Social Enterprise Lead
Master of Business Law
Master of Applied Finance and Investment Graduate Australian Institute of Company Directors
As Social Enterprise Lead, John Koerber is working to nationally scale a new social enterprise offering of capacity building, resource/tool development and dissemination, and secondary consultation across hospital discharge teams, support coordinators, and allied health professionals, drawing on the work of UpSkill and the Housing Brokerage Service pilot.
Prior to joining the Summer Foundation, John was the CEO of the Victim Support Service in Adelaide, which delivered a range of client-focussed programs, including therapeutic counselling and criminal justice support services to victims of crime, as well as educational programs and capacity building for key stakeholders in the criminal justice system.
Housing Hub Services Manager
Diploma of Community Welfare Work, Bachelor of Business and Arts (in progress), Cert IV in Disability Community Services
Melody Carbarns is the Housing Hub Services Manager 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
Senior Analyst and NDIS Communications Producer
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Dr George Taleporos
Senior Analyst and NDIS Communications Producer
PhD (Psych), Grad Dip (Educational Psych), Bachelor of Social Science (Hons Sociology)
In his role as Senior Analyst and NDIS Communications Producer Dr George Taleporos is an integral member of Summer Foundation team and works to inform people with disability about NDIS news, developments and policy application. He is responsible for the Reasonable and Necessary podcast series.
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 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 managing the Project Implementation Services and team. Her goal is to use a strong partnership approach to lead project planning and delivery, and project support services, allowing for high quality outcomes for the team and the organisation.
Before joining the Summer Foundation in 2016, she worked in finance, human resources and operations for both the public and not-for-profit sectors.
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.
Dr Kate D’Cruz
Senior Research Fellow/ Team manager
Masters of Occupational Therapy, Bachelor Occupational Therapy, PhD (Occupational Therapy)
Dr Kate D’Cruz is a Senior Research Fellow at the Summer Foundation and joined the Research Unit in 2020. She leads research projects to evaluate the experiences and outcomes of young people with disability.
Kate has a particular interest in partnering with people with lived experience of disability to develop meaningful and relevant research. Current research projects include examining the impact of moving into purpose-built specialist disability accommodation (SDA); understanding the personal experiences of people with disability living in aged care facilities; peer support and sharing stories of lived experience. The outcomes of this work will help to inform how practice and policy can have a positive impact on the living choices, goals and quality of life for young people with disability.
Kate is an occupational therapist with over 12 years’ experience supporting community integration following acquired brain injury. She is also a qualitative researcher experienced in interviewing adults with cognitive and communication impairments, facilitating focus groups and data analysis. In addition to her role at the Summer Foundation, Kate is a lecturer in the Occupational Therapy program at La Trobe University, Melbourne. Her primary teaching and research focus is acquired brain injury rehabilitation, person-centred practice, and engagement in goal setting and narrative storytelling.
- D’Cruz, K., Douglas, J., Serry, T. (2020). Sharing stories of lived experience: A qualitative analysis of the intersection of experiences between storytellers with acquired brain injury and storytelling facilitators. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. doi: 10.1177/0308022619898085
- D’Cruz, K., Douglas, J., Serry, T. (2019). Personal narrative approaches in rehabilitation following traumatic brain injury: A synthesis of qualitative research. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 29(7):985-1004.
- D’Cruz, K., Douglas, J., Serry, T. (2019). Narrative storytelling as both an advocacy tool and a therapeutic process: Perspectives of adult storytellers with acquired brain injury. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/09602011.2019.1586733
- Chew, N., Hayward, K., D’Cruz, K., Thompson, E., Li, X., Lannin, N. (2019). Validity and reliability of a smartphone inclinometer app for measuring passive upper limb range of motion in a stroke population. Disability & Rehabilitation. doi: 1080/096382888.2019.158972.
- D’Cruz, K., Douglas, J., Serry, T. (in press). Sharing stories of lived experience: A qualitative analysis of the intersection of experiences between storytellers with acquired brain injury and storytelling facilitators. British Journal of Occupational Therapy.
- D’Cruz, K., Douglas, J. (2018). Participant led training video: Literature review: Melbourne, Australia: La Trobe University
- Douglas, J., D’Cruz, K. (2018). Participant led training video: Evaluation report: Melbourne, Australia: La Trobe University
- Carra, K. A., Fortune, T., Ennals, P., D’Cruz, K., Kohn, H. (2017). Supporting scholarly identity and practice: Narratives of occupational therapy academics. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 80(8):502-509.
- Potter, A., Sansonetti, D., D’Cruz, K., Lannin, N. (2017). What is Known About Transitional Living Services for Adults With an Acquired Brain Injury? A Scoping Review. Brain Impairment, 18(02):240-257.
- D’Cruz, K., Unsworth, C., Roberts, K., Morarty, J., Turner-Stokes, L, Wellington-Boyd, A., Matchado, J., Lannin, N. (2016). Engaging patients with moderate to severe acquired brain injury in goal setting. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 23(1):2-13.
11.Ennals, P, Fortune, T, Williams, A, D’Cruz, K. (2016). Shifting occupational identity: Doing, being, becoming and belonging in the academy. Higher Education Research and Development, 35(3):433-446.
- D’Cruz, K., Howie, L., Lentin, P. (2016). Client centred practice: Perspectives of persons with a traumatic brain injury. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 23(1):30-38.
- Mistretta, K. & D’Cruz, K. (2007). Phenomenological exploration of an Individual’s lived experience 21 years following head injury enabled understanding of self and opportunity for personal growth. (CAP). Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 54(2):160-161.
- Noonan, A. & D’Cruz, K. (2007). Adults who experienced traumatic brain injury described needing to find and accept a new self identity before they could successfully integrate occupational adaptations. (CAP). Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 54(2):158-160.
- McLean, K. & D’Cruz, K. (2007). Environments that facilitated learning about personal capacities helped adults with an acquired brain injury to successfully return to productive activities. (CAP). Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 54(2):160-161.