Welcome to the WA Occupational Therapy Association Inc – WAOTA

As acting President of the WA Occupational Therapy Association, I would like to welcome you to our website. Within this website you will find information regarding the profession of Occupational Therapy (OT), information for OT students and therapists, how to locate an OT in your area and also relevant information specific to members of the WA Occupational Therapy Association.

For Western Australian Registered Occupational Therapists, OT Support Staff and students, never before has there been a more beneficial time to join your professional Association. This web site will give you an insight into the many benefits of becoming a member of the Association.

New features being added for use by Members include a personalised logging system to access Scientific Journals and Systematic Evidence Based Reviews through access to Proquest Nursing and Allied Health.

For more information or enquiries regarding how the Association can be of assistance to you, please contact the WAOTA office either via email: info@waota.com.au or phone (08) 9388 1490

Sally Wojnar-Horton
Acting President
WA Occupational Therapy Association
WAOTA


History

Occupational therapy was first practised in Western Australia in 1942, during the Second World War at the 110th Military Hospital, which in 1947 became the Repatriation General Hospital, Hollywood. During the late 1940s new departments were opened. The first being the Wooroloo State Sanitorium and in 1947 the Rehabilitation section of the Department of Social Services. Towards the end of 1950 a department was established at the Crippled Children’s Association and a year later at Princess Margaret Hospital for children.

In July 1949 the three practising OTs in WA formed a group, the Occupational Therapist’s Club, which was the forerunner of the occupational therapy association, OT AUSTRALIA WA. The group was formally constituted in November 1952, and accepted the following year into the National Body. The first inaugural meeting was held in October 1953. The members were busy lobbying MP’s to set up a training school and to register occupational therapists by Act of Parliament. However it was four years later, in October 1957, before the Act became law in WA. The newly formed board approached the Royal Perth Hospital requesting facilities for a school, which was opened in February 1961 with nine students.

Up until the 1960’s occupational therapists in WA had either trained interstate or had come from overseas. The numbers of local graduates steadily increased with the new school at Royal Perth Hospital. Occupational therapy departments were established in all metropolitan hospitals and institutions. They provided services to all age groups and to people of with all types of disabilities. Private practices were established and rural services expanded.

Today there are two university courses offered in WA, and over 2,000 registered occupational therapists working in settings such as hospitals, industry, schools, local government, urban and rural communities. OTs have carved a niche in newer areas of clinical practice such as soft tissue, driver assessment and training, medico-legal consultancy, emergency medicine and hippotherapy to name just a few.

2012 has seen the profession of occupational therapy move to national registration for the first time, signifying it as a definitive area of practice requiring specialty training. Occupational therapy continues to be a growing and thriving profession, gaining recognition in both traditional and non-traditional areas of practice.

Compiled by Ann Whyntie
July 2001

Updated by Rebecca Thompson
October 2012

Constitution

The WA Occupational Therapy Association (Inc.) is governed by our Constitution, which is a body of fundamental principles that guides our processes and responsibilities. To read our Constitution, please click on the following link:

WA Occupational Therapy Association Inc Constituion

Our Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on the links below to find out the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

What is Occupational Therapy?
What do Occupational Therapists do?
Who do Occupational Therapists work with?
Where do Occupational Therapists work?
How can I become an Occupational Therapist in WA?
Can I do work experience with an Occupational Therapist in a hospital?
How can I become an Occupational Therapy Assistant?
Why should I join the WA Occupational Therapy Association?
How can I become more involved in my Association?
How can I find out information about registering to work as an Occupational Therapy in Australia?
Committee of Management

Position

Held By

President Sally Wojnar-Horton
Vice President Tanya Lyttle
Treasurer Sandy Kevill
Professional Standards Portfolio Sally Wojnar-Horton
Corporate Services Portfolio Sandy Kevill
Marketing Portfolio Renee Sloot / Karen Stiles/ Danae Van Asselt
Private Practice Representative Sandy Kevill/Cathy Thomas
Research & Development Portfolio Vacant
Rural and Remote Michelle Carrington
Newsletter Committee Lynda Quigley / Rebekah Wilson / Rebecca Walton
New Graduate Liaison Representatives Sarah Hoy
OT Student Representative Dimity Taylor

 

OT Specialty Areas

Occupational Therapists have an essential role in helping people of all ages to overcome disabilities resulting from illness, ageing or accident so they can perform daily living tasks that they need and want to do. To be able to provide the assessment and intervention specific to the disabilities experienced, occupational therapists gain knowledge and skills in specialty area of practice.

The following provides a broad overview of specialty areas of practice in occupational therapy:

Support Staff

Resources for Support Staff coming soon…