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Brain injury recovery the focus of new Curtin PhD scholarship

Media release

A new PhD scholarship that aims to improve the quality of life for people living with acquired brain injuries and support their transition from rehabilitation to their home and community has been announced today by Curtin University and Brightwater Care Group.

The ‘Brightwater Lyn Beazley and Curtin PhD Scholarship’, named after former Chief Scientist of Western Australia Professor Lyn Beazley, will aim to identify the barriers people living with brain injuries face when participating in everyday activities and develop strategies to improve their independence.

The successful recipient, who will commence at Curtin in 2020, will be supervised by Associate Professor Courtenay Harris and Dr Sharon Keesing from Curtin’s School of Occupational Therapy, Social Work and Speech Pathology.

Curtin University Faculty of Health Sciences Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Archie Clements said he was delighted to announce the new scholarship and looked forward to collaborating with Brightwater Care Group on this important research project.

“People living with acquired brain injuries struggle to undertake activities in their day-to-day lives and this can have a significant and lasting impact on their recovery and quality of life. The successful recipient will have the opportunity to complete their research within a real-life environment, working with patients at Brightwater Care Group who have been directly impacted by brain injuries,” Professor Clements said.

“The successful recipient will focus on three research areas including allied health, clinical interventions and independence, which will support people with brain injuries to enjoy an improved quality of life and also help family members provide better assistance.

“I would like to thank Brightwater Care Group for their significant commitment to this important Scholarship, which will play a key role in improving the future outlook for people living with this type of injury and will help to identify how those in the healthcare sector can better support their transition from rehabilitation to life at home.”

Brightwater Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Lawrence said Brightwater is committed to the provision of brain injury rehabilitation for Western Australians through its Oats Street program and services delivered into the community.

“This scholarship will support quality of life and independence for people after an acquired brain injury and is critical in ensuring we continue to be a world leader in this area,” Ms Lawrence said.

The scholarship will be available to a full-time, domestic occupational therapist PhD student for up to three and a half years. Further information on the scholarship can be found online here.