South Australia Division
The first Occupational Therapist in South Australia was employed by the commonwealth government at the Repatriation General Hospital in 1946. Soon after Occupational Therapists were employed at other centres including St. Margaret's and Mt. Breckan in Victor Harbour. The conditions that were treated included tuberculosis, medical and other physical and psychiatric disabilities. In treating these individuals, Occupational Therapists incorporated such activities as light trades, woodwork, metal work, craft work, and gardening.
In the 1950's the state government began to employ Occupational Therapists in various centres, beginning with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. By 1963 there were nine qualified Occupational Therapists working in South Australia, and the first meeting of the South Australian Association of Occupational Therapists (now part of Occupational Therapy Australia Ltd) was on the 19th February that same year.
In January 1971 an Occupation Therapy training school was established in South Australia. The school was founded by Miss Cecilie Bearup who remained as the Head of School from 1971 to 1986. Today Miss Bearup is the only life member of Occupational Therapy Australia, South Australian Division.
Registration for Occupational Therapists in South Australia was achieved in 1974. Today the profession is stronger than ever, with approximately 900 Occupational Therapists registered in South Australia and working in a vast range of fields.
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