Brightwater and Rotary a match made in hope

Posted on Monday, October 9, 2023

Southern Districts Rotary Club president Rob Pannell (right) and vocational services committee director John Stockbridge at the new Brightwater houses for people living with Huntington’s disease at Piara Waters.


Brightwater Care and the Southern Districts Rotary Club have a proud history of partnership, and a shared passion for creating hope.

As a leading not-for-profit provider of aged and disability care services, Brightwater supports people of all ages to live the lives they want to live. Southern Districts is the largest Rotary club in the area and renowned for its work in the community.

It’s a neat fit and no surprise then that Brightwater’s new Piara Waters houses for people living with Huntington’s disease was the latest project to gain the Canning Vale-based club’s attention and financial support.

“Nicola (Brightwater Manager Corporate Engagement and Philanthropy Nicola Bedwood) approached us and said they were building this facility in Piara Waters, just around the corner from us,” Southern Districts vocational services committee director John Stockbridge said.

“It seemed like a fabulous thing to donate money to. One of the things we love about Brightwater is there is a very clear and visible line between the funding we provide and the outcomes our support delivers.

“Our donation will help cover the running costs for one of the houses at Piara Waters for 20 years. It’s fantastic to know that we are providing that type of benefit and directly improve people’s quality of life.”

The Southern Districts Rotary Club’s primary fundraiser is the Bring and Buy second-hand market held every Sunday at Maddington Central Shopping Centre.

The club has successfully run the market for more than 40 years and raised more than $3 million in that time.

John said the association with Brightwater began when the club contributed $50,000 towards establishing the Lyn Beazley PhD Scholarship which funds students to conduct research at the Brightwater Oats Street Acquired Brain Injury facility.

He and club president Rob Pannell said the decision to support the Piara Waters venture was an easy one to make.

“It’s a really good fit for us,” Rob said of the project which will provide purpose-built accommodation for 21 clients over seven homes.

Brightwater Chief Executive Officer Cath Stoddart said the Piara Waters project was a WA-first initiative to support people whose lives are impacted by the effects of Huntington’s disease, a familial neurodegenerative disorder.

“The impact on a family of even one person with Huntington’s is significant, and more commonly, there are a few people across generations who inherit the gene,” Cath said.

“For this reason, the Huntington’s campus is not only about the people who we provide direct care for, but also their immediate and extended families.

“We are very grateful to the Southern Districts Rotary Club and our many other generous benefactors for their support.”

Each home will be certified as a Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) for people with extreme functional impairment or very high needs.

They will be nestled among sensory gardens with zones for living, relaxing, engaging and socialising. This new world-class campus is being built to the highest standards and is already in an advanced stage of construction.