About Us

Deco Place is a small business with a great vision

Together Dr Rachel Cousins and Ashley Taylor have committed their working lives to acting on this vision.

Good health through education and energy action.

It is with much hope and determination that we embark on building a business that benefits our local community in the life spheres of health, education and energy.

Dr Rachel Cousins – Head of Health at Deco Place

Dr Rachel Cousins is a registered and experienced Clinical Psychologist. She works with young adults and adults with a range of problems, including stress, anxiety and depression.  She has a particular interest and experience in working with new parents transitioning to parenthood, as well as parents of children and adolescents. She also has experience with those adjusting to chronic illness. 

Rachel works at The Cairnmillar Institute (a not-for-profit education institution) lecturing in Masters of Clinical Psychology and a Graduate Diploma of Psychology courses, and supervising student research and placement.  Other work includes the supervision of other psychologists, the education and training of other professionals in the health and education sectors.

Rachel graduated from Deakin University with a Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) in 2002 after completing a Bachelor or Behavioural Science with Honours from La Trobe University.  She worked at The Alfred for several years following graduation, initially on the Continuing Care Team then as a Senior Clinical Psychologist on the Primary Mental Health Team.  She has also worked for beyondblue providing workplace training on Depression and headspace-the national youth mental health initiative providing training to clinicians on a range of topics relevant to their work. 

Some of the highlights of Rachel’s career have included:

  • Working alongside Maternal and Child Health Nurses to deliver education sessions on mental health to new parents and facilitating a 6-week therapy group for new mothers finding the transition to parenthood challenging then presenting this work at a conference on interprofessional learning.
  • Delivering the 6-week parenting course, Tuning in to Kids, to parents interested in building their children’s emotional intelligence.
  • Co-facilitating a group for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Dr Simon Knowles a senior lecturer at Swinburne University and specialist in the area of gastro-intestinal disorders.
  • Working on the Dialectical Behaviour Therapy program for people with severe Personality Disorders at The Alfred.
  • Developing and facilitating anxiety management groups for people with serious mental illness.
  • Facilitating monthly peer supervision groups for GP’s interested in mental health as a part of their CPD requirements.
  • Facilitating monthly peer supervision for counsellors at Inspiro community health services.
  • Providing clinical supervision to psychologists in the registrar program working towards clinical endorsement.
  • Assessing case studies for the Australian Psychological Society completed by psychologists undertaking individual bridging plans to gain clinical endorsement.
  • Travelling across Australia delivering headspace training on topics such as:
    • Working with families and significant others.
    • Managing challenging behaviours: reluctance, aggression, suicide and self-harm.
    • Motivational Interviewing.
    • Early identification of psychosis in young people

 

Ashley Taylor – Head of Education & Energy at Deco Place

Ashley Taylor is a fully qualified and registered teacher with the Victorian Institute of Teaching. Ashley has both a Bachelor of Education and a Masters of Public Policy and Management from The University of Melbourne. During his Masters he completed an Executive Internship with the Shadow Minister for Children working on the introduction of the first ever Early Years Curriculum in Australia. He was involved in the supporting the Honourable Member through undertaking in-depth research and providing an accessible theoretical structure for the introduction of this significant new policy initiative. The momentum of this process was instrumental to the establishment, in subsequent years, of the current Early Years Learning and Development Framework.

Ashley has been a teacher, Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) coordinator and educational policy advisor for 20 years and has worked in a wide range of schools and organisations. His most recent teaching experience has been at Ruskin Park Primary School and Ringwood Secondary College.

Ashley’s work in policy development was both paid and voluntary. He was the Chairperson of The Victorian Association for Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) for more than four years. During this time he guided the sector and provided professional insights to the Australian Government during the establishment of the OSHC Quality Assurance Framework. He then briefly worked for the Victoria Government assisting with the release of a discussion paper addressing the introduction of the Children’s Services Regulations to the OSHC sector. He also worked for an independent educational institution, developing an educational framework, in the area of ‘at risk’ students.

He has an excellent understanding of differing learning styles and always tries to make learning enjoyable and purposeful.

Ashley has had a long term interest in energy policy and the technologies that will drive the new energy economy. This interest has manifested itself in his studies, volunteer work for organisations that support renewable energy, individual policy submissions to Government and currently the negotiation of a number of business relationships between Deco Place and a range of (predominately Australian) energy related companies.