Celebrating 30 years of supporting 756 people through their rehabilitation journey

Posted on Wednesday, September 1, 2021

On Thursday 26 August, supporters, clients and staff from past and present, gathered together to celebrate 30 years of Brightwater Oats Street, our industry leading brain rehabilitation program.

The Oats Street rehabilitation program was established by Brightwater and the WA Department of Health out of necessity – to support Western Australians with acquired brain injury who would otherwise have nowhere else to go.

The original Oats Street opened in 1991 and in the last 30 years, 756 people have been supported on their rehabilitation journey with an average length of stay of 18.5 months.

This program has come a long way since 1991, with the original site (which was an ageing hospital) being bulldozed in 2010.

In 2012 the amazing purpose-built environment that stands today was officially opened. The program is truly unique and world leading and is based on a staged approach to rehabilitation with the Oats Street team working together to support purposeful activity to improve function, cognitive ability and enjoyment of life for our clients.

Through a social cost benefit analysis of the program we have demonstrated that for every $1 invested by the Government, the program returns $4 in the cost of care saved.

This program was the inspiration for Brightwater’s Research Centre and much of our original research was in the area of Acquired Brain Injury Rehabilitation – to date we have published over 50 scientific papers and presentations across the world.

The morning started with a wonderful welcome from the Oats Street choir – made up of staff and clients who get together every week to enjoy singing and music.

Brightwater CEO, Jennifer Lawrence, shared some history of the program and was followed by former client, Mark Elsing, sharing his inspiring story of rehabilitation.