Policy, and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.
Shanker has an interest in people who have complex support needs, including those with a dual disability, trauma issues and offending behaviour. He has worked with adults and young people presenting with complex personal, behavioural or psychosocial issues, and particularly enjoys working collaboratively with support organisations and staff, in building their capacity and resilience in supporting those who present with complex issues.
Shanker worked from 2013 – 2016, as the Senior Practice Advisor for Disability and Complex Care, South Division, Dept. of Health and Human Services (DHHS). In this role, he provided clinical leadership to the Disability programs of South Division and promoted a culture of continuous learning and improvement and evidence based practice. He led cross programmatic collaboration in forensic disability practice and delivered reflective practice and training in trauma informed practice, tailored to individual programs across South Division. From 2012-2013, he was a contracted consultant and trainer in Positive Behaviour Support with Melbourne Polytechnic (then, NMIT), a lecturer in the Disability and Education programs at RMIT, and clinical supervisor to the Intensive Behaviour Support Program (IBSP) of Jewish Care Victoria. From August 2007 to March 2012, Shanker worked as Manager, Positive Behaviour Support at Yooralla, which incorporated the mandated role of Authorised Program Officer (APO). In this integrated clinical and senior management role, he led and promoted a culture of Positive Behaviour Support across Yooralla, improving outcomes for people who were subject to restrictive practices. Prior to this, he was Senior Projects Officer at Disability Services Division, DHS (and the then Office of the Senior Practitioner), responsible for a policy portfolio which included the practice interface between Disability Services and Corrections Victoria, and the then State-wide Forensic Services.
In his current work, Shanker provides a range of consulting services, including clinical consulting, service development advice, clinical supervision, and staff training and development services to several organisations, including DHHS, Moira Disability and Youth Services, Melbourne City Mission and others. He is currently the lead clinician overseeing several treatment plans in relation to those subject to Supervised Treatment Orders (STO; a civil detention order under the Disability Act, 2006). Under Shanker’s clinical leadership, Prag Consulting is highly sought after as a preferred provider of specialist behaviour support services by families and NDIS support coordination services.
Shanker is a registered provider with the NDIS and Medicare and for several years has provided psychological services in primary heath settings. He is also a current member on the board of directors of MOIRA Youth, Family and Disability Services.
Stacey Antonopoulos, Assoc MAPS
B App Sc. (Disability), Grad. Dip. Psych
Senior Associate, Behaviour Support
Stacey has worked in the disability sector for 20 years within a variety of organisations including the Department of Health and Human Services as an Advanced Behaviour Support Practitioner. Stacey has supported young people and adults with Intellectual Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Acquired Brain Injury and mental health needs utilising evidence based positive behaviour support approaches. Throughout her career, Stacey has gained an understanding of the biopsychosocial factors that impact on a person’s behaviours and how these factors can influence their sense of wellbeing, interactions with others and meaningful inclusion within their community. Stacey has a particular interest in supporting people, their families and service providers to develop and maintain constructive relationships that facilitate positive change and improvement in their quality of life.
Stacey has completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (Disability) and Graduate Diploma in Psychology. She is currently undertaking advanced clinical training in family therapy with Gilead Downs Family Therapy Centre.
Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Rochester, NY.
Senior Associate, Positive Behaviour Support
Bob Bowen is an internationally known consultant, author, and speaker who has over 40 years of experience in supporting people affected by complex disabilities. He started teaching about behaviour in 1981 at the college level, and is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester in New York. In this role he has written three book chapters and over 20 articles and conference presentations on the role of culture in workplace violence. He has taught workshops and consulted with families and organisations throughout Europe, Canada, the United States and Australia. Bob understands that complex behaviours require complex supports, and that families can and should, were possible, be actively involved in the support process. He travels to Australia frequently and even when not in the country, he is able to support families and organisations through videoconference technology. He has demonstrated his expertise and compassion in working with individuals affected by autism, mental health concerns and complex behavioural needs in Victoria and is looking forward to serving more people through his affiliation with Prag Consulting.
Alicia Bakker, MSW; BA (Soc Sc)
Senior Associate, Positive Behaviour Support
Alicia is a senior associate of Prag Consulting. She has worked in the disability sector for a number of years including as a Behavioural Consultant and team leader at Melbourne City Mission’s Affirming Families Positive Behaviour Support Program. Prior to this she has worked for several years providing crisis intervention support for young people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
Alicia enjoys supporting children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability and mental health needs from a Positive Behaviour Support approach. She is passionate about building positive relationships, promoting full inclusion in family and community life and improving quality of life for children and young people with complex needs. She also has a keen interest in alternative therapeutic approaches and is currently undertaking training in Animal Assisted therapy and interventions.
Alicia has completed a BA in Social Sciences at La Trobe University and a Master’s in Social Work at Monash University.