Local Occupational Therapist and PhD student, Lily Cullinan, has been awarded the Brightwater Lyn Beazley and Curtin University PhD Scholarship for 2021.
Ms Cullinan is the second student to receive the scholarship since it was established in 2012.
The scholarship is conducted through Brightwater’s Research Centre in partnership with Curtin and is focused on research with Brightwater’s world leading brain rehabilitation centre in East Victoria Park.
Brightwater CEO, Jennifer Lawrence, said the scholarship aims to help investigate the science behind the regeneration of the brain that takes place as a direct consequence of the Oats Street Acquired Brain Injury program.
“Our program here at Oats Street is world leading. We focus on a person’s abilities, rather than their disability. We support our clients to maintain current skills, regain lost skills and learn new skills. It is our aim to make sure we enhance a person’s quality of life and ensure their independence and personal autonomy is maintained and strengthened.
“By partnering with institutions like Curtin to conduct research, we can make it even stronger,” Ms Lawrence said.
Ms Cullinan’s research will focus on the impact of the Oats Street program on community participation for people who have left and are now living in their homes.
“My research will include working with previous Oats Street clients to understand their experiences and perspectives following discharge into the community,” Ms Cullinan said.
Ms Cullinan has an affinity with Brightwater Oats Street already, having completed her honours thesis at Oats Street and recently working as an Occupational Therapist on a 6-month project with the team.
Ms Cullinan said she was grateful to be able to continue her research journey with Brightwater Oats Street and Curtin University.
“I have always had a passion for helping others and I am a huge advocate of the benefits of rehabilitation to be able to support people to get back to doing the things they need and want to do, to live meaningful lives.
“It is a dream come true for me to be able to further pursue my studies in the area of brain injury rehabilitation.”
Ms Cullinan’s research will take three years to complete.