Western Australia Division
The WA Division was established in May 2011 and is one of eight divisions of Occupational Therapy Australia. This recent establishment of the WA Division belies the fact that occupational therapy has a long and proud tradition in WA.
Occupational therapy in WA started in 1942 when OTs were employed by the Army General Hospital (known later as the Repatriation General Hospital – Hollywood) to work with injured returned service men and women. Early fields of OT practise included tuberculosis, rehabilitation, paediatrics, mental health and general hospital work. Since then other areas of practise have developed and today in WA the areas of OT practise is very diverse. An interesting historic fact is that in 1952 The Western Australian Division of the Australian Association of Occupational Therapists was established. Since then there have been several name changes for the original WA Division and today it is known as Occupational Therapy Australia-WA .
Why we were established
Occupational Therapy Australia-WA was a member of Australian Association of Occupational Therapists until 2009. This changed in 2009 when the national professional association changed from being a federated organisation to a single entity known as Occupational Therapy Australia, a company of limited liability.
As a single entity, Occupational Therapy Australia provides a unified structure to represent occupational therapists at a national level. It has eight divisions representing each of the states and territories of Australia. It is a quirky coincidence that history repeats itself and we have a new WA Division. The difference this time is that individual OTs, and not a state association are members of the national professional association. As part of a single entity our new WA Division still retains some autonomy to respond to issues that are unique to WA.
OT AUSTRALIA - WA voted against joining the new national association. It continues to work in the interests of occupational therapists in WA.