National Housing Matching Lead
Diploma of Community Welfare Work, Bachelor of Business and Arts (in progress), Cert IV in Disability Community Services
Melody Carbarns is the National Housing Matching Lead at the Summer Foundation. Her focus is on supporting project coordinators to connect with people with disability who are seeking specialist disability accommodation (SDA).
Melody works on the establishment and implementation of projects that see people with disability connecting with SDA providers, ultimately finding sustainable housing solutions.
Melody started with the Summer Foundation in 2016 and has more than 19 years’ experience in the disability support sector. Throughout her career she has worked as a support worker, residential aged care worker, service manager, care coordinator and team leader.
Dr George Taleporos
PhD (Psych), Grad Dip (Educational Psych), Bachelor of Social Science (Hons Sociology)
Dr George Taleporos is the Summer Foundation’s Policy Manager. He is responsible for the interpretation and development of policy and providing policy advice to government and key stakeholders.
George has more than 20 years’ experience in the disability field, focused on advocacy, human rights policy and practice, service development and management.
George is a member of various high-level advisory bodies including the Victorian Disability Advisory Council. He has been published in peer-reviewed journals and in a range of media outlets. He is the host of the podcast Reasonable and Necessary and has appeared on ABC TV’s You Can’t Ask That and The Drum.
Project Implementation Manager
Bachelor of Commerce, Cert IV in Training & Assessment , Cert IV in Human Resources
Stephanie Press is responsible for providing efficient and timely day-to-day operational support to the organisation via administrative, human resources and information technology services. Her goal is to ensure the internal infrastructure enables simple and well-organised systems and processes for staff, allowing for high quality outcomes to be regularly achieved.
Stephanie has overseen a variety of projects in her team, including the implementation of a new CRM, streamlining processes relating to recruitment, induction and onboarding of new staff. Establishing a system for supporting safe and effective working from home policies and procedures has also been a notable project Stephanie has overseen.
Before joining the Summer Foundation in 2016, she worked in finance, human resources and operations for both the public and not-for-profit sectors.
National Clinical Practice Lead
Bachelor of Communication Disorders (Speech Pathology)
Cathy Bucolo provides clinical input and advice to the Summer Foundation to inform policy, communications and practice.
She has gained a wealth of knowledge from working with various groups and shares this knowledge with a variety of audiences in education and training workshops, resource development and mentoring health professionals.
Cathy provides clinical input and advice to the Summer Foundation to inform policy, communications and practice.
Cathy has been at the Summer Foundation since 2016 and in the past has worked as a speech pathologist, case manager, consultant, trainer and project worker for more than 20 years. She specialises in acquired brain injury, rehabilitation, disability and advocacy, transitional living and capacity building.
Bachelor of Communication
In her role as the Summer Foundation’s Communications Manager, Susan leads the organisation’s internal and external communications function, managing a dedicated team responsible for the development and delivery of high impact messaging via a wide variety of channels.
She takes a strategic approach to ensuring that the Summer Foundation makes meaningful connections with its range of audiences, with the ultimate goal of driving change to help resolve the issue of younger people living in residential aged care.
Before joining the Summer Foundation in 2019, Susan worked in communications roles across a range of industries in the corporate sector and in local and state government departments.
As Operations Manager, Gail Parker leads the team that optimises the systems, processes and services of the Summer Foundation. The team is responsible for ensuring simple, accessible and organised systems and processes are in place so staff can effectively deliver the organisation’s strategy.
Recently Gail has been involved in the introduction of the Dynamics 365 CRM, the permanent contracts project and the review and update of policies to ensure compliance.
Before joining the Summer Foundation Gail was Director Pathways and Test Operations at RMIT Training where she was responsible for system and process improvements, compliance, data analysis, student counselling, financial management and HR. Her team also provided enrolment advice to the diverse mix of international students in a highly regulated arena.
Dr Lee Cubis
Senior Research Fellow/Team Manager
Clinical Psychologist, PhD (Clinical Psychology), Bachelor of Psychological Science (Hons)
Dr Lee Cubis is a Senior Research Fellow at the Summer Foundation and joined the Research Unit in early 2020.
He leads projects that examine various aspects of the support needs of people with disability. This includes understanding what makes a good support coordinator, evaluation of the barriers and facilitators for effective hospital discharge, and examining components of NDIS plans for people with disability and complex needs. The outcomes of this work will help to inform practice and policy that can have positive impact on the lives of people with disability.
Lee is a Clinical Psychologist with 6 years’ experience in a variety of clinical settings, including working with people who have acquired brain injury. Before becoming a psychologist, he worked in health and disability services, including as a disability support worker, assistant in nursing and as a specialist dementia carer.
Lee is also skilled in qualitative and quantitative research design and methodology and was recently awarded his PhD in the area of social and psychological adjustment to brain tumour.
When combined with his diverse understanding of the support needs of people with disability in clinical and community settings, including NDIS processes, Lee is well equipped to lead evidence-based research projects within the Research Unit.
- Cubis, L., Ownsworth, T., Pinkham, M.B., Chambers, S. (2018). The social trajectory of brain tumour: a qualitative metasynthesis. Disability and Rehabilitation, 40(16):1857-1869.
- Cubis, L., Ownsworth, T., Pinkham, M.B., Foote, M., Legg., M., Chambers, S. (2019). The importance of staying connected: mediating and moderating effects of social group memberships on psychological wellbeing after brain tumour. Psycho-Oncology. https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.5125
- Nicol C, Ownsworth T, Cubis L, Nguyen W, Foote M, Pinkham MB. Subjective cognitive functioning and associations with psychological distress in adult brain tumour survivors. Journal of Cancer Survivorship. 2019;13:653–662.
- Ownsworth, T., Cubis, L., Prasad, T., Foote, M., Kendall, M., Oram, J., Chambers, S. & Pinkham, M. B. (2020). Feasibility and acceptability of a telehealth platform for delivering the Making Sense of Brain Tumour programme: A mixed-methods pilot study. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 1-29.